Café Rio Chicken Recipe: This Copycat Recipe Needs to Be in Your Recipe Rotation by Donna John

Café Rio Chicken Recipe: This Copycat Recipe Needs to Be in Your Recipe Rotation

To be honest, I've never heard of Café Rio. Café Rio is a popular Mexican restaurant in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming. If Texas was on that list, I'm sure I would be a regular. This copycat Café Rio chicken recipe caught my attention because of the simple ingredients, versatility and how easy and quick it was to prepare.

The flavorful shredded chicken can be cooked in an Instant Pot™ or slow cooker. Italian dressing, garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, dry ranch salad dressing mix and water are whisked together and poured over the chicken. The Instant Pot™ does its magic in 12 minutes (yes, 12 minutes) and the slow cooker in four to six hours. The fork-tender chicken is shredded and mixed into the sauce. The chicken breast is delicious and loaded with flavor, but no overly seasoned or spicy. That means everyone in the family will enjoy this chicken recipe.

You can use the shredded chicken in tacos, burritos, bowls, enchiladas, quesadillas, chimichangas, salads, casseroles or in any recipe calling for cooked shredded chicken. The Mexican chicken would also be delicious served on top of black beans, rice or even quinoa. I even found someone who puts the raw chicken and sauce ingredients in bags and freezes it for later. Wonderful idea!

Café Rio chicken is officially in my dinner rotation. Now I just need to get them to open a restaurant in Texas.

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes for Instant Pot™ and 4 to 6 hours for slow cooker

Total Time: 20 minutes to 6 hours
Servings: 6


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Recipe Notes

  • You can freeze this chicken to use later in recipes.
  • Store the cooked chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. 

Here's how to make it: 

  1. To make in an Instant Pot™, combine the Italian dressing, garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, ranch dressing mix and water in a small bowl.
  2. Put the chicken into the Instant Pot™. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
  3. Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes (17 minutes if your chicken is frozen).
  4. Quick release the pressure.
  5. Shred the chicken with two forks. Mix with the sauce.

Slow-cooker Directions: Combine all the sauce ingredients in the slow cooker. Add the chicken and mix. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or until tender. Shred and mix with the sauce. 

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Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 383

Total Fat: 19.8g

Saturated Fat: 4.4g

Cholesterol: 154mg

Sodium: 236mg

Total Carbohydrate: 4.8g

Dietary Fiber: 0.3g

Total Sugars: 2.5g

Protein: 44.1g

Vitamin D: 0mcg

Calcium: 34mg

Iron: 2mg

Potassium: 409mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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I’ve never heard of cafe rio but that doesn’t mean it’s not awesome. Yummy recipe!

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