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This recipe for chicken divan has everything you love about this classic, comforting dish without the need for sour cream or canned soups. Get ready for all the indulgence of a creamy, chicken broccoli casserole without any of the guilt.
This chicken divan recipe is a healthier, modern version of an all-American classic. Don’t be fooled though – this casserole still has everything you crave about the original.
Succulent chicken and crisp broccoli pieces are baked in a bath of light yet creamy sauce, while airy panko crumbs add a delightfully crunchy texture.
The resulting dish is still intensely rich and satisfying but isn’t overloaded with fat, like some versions of this recipe. We’ll make this chicken divan recipe with no mayonnaise, no sour cream, no creamy canned soups, and only half of the usual butter. Don’t worry about telling your dinner guests, though — I promise they will never feel like they are missing anything!
Table of Contents
- Chicken – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the classic choice for this recipe. However, feel free to use shredded rotisserie chicken if you have some on hand. You want 2 pounds of meat total to go into the casserole dish.
- Broccoli – I like fresh the best, but thawed frozen broccoli can also work. Want more veggies? Feel free to toss in other favorites like asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, or cauliflower.
- Shallot – Gives the dish a light, delicate onion flavor.
- Butter – Infuses the recipe with salty, savory, and rich flavor.
- Sherry – Use cooking sherry, dry white wine, or — for an alcohol-free substitute — try chicken stock with a bit of lemon.
- Worcestershire Sauce – The secret to deep umami flavor and a hint of acidity.
- Half and Half – Adds smoothness and richness to the sauce.
- Cheese – I chose parmesan cheese for this version of divan. However, feel free to use classic cheddar, gruyere, Swiss, or any of your favorites.
- Panko Breadcrumbs – Add a light, airy crunch to the top of the casserole. If desired, use regular Italian breadcrumbs or omit altogether. Some older versions of this recipe actually include crushed potato chips instead.
Homemade without all the fat!
This chicken divan recipe is made with no mayonnaise, no sour cream, no creamy canned soups, and only half of the usual butter. An easy to make roux based sauce makes it all come together in no time at all. Watch how to make this in the recipe card video below!
- Prep the Chicken. Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and dust with 2 tablespoons of flour. Toss to coat and set aside.
- Brown the Broccoli. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the broccoli and cook for about 3 minutes, until the florets are slightly browned. Then, add half a cup of chicken broth, cover, and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer from the pan and set aside.
- Sear the Chicken. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add another tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes, browning on each side.
- Transfer to Baking Dish. Spray a 13×9 inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Transfer the browned chicken pieces to the dish, followed by the broccoli pieces.
- Make the Sauce. Using the same skillet over medium heat, saute the shallots in butter for about 1 minute. Stir in the other 2 tablespoons of flour, followed by the Worcestershire sauce, sherry, half and half, and chicken stock. Stir well to combine and let the mixture cook for several minutes, until reduced and thickened. Finally, add the parmesan cheese, stirring to mix and melt.
- Add Sauce & Breadcrumbs. Carefully pour the sauce over the chicken and broccoli. Sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs and, if desired, more cheese.
- Broil Until Bubbly. Place the casserole dish under the broiler for around 3-5 minutes. You want the top to be a nice golden brown and the sauce to be bubbly.
- Garnish & Serve. Remove from the oven and let the dish rest for a few minutes. Add fresh lemon zest to the top (optional), serve, and enjoy!
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This chicken divan recipe comes complete with tender chicken, crunchy broccoli, and a creamy sauce. It is almost filling enough on its own and works great with a number of side dishes. Check out a few of these ideas or pair this chicken casserole with any of your favorites.
– Serve with a potato dish like Mashed, Baked, or Roasted Gold Potatoes.
– Spoon over steamed rice, quinoa, or another grain. I recommend this Wild Rice Pilaf.
– Lighten up the menu with a fresh garden, Caesar, or Flat Wedge Salad.
– Pair with crusty bread like this French Sourdough or this Brazilian Cheese Bread.
Chicken divan gets its name from the restaurant, Divan Parisien Restaurant, where it was created and popularized. In fact, it was served as the signature dish there during the early 20th century.
Hilariously, when literally translated, chicken divan means chicken sofa in French. So learning about this dish’s namesake restaurant cleared up a ton of confusion!
And, despite the French-sounding name, the restaurant was actually located inside the Chatham Hotel in New York City, making this dish an all-American creation.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
To reheat, transfer your leftovers to a baking pan and preheat the oven to about 400 degrees F. Cover the pan with foil and bake for around 8-10 minutes. To add a bit of crunch back, you can sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top during the last couple minutes of cooking.
- 2 lbs chicken breast chopped
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 4 tbsp all-purpose flour separated
- 2 tbsp olive oil separated
- 1 lb broccoli florets
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 shallot diced
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese plus 2 tbsp
- 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 lemon zest only (optional)
- Slice chicken breast meat into bite size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Dust with 2 tablespoons flour and set aside.
- Over medium high heat in a large skillet add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and brown the broccoli slightly, cooking for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and cover. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the other tablespoon of oil to the skillet and brown the chicken pieces over medium high heat. Cook for 8 minutes.
- Place chicken in a 13×9″ baking dish seasoned with cooking spray. Sprinkle broccoli on top of chicken.
- In same skillet add the butter and over medium heat sauté the shallot for a minute. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of flour in pan and stir to cook. Add the Worcestershire sauce, sherry, chicken stock and half and half. Stir and reduce for several minutes until thickened. Stir in Parmesan cheese and pour over chicken and broccoli.
- Sprinkle Panko breadcrumbs and more cheese (optional) if you like on top. Broil for 3-5 minutes until top is golden brown and bubbly. Serve with grated lemon zest over top (optional).
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This recipe post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking January, 2018, has been updated with new content, photos and/or video in September, 2023.