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Chicken Divan

This Chicken Divan has juicy bites of chicken that are smothered in a simple cream sauce with broccoli and topped with a buttery Ritz cracker topping. This is a quick family dinner that you can serve with rice, mashed potatoes, or over biscuits.

Make it from scratch with my homemade cream of chicken soup recipe!

A casserole dish filled with creamy Chicken Divan with Broccoli topped with Ritz Crackers

When it comes to casserole recipes, Chicken Divan has to be right at the top of my favorites list. It’s SO easy to make and can be served with so many different side dishes. It’s make-ahead friendly, and my family just devours it every time. Let’s get into what you need to know about this recipe!

What is Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan is a creamy casserole that’s traditionally made with a simple combination of chicken, broccoli, sour cream or mayo, cream of chicken soup, milk, and simple seasonings:

  • Chicken: Leftover chicken is great in this recipe, uncooked chicken breast or thighs can also be used.
  • Broccoli: I love using fresh broccoli, but frozen works as well.,
  • Cream Sauce: The sauce consists of sour cream (or mayo), cream of chicken soup, milk, cheese, and simple seasonings.
  • Crunchy Topping: A combination of crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter is a great way to add a golden crunchy topping to this casserole. Panko breadcrumbs and butter can be used as well.

Why Is It Called Chicken Divan 

According to Wikipedia, this dish was named after the Divan Parisien Restaurant in NYC’s Chatham Hotel where it was invented and served as a signature dish in the 20th century.

How to Make It (Summary.)

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Sauté diced chicken, onions, and celery in butter for 3 minutes. Add broccoli and olive oil once chicken is halfway done and cook 3-5 more minutes. Remove from heat once chicken is cooked through.
  • Add the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, milk, seasonings, and half of the cheese. Stir to combine and transfer to a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.
  • Top with remaining cheese. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Remove and increase heat to 400 degrees.
  • Combine the melted butter and Ritz crackers. Sprinkle over the casserole and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove and let it sit for 5 minutes prior to serving.
  • Serve over rice, biscuits, or mashed potatoes.

A dutch oven filled with chicken and broccoli with sauce ingredients being added to make Chicken Divan.

Creamy Chicken Divan in a dutch oven and a casserole dish before being baked.

A casserole dish with Chicken Divan before and after being baked.

Pro Tips

  • Cooked chicken may be used in which case sautéing it isn’t necessary. I would still recommend softening the onions/celery for about 5 minutes and then cooking the broccoli for about 3-4.
  • To skip sautéing altogether, feel free to omit the onions and celery and combine uncooked diced chicken, fresh broccoli, and the sauce ingredients. Transfer to a baking dish and bake at 375, covered, for 40 minutes. Remove cover and proceed with adding the Ritz topping as outlined.
  • Frozen broccoli may be used, thaw it first and pat it dry. Sautéing it with the chicken is optional as it’s already partially cooked. I recommend if you like very soft broccoli.
  • Mayo can be used instead of sour cream.

Make Ahead Method

  • This casserole can be prepared and placed in a covered casserole dish in the fridge for up to 2 days prior to baking. Be sure to wait on preparing the topping until ready to serve.
  • Add an additional 15 minutes of covered baking time if baking from a cold state.

Storage

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

A white plate filled with creamy Chicken Divan with a fork on the side.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

  • Dutch Oven – These conduct heat really well. I use mine all the time.
  • 9 x 13 baking dish The perfect size for almost any casserole recipe
  • Silicone Spatula– Easy for tossing the chicken as it cooks and for stirring in the sauce ingredients.
  • Measuring spoons I love that these are magnetic. They keep my drawer neat.

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Chicken Divan

4.97 from 28 ratings
This Chicken Divan has juicy bites of chicken that are smothered in a simple cream sauce with broccoli and topped with a buttery Ritz cracker topping. Make it from scratch or use can of cream of chicken soup!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, see notes
  • Salt/Pepper, to taste
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • 4 cups broccoli florets, about ½ lb.
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 10.5 oz. cream of chicken soup
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Topping

  • ½ cup crushed Ritz crackers, or panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Melt butter in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the chicken, onions, and celery and toss to coat. Sauté for 3 minutes, until chicken is about halfway done, then add the broccoli and 1 Tbsp olive oil.
  • Cook for 3-5 more minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat.
  • Add the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, milk, seasonings, and half of the cheese. Stir to combine.
  • Transfer to a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
  • Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and increase heat to 400 degrees.
  • Combine the melted butter and Ritz crackers. Sprinkle over the casserole and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove and let it sit for 5 minutes prior to serving.
  • Serve over rice, biscuits, or mashed potatoes.

