Cafe Rio Chicken

I LOVE Cafe Rio!  It is one of my favorite places to eat!  Cafe Rio’s chicken is DELICIOUS to say the least so when I saw this recipe from Mandy’s Recipe Box, it went on my dinner menu for the week.  It was amazing!  My picky 2 year old had 3 helpings of this herself. The flavor in this chicken is perfect!  This is a very versatile recipe and you can use this chicken however you want.  My favorite is in a salad like they have at the restaurant, but your possibilities are endless!  Another great thing about this recipe is you can freeze the leftovers for a later time!

Copy Cat Cafe Rio Chicken.. my go-to chicken recipe for almost any mexican meal! So easy to make up and it tastes so good! Plus it is great to make large batches and freeze for later uses.

Cafe Rio Chicken
 
An easy and delicious chicken recipe that compliments any mexican meal! Easy to freeze for a later time.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts
  • 8 oz. zesty Italian dressing
  • ½ Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix (mixed with ½ cup of water)
  • ½ Tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ Tablespoon ground cumin
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on LOW for about 5 hours or until chicken is done.
  2. Shred with fork and serve in salads, burritos, tacos...etc.
Notes
You can also double or triple this to make extras for freezing. Then simply thaw and reheat.

Enjoy!
(found recipe at: Mandy’s Recipe Box)


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Comments

  1. Kristin

    Watch the ranch dressing mixes. The 2nd ingredient on hidden valley's is MSG, a horrible chemical that is carcinogenic and terrible for children.

  2. Leila

    I found you on pinterest and am now following you from gotomommy.blogspot.com. Thank you for sharing all these recipes! I can't wait to start cooking some of them!

  3. Emily

    I've never heard of Cafe Rio, but this chicken looks delicious. I'm pinning this right now to try soon. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks for the recipe. I had to modify it a bit since I was out of cumin and chili powder (subbed a half a pack of taco seasoning instead) and it was awesome! Working into the monthly menu rotation since the kids enjoyed it so well.

  5. If you like to cook in a slow cooker, cook lots of chicken and keep it frozen in ziplock bags. You can make lots of recipes by doing this. Take a look atthe e-book-you can download it in seconds (Over 470 Delicious Crockpot Recipes).www.mallpros.com/store/bugbooks

  6. I made this yesterday and altho it smelled awesome, it was completely dried out after 6 hours on low. I highly recommend using a whole bottle of dressing or using frozen chicken breasts for the extra moisture. I'm going to try this one again b/c it really smelled amazing.

    • Jacquie

      Just saw this post and wanted to say that MSG can be a horrible trigger for those of us who suffer chronic migraines. Certain allergies can be triggered by MSG. It’s all about knowing and understanding your own body.

      • Danielle

        Love this recipe. I substitute the ranch packet with 2 tbs of homemade ranch mix(no MSG). I found the recipe on pinterest. Yum! My husband has requested this as part of his father’s day dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Thank you for posting this amazing recipe… it was delish. I even made the rice recipe with the lime and cilantro and used my rice cooker. Perfect for a weeknight meal. My husband is excited about left overs.

  8. Made this chicken yesterday. One comment I have is to maybe put the ounces in the recipe. The smallest bottle of Italian in my store was 16 ounces which meant I used too much in the sauce but……when this chicken came out of the crock pot…OMG!! I had a hard time keeping my husband out of it lol I used it in your Bubble Up Enchiladas and they too were to die for! Next up…Chicken Tortilla soup…can't wait! Thanks for the yummy recipes!

  9. I got the smallest bottle at our store, too (the Commissary has really limited selection) and it was 16 oz, so the recipe was very salty. Good to know that a small bottle is about 8 oz. This next time around I will use that or go with 1/4 bottle. We all loved it, though!

  10. Making this for dinner tonight. I am excited to try it out. :) I have tried several of the recipes that you have posted and they are becoming my families favorites.

  11. Yum! Made these tonight and they made some GREAT chicken tacos! I ate my chicken in a whole-wheat tortilla topped with some cheese, guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, and tomato and it was awesome! Everyone in my family really loved it so I’ll definitely be making more again soon! I actually halved the recipe because I only had 1 lb of chicken. Next time I’ll plan to make the whole recipe so I can freeze some. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  12. Kaitlin MacDonald

    Wondering if you can just use 1/2 a bottle of ranch dressing rather than the package of ranch dressing mix?

