Chili’s Copycat Monterey Chicken Recipe + Video

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Monterey Chicken is a fabulous 30 minute meal idea! This skillet dinner recipe will save you time on busy nights, and it’s kid-approved too! Chicken recipes like this are perfect for the whole family to enjoy! This tasty recipe always gets rave reviews! 

titled (shown close up on plate): monterey chicken


 

There’s nothing I love more than a quick, one-pan meal for a lazy weeknight dinner. Minimal mess, minimal stress!

This delicious chicken recipe hits the mark every time that I make it. 

 That’s one of the reasons why I adore my Monterey Chicken recipe. It’s an easy dinner and ALWAYS a great option. 

The other reason why I love this chicken Monterey recipe is that it tastes absolutely incredible. 

Between the smoky barbecue sauce, gooey cheese, and savory bacon, this dish is overflowing with flavor. And you get it all in every single bite.

prep dishes with raw bacon, shredded cheese, bbq sauce, diced tomato and spices

Monterey Chicken

Looking for even 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 biscuitspineapple chicken and broccoli, and unstuffed cabbage roll skillets. Quick and tasty has never been so easy!

Monterey Chicken searing in pan

Monterey Chicken 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.
  • Try different veggies. Green or red bell peppers would be absolutely delicious in this Monterey chicken skillet! 

    Hot peppers, such as jalapenos or banana peppers, would be tasty as well. Or, saute some mushrooms for juicy earthiness. 
  • Add some spice! If you love a little heat, add a dash of sriracha or use a spicy favorite barbecue sauce.  

    Changing the flavor of your favorite recipe isn’t hard to do at all, and new recipes are super simple to make just by adding a little bit of seasonings.

    Garlic powder, soy sauce, and other fun flavors can also be a great way to add new flavors to leftover Monterey chicken. 
  • Use turkey bacon. If you want to cut down on grease and fat, swap out the strips of bacon and use turkey bacon for this copycat Monterey chicken recipe.

    You don’t have to add extra fat to this easy chicken recipe if you don’t want to! 

Time Saving Tip!

All of the prep for this chicken Monterey recipe can be done while the bacon is frying. This saves time, and also allows you to easily switch from one step to the next.

brushing Monterey Chicken with sauce

Chicken Monterey Recipe – Kitchen Tools

  • 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.
sprinkling shredded colby jack cheese over poultry in skillet

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 chicken Monterey is especially popular across the West, but it’s made waves across the United States. Now, you can find this tasty dish almost anywhere.

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 Monterey chicken skillet 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.

What should the internal temperature for cooked chicken be? 

It’s super important to make sure that the chicken is cooked all the way. The best way to test the doneness of this Monterey chicken dish is to use a digital meat thermometer. Insert the tip into the cooked chicken in the thickest part of the meat, and make sure that the reading shows 165 degrees. 

If you’re using thin chicken breasts or thick grilled chicken, never assume that the meat is cooked just by looking at it. 

What side dishes pair well with this Monterey barbecued chicken? 

You can pair just about anything with this chicken dinner. A simple side salad or green salad, parmesan roasted broccoli, and any other healthy recipes that you’re craving work well. 

I’ll even cook up some potato slices in a large skillet and serve with crisp bacon and cheddar cheese. Top that with a little bit of tangy BBQ sauce, and you’ll got quite the complimentary side dish to pair with this Chili’s copycat recipe! 

closeup of monterey chicken

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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tomatoes, sliced green onions and melted cheese on chicken breast

Chili’s Copycat Monterey Chicken Recipe + Video

Donna Elick
Monterey Chicken is a fabulous 30 minute meal idea! This skillet dinner recipe will save you time on busy nights, and it's kid-approved too!
5 stars from 3 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Oven, Stovetop
Servings 4

Ingredients
 

  • 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

Instructions
 

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

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 318cal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 640mg | Sugar: 7g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 213mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
closeup of cheesy bbq chicken dinner

Originally published February 2018, updated and republished January 2024

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10 Comments

  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

    1. I woukd ho with Dijon mustard. Chicken, bacon and honey mustard go wonderful so I would try the Dijon. Hope it works for you.

  3. Going to try recipe for my daughter and husband. What do you suggest for the sides? do I serve with rice or noodles? Thank you Helen

  4. 5 stars
    Wow, this recipe from Donna and Chad’s Slow Roasted Italian website is amazing. It’s a total 5-star dish!

  5. 5 stars
    This monterey chicken recipe is a breeze to make, and it turned out fantastic! I added a pinch of smoked paprika for a smoky flavor twist. It was as close to the restaurant version as it gets.

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