Notes

  • 2 lbs. of chicken is equal to about 4 cups diced or 3 medium chicken breasts.
  • Cooked chicken may be used in which case sauteing it isn’t necessary. I would still recommend softening the onions/celery for about 5 minutes and the broccoli for about 3-4.
  • To skip sautéing altogether, feel free to omit the onions and celery and combine uncooked diced chicken, fresh broccoli, and the sauce ingredients. Transfer to a baking dish and bake at 375, covered, for 40 minutes. Remove cover and proceed with adding the Ritz topping as outlined.
  • Frozen broccoli may be used, thaw it first and pat it dry. Sauteing it with the chicken is optional as it’s already partially cooked. I recommend if you like very soft broccoli.
  • ½ cup crushed Ritz = about 14 of them or ½ sleeve.

Nutrition

Calories: 611kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 49g, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 186mg, Sodium: 978mg, Potassium: 927mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1414IU, Vitamin C: 58mg, Calcium: 449mg, Iron: 2mg
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60 comments on “Chicken Divan”

  1. Loved this recipe. I briefly par-boiled  the chicken and steamed the broccoli in advance. This cut down on oven time. Also added curry powder to the cream sauce. Was yummed all around!

  2. LOVED it. I was worried it would be too cheesy, and I thought my husband only bought 2 cups of cheese (but he bought a 3rd packet, oops), so I only had 1 cup in the mixed in cheese and 1 cup for the top felt like too much so it was a little less than that. This wasn’t too cheesy at all! I will still not use a whole cup for the topping but the main part was a nice amount of cheese. I didn’t use celery bc no one here likes it, I used thin cut breasts bc that’s what I buy by default. I was worried I’d overcook the chicken, used half cooked frozen broccoli and I like to saute onion WAY more than most recipes call for so I threw the chicken in after the veggies and cooked a minute past JUST done. Some of my pieces were very thin. My 8yo loved it, 10 yo gave it a “meh” but he ate it all, Indian hubby liked it. Didn’t add any hot sauce or anything! I’ll definitely add this to the rotation. We served this on its own but will likely add a veggie side. Maybe potatoes but I don’t think I’d like rice with this. And I make a lot of other dishes with rice so I’d be happy to change it up. Give this a try! It’s great!

  3. So quick, so easy, so, so yummy 

  4. Best recipe I’ve tried in a while. For the cheese, I used half mild Cheddar and Monterrey Jack. Instead of sour cream I used Cacique Table Cream; next time I might use Mayo. I bet that would really make it rich.

  5. Very tasty. I subbed asparagus for the broccoli. Also, I started by browning off the chicken (thighs) first to get the flavor from the brown bits before adding the onions and celery (and i added garlic). Also used a bit of chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Finally, I used mild white cheddar.

  6. Great recipe. I left out the onion, I hate those. Very tasty, quick to make. Served with baked potato.

  7. This was delicious.  Pretty easy to make. Believe it or not but I crushed up plain corn flakes (with the melted butter) and used that for the topping. Thank you again for another dish my whole family loved! 

  8. Yours is the second recipe for Chicken Divan that I found, and I like your version the best! I also like the tang from the mustard powder. I will use this the next time I have leftover rotisserie chicken. Thanks, Stephanie.

  9. Quick and easy and it was very good as my wife and mother-in-law really liked it. I will add this to my list as a preferred dinner entre to make

    • Sounds like you nailed it Pavel, nice work!🙌 Thanks so much for the great comments and for taking the time to leave a review!

      • Yes, anytime a son-in-law can score points with the mother-in-law that is a good thing and this recipe really is good. The sour cream gives the recipe a slight tang which is good! I have tried other Chicken Divan recipes but this one nails it from what I remember my cousin making when I tried Chicken Divan for the first time years ago.

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