Sunday, March 20, 2022

Monterey Chicken + Video

With my Monterey chicken recipe, you’ll have a dinner done in a flash! Pile on the BBQ, cheese, and bacon for a dish the whole family will love.

There’s nothing I love more than a quick, one-skillet meal for a lazy weeknight dinner. Minimal mess, minimal stress! That’s one of the reasons why I adore my Monterey Chicken recipe.

The other reason why I love this dish is because it tastes absolutely incredible. Between the smoky barbecue, gooey cheese, and savory bacon, this dish is overflowing with flavor. And you get it all in every single bite.

Monterey Chicken

Keeping an eye out for some more easy skillet recipes? I’ve got you covered from breakfast to dinner!

For a taste of something different, I recommend trying my sausage gravy and biscuits, pineapple chicken and broccoli, and unstuffed cabbage roll skillets. Quick and tasty has never been so easy!

For a step-by-step walk through on how to make this skillet dinner, be sure to check out the video included in this post.

Monterey Chicken in cast iron pan

Recipe Tips and Tricks 

  • Swap out the cheese. I list Colby Jack in this recipe, but you can really use any good melting cheese! Pepper Jack is a fantastic option for just a touch of extra heat, or try a cheddar blend for more flavor.
  • Pound before cooking! It’s important to get the meat as thin as possible. This will speed up the cooking time and guarantee a better ratio of all ingredients in every bite.
  • Time management tip: All of the prep for this recipe can be done while the bacon is frying, saving some time and allowing you to easily switch from one step to the next.
  • Try different veggies. Green or red bell peppers would be absolutely delicious in this dish! Hot peppers, such as jalapenos or banana peppers, would be tasty as well. Or, saute some mushrooms for juicy earthiness. 
monterey chicken recipe ingredients

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Cast Iron Skillet - There are a ton of brands out there, but this is my trusty inexpensive go-to.
  • Meat Mallet - Use this to get the meat nice and thin for faster cooking time.
  • Quality Knives and a big solid Cutting Board make prepping a breeze and are well worth the investment.
Monterey Chicken searing in pan

Monterey Chicken FAQ

How can I tenderize chicken without a mallet?

Use a plethora of kitchen tools that you already have handy! Rolling pins, the bottom of a saucepan or skillet, a cutting board, canned goods… anything moderately heavy that you have a good grip on.

Why is it called Monterey chicken?

It’s an American classic that first came about in Monterey, California. The same place that gave its name to Monterey Jack cheese!

It’s no surprise that it’s especially popular across the West, but it’s made waves across the United States. Now, you can find this tasty dish almost anywhere.

brushing Monterey Chicken with sauce

Can I prep this recipe ahead of time?

You certainly can - each individual ingredient can be sliced and prepared beforehand. Just be sure to cook the meat within 2 days.

However, this recipe is so quick that there’s almost no need to! The veggies and meat can be prepared while the bacon is frying, then the rest of the recipe is simply incorporating the remaining ingredients.

monterey chicken recipe sprinkled with cheese


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Monterey Chicken in cast iron pan wide photo

Yield: 4
Author: Erin Henry
Monterey Chicken

Monterey Chicken

With my Monterey chicken recipe, you’ll have a dinner done in a flash! Pile on the BBQ, cheese, and bacon for a dish the whole family will love.
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 15 MinTotal time: 20 Min


  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 -1.5 pounds)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 2 scallions (green onions), sliced
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons barbecue sauce (use your favorite!)
  • 4 ounces Colby Jack cheese, grated


  1. In a large oven-safe skillet, fry bacon until crispy.
  2. While the bacon is frying, pound chicken breasts to desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Dice tomatoes and slice the green onions. Set aside.
  4. Remove bacon from skillet and drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.
  5. Turn heat to medium-high and brown chicken on both sides (2 to 3 minutes per side) in bacon grease.
  6. Pour chicken stock over the chicken breasts and cover skillet with a lid. Cook until chicken is done, approximately 4 to 5 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken.
  7. Turn heat off and spread barbecue sauce on top of each chicken breast.
  8. Top each breast with 1 slices of bacon broken in half.
  9. Sprinkle cheese evenly among the chicken breasts.
  10. Place under oven broiler for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Watch carefully and take out when cheese is fully melted.
  11. Top chicken with tomato and green onions and serve immediately.

Monterey Chicken closeup

Originally published February 2018, updated and republished March 2022

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  1. Enjoy your recipes, but would like calories, carbs, etc., listed. Everyone's watching their diets and reading food labels--particularly diabetics.

  2. I made this tonight for dinner, it was so good!!
    My 10 year old son had seconds and requested we have this on our dinner rotation. It was a hit.
    Thank you

  3. This recipe is so good and so easy. My Husband loves it. I have made it every week for the last 4 weeks. THANK YOU!


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