Chicken Divan, Lightened Up
This Chicken Divan makeover is the BEST with no canned soups or mayo! Just layers of tender chicken breast and broccoli in a flavorful creamy cheese sauce topped with golden breadcrumbs. Your family will thank you for this!
This Chicken Divan is an easy made from scratch casserole, perfect to prep ahead for those busy nights. Prep it ahead then pop it in the oven until cheesy, warm and bubbly at dinner time! Casseroles are highly requested makeovers, so I try to publish a few new ones each year. Some favorites are Manicotti, Broccoli Mac and Cheese, Shepherd’s Pie, just to name a few. Put in your requests here if you have a favorite.
Chicken Divan was created in the 1930s at the Divan Parisian Restaurant in Manhattan, and since has become an American classic. While most recipes call for mayonnaise, canned soup, and a lot more fat, this recipe has been significantly lightened up to maintain it’s flavor without all the added fat.
You can make this quicker by using leftover chicken, or precooked chicken breasts. Can you use frozen broccoli? Yes, of course you can, but nothing beats the flavor of fresh broccoli in my opinion. I served this with a green salad on the side to make this a complete meal.
Chicken Divan, Lightened Up
- 1-1/2 lbs broccoli florets, (3 large heads) chopped
- olive oil spray
- 24 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts, (from 3)
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp shallots, minced (onions would work too)
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup fat free milk
- 2 oz dry sherry, white wine would work
- 6 oz reduced-fat Swiss cheese, shredded or chopped fine
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and blanch 3 minutes. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with olive oil spray.
- Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Pound the thicker end of the chicken breast to make it even on both sides. Heat a grill pan over medium-low heat, spray with oil and cook the chicken until browned, and just about cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side.
- Remove from heat and transfer chicken to a cutting board. When cooled, slice chicken into bite sized pieces.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and oil until melted and then add garlic and shallots.
- Sprinkle the flour and whisk until smooth. Stir in broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, milk and sherry and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in half of the Swiss cheese.
- Arrange the broccoli in a casserole dish and pour half of the sauce over the broccoli and mix to coat.
- Arrange the chicken on top and cover with remaining sauce.
- Sprinkle the remaining Swiss cheese, grated Parmesan and top with breadcrumbs.
- Spritz a little oil on top. Bake 30 minutes, until hot and golden.