Not sure what to make for dinner? How about Easy Chicken Divan Dinner. It is the ultimate comfort food. This casserole takes me back at least 20 years. It was a staple on many menus at restaurants in the nineties. The ingredients for this dinner are always in my refrigerator, chicken, broccoli, and cheese. It is an easy chicken dinner that comes together very fast and everyone loves it.
Easy Chicken Divan Dinner is chicken and broccoli covered in cream of chicken soup with a little mayo and milk added. Sprinkle on grated cheddar cheese and top with smashed salad croutons. Bake for 30-40 minutes. That’s it!
Here is a little tip, if your children do not like broccoli, put a little dollop of mayonnaise on them. (The broccoli not your kids!) I grew up loving broccoli because my mom always served it with mayo. As an adult, I faced the harsh truth that mayonnaise is full of fat. I soon realized it would be better for my waistline to eat broccoli without mayo, but it was a sad day. Adding mayo to this Easy Chicken Divan Dinner is the secret ingredient that makes it so good.
How to Make Easy Chicken Divan Dinner
1. Getting cooked, shredded chicken can be done in several different ways. I always have it in my refrigerator. Find how I do it on my Roasted Chicken post.
You can also buy a roasted chicken at almost any grocery store, debone it and then use the meat in this recipe.
Another way to get cooked, shredded chicken is to boil chicken breasts in a small amount of water. Add 1 – 2 tsp. of salt to the water or sprinkle the salt on top of the chicken after you place it in the water. Put the lid on the pan and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to a lower temperature, but keep the water boiling. Set the timer for 20 minutes.
You can also put frozen chicken breasts in a slow cooker in the morning on low and have cooked chicken by dinner time.
Cut the chicken into smaller pieces.
2. Once you have the cooked chicken, cut or shred it into smaller pieces. Spread the chicken on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.
3. Broccoli is the saving ingredient of this dish. My husband always says, “This is the best way to eat broccoli!” I agree so I go heavy on the broccoli. In a 4 quart sauce pan, fill it to the top with broccoli florets. Put 1 cup of water in the bottom and drop in one chicken bouillon cube. You can substitute the bouillon and water with one cup of chicken broth.
Put the lid on the pan and bring everything to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Steam the broccoli for 8-10 minutes until tender. You can tell it is tender when you stick a fork into it and it goes in easily.
Once cooked, drain the water and pour the broccoli on a cutting board. Use a large knife and give the broccoli a good chop. I like the broccoli in bite size pieces. You chop them into the size you want. The stems are easier to eat when they are in smaller pieces.
4. While the broccoli is cooking, put 8 cups of good quality croutons in a large plastic bag. Use a rolling pin or the bottom of a pan to smash the croutons until they are all in small crumbs. Once they look like bread crumbs, pour 1/2 cup of melted butter over them and mix well until all crumbs are coated.
Make the cream sauce.
5. Mix the cream of chicken soup, mayonnaise and milk together in a separate bowl. Use a wire whisk to get all the lumps out and make it as smooth as possible.
6. Grate 1 pound of cheddar cheese.
Let’s assemble the casserole.
7. On the chicken in the 13 x 9 pan, spread out the chopped broccoli. Then pour on the cream sauce. Sprinkle on the grated cheese and then pour the buttered, crushed croutons. Use your hands to smooth out each layer and pat down the croutons on top.
8. Place in a 350° oven and bake for 20 minutes. Place a piece of tin foil, the size of the pan, loosely on top. This will stop the croutons from burning. Put the pan back into the oven and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
Easy Chicken Divan Dinner
- 6 C. Cooked, Shredded Chicken
- 4 C. Cooked Broccoli
- 2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
- 1/2 C. Mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 C. Milk
- 4 C Cheddar Cheese
- 8 C. Salad Croutons
- 1/2 C. Butter
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cook and shred the chicken and place in the bottom of a 13 X 9 pan.
- Cook and chop the broccoli into bite size pieces.
- Mix soup, mayonnaise and milk together.
- Grate the cheese.
- Crush croutons in a plastic bag with a rolling pin.
- Melt the butter and mix with crushed salad croutons.
- Assemble the dish with chicken on the bottom, then spread on the chopped broccoli. Pour cream sauce on top and cover with grated cheese. Pour on buttered, crushed croutons and smooth out with your hands.
- Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Cover the pan with a piece of tin foil and continue to bake for 20 more minutes. YUM!