The Cozy Cook

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

5 from 5 votes
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.

Video

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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Recipe Rating




12 comments on “Chicken Divan”

  1. Your recipes bring my childhood back to life. I cannot wait to try some of my favorite foods I forgot about! This was my absolute favorite!

    • It’s amazing how some recipes can bring you back to your childhood. For me, sloppy Joe’s and Salisbury steak brings me back to junior high cafeteria days❤️ Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

  2. Another good one!!! Yummy!!!!

  3. Stephanie, I want to cook this in Crockpot while at church.  I think it would be easy and good.  What do you think? 

    • I think cooking it on low for 5-6 hours would be fine! I haven’t tested it but I’m pretty sure it would be. I wouldn’t do high just to make sure it doesn’t curdle! 😁

  4. Made this recipe tonight and we all loved it. It was easy to make and very tasty! Thanks for making it so easy to adjust the recipe’s serving size- love that feature. This one’s a winner- thanks!

    • I’m so happy to hear this was a winner Elena! I agree, being able to adjust the serving size is a great feature!😃 Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

  5. Thank you for posting this! I don’t know why but Cream of Chicken has never agreed with me. Is there a substitution you would recommend? I’m not lactose intolerant, so that is not the issue. Maybe it is the salt or how the chicken flavor is achieved. Anyway, what else would you try?

    • Hey there! I’m not sure if you would be open to making your own cream of chicken soup from scratch if you aren’t into the canned stuff, but another alternative would be to use cream of mushroom soup! (Or cream of broccoli, broccoli cheese, or cheddar soup!)

  6. Another great one Stephanie, thank you! I made this with your homemade chicken soup recipe and it was delicious. The whole family went for seconds. I’m going to make more next time so I can have some leftover for lunch.

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