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Editor’s note: At the Table with the Gabels features tasty recipes and tips from Vanessa Gabel and her daughter, Kaitlyn, of Danville.

Kaitlyn: This chicken divan recipe was an overall success. It’s incredibly easy to pull together, and it could honestly feed a whole village. I advise using the biggest pan possible because it was pouring out the sides a little.

It’s a great recipe to make ahead of time for families who don’t have a lot of time on their hands. Have it ready to throw it in the oven.

Here are some of our tips: you can substitute the chicken for turkey, especially after Thanksgiving from the leftovers; you could also substitute the pasta for stuffing after Thanksgiving, or you could use rice instead of the pasta as well.

We didn’t cut the chicken small enough, so I would also advise making sure that the chicken is cut into small enough pieces so it’s easier to cook thoroughly, dish up and eat.

It’s important to know the chicken is cooked all the way through so making sure the pieces are small enough is essential.

Vanessa: I’m always looking for a one-pot meal that solves the dinnertime dilemma. I have a few suggestions about this chicken divan recipe.

First, these measurements make a lot. For our family of four, it was way too much. I would highly recommend cutting it in half.

Second, we used fresh broccoli instead of frozen. Take advantage of the fresh growing season to use what you have on hand.

Third, even though we haven’t tried it this way, it would be very easy to change this into a crockpot meal. It would ensure that the chicken is fully cooked without cutting it into pieces, and would make the cooking time easier for working people.

Fourth, I was not a fan of the lemon taste and will be leaving that ingredient out next time. I’ll probably also switch the panko for Ritz crackers if I have them on hand.

I feel like this chicken divan recipe leaves room for personalization to fit your family’s tastes. If you are looking for something different to add into the menu rotation, this one is great to try. It’s pretty easy, can be assembled in advance if needed, and creates few dirty dishes. If your kitchen lacks a dishwasher like ours does, this is always a win.


4 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup milk

1 small lemon, juiced

4 garlic cloves, pressed

1/2 tsp. paprika

1 lb. penne pasta

1 lb. chicken tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 lb. frozen broccoli florets

8 oz. cheddar cheese, coarsely grated, divided

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 tsp. butter, melted

1 tsp. lemon pepper rub

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together the broth, sour cream, mayonnaise, milk, lemon juice, garlic and paprika in a large bowl.

Add the pasta, chicken, broccoli, and 1 cup of the cheese to a 9 by 13 inch or larger pan in the order listed. Pour the sour cream mixture over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Combine the breadcrumbs, butter, and rub; set aside.

Remove the pan from the oven and uncover. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and the breadcrumb mixture over the top. Bake, uncovered, until the pasta is al dente, about 15 minutes. Let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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