Ditch the Can: How to Make Chicken Divan Without Cream of Chicken Soup

Creating a flavorful and creamy Chicken Divan without using canned cream of chicken soup can elevate this classic dish to a whole new level. By preparing your own sauce from scratch, you not only have control over the ingredients but also the opportunity to customize the flavors to suit your preference. This homemade version allows you to enjoy a richer and more wholesome dish without sacrificing taste or convenience.

Embark on a culinary adventure as we delve into the step-by-step process of crafting a delectable Chicken Divan without the reliance on cream of chicken soup. Discover how simple ingredients and a touch of creativity can transform this beloved recipe into a healthier and more delicious masterpiece for you and your loved ones to savor.

Key Takeaways
Yes, you can make chicken divan without cream of chicken soup by using a homemade white sauce or a combination of chicken broth and a thickening agent like flour or cornstarch. This will allow you to control the ingredients and create a more flavorful dish while still achieving the creamy texture that cream of chicken soup provides.

The Origins Of Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan is a classic American dish that originated in the early 20th century. Created at the Divan Parisien restaurant in New York City, this dish quickly gained popularity for its rich flavors and creamy texture. The original recipe consisted of poached chicken, broccoli spears, and a luxurious sauce made with cream, mayonnaise, and parmesan cheese.

Over the years, Chicken Divan has become a staple in many households, often seen as a comforting and satisfying meal. The combination of tender chicken, vibrant broccoli, and cheesy sauce has made it a favorite among families for decades. However, one common ingredient found in traditional recipes is cream of chicken soup, which can be high in sodium and preservatives.

By learning how to make Chicken Divan without cream of chicken soup, you can recreate this beloved dish with fresher and healthier ingredients. With a few simple swaps and homemade sauce variations, you can enjoy a delicious and wholesome version of Chicken Divan without sacrificing on flavor or authenticity.

Homemade Cream Of Chicken Soup Recipe

Creating your own homemade cream of chicken soup is easier than you might think. To start, you will need basic ingredients such as butter, flour, chicken broth, milk, and seasonings. Begin by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then whisk in flour to create a roux. Slowly pour in chicken broth and milk while stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Allow the mixture to simmer until thickened, adding in seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste.

The key to a flavorful cream of chicken soup lies in using quality ingredients and adjusting seasonings to your preference. Feel free to customize your soup by adding in diced cooked chicken, sautéed vegetables like mushrooms or broccoli, or fresh herbs like thyme or parsley for an extra burst of flavor. By making your own cream of chicken soup, you can control the ingredients, ensuring a healthier and tastier alternative to the canned version.

Say goodbye to store-bought cream of chicken soup and embrace the satisfaction of preparing your own homemade version. With this simple recipe, you can elevate classic dishes like Chicken Divan without compromising on flavor or quality. Experiment with different seasonings and add-ins to create a cream of chicken soup that suits your taste buds and culinary preferences.

Fresh Ingredients For Chicken Divan

When making Chicken Divan from scratch, using fresh ingredients can elevate the dish to a whole new level of flavor and quality. Start by selecting plump and juicy chicken breasts to be the star of the dish. Opt for fresh broccoli florets that are vibrant green and firm to add a burst of color and nutrition. Choose a good quality sharp cheddar cheese for its rich and tangy flavor that will perfectly complement the other ingredients.

To enhance the depth of flavor in your Chicken Divan, consider using fresh garlic and onions for a savory base. Adding freshly squeezed lemon juice can bring a zesty brightness to the dish, balancing out the richness of the other ingredients. Lastly, incorporating homemade chicken broth instead of canned soup will infuse your Chicken Divan with a rich and full-bodied flavor that will leave your taste buds singing.

By utilizing fresh, high-quality ingredients in your Chicken Divan recipe, you can create a delicious and wholesome dish that will impress your family and guests. Experiment with different combinations of fresh ingredients to customize the dish to your liking and enjoy a flavorful homemade meal that is free from canned ingredients.

