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Monterey chicken on a white plate with a side of greens.

Monterey Chicken Recipe

Inspired by countless restaurants, this version of Monterey Chicken can be grilled in no time with it’s two-ingredient marinade and super simple topping.  Per the name, combine melted Monterey pepper jack cheese and smokey bacon with honey-mustard chicken for the ultimate weeknight dinner.  Serve with a classic pico de gallo and a squeeze of lime. Dinner at home will feel like a night out!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Calories 450kcal


  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast trimmed (about 1 pound)
  • 4 slices bacon cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 ounces pepper Jack cheese shredded , (1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 slices red onion
  • Lime wedges for serving
  • Pico de gallo for serving


To marinate the chicken:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reserve 1/4 cup mustard mixture for basting chicken. Transfer the remaining mustard mixture to 1-gallon zipper-lock bag.
  • Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, and start at the thickest part of the breast, cut chicken in half horizontally, stopping 1/2-inch from the edge so the halves remain attached.
  • Open like a book and place in bag with mustard mixture. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

To make the bacon:

  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels and cool to room temperature (reserve bacon fat). 
  • In a small bowl, toss bacon with Pepper Jack cheese. Toss onion rings in reserved bacon fat and set aside.

To grill the chicken:

  • Preheat grill over high heat until hot; reduce heat to medium high. Clean and oil cooking grate.
  • Place onion slices on cooler side of grill. Grill chicken over direct heat, cover, and cook until lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Flip onion slices and chicken. 
  • Brush chicken with reserved mustard mixture, cover, and cook until lightly charred on second side, about 5 minutes. 
  • Remove onion slices from grill and move chicken to cooler side of grill. Divide onion rings evenly among chicken breasts. Divide bacon-pepper Jack mixture evenly over onion rings. 
  • Cover and cook until pepper Jack is melted and chicken registers 160 degrees, about 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with lime wedges and pico de gallo.


To make Pico de Gallo, combine the following in a bowl:
  • 1/2 pound tomatoes cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 jalapeño peppers seeded, stemmed, and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt to taste


Calories: 450kcal