From the Kitchen

Chicken in a Pan with a Tan

Emily from Freshly Baked by Georgie Tees is here today as my guest sharing a favorite recipe Chicken Divan… aka Chicken in a Pan with a Tan!

One of my favorite dishes growing up was my mom’s Chicken Divan, aka Chicken in a Pan with a Tan. This creamy, cheesy, broccoli-filled casserole has since become a family favorite in our home. Where did we get “Chicken in a Pan with a Tan?” Let’s just say one dinnertime rhyming game got a bit out of hand…trust me, the name was a lot longer than that!

Chicken Casserole

Chicken in a Pan with a Tan

(SCROLL DOWN TO PRINT RECIPE)

Besides being a great way to teach rhyme, here are the other reasons why I love this dish:

  • It’s easy and I always have all the ingredients on hand
  • We always have leftovers my husband can take to work the next day
  • I have yet to hear of a child who doesn’t like it.
  • It makes a great dish for taking to a neighbor or family member in need.
  • The recipe doubles (and even triples) really well.
  • Cream and cheesy…need I say more?

But one of the main reasons why I love Chicken Divan is its sentimental value. I made this dish for my good friend when she was on bed rest pregnant with twins. I can still remember leaving it in the kitchen with a batch of homemade rolls, explaining to her husband that I’d added a bit of curry to the recipe and I hoped that was okay. The second time I made Chicken Divan for her was two years ago after she moved across the country. While visiting her I made it for her family along with a batch of my famous homemade rolls. It was like déjà vu only much tastier!

Since then she has made this recipe for her family multiple times as it is now a family favorite in her home as well. I am visiting her again next week and I’m sure we’ll be whipping up another batch of Chicken Divan—it’s tradition! Here’s the recipe with a few of my own notes and suggestions thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!

Chicken Divan Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk (enough to make it creamy but not soupy)
  • 2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp curry powder or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package frozen broccoli (florets or chopped, your choice)
  • Cooked white or brown rice (I use about 4 cups)

ingredients for chicken casserole

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch pan or similar casserole dish. Mix mayonnaise, soup, milk, chicken, cheese, curry powder and pepper. Cook broccoli according to package directions. You can either layer the rice in the pan or leave separate; I prefer to layer. In greased pan layer rice (I use about 4 cups), then broccoli, then chicken mixture. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through and bubbly on top.

layers for chicken casserole

Post script:

For a family of six I suggest doubling the creamy mixture (mayo, milk, soup, cheese and curry powder) and using three chicken breasts. I prefer cream of chicken but if doubling I’ll often throw in a can of cream of mushroom so the cream of mushroom doesn’t get its feelings hurt. If you don’t like curry powder, leave it out. Instead try topping the casserole with grated Parmesan cheese! I use brown rice because you can hardly taste the difference and it’s healthier than white rice.

Make it even healthier by using low-fat or low-sodium soup and low-fat mayo. To make life super easy I buy the steam-in-the-bag broccoli florets. If it’s a smaller bag I use two for our family. They’re not as cost effective as my huge Costco-size bag of broccoli, which I also have in my freezer, but it saves on dishes and often saves my sanity.

Pampered Chef Micro Cooker

For cooking chicken I love, love, LOVE my Pampered Chef Micro-Cooker pictured above. Just throw in 2-3 frozen chicken breasts (depending on size), cover with water and microwave on high for 20-25 minutes. Voila! No boiled chicken smell throughout the house!

Chicken Divan tastes best served with a side salad and homemade rolls. Perhaps I’ll have to do another guest post on Make and Takes and share that top-secret recipe with you!

Chicken Divan

Chicken in a Pan with a Tan
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk enough to make it creamy but not soupy
  • 2 cups cooked cubed chicken
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp curry powder or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package frozen broccoli florets or chopped, your choice
  • Cooked white or brown rice I use about 4 cups
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch pan or similar casserole dish.
  2. Mix mayonnaise, soup, milk, chicken, cheese, curry powder and pepper. Cook broccoli according to package directions.
  3. You can either layer the rice in the pan or leave separate; I prefer to layer. In greased pan layer rice (I use about 4 cups), then broccoli, then chicken mixture.
  4. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through and bubbly on top.

