Homemade Curried Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

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This freezer-friendly, curried chicken and broccoli casserole is fully homemade. No canned soups or packaged mixes. Just good, real food. Make one for now and one for the freezer.

Homemade Curried Chicken and Broccoli Casserole - This freezer-friendly, curried chicken and broccoli casserole is fully homemade. No canned soups or packaged mixes. Just good, real food.

When my siblings and I were growing up, my mom let us choose our birthday dinner. Since I had a love of creamy, cheesy chicken casseroles, this dish was frequently on the menu. My mom got the recipe at a church function. It was called Chicken Curry.

This is what I called it my entire childhood until I realize that “curry” was not the concoction of creamed soup, chicken, cheese, broccoli, and curry powder. What can I say? I lived a sheltered life. I had no idea that curry referred to spicy Indian and Thai dishes.

At our house, chicken and broccoli casserole always had curry powder in it and was topped generously with cheddar cheese and buttered bread crumbs. It was one of my very favorite dishes as a child. To this day, it makes me happy to eat this.

However, I’ve played around with Mom’s original recipe, and tweaked it a few different ways. If you have a copy of Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook, you’ll find a non-curried version that is delicious and very freezer-friendly. Today’s recipe is a simplified, curried version of that.

Instead of using canned cream soup, I make my own white sauce and doctor it up just the way mom did with mayonnaise, lemon juice, and curry powder. It sounds odd, I know, but it’s so delicious!

Homemade Curried Chicken and Broccoli Casserole - This freezer-friendly, curried chicken and broccoli casserole is fully homemade. No canned soups or packaged mixes. Just good, real food.

I also typically serve this with rice. My husband prefers it with less sauce. One son prefers it with less cheese. If you make it into small individual sized casserole dishes, you can customize each person’s dish.

Either size goes great in the freezer. Just double wrap the pan in foil once it’s cooled. Chill in the fridge and then pop it in the freezer. Thaw it before baking.

Tools I Use for This Recipe:

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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Comments

  1. it took me a long time to realize my mom’s curried chicken wasn’t really curry after all too! this sounds delicious 🙂

  2. erin wright says:

    We make this! But we call it chicken divan. One of my all time favorites; especially when made the day before, refridgerated, then cooked.

    • I did a lot of research on Chicken Divan when I did the freezer book. It often doesn’t have curry powder. Does yours?

      • Leslie T says:

        I grew up with this same recipe, and my mom also called it Chicken Divan. She used frozen broccoli and cream of chicken soup of course, but the curry in the sauce was always there. The lemon juice is important, too. She always served it with crescent rolls to mop up any sauce left on the plate. When I used to make this for my veggie-hating kids, I’d make 1/3 of the pan with extra chicken and no broccoli. I”ve also made this with cooked basmati rice in the bottom, along with peas (or green beans) and called it Bombay Chicken Casserole. Yum…now I’ve gotta make this soon!

      • Erin says:

        yup, but it’s from an older cookbook that i don’t even have. it’s a photocopied page. i love that yours is made with no cream of whatever. i love to make my own cream of soups too! my husband was so surprised that it tastes better than campbells. We love your blog : ) My grandma emails me every year to ask where i get the streusel topped pumpkin pie recipe : )

    • MimiG says:

      My youngest son asked for this every year on his birthday growing up. His wife makes it, but doesn’t like curry, so for him, it’s not the same. I make it for him (with curry) and freeze in smaller portions and he’ll come by every now and then and get one out of the freezer for work.
      I had not made my own soup, will definitely be trying this more up to date, fresher recipe!

  3. Lizzy says:

    I made this, but I added some shredded potato (aka hashbrowns) that I par boiled before adding. (I didn’t have enough time for a full bake, and everything else was hot, so I just cooked the potatoes, too.) We loved it, but I’m going to have to add more curry powder! Actually, I automatically doubled the curry powder, and I STILL have to add more curry powder. Ha! I love my curry! Anyway, thanks for the recipe! I’ve never made anything like this and the kids ate it up so well. I was very pleased. I was also glad I hid the potatoes inside since for some reason my kiddos don’t like potatoes.

    Merry Christmas!

    • Sounds yummy! Did you still do the rice?

      • Lizzy says:

        No, just to keep it a little simpler in the kitchen for me, I didn’t make rice that night. That would have gone well, though, since rice is an absolute hit in my house.

  4. I love chicken curry, but my hubby doesn’t so this is the perfect meal for my lunches all week as I can re-heat portions just for me.

    I’ve never made it casserole-style with the buttered bread crumbs. I usually just make it with rice. I like the idea of trying something new, so thanks so much for sharing your recipe. I”m sick right now, so this would be the ultimate comfort food.

    Pinning!

  5. Love the polka-dot dishes! 🙂

  6. Sandi says:

    Not how I remember Chicken Divan, but neither how I have ever made “curry” before. I had to modify it slightly for what I had. I used two chicken breasts that had been in the freezer for much too long, so I diced them up and browned them to use. I used a bag of frozen broccoli since I did not have fresh. I had a single potato that was in dire need of using, so I chopped it really small and heated it up with the broccoli and layered it on the bottom of the pan. With that cooking time and the baking time plus being chopped so small, it cooked up perfectly. I actually had a can of cream of mushroom, not sure why (probably a canned food drive that didn’t get actually donated) that was languishing as I never use that type of thing any more so that got cleared out of the cabinet. I so rarely use mayo that my jar was significantly past the Best By date and was going to get tossed. However, it turned out to be exactly one cup left in there, so poof! Since I like curry, I doubled the portion to 1 tsp. I served it over some whole grain blend left overs I had in the fridge, and baked some baguettes getting freezer burnt. So basically, this turned out to be the perfect pantry challenge dinner for me tonight, even if it is March instead of January! For the amount it made, though, I think I will use an 8.5×11 pan next time instead of a 9×13. It seemed a little sparse spread over the bottom. I can also see putting the rice on the bottom of the pan so it can soak up sauce while it is cooking.

    Now I’m going to go slice the cheesecake I found in the freezer and top it with my fresh strawberries. 🙂

  7. Katieliz says:

    Made this tonight. It’s been years since I had the chicken divan my mom used to make when we were growing up. I always really liked it. I like this even better!! It’s amazingly good. I left out the curry since that wasn’t part of my childhood flavor memory 🙂 and I subbed in crushed saltine crackers for the panko. Perfection. My kids didn’t go for it, but I don’t care. I’ll be making it again.

  8. katieliz says:

    Do you freeze this before or after baking? If after, do you take it out a little early? Thanks.

  9. Lori says:

    Thanks for posting about this recipe over on Instagram. My family raved about it. I served it with rice. Delish!

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