September 23rd, 2012

Slow Cooker Cafe Rio Chicken

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You know those days when the schedule is hectic and you just don’t feel like cooking?  This flavorful Slow Cooker Cafe Rio Chicken is the answer!

Cafe Rio Chicken (Slow Cooker)
This chicken is perfect for almost any Mexican fare……burritos, tacos, taco salads, you name it!  It’s so easy to throw everything into the crock pot, and it freezes beautifully. I like to double or triple the recipe just so I can keep some on hand in the freezer for quick weeknight meals. You can even use this in your favorite Southwest style soup.  I haven’t ever had the chicken at Cafe Rio, so I can’t vouch for how much it tastes like the real thing, but my whole family loves it!

Cafe Rio Chicken (Slow Cooker)

Preparation 10 min Cook Time 6 hr Total Time 6 hrs 10 mins


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 ounces Italian dressing
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Place chicken in a lightly greased slow cooker.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with two forks.
  4. Serve in tacos, burritos, salads, etc.

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If you love this recipe, you might also like:

Slow Cooker Sweet Soy Shredded Chicken

Slow Cooker Sweet Soy Shredded Chicken

Slow Cooker Honey Sriracha Chicken


Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from Chef in Training



  1. I’m always looking for more recipes than are made in the slow cooker. this looks like a winner. Thanks.

  2. This looks very tasty, i have to make it soon, thanks for posting 🙂

  3. Even better than shredding chicken with a fork…you can shred boneless skinless cooked chicken with your hand mixer while it is still warm. Save yourself about 15 minutes and aching hands. 🙂 This recipe sounds yummy!

  4. I made this for dinner last night… and it was a HUGE HIT!!! Was VERY YUMMY!!!

  5. Could you do a mix of chicken breasts and thighs???

  6. I think you could use any chicken pieces you would like.

  7. Ok, so the hubby made this a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t circling him like a hawk so I can’t vouch 100% that he followed the recipe to a “T”. HOWEVER, I did set out all the ingredients for him before I left for the day. The end result? Nothing like the picture! It was greasy and salty and lacked that slightly southwestern flavor. I refuse to give up, though! 🙂 I will try again and hopefully have better results. Did you remove the chicken from the crockpot, shred it, and served it up that way? I wonder, if by shredding it directly in the crockpot, that’s how it remained greasy… Doesn’t matter! Your blog is one of my favs so I usually try to give your recipes a 2nd chance before scrapping it. Keep up the awesomeness!

    • Thanks Erika, and yes, I do remove it from the Crockpot, then shred and serve. I think I’ll change the directions to be more clear about that. So that might have been the cause of the greasiness–and the saltiness too, since that ranch mix is loaded with salt! And I suppose if you want more southwestern flavor, you could always up the spices during cooking–or add more after you shred the chicken. Maybe throw in some cayenne pepper? Feel free to play around with it and let me know what you come up with. 🙂


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