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Turkey Divan Recipe

Turkey Divan Recipe

  • A casserole dish made with turkey, broccoli, and a creamy sauce.
  • The dish is often topped with cheese and breadcrumbs.
  • It’s an easy way to feed a crowd.

What Is In A Turkey Divan Recipe?

This dish has been around for as long as I can remember.

It was originally called the “turkey cutlet” or “divan cutlet” by my grandmother.

My mother used to make it quite frequently when we had company over, but now she only makes it once every few years due to her busy schedule.

Although this dish originated from Turkey (hence its name), it is not limited to that region of the world.

You will find this dish on many menus throughout Europe and Asia.

I have always loved this dish because it reminds me of home.

However, after reading about how much sodium is in canned cream soups, I decided to try making my own version of this dish using fresh milk instead of canned soup.

If you are looking for something new to cook, this recipe may be just what you need!

Here is everything you need to know about preparing your very own turkey divan recipe.

Turkey Divan Recipe


  • 1 pound ground turkey breast meat
  • 4 cups chopped frozen broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Cooking spray


Combine ground turkey with salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl until well mixed.

Add flour and mix again until combined thoroughly.

Set aside.

In another small bowl, combine ingredients except cooking spray.

Mix together with a fork.

Place mixture into a plastic bag and seal tightly.

Squeeze out any excess air and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease baking sheet with cooking spray and spread half of the breadcrumb mixture evenly across pan to cover bottom completely.

Spray top surface of the breadcrumb layer with cooking spray then sprinkle with remaining breadcrumb mixture.

Press down firmly so that the layers stick together.

Spread one quarter of the ground turkey mixture onto the crust.

Top with 2 cups of broccoli pieces followed by 3 more quarters of the ground turkey mixture.

Repeat process twice more, ending with the last quarter of the ground turkey mixture.

Spread remaining breadcrumb mixture evenly across top of the entire casserole.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving.

How Do You Make A Turkey Divan Recipe?

There are many ways to cook this classic Thanksgiving side dish.

This particular recipe uses frozen chicken breasts, but it can be prepared using ground or deboned turkey as well.

To prepare, cut up your frozen chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Put these chunks of meat in a large skillet over medium heat for about five minutes until they start to brown on one side.

Flip them and let them finish cooking through.

Once cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add some olive oil and sauté garlic, onion, celery, and carrots until softened.

Add in the rest of the ingredients except for the milk and pepper.

Bring everything together by stirring constantly and then simmering for 30 minutes uncovered until thickened.

Add the cooked chicken back to the pot along with the milk and stir well.

Season with salt and pepper and return to low heat for 5 more minutes before serving.

Turkey Divan Recipe2

What Is The Best Turkey Divan Recipe?

If you want your Thanksgiving dinner complete with all of its traditional dishes, then this may be one that you have been looking for.

This is a classic dish that has been around since at least the 1950s, but it was only recently repackaged in supermarkets as a ready-made meal.

There are two versions of the Turkey Divan recipe — one where the meat is ground and another where it’s already cubed.

It typically comes out of the oven hot, so if you prefer yours warm or cold, there are ways to reheat it without losing any flavor.

How Can I Make My Turkey Divan Recipe Healthier?

This dish isn’t exactly healthy because it contains butter in its ingredients list.

However, you can use low-fat or fat-free milk instead of whole milk.

You can also reduce the amount of salt by using less of this seasoning ingredient.

You can replace the ground beef with lean ground turkey meat.

Leaner meats have more protein per ounce than fattier ones.

In addition, you can swap out the cream of mushroom soup for another flavorful vegetable soup that doesn’t contain any heavy cream.

If you want to add flavor to your meal without adding extra calories, you can try adding herbs such as rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, marjoram, sage, parsley, tarragon, dill, or chives.

These all have antioxidant properties that will help keep your body from getting sick.

Just be careful not to overdo it! Adding too many spices could cause your food to taste bitter if they aren’t balanced correctly.

If you don’t like mushrooms, you can opt for spinach, peas, carrots, corn, or zucchini instead.

Or, you can even substitute cauliflower instead of broccoli.

All of these vegetables have lots of vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly.

They also provide fiber which helps prevent constipation and keeps you feeling full longer so you won’t eat as much at meals.

To save money on groceries, you might want to consider buying frozen vegetables rather than fresh ones.

Frozen produce has been flash frozen before being shipped off to stores across America.

This process stops most bacteria growth while keeping nutrients intact.

Frozen veggies tend to be cheaper than their fresh counterparts, but they do need to be thawed first.

What Are Some Tips For Making A Turkey Divan Recipe?

You may be wondering what you need in order to make your own Thanksgiving-inspired turkey divan casserole.

Well, there are several things that will help you out during the process of creating this delicious dish.

First off, you should always keep these items on hand:

  • Chicken broth (or vegetable stock)
  • Butter or margarine
  • Flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Celery salt
  • Cheese powder
  • Paprika
  • Dried parsley flakes
  • Baking soda
  • Sugar
  • Broccoli florets
  • Thyme leaves
  • Unsalted butter
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Pre-fried panko breadcrumbs
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Directions
Turkey Divan Recipe3

How Do I Make A Turkey Divan Recipe Without Creamed Spinach?