Thanks, Emily. Oh my my, does it look good. Who can say no to all that creamy goodness. I can’t wait to make it! I love to know about those secret family recipes! You can see more of Emily at her blog Freshly Baked.

24 comments

  1. ok so seriously..is that microcooker really only $10.50??? and it cooks chicken so i dont have to boil it stovetop? I am DYING! I always use canned chicken because i gag at the smell of boiled chicken!!

  2. Wow, this was SOOOO Yummy!! Thanks for the recipe.

    I’d love to send you the picture I took when we tried this recipe, only I don’t know how to upload the picture. Anyways, it turned out fabulous!

    Love your site, keep ’em coming.

  3. I made this last week and it was YUM-O! I added a can of organic corn and it added just the right amount of crunch. Sooo good! Thanks for the great new recipe to add to my recipe box!

  4. Thanks for sharing your ideas about the mirco-cooker. Do you have something that helps with smell when cooking fish? I really don’t like the smell of fish in the house and we just moved. Thanks so much!

  5. This kind of reminds me of my sister Dee’s recipe. It is similar. What I loved about it is that it can be made prior to an event and then just freeze all the casseroles until they are needed. It’s just as tasty thawed out as if made fresh. I’ll try to get that recipe to you.

  6. You are spreading some serious cooking love around blog world. I love it! And, you are always welcome to cook for me when you are done at Jyl’s house!

  7. I have been following your blog for a while and tonight I had to make your chicken in a pan. I posted the results on my blog and it was wonderful. The kids loved it and since my husband works out of town during the week, I can freeze it in containers for him to have a home cooked meel when he is away. Thanks so much!!!

  8. Oh…I’ve also just made something very similar to this and used cooked egg noodles instead of rice. Also, I stirred everythiing together instead of layering it. The kids ate it up! It’s very hard to find something that they all like, so I’m glad to have this recipe in my arsenol.

    I also like the idea of brown rice. I use the Minute rice (brown rice), which cooks up much faster than the traditional brown rice and tastes great! Again, thanks for the great meal idea! Bring on the roll recipe!

  9. Oh, YUMM-O! That looks delicious and my kids would love it! I will definitely be trying this one out soon! And, don’t you just LOVE the pampered chef’s EVERYTHING? I can’t get enough of it. I have to try cooking the chicken like Emily did…I usually just use it for steaming veggies, but would love an easy way to cook chicken! Thanks for the tips!

  10. Stacey, my hubby read your comment and told me we need to try the lemon juice next time! ;)

    Shanna, I haven’t ever tried to freeze it. I’m so sorry! But I have frozen a cream-based soup before (after cooking) and it microwaved perfectly, though it needed a little milk to thin it out a bit. If attempting to freeze, I would probably bake it and then freeze it, but I’m no expert. Sorry!

    Maria, I have no idea about making it without the soup. Perhaps you could search a site like AllRecipes.com and see if there’s a soup-free version out there.

    knmkendall, I have yet to ever post my homemade roll recipe and have guarded it well, but I may reconsider for Make and Takes! ;)

  11. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of lemon juice…it makes this dish even better! We have been making this for years in our family.

  12. Sounds awesome! Have you ever tried freezing it ahead of time? I’m 8 months pregnant and am always looking out for meals I can make now to put in the freezer for when the baby arrives. I just wonder if it would be best to bake it before I put it in the freezer, or let it thaw out and bake it the night we actually want to eat it. Thanks!

  13. Thank you for this recipe! It looks great and I’m excited to try it. Could you PLEASE share your famous homemade rolls recipe? I know we’d love that too.

  14. I’m making that tonight! Thanks for the recipe and great instructions. I’ve been looking for this recipe for a long time now so you’ve ended my searching and I’m excited to use my Micro-Cooker as well, I’ve never used it for that!

  15. Kara, I was just thinking I needed to change “cook on high” to “microwave on high” in the post so no one thought the Micro-Cooker was for the stove top! ;) I think quite a few families have a favorite version of this dish. I’d love to hear how yours differs–we may have to try it out!

  16. I can’t wait to try this out! My mouth is watering already and it isn’t even lunch time yet! lol Thanks for sharing!

  17. Chicken Divan is one of our family favorites, though our recipe is a tiny bit different. My mom used to have one of those micro cookers, until one day my dad used it on the stove lol.

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