Monterey Chicken is a flavor-packed easy weeknight dinner recipe you’ll love! Moist, juicy boneless chicken breasts smothered with BBQ sauce, crisp bacon and gooey melted cheese. It’s an easy dinnertime favorite!
This restaurant quality dinner comes together in one pan with just a few minutes of prep time!
The cooking time is under 30 minutes so it’s a fast main dish any night of the week.
What is Monterey Chicken?
Monterey Chicken is made from chicken breasts or thighs rubbed with BBQ seasoning, cooked in barbecue sauce.
Then topped with bacon and melted Monterey Jack cheese.
In our research this chicken recipe originates with Chili’s restaurant.
Whether they created it first or made it popular, we don’t know.
We are just thrilled to easily replicate this mouthwatering dish at home!
This copycat Chili’s Monterey Chicken recipe lets you have all the taste of your favorite restaurant meal without leaving the house!
Sadly this dish is no longer offered on Chili’s menu but you can make it any time with this recipe.
More reasons you’ll love this recipe. . .
- Five Ingredients
- One pan
- Quick and Easy Prep
Monterey Chicken in the oven is a baked chicken recipe that is always a favorite.
Recipe Ingredients + Notes
Here’s what you’ll need:
Chicken Breasts. Boneless skinless chicken breasts are used for this recipe. Boneless skinless chicken thighs can also be substituted but the cooking time may vary.
BBQ seasoning. Store bought or homemade BBQ seasoning can be used. This ingredient is key and acts as a rub, giving the chicken its core flavor for this recipe.
BBQ sauce. Any kind of sauce you love on chicken will do, store bought or homemade BBQ sauce.
Bacon. Cooked and cut into bite sized pieces.
Cheese. Use Monterey Jack or a blend of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses. For a spicy twist add some Pepper Jack!
How to Make it – Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
STEP 2. Season the chicken
Arrange your chicken breasts in a greased baking dish.
Sprinkle the BBQ seasoning over the chicken and flip over to cover both sides with the spices (photo 1).
STEP 3. Coat with Sauce
Pour the BBQ sauce over the seasoned chicken, making sure they’re well coated (photo 2).
STEP 4. Bake
Cook the chicken for 25 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165.
STEP 5. Add cheese
Sprinkle the shredded cheese and bacon over the top of the chicken (photo 3).
Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes until the cheese is completely melted (photo 4).
Recipe FAQs + Pro Tips
Don’t over cook the bacon. Cook the bacon until it’s cooked through but not crisp.
It will continue cooking in the oven when it is added to the chicken.
Pro Tip on Shredding Cheese. Shred the cheese yourself.
Pre-shredded cheese from the store is very convenient. However, it contains an anti-caking agent that prevents it from sticking together in the packet.
This also prevents it from melting into the delicious cheesy gooey-ness we love!
Use an Instant Read food thermometer. To determine if chicken is fully cooked measuring the internal temperature is required.
Chicken is considered to be done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
The best and fastest way to do this is using an Instant Read food thermometer.
It calculates the temperature in seconds so the chicken doesn’t begin to cool as you take the temperature.
What sides go well with Monterey Chicken?
This versatile main dish tastes wonderful with so many different sides. Here are some favorites:
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Garlic
- Grilled Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Ranch Potatoes
- Mexican Fiesta Cauliflower Rice
- tossed green salad
Store any leftover Monterey Chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
More Recipes You’ll Love!
- Southwestern Bacon Cheeseburgers
- Oven Baked BBQ Chicken
- Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork
- Best Chili Recipes
- 4 6-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts 1.5 pounds
- 1 tablespoon BBQ seasoning
- ½ cup BBQ sauce
- ½ cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
- 4 strips bacon cooked, drained and chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a large baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish. Season both sides of each breast with BBQ seasoning.
- Coat the chicken breasts with BBQ sauce.
- Place the chicken in the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until it reaches 165 degrees internal temperature.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and top with cheese and bacon. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is melted.
Bacon should be cooked but not overly crisp. It will continue cooking in the oven.