Creamed spinach is one of the most popular ingredients used in a turkey divan recipe.

It adds flavor and texture to this classic comfort food, but it can be expensive when you buy it pre-made or canned at the grocery store.

If you don’t want to use cream soup mix in your homemade version, here are some alternatives that will still give you a delicious result!

Vegetable Broth

If you have leftover vegetable broth from cooking other dishes, pour it into a pan over medium heat.

Add about 1/4 cup of water and stir frequently until it begins to simmer.

Continue stirring as the liquid thickens, then let cool completely before adding it to your turkey divan recipe.

This method works best if you add your vegetables while they’re still hot so they won’t overcook.

You could also add them after they’ve cooled down and reheat the mixture on low heat.

Minced Garlic

You can easily replace the cream soup mix in any turkey divan recipe by simply adding minced garlic instead.

Just sauté it in a little olive oil along with the onions, celery, and carrots until tender.

Then add the rest of the ingredients (except for the milk) and let everything cook together for 10 minutes or more depending on how much moisture has evaporated out of your veggies.

Fresh Spinach

While you should always choose organic spinach whenever possible, fresh spinach doesn’t need to be as expensive as pre-washed frozen bags.

In fact, you can find bags of baby spinach anywhere these days for around $1.50 per pound.

You just need to wash it well first and cut off its tough stems before adding it to your turkey divan recipe.

What Are Some Alternatives To Using Mayo In A Turkey Divan Recipe?

Creamed Spinach – If you want a similar flavor but don’t want the dairy or fat content of the mayonnaise, substitute cream for it.

You could also use sour cream instead of mayonnaise, which would give you less calories as well.

Buttermilk – Buttermilk has a slightly tangy taste that works well if you have a lactose-intolerant friend over.

Sour Cream + Brown Sugar – Sour cream plus brown sugar makes a great substitute for mayonnaise in this recipe.

It’ll be sweeter than regular mayo, so add just enough sweetener until you like how it tastes.

Tofu (or other veggie) – Tofu can replace most of the mayonnaise in this recipe.

How Can I Make My Turkey Divan Recipe More Flavorful?

If you want your turkey divan recipe to be even tastier, try these tips:

Use fresh herbs instead of dried ones.

Dried herbs have lost their flavor over time, so they aren’t as effective as the fresh stuff.

You should always use fresh herbs for this dish.

Try basil or thyme if you don’t like sage (or vice versa).

If you do go with sage, you might want to add it near the end of cooking since it has a strong taste that will overpower everything else.

Don’t buy frozen broccoli.

You’re going to cook the broccoli yourself, so why not just get fresh broccoli rather than spend money on frozen stuff?

Frozen broccoli tends to come from China, which means it’s likely been sitting around in a warehouse somewhere before being shipped here.

It also contains a ton of preservatives and other additives that prevent it from rotting quickly.

So unless you know someone who grows their own broccoli, you probably shouldn’t bother buying it.

Avoid canned broth.

Canned broth isn’t very good either.

It tastes pretty bad and it doesn’t keep well at all.

Plus, it’ll take up valuable space in your fridge, meaning you won’t be able to store anything else there.

Instead, look into homemade stock as an alternative.

Add ground beef to give things depth.

Ground beef adds a nice meatiness to the dish.

However, adding too much makes it tough to cut through, so start off by only including half the amount called for in the recipe.

What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Making A Turkey Divan Recipe?

As you might imagine, it’s not hard to find recipes for this classic Thanksgiving dinner side dish online.

But the key to successful divan preparation lies in how well you cook the meat before adding it into your casserole dish.

If you add raw or undercooked ground turkey to your divan, then you will end up with dry, tough pieces of meat that don’t hold together as well as they should.

This is because ground turkey contains more moisture than other types of poultry.

Therefore, if you want to get a nice even layer of cooked meat throughout your divan, you need to start by cooking it completely through first.

This ensures that all of the protein stays moist while also giving the divan its signature flavor.

In addition, overcooking the ground turkey could lead to a burnt taste which would ruin the overall experience.

If you do decide to use raw ground turkey, be sure to let the divan sit at room temperature for about two hours so the flavors can meld properly.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, depending on where you live, you may have access to different varieties of ground turkey.

Some brands contain ingredients like sugar, soy, corn syrup, or artificial preservatives.

These additives will affect the final texture of your divan, so try to avoid them whenever possible.

You can easily check out the nutritional information of any brand of ground turkey you plan on using on the company website.

Just look for “calories per cup,” “protein grams,” and “fat grams” listed alongside the ingredient list.

You can compare these numbers against those from another brand to see which one has fewer calories or carbs.

And you shouldn’t worry too much about sodium – just stick to low-sodium options if you prefer.

All of these factors can significantly impact the quality of your divan.

So now that we know what goes wrong when preparing this traditional Turkey Divan recipe, here’s what to do instead…

Don’t forget to season your ground turkey!

