Cafe Rio Chicken

This chicken is so good! You can use it for many different things.  We usually use it for tacos or taco salads – but really it’d be good any time you need shredded chicken!

The name indicates it is a recipe from a restaurant, but it’s floating all over on many blogs.  Though sometimes there’s variation to it.  I prep this as a freezer meal for us to have at least twice a month, but easy enough to throw together in the morning too of course.

Cafe Rio Chicken used for tacos

Cafe Rio Chicken used for tacos

Café Rio Chicken

  • 2lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 a small bottle of zesty Italian dressing
  • 1T minced garlic
  • 1pkt ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2T chili powder
  • 1/2T ground cumin

If you’re doing this as a freezer meal, put all ingredients in a (labeled of course) gallon size freezer bag, lay flat to freeze.  This one doesn’t stand upright as well because there’s not much liquid, but if you get it laid just right it’ll hold it all together.

If you used fresh chicken breasts, add 1/2c water when putting into slow cooker. If you used frozen, you don’t need to use the water – the ice from the chicken will be plenty.

Cook on high 5-6hrs or low for 8hrs. Remove the chicken from the juices.  Shred, using some of the liquid if needed but not all of it, just enough to shred and add extra moisture if you’d like, and serve.

Leftovers of this freeze really well if you’d like. More shredded chicken for whatever you’d like!

And of course I just posted some recipes for the ranch packet, and you can use the Italian dressing mix recipe as well, just prepare it as dressing first. Find those recipes here:

Tip: Use your mixer (hand or stand whatever you have) to shred the chicken.  So much easier than using forks!

Cafe Rio chicken shredded with my hand mixer

Cafe Rio chicken shredded with my hand mixer


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