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Donna’s Chicken Divan

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Grab a fork and plate for a serving or two of Donna’s Chicken Divan casserole and you’re sure to have it become a family favorite. With the addition of rice, this casserole is hearty enough for a main meal any night of the week.

Donna's Chicken Divan casserole


Chicken Divan. Probably the most made casserole in America and has been since the 1950’s. There are as many variations to this American classic as there are meatloaf recipes. Casseroles are by far the easiest main meal dishes as all the ingredients are all layered into a casserole or baking dish. So versatile are casseroles, you can add just about anything in the pantry and refrigerator and you’ve got a meal in a dish!

This is Donna’s, my wonderful Mother-in-law’s, recipe and it’s a must make for everyone. The original recipe she gave me doesn’t have rice but she always adds it as do I.  I just  add a bit more of some of the ingredients to keep it all moist. It is the most requested meal at her house when all of the family gets together.

In fact, a visit there without this meal is unheard of! Double it and it feeds an army, which is what we are when all get together at her house every year for Thanksgiving. In years past, a typical gathering would have included over 25 for the holiday.  It’s no wonder she makes this when we come as it’s easy and it will feed many. In my house, it’s perfect to make with leftover chicken or turkey.

Tips to Make Donna’s Chicken Divan:

For the chicken, feel free to use rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, leftover chicken, or simply simmer a few chicken breasts on the stove in water or chicken broth until cooked.  Shred the chicken or dice into bite size pieces. 
If you are using frozen broccoli, steam it until it’s just about tender, it will finish cooking in the oven.  Sometimes I use fresh broccoli, and I steam it also until it’s just about tender.  
Casseroles are all about layers and that’s how you assemble this Chicken Divan.  You can see the original recipe in the picture below (without rice) and I have included my additions or changes in this post.  
I like to spray my baking dish lightly with non-stick spray.  Then layer the rice on the bottom of the casserole dish.  
adding rice to casserole dish
Next is the layer of broccoli – spread it evenly over the rice.
layering the broccoli on the rice in the casserole dish
Then your shredded or diced chicken is the next layer.
adding the shredded chicken to the casserole dish
In a mixing bowl, combine the mayo, milk, soup, and lemon juice, along with salt and pepper to your tastes and combine.  Pour over the layers in the casserole dish, spreading evenly. 
adding the cream of chicken soup mixture to casserole dish
Almost done! Now is the time for the layer of cheese. I use a sharp cheddar for this casserole.  
adding the cheese to the casserole dish
Finally, take the melted butter and mix it into the bread crumbs and sprinkle it over the cheese layer.  The butter will aid in browning and crisping the bread crumbs better.  
Chicken Divan casserole ready to bake
Now it’s time to bake the Chicken Divan!  Bake about an hour, or until it’s hot and bubbly.  Allow it cool a few minutes before serving.  It’s so good that we rarely want to wait those extra few minutes, but we try!
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Donna's Chicken Divan recipe


Donna's Chicken Divan

Donna's Chicken Divan

Grab a fork and plate for a serving or two of Donna's Chicken Divan casserole and you're sure to have it become a family favorite. With the addition of rice, this casserole is hearty enough for a main meal any night of the week.
5 from 1 vote
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  • 6 cups cooked, cut up chicken breasts (appox. 4 or 5 chicken breasts)
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice, cooked
  • 1 (16 oz. to 20 oz.) pkg. frozen broccoli, cooked and drained (can steam fresh broccoli to use)
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup (do not add water)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp melted butter


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Place rice on bottom of baking dish, spread out in an even layer.
  • Add the broccoli on top of the rice, spread out in an even layer.
  • Next, add the shredded chicken evenly over the broccoli.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the soup, mayo, milk, salt and pepper and lemon juice. Pour evenly over the casserole ingredients.
  • Top with a layer of cheese.
  • In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle over the cheese layer.
  • Bake for an hour or until hot and bubbly. Allow casserole to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Blogghetti” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Donna's Chicken Divan


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*post updated (October 28, 2019) from original with new images and content. 

5 from 1 vote

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