Ground turkey is already pretty bland, but seasoning it further will help you achieve the best results from your divan.

Start off by sprinkling salt over all sides of the meat.

Next, stir in 1/4 teaspoon each of dried thyme, sage, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.

Season again with additional salt to taste.

When you mix everything together, cover tightly and place in a cold oven until fully heated through (about 30 minutes).

Once you remove the divan from the oven, give it a good shake to redistribute the spices evenly across the top.

Then, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer until the cheeses melt and turn golden brown.

Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Use fresh mushrooms instead of canned ones.

Although many people think canned mushrooms are healthier than their fresh counterparts, they aren’t necessarily better tasting.

In fact, canned mushrooms tend to have higher levels of BPA (Bisphenol A) and other toxins.

If you absolutely must buy canned mushrooms, go ahead and rinse them thoroughly beforehand to reduce the amount of chemicals that enter your body during digestion.

When choosing fresh mushrooms, select small specimens that feel firm rather than mushy.

Choose white button mushrooms unless you enjoy having darker bits of mushroom poking through the rest of your dish.

Finally, choose shiitake mushrooms since they have a milder flavor that blends nicely with savory foods like ground turkey.

Make your own gravy.

There’s nothing quite like homemade gravy.

It doesn’t take long to prepare once you have all of the ingredients ready, and the result always tastes fresher than anything you can purchase pre-made.

To make this delicious gravy, combine 2 cups of chicken broth and 1 cup of water in a medium pot.

Bring mixture to a boil, scraping up any browned bits that form along the bottom.

Add 3 tablespoons of flour and whisk constantly until smooth.

Continue stirring for three minutes without letting it come back to a boil.

Once the mixture thickens, pour in 1/4 cup of butter and continue stirring until melted.

Slowly drizzle in 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce followed by 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard.

Stir in 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley and set aside.

Use real milk instead of half & half.

Half & half isn’t very nutritious, and it certainly won’t work well in most dishes.

For example, it wouldn’t produce the same effect as regular old whole milk in your divan.

Instead, opt for full fat dairy products such as heavy cream, sour cream, or Greek yogurt.

They’ll provide plenty of richness to your dish, plus they’re easier to digest than the liquid fats found in margarine or vegetable shortening.

Add vegetables to increase nutrition, flavor, and texture.

Adding veggies to your divan helps boost both your health and your enjoyment level.

Not only does this prevent you from reaching for unhealthy snacks later in the day, but it also gives you something else to munch on besides plain ol’ stuffing.

For example, you can swap out half of the ground turkey in your recipe for extra lean beef and still reap all of the benefits.

Or you can toss in fresh spinach leaves, peas, artichoke hearts, or roasted red peppers to create a colorful presentation.

Go gluten free and vegan.

Many people who follow a vegetarian diet don’t eat meat due to ethical concerns.

Others simply prefer to avoid eating animal proteins entirely.

Either way, they can benefit greatly from going gluten free and switching to plant based alternatives.

Both of these diets offer lots of healthy options for vegetarians and vegans alike.

Plus, they’re easier to incorporate into everyday meals thanks to the wide variety of non-dairy milks available today.

You can either switch to almond milk or make your own version using cashews, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds.

Is There A

What are some common mistakes people make when making a turkey divan recipe?

One of the biggest problems I see in this type of recipe is that it can be bland or heavy if you don’t use enough spices.

It also needs lots of salt and pepper for flavor.

If you have a large amount of liquid in your pan (e.g., broth) then you may need to add more fat like butter or oil to keep things from sticking together.

You should always cook your turkey until it reaches 165 degrees F so the meat will be safe to eat and not dry out.

Another thing to consider is how much water content you want in your food.

A lot of recipes call for chicken stock but sometimes using too much water makes the dish taste thin and watery.

Also, remember to drain all excess grease after cooking the turkey before adding any other ingredients.

Turkey Divan Recipe

Turkey Divan Recipe

This dish has been around for as long as I can remember.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Turkey Divan Recipe
Servings: 4


  • 1 Oven
  • 1 Pan


  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 c. whole milk
  • 2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 c. shredded white cheddar
  • 3/4 c. sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 c. cooked turkey breast
  • 4 c. frozen broccoli
  • 1 c. crushed Ritz crackers


  • Set the oven to 375 degrees. Using butter, grease a 2-quart baking dish. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Cook the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, stirring periodically, until soft. Add the flour and stir continuously for one minute before adding the mustard.
  • Pour milk in gently, followed by broth as you stir. Stirring continuously, bring to a simmer, and cook for 7 minutes or until thickened.
  • Whisk in cheese, sour cream, and cayenne pepper until thoroughly blended over low heat. Get rid of the heat. Stir in the broccoli and turkey after liberally seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Salt and pepper the turkey mixture after spreading it on the bottom of the preheated pan.
  • For about 40 minutes, roast the dish with foil covered until the broccoli is cooked.
  • Stir crackers into remaining 2 tablespoons of butter as it melts.
  • Removing the foil, add the cracker mixture on top. Bake for another 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and brown.
  • Chives should be added just before serving.


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