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+ servings

Chicken Divan

This Chicken Divan is the BEST ever with no canned soups or mayo!  Just layers of juicy chicken and broccoli in the most flavorful rich, creamy cheese sauce all topped with golden crispy panko.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 tsp EACH salt, pepper, paprika
  • 1 16-20 oz. bag broccoli florets
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil divided
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth divided
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp EACH onion pwdr, garlic pwdr, dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Panko Topping (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • While the chicken is still on the cutting board, dab with a paper towel then toss with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon paprika. Set aside.
  • Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat until very hot. Add the broccoli and sauté for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth, cover pan, and lower heat to medium. Steam broccoli until tender but not limp, about 2 minutes. Transfer broccoli to prepared pan in an even layer.
  • To the now empty skillet, melt one tablespoon butter (may sub olive oil) over medium heat. Increase heat to medium high and add chicken in a single layer and sear for one minute without moving chicken then continue to cook and stir chicken until cooked through. Evenly layer chicken on top of broccoli.
  • To the same skillet (don’t wipe out), melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Whisk in flour then cook, while stirring for 1 minute. Turn heat to low then gradually whisk in remaining 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup of milk. Whisk cornstarch with remaining 1 cup milk and add to skillet followed by Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, chicken bouillon and all spices/seasonings.
  • Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly then reduce heat to a simmer, whisking often until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in 1/2 cup cheddar until melted followed by Parmesan cheese until melted. Whisk in sour cream until blended. Pour sauce over chicken and broccoli and spread into an even layer. Top with remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese.

Panko topping:

  • Melt butter in olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add panko and stir to coat. Continue cooking until crumbs become golden brown. Evenly sprinkle over cheese. Cover Chicken Divan with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.
  • Serve Chicken Divan over mashed potatoes or rice.

Video

Notes

Don't miss the "how to make" recipe video at the top of the post!
  • Prep Ahead:  Assemble the casserole according to recipe instructions up to the point of baking. Cover Chicken Divan with foil and refrigerate. When ready to bake, let Chicken Divan sit on the counter while the oven preheats.  Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees or until heated through, and bubbly around the edges.
  • Chicken:  Take care not to overcook your chicken because it is also going to bake in the oven. You are welcome to use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. You can also use shredded rotisserie chicken but still toss it with the seasonings per recipe instructions. You will need about 3 cups cooked shredded chicken if you go this route.
  • Broccoli:  I always use fresh broccoli.  I don’t recommend frozen broccoli because it has a tendency to end up watery and mushy instead of tender.  Take care you drain your broccoli well after steaming before transferring it to a 9x13 casserole dish or the excess moisture can make your sauce watery.
  • Cheese.  Please only use freshly grated cheeses because the pre-shredded varieties don’t melt nearly as well - especially Parmesan.
  • Sour Cream.  I use ½ cup but you are welcome to use even more.  Full fat sour cream melts easier than nonfat, but you can certainly use nonfat with this knowledge.  For full disclosure, I have not tried this Chicken Divan recipe with Greek Yogurt.
  • Panko.  Don’t skip the panko crunch, it is one of my favorite parts!  You are welcome to add your panko directly to the top of your Chicken Divan without toasting first and then broil at the end of baking, but it will NOT get as crispy.  This method always leaves me wanting crispier panko.  Toasting your panko first is gold.

To Freeze Chicken Divan:

  • Make and assemble according to directions up to the point of baking. You can add the panko if you want the casserole 100% assembled OR for crispier panko, toast and add it right before baking.
  • Let Chicken Divan cool completely (not from baking but from the warm sauce).
  • Wrap Chicken divan securely with plastic wrap, then with aluminum foil.
  • Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to eat, thaw Chicken Divan in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.