Bensonhurst Kitchen: Chicken Divan

image by Erica Sherman

Colleen can’t stand broccoli. She often compares the taste of the green veggie to taking a bite out of someone’s lawn.

After years of experimentation, she finally came up with a way to get even the most fastidious broccoli basher to come around to the flower-headed cousin of the cabbage.

Cheese, delicious cheese.

The most coveted food in the world is the main component behind the Béchamel-like sauce in Colleen’s chicken divan. When combined with cheese, Béchamel gets transformed into something known as Mornay sauce.

While coming up with this recipe, Colleen took some short cuts from the more traditional version to make this recipe a little more user friendly.

While all this was going on, we were lucky enough to have Erica Sherman over to break bread with us, as well as snap some professional pics of the finished product.


Colleen’s Chicken Divan


1 pound chicken breasts cubed
1 pound broccoli florets
1 small onion diced
1 clove minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted


In a medium skillet saute onion, minced garlic and chicken in olive oil.
Cook thoroughly.

Boil broccoli until fork tender. Drain and set aside.

In a mixing bowl combine  sour cream, cream of chicken soup, 1 cup of shredded cheese, lemon pepper and garlic powder.

Add chicken, broccoli and lemon juice to the sour cream mixture, mix until incorporated.

Put chicken & broccoli mixture in a greased 8 X 8 glass baking dish.
Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese over mixture,

In a separate bowl mix bread crumbs and melted butter.  Spoon evenly over the top of the shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Serve over rice.


Are you addicted to cheese? Up the cheese ante by adding 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese to the bread crumb topping.

Not a fan of rice? Serve your chicken divan over egg noodles or mashed potatoes. It’s so good you could cut out the carbs completely and it eat all by itself!

Recipe and tips by Colleen

image by Erica Sherman