Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken

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If you love Cafe Rio then you will love this copycat version of their chicken. This recipe slowly cooks in the crock pot and creates a delicious and tender Mexican chicken!

Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken is tender, slow cooked chicken that is full of Mexican flavor. Life-in-the-Lofthouse.comThis is a copycat version of Cafe Rio’s chicken and it is HEAVENLY, my friends! It’s another one of those amazing crock pot meals that I just love. It is so flavorful and your house will smell so good as it cooks! This chicken is perfect to use in tacos, burritos, and on salads. You will love it anyway you choose to eat it!

Cafe Rio Chicken

Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 6
Author Life in the Lofthouse


  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup zesty Italian dressing
  • 1/2 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 packet (1 ounce) ranch dressing/seasoning mix (mix with 1/2 cup of water)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground cumin


  • Place all ingredients in a greased crock pot. Cover with lid.
  • Cook on low heat for 2 to 3 hours, or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees F.
  • Shred chicken with fork and serve in salads, burritos, tacos, etc.

Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken is tender, slow cooked chicken that is full of Mexican flavor.

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11 thoughts on “Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken

  1. OH! WOW! This looks so YUMMY! Plus I can’t even tell you how big of a fan I am of crockpot recipes! Thank you! Can’t wait to try it out!

  2. I bought ALL the ingredients for all this, but I couldnt find the HOT BLONDE CHEF that is supposed to come with it??? NAmed HOLLY!!!

  3. So what is a “small” bottle of dressing? And what size packet? I used 8 oz of dressing (smallest bottle in my store was 16 oz), and a .4 oz packet of ranch dressing mix (my store had 3 sizes, .4, .75 and 1 oz), and it was too zesty tasting and wasn’t the color of yours (it was the color of zesty dressing,not ranch).

  4. I made these last week and I didn’t care for the zesty Italian wafting through the house and wasn’t sure the chicken would turn out good. Boy was I wrong! This stuff disappeared in about 8 seconds with homemade taco shells, cotija cheese, cilantro, tomatoes and avocado. Yum!

  5. Holly – I have recently discovered your blog (Thank you, Pinterest!) and have tried a few of your recipes so far. I’m in love!! I am a working mom and my husband and two kids are all in school – so meal planning has become a pain in my side and I often feel as though I don’t have enough time to cook before needing to address homework, baths, and bedtime! I so appreciate those things in which you’ve provided freezing instructions, which leads to my question! 🙂

    QUESTION: How might I go about freezing this Cafe Rio Chicken for future use? (I did read the USDA freezing instructions you posted elsewhere) Is it really just simply letting it cool completely and throwing in a freezer bag and placing in the freezer???

    Thanks again for all your great meal plans and ideas – and thank you for your time invested!

  6. We tried this last night in tacos and it is AMAZING! I made the leftovers into a taco salad today and it was the best I’ve ever eaten. I will made it over and over and over again lol.

  7. Thank you Holly for the wonderful recipe! My whole family enjoyed it, and it is so easy to make. Winner all the way through . Definitely going on our meal rotation.
    Hope your daughter is feeling better.