Chicken Divan is a classic chicken casserole. This vintage family recipe goes back to 1960 and has stood the test of time – I’m still making it and still getting compliments.

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Baked chicken divan in a white casserole on a white wood surface.

This Chicken Divan will get you enthusiastic compliments every time you serve it. My mom makes this dish, I make it, and now my daughter makes it for her family. Family and friends have been enjoying this dish for decades.

Because it’s easy to make, it’s a great go-to recipe for weeknights, yet it’s also perfect for serving guests, and believe me, they will love it!

What’s Is It?

Chicken Divan is a favorite casserole recipe consisting of layered broccoli and chicken topped with a rich, creamy, and cheesy sauce, then baked till hot and bubbly.

Where did Chicken Divan originate?

Created in the Divan Parisien Restaurant in the New York City Chatham Hotel, the dish was named after the place of its invention, where it was served as the signature dish in the early twentieth century.

The chef who created and received an award from the hotel for the dish was Anthony Lagasi. All the chefs of the hotel restaurant initially made it even though it’s uncertain who all they were. In french divan refers to a great hall or meeting place. It is believed that the name was given to imply elegance and bring attention to the restaurant’s owners.

By the late ’50s, Chicken Divan had become a home cook’s staple and remains one of the most classic American casserole dishes today. Since then, different variations of the recipe have been created.

How Do You Make Chicken Divan?

  • Broccoli Layer:
    First, you will add a layer of steamed broccoli. I prefer to use broccoli crowns because we don’t like the stems.
  • Chicken Layer:
    Add chicken that has been thoroughly cooked. I bake mine in a covered dish in the oven. After baking, cut into bite-size pieces, or you can shred it if you prefer.
  • Sauce Layer:
    After mixing your sauce, you will spread this over the top of the chicken. Sometimes, I heat my sauce enough to melt the cheese, but you don’t have to.
White casserole dish of chicken divan waiting to be baked..

How to Bake Chicken Divan with Curry

It’s easy. You just put it in a preheated 350° oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the edges are bubbly.

What Goes With This Dish?

I fix Basmati rice to go with this yummy dish. The rice goes perfectly with the creamy sauce. I round out the fixin’s with applesauce or red beets – with my family, it’s usually both. ;)

Just out of the oven baked Chicken Divan in a white casserole dish with a dish towel on a white wood surface.

Although I like it best with chicken breast and fresh steamed broccoli, if you’d like, you can use rotisserie chicken or frozen broccoli that has been thawed or both. If you use frozen broccoli, you won’t need to steam it ahead of time.

Can Chicken Divan be made ahead of time and frozen?

Yes to both! You can make it the day or night before you plan to serve it. Cover it and place it in the fridge. Take it out about an hour before you plan to bake it. When ready to bake, remove the cover and bake as directed.


You can prep, bake, cool, and then freeze for up to three months. When you’re ready, take it out of the freezer about an hour before baking, then place in preheated oven and reheat until thoroughly heated.

Chicken Divan plated on a white plate with a silver fork on a wooden surface.

You might also like trying out my Crock Pot Roasted Chicken and my Sweet and Sour Meatballs.

Have you had this Chicken Divan before? What sides would you like with it?

Just out of the oven baked Chicken Divan in a white casserole dish with a dish towel on a white wood surface.

Vintage 1950 Chicken Divan

A classic chicken casserole made using broccoli, chicken, and a rich sauce.
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 431 kcal


  • 2-3 bunches fresh broccoli 2 – 10-ounce boxes frozen can be used
  • 3 boneless chicken breast or 2 cups sliced rotisserie chicken
  • 2 10 ounce cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder I use a tab bit more
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup butter cracker crumbs
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Parsley


  • Steam broccoli in a pan until tender crisp.
  • Arrange broccoli in a 9×13 baking dish + place chicken on top.
  • Combine soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice, cheese, and curry powder; pour over chicken.
  • Combine bread crumbs, butter, and parsley, and sprinkle over top.
  • Bake in a 350° oven for about 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated and bubbly.


Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 483mg | Potassium: 680mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1491IU | Vitamin C: 182mg | Calcium: 249mg | Iron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Nutritional values (per serving) are approximates only and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

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Pinterest graphic of delicious Chicken Divan just baked in a white casserole dish.
Three image collage Pinterest graphic of Chicken Divan in a casserole dish and on a plate.

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  1. This is one of my all time favorite casseroles! I am going to make this one night this week and can’t wait!

  2. I remember my mom making this for dinner. I love the pictures.

  3. Jo Gibson says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe…..had never had or never made before. I had no broccoli so I used Spinach……we like spinach….and my recipe had
    mayo and dijon mustard with the white sauce.

    1. Hi Jo!
      I’m so glad you liked it. I never thought of using spinach. I love how you got creative and made something you loved! That’s what cooking is all about. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. Elizabeth Marshall says:

    Are you supposed to cut up the chicken or place it in the casserole dish uncut, as the recipe suggests? I want to make this dish tomorrow night’s dinner. I love to make 1950s dishes!

  5. 5 stars
    I made this for a small family get together over the holidays. We ate it over the Basmati rice you recommended. It was so good I almost fell off my chair, and I was the cook! Thank you for posting this vintage recipe and making it so clear and easy to understand.

    My mother-in-law used to make chicken divan for her 4 children when they were little. And it happens to be one of my husband’s favorite childhood food memories, but I’ve had a hard time finding the old-fashioned, traditional recipe. It seems everyone has revamped it to make it ‘lighter’ or ‘healthier’. Well let me tell you, this recipe was true to form, and it hit a home run with people who’ve loved chicken divan since the 80’s. It’s PERFECT as is, but I think next time I’ll add even more cracker crumbs on top, LOL.

    Thank you again. This recipe is traditional and delicious! It scored me a lot of points this Christmas :).

    1. Hi Erica! I’m so glad you and your family loved the chicken divan. You’re so right about everyone revamping the recipe. But, sometimes, it’s better to leave well enough alone. I’m happy it scored you some extra points during the Christmas holidays.;) Thank you so much for stopping by and letting us know how y’all liked it. Happy New Year!

  6. 4 stars
    This has been a family favorite for decades. However, my original recipe did not include bread crumbs or parsley.
    The cheddar was the topping.

  7. Dr. John Paffrath says:

    5 stars
    My grandfather, John Paffrath, after migrating from Germany, started the Divan Parisien Restaurant in the 1920’s and actually developed the recipe with his chief chef John(who he stole from Delmonico’s steakhouse) and
    an Italian waiter who introduced “Broccoli” to the hallmark dish in the late1920’s. The original dish called for Parmesan cheese and I always added a dash of Dijon mustard to the sauce for a little bite.
    Bon Appetit
    Dr. John

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