Cooking Techniques For A Creamy Sauce

To achieve a creamy sauce for your Chicken Divan without relying on cream of chicken soup, consider utilizing a classic technique like making a roux. Start by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then whisk in an equal amount of all-purpose flour to form a paste. Cook the roux for a few minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste before gradually adding chicken broth while whisking constantly. This will create a smooth base for your sauce that can be further enriched with cream or milk for added creaminess.

Another technique to achieve a creamy texture is to incorporate a combination of Greek yogurt and grated Parmesan cheese into your sauce. After sautéing aromatics like garlic and onions, lower the heat and stir in Greek yogurt for tanginess and richness. Sprinkle in some grated Parmesan cheese and allow it to melt into the sauce, creating a luxurious and velvety texture. Adjust the consistency with a bit of chicken broth or milk if needed, and season with salt, pepper, and herbs for added flavor complexity.

By mastering these cooking techniques for a creamy sauce, you can elevate your Chicken Divan dish to a whole new level of flavor and richness without the need for canned cream of chicken soup. Experiment with these methods to tailor the sauce to your preference and enjoy a homemade and healthier alternative to the classic recipe.

Healthier Alternatives For Chicken Divan

When looking for healthier alternatives for Chicken Divan, it’s essential to focus on ingredients that offer both nutrition and flavor. Instead of heavy cream and processed soups, consider using Greek yogurt as a creamy base. Greek yogurt is rich in protein, low in fat, and adds a tangy taste to the dish. Another alternative is to make a homemade white sauce using low-fat milk, flour, and a small amount of butter for creaminess without the excess calories.

Incorporating more vegetables into your Chicken Divan can also boost its nutritional value. Try adding nutrient-rich veggies like broccoli, spinach, or mushrooms to enhance the dish’s fiber and vitamin content. Roasting or sautéing the vegetables before mixing them into the casserole can bring out their natural flavors and textures, making the dish more delicious and wholesome. By making these simple swaps and additions, you can create a healthier version of Chicken Divan that doesn’t sacrifice taste or satisfaction.

Flavor Enhancers And Seasoning Tips

Enhance the flavor of your homemade Chicken Divan by incorporating a variety of seasonings and flavor enhancers. Start by building a flavorful base with sautéed onions and garlic, which add depth and savory notes to the dish. You can also experiment with different herbs like thyme, rosemary, or parsley to elevate the taste profile and add a fresh touch to the dish.

Consider using Dijon mustard or Worcestershire sauce to add a tangy kick and enhance the overall flavor of the Chicken Divan. Lemon juice or zest can also brighten up the dish and provide a refreshing contrast to the creamy sauce. To add a hint of smokiness, try incorporating smoked paprika or a dash of cayenne pepper for a subtle heat.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your seasoning choices – experimenting with different combinations can help you tailor the flavor to your liking. Taste as you go and adjust the seasonings accordingly to achieve a perfectly balanced and delicious Chicken Divan without relying on cream of chicken soup.

Baking Vs. Stovetop: Cooking Methods

When it comes to cooking Chicken Divan without cream of chicken soup, you have the option to choose between baking and stovetop cooking methods. Baking the dish involves layering the ingredients in a casserole dish and baking it in the oven until the chicken is cooked through and the flavors have melded together. This method typically results in a creamy, casserole-like texture with a slightly crisp top layer.

On the other hand, preparing Chicken Divan on the stovetop involves cooking the ingredients in a skillet or saucepan on the stovetop instead of baking them. This method can be quicker than baking and allows you to monitor the dish closely as it cooks. Stovetop cooking can result in a more saucy consistency, with the flavors blending together in the pan.

Ultimately, the choice between baking and stovetop cooking methods for Chicken Divan comes down to personal preference and the time you have available to prepare the dish. Both methods can yield delicious results, so feel free to experiment with both to see which one you prefer.

Presentation And Serving Suggestions

When it comes to presenting and serving your homemade Chicken Divan, there are several ways to elevate the dish into a visually appealing and appetizing meal. One suggestion is to garnish the Chicken Divan with freshly chopped parsley or chives to add a pop of color and freshness to the dish. This simple garnish not only enhances the aesthetics but also adds a subtle herbaceous flavor that complements the dish beautifully.

