Skillet with finished Monterey chicken

Easy Keto Monterey Chicken Skillet

Tender, juicy, bites of chicken coated in a keto barbeque sauce and topped with melted cheese and bacon. This keto Monterey chicken dinner is a low-carb twist on a classic recipe that you’re sure to enjoy.

White plate with blue edge full of Keto Monterey Chicken bowl of cheese and half avocado in background

Coming in at only 4 net grams of carbs and made in just 30 minutes, this Monterey chicken makes for an easy, healthy weeknight dinner recipe!

Made in just one skillet to make cleanup a breeze the dinner it’s a tangy blend of tender chicken bites, savory seasoning, and chopped bacon all wrapped up and loaded with gooey Monterey jack cheese.

Make it as spicy as you like and enjoy the skillet dinner topped with avocado for a healthy fat. A delicious but fueling recipe to end the day.

If you like this keto chicken dish, here are a few others you may want to check out.

Small glass bowls with Monterey Chicken Ingredients

Monterey Chicken Ingredients You Need:

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs: you need boneless breasts as you’ll be cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces so that they cook more easily.

Seasoning: pantry spices like chili powder, onion powder, garlic, and paprika to rub onto the chicken. You can also add a hint of cayenne pepper here if you like spice and add salt and pepper to taste.

Olive oil: this is what you’ll cook the chicken in, know that any neutral-flavored oil will work here so use what you have on hand.

Cheery tomatoes: adding a vegetable with a pop of color to the dish.

Chicken broth: any stock will work for the Monterey chicken. However, many store-bought brands use wheat as a thickener. So, if you need the recipe to be low carb make sure to use a keto-approved brand.

Sugar-free BBQ sauce: save yourself the carbs but still enjoy the classic flavor with sugar-free BBQ sauce. Trust me, you won’t miss the sugar.

Bacon pieces: you’ll need to cook your bacon ahead of time or buy pre-cooked bacon and chop it up.

Monterey Jack cheese: this semi-hard cheese has a mild flavor and a hint of sweetness. It makes for a tasty topping on the chicken skillet.

Avocado: an optional addition to the final dish but a delicious one.

How To Make Monterey Chicken:

  1. Season the chicken bites with the spices before adding them to a pre-heated skillet with oil.
  2. Sauté until cooked through and set the chicken aside.
  3. Reduce the heat and add in the onions. Once soft, mix in the garlic and cherry tomatoes.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth and BBQ sauce before pouring it into the skillet.
  5. Return the chicken to the skillet and mix everything until coated.
  6. Finally, top the skillet with bacon and cheese. 
  7. Wait 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted and add on the avocado to serve.
Skillet with finished Monterey chicken

Expert Tips To Make It:

Monterey jack cheese works the best in this skillet dinner recipe. However, other cheeses can be just as delicious and are a great way to switch up the flavor.

Though the recipe calls for cherry tomatoes, other low-carb vegetables like button mushrooms or zucchini can be used instead and make for a great change to the dinner.

Make sure to cut the chicken evenly into bite-sized pieces. This way it all cooks at roughly the same time and won’t dry out.

If you love spice, add in some chopped jalapeno along with a dash of cayenne pepper.

You want the Monterey cheese to melt over the skillet before you serve it. If it’s not melting after a minute or so, cover the skillet with a glass lid for a minute or two.

Or, if your skillet is oven-safe, pop it into the oven on broil for just a minute to get a beautiful golden color on top. Do this before you place the sliced avocados into the skillet.

What To Serve With It:

Any keto side dish will be delicious with this Monterey chicken dinner. Some great ideas are:

  • Serve it over top of cauliflower rice
  • Make the skillet into wraps with keto tortillas
  • Add a side of roasted vegetables or spaghetti squash

You can always make this into a pasta dish easily enough as well so long as you use low-carb noodles or something like spiralized zucchini noodles.

Storing Leftover Monterey Chicken:

Before storing leftover Monterey chicken, let the chicken cool completely.

Then, place them in an airtight container and into the fridge. Like this, leftover chicken will last 3-4 days.

To reheat it, pop it into the microwave, on the stove over low to medium heat, or into the oven. You may need to add a dash more broth to bring it back to life.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. At what temperature is chicken cooked?

A. When sauteing the chicken, you want it to reach an internal temperature of 165F. It should be completely white inside as well.

Q. Why is it called Monterey chicken?

A. This dish, a Chili’s copycat, is smothered in Monterey Jack cheese which originated in California (along with the recipe). That’s why it’s called Monterey Chicken.

Q. Can I use chicken breasts for the recipe?

A. Though chicken breasts will work, you’ll want to keep an eye on them so that they cook through.

Make sure to use boneless chicken breasts so that you can still chop them into bite-sized pieces. Also, know that they are a little more on the dryer side which could affect the texture of the sauce a bit and you may need to add a touch more liquid.

White plate with blue edge full of Keto Monterey Chicken bowl of cheese and half avocado in background

Easy Keto Monterey Chicken Skillet

Tender bites of chicken smothered in gooey cheese with bacon sprinkled throughout. This keto Monterey chicken skillet is a savory, easy dinner recipe that everyone loves.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 5
Calories 414 kcal


  • 1 tsp. Chili powder
  • 2 lbs. Boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces
  • ½ tsp. Onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • ½ tsp. Garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp. Paprika
  • ½ Onion chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Cup Cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 tsp. Minced garlic
  • ¼ Cup Chicken broth
  • 1 Avocado diced
  • 4 Tbsp. Sugar free BBQ sauce
  • 1 Cup Monterey jack cheese shredded
  • ¼ Cup Bacon pieces


  • In a large skillet heat oil over medium to high heat.
  • Sprinkle the chicken with the paprika, chili powder, cayenne, onion powder, salt and pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Carefully add the seasoned chicken to the hot skillet. Cook until completely cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
  • Lower the heat to medium, and add the onions to the pan. Cooke onions until they have softened.
  • Mix in the cherry tomatoes and the garlic. Cook tomatoes until they begin to soften.
  • In a small mixing bowl, mix the BBQ sauce and the broth until fully combined.
  • Now add the sauce mixture into the skillet. Also, add the chicken back to the skillet. Mix around to coat the chicken in the sauce.
  • Turn off the heat, and evenly sprinkle the cheese and bacon over the chicken. Allow a few minutes for the cheese to melt.
  • Top with the avocado right before before serving.

Estimated Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 201mg | Sodium: 626mg | Potassium: 793mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 209mg | Iron: 2mg | Net Carbs: 4g

Know that estimated nutrition facts are just a guideline and will vary depending on any variation you make or brand you use from what we have listed.

Keyword monterey chicken, keto, low carb, skillet dish
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