Call me for Monterey Chicken Chopped Salad or call me for the Sandwich version. Whatever you do, just don’t call me late for dinner!
This entree is a perfect example of compromise at our house. I can do without the bread. So, I take all the ingredients for this Chili’s inspired Monterey Chicken sandwich and make it into a salad. But, my hubby and girls would prefer the sandwich version with a salad on the side.
And, this is our copycat rendition of Chili’s Monterey Chicken sandwich. Boneless, skinless chicken is coated with barbecue sauce, topped with bacon and, of course, Monterey Jack cheese. Fresh tomatoes and green onions finish this beauty.
I began craving this recipe about the time I posted the Alice Springs Chicken Copycat Recipe. Even though the flavors are very different, the preparation makes them feel like cousins. It’s so easy to make both of these recipes. What makes them memorable is their unique flavor combinations. If we feel like eating out, but we don’t feel like dining out, this recipe comes to mind.
Monterey Chicken Step-by-Step
Place the boneless, skinless chicken breast in a baking dish and smother it with your favorite barbecue sauce.
I like to keep everyone guessing so I always switch things up a bit and use a different flavor. I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet Vidalia Onion Barbecue Sauce this time. Bake the chicken for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree F oven.
Meanwhile, cook your bacon. I take the super easy route and just microwave it for about 4 minutes on a plate covered with paper towels and then cut it with my handy, dandy kitchen shears.
If you are making the salad version, then lift out the chicken and allow it to cool a few minutes. Cut it up in bite-sized pieces and toss with a little more BBQ sauce, if desired. Chop the bacon, tomatoes, green onions and hearts of palm into similarly-sized bite sized pieces too.
Hearts a what??? The white vegetable in the middle is hearts of palm. It’s totally optional and not part of the Chili’s version. But, very tasty none the less.
For the sandwich version, top the chicken with the bacon and cheese and cook in the oven for a few minutes more or until the cheese is melted. Top it with fresh tomatoes and green onions and place it on a toasted bun.
I like to drizzle a little ranch dressing over the top of my salad. If you need a good ranch dressing that is egg and dairy free, then try this Vegan Ranch Dressing Recipe.
If you want to:
Make it dairy-free – Use a vegan substitute for the cheese. We combined mozzarella and cheddar cheeses.
Make it low-calorie – Choose the salad version, use low-fat cheese and dressing and try turkey bacon.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- ½ cup green onion, sliced thin
- 4 plum tomatoes, diced
- For sandwich!
- 4 buns, lightly toasted
- For salad!
- 4-6 cups lettuce (we love butter lettuce)
- 2 Tablespoons Barbecue Sauce
- 1 cup hearts of palm, diced
- Ranch dressing
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place chicken in a baking tin and cover with barbecue sauce.
- Bake chicken uncovered for about 30 minutes.
- For Sandwich!
- Top chicken with bacon and cheese and return to oven for about 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.
- Place chicken on toasted bun and top with tomatoes and green onion.
- For salad!
- Remove chicken and cut chicken into small bite-sized pieces. Toss with 2 Tablespoons barbecue sauce, if desired.
- Layer lettuce, chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, green onion, plum tomatoes and hearts of palm in large serving bowl or 4 individual plates.
- Toss gently.
- Serve with ranch dressing.
If this is the first time you’ve tried Monterey Chicken, you’ll wonder why you’ve never tried it before. If you’ve had it before, then you may wonder why you have never tried this at home! I hope you enjoy it!