Consider serving the Chicken Divan over a bed of fluffy white rice or creamy mashed potatoes to create a well-rounded meal. The starch serves as a perfect base to soak up the flavorful sauce and juices from the chicken and broccoli. For a more elegant presentation, you can also serve the Chicken Divan in individual ramekins or baking dishes, offering a personalized and charming touch to the dining experience.

Additionally, don’t forget to pair your Chicken Divan with a side salad or steamed vegetables to add variety and balance to the meal. A glass of crisp white wine or a refreshing iced tea would also make a delightful pairing to complement the savory flavors of the dish. Remember, presentation is key in making your Chicken Divan not only taste delicious but also look appealing on the dinner table.


What Can I Use As A Substitute For Cream Of Chicken Soup In Chicken Divan?

To substitute cream of chicken soup in Chicken Divan, you can make your own creamy sauce using a combination of chicken broth, heavy cream, and a roux made from butter and flour. Simply mix these ingredients together in a saucepan and simmer until thickened. Alternatively, you can also use a mixture of sour cream and chicken broth as a substitute for the cream of chicken soup to add richness and flavor to your dish. Both options will help maintain the creamy texture and flavor profile of the traditional recipe.

How Can I Achieve A Creamy Texture In Chicken Divan Without Using Canned Soup?

To achieve a creamy texture in Chicken Divan without using canned soup, you can create a homemade creamy sauce by combining chicken broth, heavy cream, and a roux made from butter and flour. Start by sautéing onions and garlic in a pan, then add in the chicken broth and heavy cream. Thicken the sauce by stirring in a roux until it reaches a creamy consistency.

Alternatively, you can also use ingredients like Greek yogurt or sour cream to add additional creaminess to the dish. These alternative ingredients can help achieve a rich and creamy texture in your Chicken Divan without the need for canned soup.

Are There Any Healthier Alternatives To Cream Of Chicken Soup In This Dish?

Yes, there are healthier alternatives to cream of chicken soup for this dish. You can try using a low-sodium chicken broth mixed with a cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce instead of the canned soup. This will reduce the sodium content and eliminate any preservatives or additives that may be present in the canned soup. Another option is to blend cooked cauliflower or white beans with some garlic and herbs to create a creamy, nutritious sauce that can be used as a replacement for the cream of chicken soup in the recipe.

Can I Make A Homemade Version Of Cream Of Chicken Soup For Chicken Divan?

Yes, you can make a homemade version of cream of chicken soup for Chicken Divan. To do so, you can combine chicken broth, milk, flour, butter, and seasonings in a saucepan over medium heat until thickened. You can also add cooked chicken pieces to enhance the flavor if desired. Homemade cream of chicken soup will provide a fresher and more flavorful base for your Chicken Divan dish compared to using canned soup.

What Ingredients Should I Use To Enhance The Flavor Of Chicken Divan Without Relying On Canned Soup?

To enhance the flavor of Chicken Divan without using canned soup, you can use a combination of fresh ingredients. Start by making a homemade cream sauce using butter, flour, chicken broth, and heavy cream. Incorporate flavorful spices such as garlic, onion powder, paprika, and a touch of Dijon mustard for depth. Additionally, include fresh herbs like thyme or parsley to elevate the dish’s overall taste. Roasting the chicken with olive oil, salt, and pepper before adding it to the casserole will also enhance the flavor profile.

Final Words

By taking the time to prepare Chicken Divan without relying on canned cream of chicken soup, you not only elevate the flavor and quality of the dish but also gain control over the ingredients used. Embracing this homemade approach allows for a healthier version of the classic recipe, skipping unnecessary additives and preservatives. The ability to customize the flavors to your preference and dietary needs is a valuable skill that can be applied to a variety of recipes beyond Chicken Divan. By using fresh, wholesome ingredients and investing a bit of effort, you can create a delicious meal that brings satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment to your kitchen.

Making Chicken Divan from scratch not only contributes to a more sustainable and conscious way of cooking but also offers a rewarding culinary experience. By exploring alternative cooking methods and ingredient choices, you open up a world of possibilities to enhance your cooking skills and create memorable meals for yourself and your loved ones. So, next time you’re in the kitchen, consider ditching the can and embracing the art of homemade Chicken Divan for a delicious and more wholesome dining experience.

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