Monterey Chicken Skillet is a cheesy, hearty pasta dinner that is easy to make and clean-up. You only need one skillet for this easy dinner and it’s ready to serve in about 30 minutes. If you’re looking for a new easy chicken recipe to try this is the perfect one.
Easy one pot meals are a lifesaver for us during the week. Between busy jobs and school for the kiddo, it’s always nice to have a few easy dinner recipes on hand to make when there’s not much time. This Monterey Chicken Skillet is a favorite – the combination of cheese, chicken, BBQ sauce, and pasta is really family-friendly.
What is Monterey Chicken?
This is similar to a dish you can get at Chili’s restaurant. It’s a type of chicken dish made with Monterey Jack cheese, BBQ sauce, bacon, and pasta and my version is a one pot recipe that you can make in a skillet.
The combo of flavors is perfect in this dish, and it’s so easy you can make it on a busy weeknight without a lot of clean-up to do after.
Ingredients for Monterey Jack Chicken
- Cooked chicken – leftover shredded chicken works great, or try a rotisserie chicken to make it even easier.
- Farfalle pasta – it looks like bowties
- Shredded Monterey jack cheese
- Rotel – or you can use just canned diced tomatoes
- Low-sodium chicken broth
- Your favorite BBQ sauce
- Salt and pepper
- Sliced green onions – this is an optional garnish
How to Make Monterey Jack Chicken
What’s great about this recipe is that everything, including the pasta, cooks in one skillet. Once you have all of your ingredients ready, it’s really easy to make:
Cook the bacon in a large skillet until it’s crispy. Transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Once it’s cool enough to handle, crumble it.
Place the pasta, chicken, and Rotel in the skillet. Add the chicken broth and stir. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat and then lower to medium-low to maintain a simmer.
Place the lid on the skillet slightly askew so that steam can escape. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pasta is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir it occasionally while it cooks.
Remove the lid and drizzle the BBQ sauce over the top, followed by the cheese. Cover the skillet until the cheese melts.
Stir the pasta to incorporate the BBQ sauce and cheese, and then sprinkle the crumbled bacon over the top. Serve with sliced green onions over the top.
This is a great recipe for leftover chicken – if you’re making plain grilled or baked chicken, make extra and use the leftovers to make this Monterey chicken recipe the next day. Or, you can pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store.
Sometimes I cook bigger batches of bacon in the oven to have on hand during the week. You can do that for this recipe, and so you can skip cooking the bacon to make it even easier.
Switch the flavor or spice level by the kind of BBQ sauce you use. There are tons of options at the store to choose from.
If you can’t find Rotel, you can use a small can of diced green chiles and a can of diced tomatoes. Or, you can skip the green chiles and just use tomatoes. Sometimes I use fire-roasted tomatoes, and it’s delicious.
I haven’t tried this recipe with other pasta shapes, so I can’t say how it will work if you use something different than farfalle.
Add this easy dinner to your meal plan this week, and it might just end up in your weekly dinner rotation. We love the flavors – the bacon with the BBQ sauce, cheese, and chicken is so good. Plus, you can’t beat a one pot meal! Enjoy!
Other One Pot Meals You'll Enjoy
Monterey Chicken Skillet Recipe
- 2 ½ cups chicken cooked and shredded
- ½ pound Farfalle pasta
- ½ cup Monterey jack cheese
- 1 10 ounce can Rotel diced tomatoes with chilies diced tomatoes work fine as well
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup barbeque sauce
- 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- Green onions for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook bacon in a skillet or oven until crispy. Set on paper towels to drain and set to the side
- In a large skillet add pasta, chicken and Rotel diced tomatoes. Add the chicken broth and stir. Cover the skillet and turn to medium high heat. Bring the broth to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low. Move the lid to vent slightly and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Pasta should be cooked through and most the liquid should be gone. Stir occasionally.
- Lightly drizzle the barbecue sauce over the skillet and then spread the cheese over the top. Cover until cheese is melted. The stir and combine cheese and barbecue sauce with the other ingredients. Add the crumbled bacon on top and garnish with green onions (optional). Serve!
Monterey Chicken Skillet is a cheesy, hearty pasta dinner that is easy to make and clean-up.