Slow Cooker Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken

Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken is quick to prepare and delicious. Make this easy slow cooker recipe soon.
Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken is an easy and delicious slow cooker recipe. Spend five minutes tossing everything in the slow cooker and have dinner ready when you need it.
I am absolutely in love with slow cooker chicken thigh recipes. Really, I think I could alternate between this recipe and slow cooker taco ranch chicken and be quite satisfied. These two base recipes can be used in so many things. Tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and salads are just the beginning.

Like the cilantro lime rice and the sweet pork barbacoa this is a Cafe Rio knockoff recipe. My favorite way to eat this is in a burrito/taco bowl. Seriously, there is something extra delicious about rice, beans, and the chicken layered in a bowl and topped with cheese, sour cream, and pico de gallo.
This is a dump and go recipe so it takes maybe 5 minutes to get the slow cooker going. If you have a large slow cooker you could easily double the recipe and freeze the extra.

One of the ingredients in the recipe sounds a little strange. I know that I thought Italian dressing in a Mexican inspired recipe was an odd choice. But it doesn’t taste like Italian dressing which is good because I don’t like it.

Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken

Place the chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker
Sprinkle with ranch mix, cumin, chili powder, and garlic

Pour the Italian dressing and water over it all

Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 2 to 3 or until chicken shreds easily

Shred the chicken with two forks and stir well to coat with juices

Serve as desired

Refried beans, sour cream and green chile rice or cilantro lime rice, taco shells or tortillas, and pico de gallo

Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Author Micha @ Cookin' Mimi


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 Tablespoons Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Place the chicken in a slow cooker
  2. Sprinkle with the ranch mix, garlic, cumin, and chili powder
  3. Pour the Italian dressing and water over it all
  4. Cover and cook on low 5 to 6 hours or on high for 2 to 3 or until chicken shreds easily
  5. Shred with forks and stir
  6. Serve as desired


31dayscookingathome475 This post is part of 31 Days of Cooking at Home
This post may be linked at these fabulous blogs as well as Weekend Potluck. and meal plan Monday and Whatcha Crockin’ Wednesday


  1. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with us. Enjoy your new Red Plate and come back real soon!
    Miz Helen

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