This Baked Monterey Chicken Recipe is so flavorful, with a combination of juicy baked chicken breasts, fresh tomatoes, Monterey Jack cheese, and a smoky bacon flavor from the first bite.
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Baked Monterey Chicken has always been a favorite of mine when we go to a Chili’s restaurant.
With its sweet, tangy, smoky, and fresh flavors (and loads of melted cheese) what’s not to love?!
This Chili’s Copycat recipe is the perfect dish for busy weeknights to feed the whole family with minimal fuss!
It’s an easy recipe that can be served with almost any side dish, so you can make it a lighter meal or something more hearty and comforting.
It’s also a great option when you’re meal-prepping to make freezer meals!
- Chicken: use boneless skinless chicken breasts for the best results. You can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs!
- Seasoning: a combination of dried parsley, kosher salt, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, and onion powder is all you need to make this dish super flavorful!
- Barbecue Sauce: use my Homemade BBQ Sauce, or your favorite barbecue sauce.
- Cheese: Monterey Jack cheese is most fitting, but any will do! I often use cheddar or mozzarella as well.
- Tomatoes: fresh Roma tomatoes or tomatoes on the vine will give you the best flavor.
- Bacon: use smoked bacon to get a great smoky flavor with this dish, you’ll need it cooked until crispy and chopped.
- Green Onions: for a fresh and tangy garnish.
How to Make Baked Monterey Chicken
This recipe is quick and easy to make! Full instructions are included in the recipe card below.
- Flatten chicken: Cover chicken breasts with plastic wrap and pound thick end with a rolling pin to flatten slightly.
- Season chicken: Combine seasonings and sprinkle the mix evenly over the chicken in the dish.
- Bake and add BBQ: Part bake the chicken, then remove it from the oven and add BBQ sauce and cheese.
- Bake and serve: Bake until done, top with tomatoes, crispy bacon, and green onions then serve.
Baked Monterey Chicken FAQs
Store any leftover Monterey chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I recommend reheating it by adding a splash of water or broth, covering the dish with aluminum foil and baking it in the oven at 250 degrees F until warmed through.
You can easily prep this recipe ahead of time and freeze it. I recommend freezing it after it is baked, then thawing completely in the refrigerator before reheating it according to the instructions above. Keep in mind that the tomatoes will soften considerably if frozen, so you can freeze it without the garnishes if you prefer.
How do I know if my chicken is done?
The best way to check if meat has cooked is with an internal meat thermometer — the internal temperature should reach 165 degrees F.
Another way of gauging the doneness is by looking at the juices coming from the chicken. When they run clear, this can indicate the chicken is fully cooked.
Baked Monterey Chicken Variations
- Seasoning: Feel free to swap the homemade seasoning with your favorite all-purpose chicken seasoning.
- Cheese: Any kind of cheese you enjoy or have on hand will work great in here! I used cheddar, but I have also used Mozzarella and Monterey Jack.
- Toppings: All of the toppings are optional but they are what makes this a Chili’s copycat.
- Bacon: You can use any kind of bacon, or even turkey bacon for this recipe.
This chicken dish goes great with basically any side dish!
Try some of my BBQ Side Dishes for Summer for a great BBQ table spread, or some vegetable side dishes like Air Fryer Green Beans, Roasted Potatoes and Carrots and my Garlic Mashed Potatoes for a comforting meal.
More Easy Chicken Dinner Recipes to Try
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Baked Monterey Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts boneless & skinless, about 1.5-2 lb
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ cup barbecue sauce
- 1½ cups shredded cheese Monterey Jack is fitting but any will do!
- ½ cup diced fresh tomatoes
- 2 slices bacon chopped and cooked until crispy
- 2 green onions sliced
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×13″ casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cover chicken breasts with plastic wrap and pound the thick end with a rolling pin or meat mallet to flatten slightly. This will ensure the chicken cooks more evenly.
- Combine seasoning: parsley, salt, garlic powder, paprika, pepper, and onion powder. Sprinkle evenly over chicken breasts and place in the prepared dish.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove chicken from the oven (it won’t be done — that’s okay). Brush with barbecue sauce and top with cheese.
- Return to the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes to let the cheese melt and until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F when checked with a meat thermometer.
- Top with tomatoes, crispy bacon, and green onions before serving.
- Refrigerating: you can refrigerate any leftovers for up to 4 days. I recommend reheating, covering, in the oven at 250 degrees F until warmed through.
- Freezing: you can easily prep this recipe ahead and freeze it. I recommend freezing it after it is baked, then thawing completely in the refrigerator before reheating it according to the instructions above. Keep in mind that the tomatoes will soften considerably if frozen.
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