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Chicken divan is a creamy chicken casserole recipe topped with crispy buttered breadcrumbs. This chicken is easy to make and can be prepped ahead of time. It is a classic family favorite!

The main dish is the hard part to come up with. Make a complete meal with these side dishes: roasted lemon parmesan garlic asparagus and a pot of perfect basmati rice.    

A spoon taking a scoop of chicken divan out of a white casserole dish.

Easy Chicken Divan

Chicken divan is comfort food at its finest. Shredded chicken is wrapped up in a creamy cheese sauce then topped with buttered breadcrumbs and baked until bubbly and delicious. It’s always a winner at dinner time and there are rarely leftovers. When we can’t finish it all, it’s just as delicious warmed up for lunch the next day. 

A wooden spoon scooping chicken divan out of a casserole dish.

How to Make Baked Chicken Divan

This is a very simple recipe that can be divided into 3 parts. Once these three parts are ready to go, all that is left is assembling the casserole. Then just bake it in the oven.

  1. Cooking the chicken: Poach chicken breasts and then shred them, but it can easily be leftover or rotisserie chicken.
  2. Making the sauce: After whisking some butter and flour in a pan, simply add the other sauce ingredients and let the cheese melt. Easy!
  3. Buttering the breadcrumbs: Simply mix some panko or breadcrumbs with melted butter. 

What is in the sauce?

Chicken divan sauce is a creamy cheese sauce. There are many different variations to this sauce. This sauce is the best because it’s both easy to make and flavorful. 

  1. Butter 
  2. Flour
  3. Cream of chicken soup
  4. Cheese
  5. Milk
  6. Sour cream
  7. Dijon mustard

A white bowl with chicken divan with broccoli and rice on the side.

Can Delicious Chicken Divan be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes! Chicken divan can be prepped and assembled up to 2 days in advance. 

Tip: It is best to prevent the breadcrumbs from becoming soggy. Take the breadcrumbs and store in a separate container. When ready to serve the casserole add the breadcrumbs to the casserole just before putting it into the oven. 

Chicken Variations:

This is a flexible recipe and variations are always welcome. Add in different veggies, rice, or noodles to the dish. If adding variations, reduce the chicken to 3 chicken breasts and use 2 cups of the variations.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Peas (thawed)
  • Onions (sauteed)
  • Broccoli (lightly steamed)
  • Rice (cooked)
  • Egg noodles (cooked)
  • Bacon (cooked crispy)

A wooden spoon scooping chicken divan out of a casserole dish.

Make a Complete Meal!

The creamy sauce is delicious spooned over rice or noodles. Try this chicken divan with a side of vegetables.

Chicken divan in a white bowl with broccoli and rice.

More Amazing Casserole Recipes:

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Chicken Divan

4.50 from 2 votes
By: Kristen Stevens
Chicken divan is a creamy chicken casserole recipe topped with crispy buttered bread crumbs. It's easy to make, can be prepped ahead of time, and is a classic family favorite.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


The Casserole

The Sauce


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9'x13" baking dish with the butter.
  • Place the chicken breasts in a medium-sized pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink in the middle. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it using 2 forks. (Or chop the chicken, if you prefer) 
  • While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and whisk until combined and the cheese has melted. 
  • To make the topping, melt the butter in a small pan or microwave. Mix the panko, salt, and pepper into the melted butter. 
  • Place the shredded chicken in the buttered casserole dish. Pour the sauce over the top and mix it into the chicken. Top with the grated cheddar cheese and the buttered breadcrumbs. 
  • Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly, removing the foil halfway through. 


Calories: 336kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 13gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 537mgPotassium: 437mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 817IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 382mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!





About Kristen Stevens

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Recipe Rating


  1. My family loves this recipe. I grew up eating chicken divan and this version is my favorite.
    Is this something that can be made ahead of time and frozen? My father passed away recently and I would like to make some meals to bring my mother for when she isn’t up for cooking.
    I enjoy cooking your recipes for my family. Keep them coming

    1. Yes, this is great to make ahead and warmup. I am sorry for your loss. That is very thoughtful of you to do for your mom.

  2. 5 stars
    I added poultry seasoning, garlic powder, and paprika. I also broiled the casserole after baking it to make the Panko golden brown and delicious 😋

  3. 4 stars
    Good easy recipe for a night when there is not a lot of energy on the cooking side of things. The butter amounts are a little confusing as “the” butter is mentioned three times in the directions, but there are only two amounts of butter listed in the ingredients. Thanks for this recipe!

  4. Hello! This looks delicious. Plus it contains nothing that I, as the pickiest eater in my family, would have to leave or pick out! 1 question: how much butter did you use for the breadcrumbs?