  13. Anna G

    In the crock pot right now. Smells great! I had to make a few modifications to use what I had available so we’ll see! Thanks for sharing! (found you on Pinterest)

  14. Lauren

    This sounds yummy!!! An idea I use for chicken recipes is to put chicken breasts in my crockpot and cook them on low for 6 to 8 hours. When finished shred and place one to two cup servings in freezer bags to have on hand for chicken spaghetti, chicken pot pie and other things that require cooked chicken. It makes it so easy.

  15. Melissa

    I made this tonight for my boyfriend who LOVED it (I am a vegetarian so I am learning how to cook meat meals for him)!!!!! He went for thirds before I told him to stop, haha!! He ate his in tortillas. I followed the exact recipe except I added a can of HOT Rotel (since I read a few reviews about adding it) since my boyfriend likes spicy/hot foods. I found this recipe on PINTEREST.com. Thanks!!!

  16. Mckayla

    I made this last night for dinner and it absolutely amazing!!!! My husband named this his new favorite chicken Meal! Big deal considering his love for crockpot lemon chicken! Thanks for the recipe!!

    • Chef in Training

      I used boneless skinless chicken breasts :) I also used thawed chicken breast, but you can do frozen too, it might just change the cook time slightly. Hope that helps!

  17. Katie

    We made this last night and had it for dinner tonight in quesadillas… Best chicken I’ve ever made. We will be making it again this week! My husband is making happy noises as he eats. :)

  18. Laura

    This was super yummy and my kids gobbled it up! I served it over brown rice topped with jack cheese and it was delicious! It was juicy and flavorful. I cooked it on low for 5 hrs and it was perfect! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  19. Kim

    What did I do wrong? I followed the exact recipe and did low for 8 hrs and when I got home, exactly 8 hrs later, the chicken was burnt to a crisp and all sauce was black and stick to the crockpot.

    • Jacquie

      The recipe may say 8 hours on low, but I have never done it more than 6 and it is nice and moist. Sometimes I cut the breasts in half before cooking if they are thick so they cook thoroughly.

    • Chef in Training

      Hi Kim. I am so sorry. I have been meaning to update the directions to say low for about 5 hours then to check its doneness. Every slow cooker cooks differently. It has since been updated. I am so sorry for your burnt and dry chicken. I hope you will try it again an adjust the cook time because it is so worth it! This chicken is so delicious and freezable!

  20. Tyleena

    So, this has been in the crock pot for about 4 hours now, my mother-in-law asked what I plan to do with it when its done, and it was then that I realized not only do I not have a plan for it, but I also have no cheese, no shredded lettuce, sour cream, beans, rice, or anything TO DO with it. Dinner tonight is going to be interesting :)

  21. Kate

    I LOVED this chicken and definitely plan to make it again! If I double the recipe, do I need to adjust the cooking time? Any tips on this?

  22. Reagan

    So I’ve made your version of cafe rio chicken before and loved it! Tonight I went searching for it again and thought I found it (I recognized your picture). It wasn’t it! Someone is using your picture and has just cropped it down! It’s pin on pinterest and is sending people to keyingredient dot com. I thought you’d want to know!

  23. Hannah

    I made this last week for my picky boyfriend. WE BOTH LOVED IT! I’ve been experimenting with different crockpot chicken recipes. They are easier to deal with for us working folks. This is definitely one of our favorites so far. It was in the crockpot for about 8 hours, but it was not overcooked.

  24. Linda B

    This is so fantastic! I used it to make Crockpot Enchilada Dip and a pasta salad with Bowtie Pasta and Cherry Tomatoes and a Vineagrette Dressing. The uses are only limited by your imagination. It is easy to make and hard to resist. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Joy Absalon

    Just curious…..I looked at the recipe on Mandy’s site and the cook times are TOTALLY different. You say 5 hours on LOW and she says 8 HOURS On LOW. So now I’m confused?????

    • Chef in Training

      I noticed mine was perfectly cooked at 5 hours. Any longer and it got tougher. Just make sure you check for doneness. Every crock pot cooks differently.

  26. Mrs. Metro

    I make this all the time and I throw my chicken in when it’s still frozen. We love this recipe and I’ve been making it since you posted it. My Crock Pot is a little older so 8 hours on low is just right. I like the Crock Pot liners as I teach and coach after school which means that I’m not always home 8 hours after I leave for work. A little chicken broth would also add enough liquid so the chicken won’t burn.

  27. Michelle

    A super quick trick if you cook a lot of chicken is (after it is cooked) to throw it in your stand mixer and let the beater shred it!

  28. Sharon

    I want to try this recipe it sounds great, but when I cook meat in my slow cooker it turns out dry, I would love a suggestion on how to cook it so it is juicy when done. thanks in advance :)