This lightened up Chicken Divan was made from the ground up without canned soups. Just layers of tender chicken breasts and broccoli in a flavorful creamy cheese sauce, topped with golden breadcrumbs.
If you’re looking for a healthier version of this classic casserole dish, look no further! This lighter Chicken Divan is lower in fat and calories, yet full of flavor. Made from scratch without canned soups. Prepare it ahead of time and pop it in the oven until hot and bubbly for dinner. Your family will thank you! Casseroles are a very popular makeover, so I try to post a few new ones every year. Some favorites are manicotti, broccoli mac and cheese, shepherd’s pie to name a few. Enter your wishes here if you have a favourite.
This healthy version of Chicken Divan is packed with protein from the chicken and fiber from the broccoli! It’s a popular and comforting American dish that’s perfect for potlucks, family gatherings, or weeknight dinners.
What is Chicken Divan?
Chicken Divan is a classic American casserole that typically includes chicken, broccoli, and a creamy sauce. It is believed to have originated at the Divan Parisien restaurant in New York City in the 1930s. The dish is named after the restaurant and the word “divan,” meaning a long, low, backless sofa.
The classic Chicken Divan recipe usually consists of boiled chicken, steamed broccoli, a rich and creamy sauce made with lots of mayonnaise, sour cream or cream of mushroom soup, and a topping of cheese and breadcrumbs. The casserole is typically baked until golden brown and bubbly.
A healthier chicken sofa
Today there are many variations of Chicken Divan. My version uses lighter ingredients, which also has a gluten-free option. For a vegetarian version, you can use tofu or another chicken substitute.
While most recipes call for canned soup and a lot more fat, this recipe has been lightened significantly to preserve its flavor without all the added fat.
How to freeze
- First, make sure the casserole is completely cool before freezing. You can either freeze the entire casserole or portion it into individual portions for easier reheating.
- Then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. Label the container or bag with the date and contents for easy identification later.
- When ready to reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake in the oven at 350F for 30-40 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
- Note that while freezing can help extend the dish’s shelf life, it can also cause the broccoli’s texture to soften slightly and the sauce to separate easily. However, these changes should not affect the overall flavor of the dish.
You can freeze Chicken Divan for up to 2-3 months or refrigerate for up to 4 days.
What to serve with Chicken Divan
Chicken Divan is a hearty casserole that can be served alone as a main course or paired with a few complementary side dishes for a more complete meal. Here are some side dish options:
- You can make this faster by using leftover roast chicken breasts or pre-cooked chicken breasts.
- Can you use frozen broccoli? Yes, of course you can, but in my opinion nothing beats the taste of fresh broccoli.
More chicken recipes
Yield: 6 portions
Serving size: 1 2/3 cup
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with olive oil spray.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add broccoli, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon water and cover.
Let the broccoli cook until tender and crispy, 3 minutes. Pour into the casserole dish.
Pound the thicker end of the chicken breast to make it even on both sides. Brush the chicken with mayo and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper.
Heat skillet over medium-high, when hot, spray with oil and cook chicken until almost cooked, about 5 minutes on each side.
Remove from heat and place chicken on cutting board. Once cool, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Reduce the heat of the pan to medium-high. Add the butter and remaining oil until melted, then add the shallots and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour and cook, stirring about 1 minute. Stir in the stock, milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and sherry and simmer on low for about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in half of the Swiss cheese.
Pour half of the sauce over the broccoli and toss to coat. Arrange the chicken on top and cover with the remaining sauce.
Top with remaining Swiss cheese and grated parmesan and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Squirt some oil over it. Bake for 30 minutes until hot and golden.
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Portion: 1 2/3 cup, Calories: 387 kcal, Carbohydrates: 22 G, Protein: 42 G, Fat: 14.5 G, Saturated Fatty Acids: 5.5 G, Cholesterol: 112 mg, Sodium: 606.5 mg, Fiber: 3.5 G, Sugar: 5.5 G