Cafe Rio Chicken

Here is Utah we have a yummy Mexican restaurant called Cafe Rio.  I must admit, I have only had their beef and pork there, but when I saw a recipe for Cafe Rio Chicken I decided to give it a try.  I am not sure how it compares to the real deal but it was delicious.  This is always made in the crock pot so makes life even easier.  Love it!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Cafe Rio Chicken
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts ( I use boneless)
  • ½ cup zesty italian dressing
  • ½ Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 pkt ranch dressing mix
  • ¼ cup of water
  • ½ Tbsp. chili powder
  • ½ Tbsp. ground cumin
  1. Place chicken in a crock pot.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken.
  3. Cook on High 5-6 hours OR on Low 8 hours.
  4. Remove chicken from crock pot and shred.
  5. Remove half the liquid from the crock pot and place in a bowl. Add the chicken to the crock pot and combine with the liquid left in the crock pot. You want the chicken nice and moist. Add more of the reserved liquid if needed.
  6. Serve in tacos, burritos, salad, quesadillas, etc. I got two meals from this. I did tacos with some and quesadillas another time with the leftovers. This meat freezes well.

Recipe adapted from Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms.

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19 comments on “Cafe Rio Chicken

  • btw, I would say this serves about 10, based on a serving size of 3oz per serving of chicken. Of course, how many are going to take only one serving!? 😉

  • TIP: Just heard about using your electric hand mixer to shred the chicken – this just got EASIER!!.

    This is such an easy recipe to make when bringing a meal to someone, even for a working girl, like me. And people love it!


  • Awesome!!!! Thanks for the great recipe. My kids & husband ate it up! We will be making this again & again!!!

  • I am making this for girlscamp this next week and am wondering if you know how many servings this recipe yields? Trying to decide how many times I need to multiply it to feed my crowd.

    Thank you!

  • My kids love this chicken!! We use it with fried corn tortillas sprinkled with parmesan cheese. Easy recipe and makes a lot.

  • Made this for the first time tonight and it was great. I sautéed some peppers in the extra sauce and made tacos out of it. The first crockpot meal ALL my kids liked.

  • Thanks for sharing this recipe! I love Cafe Rio and the chicken is my favorite. I have tried a few recipes for Cafe Rio chicken and yours is definitely the best. It was so delicious and tasted just like the real thing. Thanks again for sharing!

  • I would so love your recipes. Thank you so much. Grandma Stone

  • I just made this last night (I know it’s an old post but I googled Cafe Rio chicken recipes and found it yesterday) and it was great! I doubled the recipe and used 5 lbs. of chicken and ended up with 10 cups of shredded meat. I figure I’ll get about 5 meals out of that!

  • Hi there! 2 Would love to try the recipe. Have heard a lot about Cafe Rio! Do you use boneless chicken breasts or bone-in? Thanks.

  • I think I’m one of the few who doesn’t like the Cafe Rio pork — too sweet for my taste buds. I like the salt and peppery flavored kind. I make the knock-off of their tomatillo dressing, so now I can try this too. Thanks for sharing this — we love Cafe Rio!!!

  • I have heard so many people talk about Cafe Rio around the blogosphere and was disappointed I was not able to try it when I was on a quick trip to SLC over a year ago. I guess for now I will just have to try the homemade version since I don’t know when I will be back in Utah!

  • I live in UT and we have waaay better places than cafe rio, but this recipe does look good. I’ll have to try it out! Thanks!

  • I have the recipes all nice and typed up for their dressings, cafe rio pork, black beans, and cilantro rice if you want them.
    I live in NC but have family members in Utah that LOVE this place

  • Thanks for sharing! I love cafe rio — I would always get the chicken salad. But now that I live in Texas, I can only dream of it ….

  • That looks good. I’ve seen a few different versions of the Recipe for Cafe Rio Chicken, so obviously it has a lot of fans!

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