Oven-baked Chicken Divan with Curry features juicy chicken, tender broccoli, and a delicious creamy curry sauce. This traditional favorite is an easy way repurpose leftover chicken or broccoli.
Chicken Divan with Curry is kid-friendly—the sauce tastes so yummy that it's a great way to get kids to eat vegetables. If you'd like, you can serve it over rice for a complete meal.
This chicken divan recipe is a great way to use leftover rotisserie chicken, or if you keep cooked chicken in the freezer to make dinner prep less stressful, you can use that to shorten prep time.
- Cooked chicken - I prefer chicken breasts, but you can use rotisserie chicken or any other boneless, skinless chicken.
- Broccoli - I like to use frozen broccoli florets or chopped broccoli (thawed), but you can use steamed fresh broccoli if you prefer.
- Stuffing mix - I always use Pepperidge Farms stuffing mix.
- Cream of chicken soup - you can substitute another variety if necessary, but cream of chicken gives the best flavor.
- Mayonnaise - Duke's. Seriously though, if your grocery store doesn't carry it, you should ask them too.
- Cheddar cheese - Prepackaged shredded cheddar works fine, or you can grate your own. I don't stray from cheddar for this dish.
- Curry powder - Generic curry powder is fine, but the fresher the better. If it's been stored above the stove for 5 years, it has seen better days.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Chicken Divan with Curry
Combine canned soup and grated cheddar cheese in a saucepan and heat until cheese is melted, stirring frequently. Add mayonnaise, lemon juice, and curry powder and mix well.
When the sauce is ready, start layering the casserole by placing the broccoli in a 9x12 baking dish.
Layer the chicken over the broccoli and spread the sauce evenly on top.
Sprinkle the dressing mix on top of the sauce and bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes.
Hint: Preheat the oven to 350ºF before you start making the sauce and it should be ready about the time you get to the baking step. If you prefer, you can make the sauce in a microwave-safe mixing bowl and heat in the microwave oven.
- Vegetarian - I have made a vegetarian version of this by doubling the amount of vegetables (I like a broccoli/cauliflower mix), omitting the chicken, and using cream of celery soup instead of cream of chicken soup. You could also use a plant-based chicken substitute like Quorn in place of the chicken.
Giving the visitor ideas on how they can change this recipe to better suit their dinner guests, or their cultural cuisine, is a great way to increase the chances they make the recipe
- Topping - Although Pepperidge Farms stuffing mix is my preferred topping, you can make Chicken Divan with other toppings. Crispy fried onions, Panko breadcrumbs, or crushed Ritz crackers are other topping options. You could also sprinkle cheese on top (an additional ½ cup or so) before baking.
- Sauce - You can substitute cream of mushroom or celery soup in place of cream of chicken soup. You could also substitute low-sodium versions of the soup if preferred.
- Meat - Make Turkey Divan with leftover turkey instead of chicken.
You can prepare the casserole ahead of time by completing all of the steps up to spreading the soup mixture. Keep the stuffing mix separate until ready to bake, cover the pan of layered chicken, broccoli, and soup mixture with foil and store in the refrigerator. About 20 minutes before you are ready to cook the casserole, remove the pan from the refrigerator. Just before baking, sprinkle the stuffing mix on top and bake as usual.
Chicken Divan with Curry for the Freezer
Chicken Divan with Curry can be frozen for up to 3 months. Prepare by completing all of the steps up to spreading the soup mixture. Keep the stuffing mix separate. Tightly wrap the casserole in a freezer- and oven-safe baking dish and freeze. Label as follows:
Chicken Divan with Curry Date____________________
Thaw in refrigerator. Sprinkle contents of a 14 ounce bag of stuffing mix over top of dish. Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes.
Do I have to thaw the broccoli first?
It is important to steam (or at least thaw) broccoli and drain it if you are using frozen broccoli. If you use it straight from the freezer, the liquid from the broccoli will mix with the sauce, thinning it and causing the casserole to be watery.
What are the origins of Chicken Divan?
Although its origins are often misattributed to France, chicken Divan originated at the Divan Parisienne Restaurant—located in the Chatham Hotel in New York City—in the early twentieth century according to James Villas, author of Crazy for Casseroles. The original was created from entirely fresh ingredients, but throughout the twentieth century cooks adapted it to take advantage of more readily-available prepared ingredients. The launch of condensed cream of chicken soup in canned form in the late 1940s spurred adaptations of the original recipe as cooks experimented with the modern prepared ingredient.
Is this an authentic Chicken Divan recipe?
Although the original recipe was never published, the original Chicken Divan recipe had a sauce that was reportedly more similar to a tetrazzini sauce: a homemade cream sauce with added sherry, nutmeg, Parmesan cheese, and almonds. Modern cooks associate the casserole with the tangy sauce made from canned cream of chicken soup, mayonnaise, and curry that developed in the 1950s and 1960s.
Can I substitute something for the canned soups?
If you prefer not to use condensed soups, you can make an easy cream soup substitute using chicken bouillon as the seasoning. One recipe of the substitute is equal to one can of condensed soup.
- 1 pound cooked boneless skinless chicken, chopped
- 21 ounces condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- 16 ounces frozen chopped broccoli, steamed and drained
- 14 ounces Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix
- non-stick cooking spray
- Combine soup and cheese in a sauce pan and heat until melted.21 ounces condensed cream of chicken soup, ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Remove from heat and add mayonnaise, lemon juice, and curry, mixing well.1 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon curry powder
- Prepare a 9x12 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray, and layer broccoli and chicken. Top with soup mixture.1 pound cooked boneless skinless chicken, 16 ounces frozen chopped broccoli, non-stick cooking spray
- Cover evenly with stuffing mix.14 ounces Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix
- Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until bubbly.