A tasty restaurant favorite, Monterey Chicken has honey-mustard grilled chicken topped with Pepperjack cheese, bacon, and salsa.

Monterey chicken on a white plate with a side of greens.
Table of Contents
  1. Ingredient notes
  2. Step-by-step instructions
  3. Recipe tips and variations
  4. Monterey Chicken Recipe

Ingredient notes

  • Cooked bacon: In a cold skillet, arrange bacon in a single layer. Turn the skillet to medium heat and cook, flipping the pieces often to promote even browning, until they reach your desired doneness (8 to 15 minutes). Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels, then chop into 1/2-inch pieces for this recipe.
  • Pico de gallo: To make your own, in a medium bowl, combine 1 pound finely chopped tomatoes, ¼ cup minced red onion, ¼ cup minced cilantro, 3 minced jalapeños, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp. lime juice, and salt to taste.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. To make the marinade, in a small bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper). Reserve ¼ cup mustard mixture for basting the chicken. Transfer the remaining mixture to a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag.
  2. To butterfly the chicken breasts, cover a cutting board with a piece of plastic wrap. Add chicken breasts. Working with one breast at a time, place your palm on top of the breast and slice in half horizontally, stopping 1/2-inch from the edge so the pieces are attached.
Butterflying a chicken breast in half.
  1. Transfer chicken to the bag with the mustard mixture. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken and mash to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Preheat grill over high heat until hot; reduce heat to medium-high. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place chicken over direct heat and onions over indirect heat. Cover and cook until the chicken is lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Flip onion slices and chicken. 
Monterey chicken ingredients in various plates and bowls.
  1. Brush chicken with reserved mustard mixture, cover, and cook until lightly charred on the second side, about 5 minutes. The chicken must register degrees on a thermometer. Move chicken to indirect heat side. Divide onion rings evenly among chicken breasts, then top with bacon and cheese.
Monterey chicken on a sheet pan.
  1. Cover and cook until pepper Jack is melted and chicken registers 165 degrees, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with lime wedges and Pico de gallo.
Monterey Chicken on a plate with arugula and lime wedges.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 4 servings from 1 pound of chicken.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: The tomato salsa can be made up to 2 days in advance. The bacon can be cooked 1 day in advance.
  • BBQ: Instead of the honey-mustard marinade, substitute barbecue sauce.
  • Alice Springs Chicken: To make this Outback Steakhouse copycat, skip the red onion slices, mix sautéed mushrooms with the bacon under the cheese, and skip the tomato salsa.

More restaurant copycats

Monterey Chicken on a plate with arugula and lime wedges.

Monterey Chicken

A tasty restaurant favorite, Monterey Chicken has honey-mustard grilled chicken topped with Pepperjack cheese, bacon, and pico de gallo.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 4 people
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 416

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts trimmed (about 1 pound)
  • 4 slices red onion
  • 4 slices cooked bacon chopped (see note 1)
  • 6 ounces pepper Jack cheese shredded (1 ½ cups)
  • Lime wedges for serving
  • Pico de gallo for serving (see note 2)

Instructions 

  • To make the marinade, in a small bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper). Reserve ¼ cup mustard mixture for basting the chicken. Transfer the remaining mixture to a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag.
  • To butterfly the chicken breasts, cover a cutting board with a piece of plastic wrap. Add chicken breasts. Working with one breast at a time, place your palm on top of the breast and slice in half horizontally, stopping 1/2-inch from the edge so the pieces are attached.
  • Transfer chicken to the bag with the mustard mixture. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken and mash to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
  • Preheat grill over high heat until hot; reduce heat to medium-high. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place chicken over direct heat and onions over indirect heat. Cover and cook until the chicken is lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Flip onion slices and chicken. 
  • Brush chicken with reserved mustard mixture, cover, and cook until lightly charred on the second side, about 5 minutes. The chicken must register degrees on a thermometer. Move chicken to indirect heat side. Divide onion rings evenly among chicken breasts, then top with bacon and cheese.
  • Cover and cook until pepper Jack is melted and chicken registers 165 degrees, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with lime wedges and Pico de gallo.

Notes

  1. Cooked bacon: In a cold skillet, arrange bacon in a single layer. Turn the skillet to medium heat and cook, flipping the pieces often to promote even browning, until they reach your desired doneness (8 to 15 minutes). Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels, then chop into 1/2-inch pieces for this recipe.
  2. Pico de gallo: To make your own, in a medium bowl, combine 1 pound finely chopped tomatoes, ¼ cup minced red onion, ¼ cup minced cilantro, 3 minced jalapeños, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp. lime juice, and salt to taste.
  3. Yield: This recipe makes 4 servings from 1 pound of chicken.
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  5. Make ahead: The tomato salsa can be made up to 2 days in advance. The bacon can be cooked 1 day in advance.
  6. BBQ: Instead of the honey-mustard marinade, substitute barbecue sauce.
  7. Alice Springs Chicken: To make this Outback Steakhouse copycat, skip the red onion slices, mix sautéed mushrooms with the bacon under the cheese, and skip the tomato salsa.

Nutrition

Serving: 1chicken breastCalories: 416kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 39gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 852mgPotassium: 569mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 386IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 346mgIron: 1mg
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