Monterey Chicken + 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!

titled (shown in skillet) monterey chicken

There’s nothing I love more than a quick, one-pan 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 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 biscuits, pineapple 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 barbecue sauce.

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.

bbq chicken skillet dinner in cast iron pan

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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tomatoes, sliced green onions and melted cheese on chicken breast

Monterey Chicken + 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 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Oven, Stovetop
Servings 4


  • 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


  • 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.



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 2023

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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

    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

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