Yield: 6-8 servings

Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken

Cafe Rio Chicken served over a southwestern style salad

This copycat Cafe Rio Chicken recipe is an easy freezer meal to add to your rotation!  It tastes delicious, can be eaten multiple ways, and requires no pre-cooking or prep!!  Best of all, it cooks in your slow cooker!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 5 minutes


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 bottle Italian or Zesty Italian dressing
  • 3 tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix, (or 1 store-bought packet)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Label freezer bag.  Place chicken breasts in bag.
  2. Pour remaining ingredients in on top of chicken breasts.
  3. Squeeze out air and tightly seal bag.
  4. Knead gently with hands to mix contents of bag.
  5. Lay flat to freeze in freezer.

To cook:

  1. Remove bag from freezer and allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Place contents of bag into slow cooker or Instant Pot.
  3. Cook on low for 4-6 hours in slow cooker, or on HIGH pressure for 8 minutes in Instant Pot with quick release after.
  4. Remove chicken breasts, shred, and return to slow cooker or Instant Pot, mixing it in with the sauce. (Or shred right in the crock or pot.)  Drain off some of the cooking liquid if there is more than you want.
  5. Serve as desired.  It's great on a salad, or in tacos or burritos.  

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 436mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 36g

Nutrition information provided as an estimate only.

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