One of my mom’s go-to dishes when I was little was Paula Deen’s chicken divan — and I don’t blame her. It’s easy, quick, and absolutely delicious. (Check out the recipe here.)
But when I thought of making it the other day and took a good hard look at the ingredients, I was shocked by how many high-fat foods were part of it: condensed cream of mushroom soup; a whole cup (each) of mayonnaise, sour cream, and Cheddar cheese; and 2 tablespoons of butter. I decided the recipe needed a makeover.
Since I’m not sure my new and improved recipe even qualifies anymore as "chicken divan," I just call it chicken, broccoli, and quinoa casserole. The cream of mushroom soup was replaced with Campbell’s 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom; I reduced the mayo to 1/3 of a cup and used low-fat instead; the regular Cheddar was switched with reduced-fat cheese — and yes, I did increase the amount by ¼ cup; and I completely eliminated the sour cream, plus a few other ingredients.
I added quinoa to make it a little heartier and to make up for the reduction in ingredients. (To learn more about why you should be cooking with quinoa and to see more quinoa recipes, click here.)
Feel free to use fresh broccoli instead of frozen. I use this recipe when I want something inexpensive and quick, so I stuck with frozen. Want it to be even easier? Buy a rotisserie chicken, strip all of the meat off of it, and chop it into small pieces — it should come out to about 4 cups of chicken. This will add a little fat since the skin was on it when it was cooked, but considering the recipe is fairly low-fat already, I don’t think it makes a huge difference.
— Melissa Valliant, HellaWella