I love a gooey, creamy casserole, especially when the weather gets cooler. Of course, I also want to make sure what I am feeding my myself and my family is healthy. With so many casseroles loaded down with cheese and simple carbs, like pasta, or very processed foods, you may feel that casseroles are a thing of the past. Not so fast! There are all sorts of ways you can enjoy the comfort and convenience that comes with a one-dish casserole, without all the unhealthy ingredients. Added bonus: casseroles usually freeze beautifully.
One of my favorite meals that my mom made when I was a kid was Chicken Divan. This was a recipe was something that my grandmother made during the 1950’s when canned convenience foods were considered modern and were added to just about everything. The original recipe featured healthy ingredients, broccoli and boneless, skinless chicken breasts. But that’s where the healthy part stopped. The broccoli was traditionally overcooked and mushy and then they whole thing was covered in condensed soup, mayonnaise and lots of shredded cheese. Gooey and delicious? Yes. Healthy? No.
I gave this recipe and update, trading the convenience ingredients for less processed foods. And I cut back on the fat while still preserving the flavor. In fact, my family and I liked this version much better than the original! And don’t forget, it freezes beautifully, so why not make 2 – one for tonight and one to freeze for later. I hope your family enjoys this healthy chicken divan recipe, too. And if you are a busy mom who would love to conquer meal planning once and for all, be sure to check out the Meal Planning Bootamp, my 100% online self-paced program that will have you feeding your family the healthy meals you love, week after week.
Chicken Divan Recipe
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 6 TBSP butter, divided
- ¼ cup finely chopped mushrooms (chop before measuring)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- 2 TBSP sherry
- ½ cup olive oil mayonnaise
- ½ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 ¼ tsp curry powder
- 2 ½ pounds fresh broccoli crowns
- 1 cup grated white extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- Rinse broccoli thoroughly, cut off stems, discard, and cut florets into approximately 1” pieces. Place broccoli in single layer in 13” x 9” baking dish. Sprinkle with2 TBSP water, cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high for about 4 minutes. Broccoli should be crisp-tender.
- While broccoli is cooking, place chicken breasts in a large, deep skillet in a single layer. Add 2/3 cups water, cover and cook over medium heat on stove for 20 minutes or until internal temperature registers 160°. When chicken is cool, cut cross-wise into ½” thick slices. Layer the chicken slices in single layer over cooked broccoli. Discard the water from the skillet.
- Using the same skillet in which you cooked the chicken, melt 2 TBSP butter over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and salt and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and remaining 4 TBSP butter. When butter is melted, whisk in the flour and cook, whisking continuously, for 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken broth and sherry and continue to cook, whisking frequently, until sauce is smooth and thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Remove sauce from heat and add mayonnaise, Greek yogurt and curry powder and stir until smooth. Spread sauce over chicken and broccoli. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
- Cook in preheated 450° oven for 10 minutes or until bubbly.