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Slow Cooker Rio Chicken

Updated on August 20, 2013
5 stars from 1 rating of Slow Cooker Rio Chicken

This was a recipe that I discoveded on facebook a while back, and while it was probably excellent as it was, I still had to alter it to suit my own tastes and cravings. Not only that, have found it can make an amazing quesadilla, salad, chicken sandwich, or even a simple cover for Mexican style rice and beans. The flavor is great, and even better, despite my husband and step-son being avid haters of ranch dressing, they even enjoyed this dish.

When I created my alternative, I was pressed for time, had not chicken thawed, and was wanting a meal with a little different flavor. This recipe helped me move beyond all those concerns and still create a delicious meal with little to no effort on my part. Not only that, all the ingredients are things I always have in the house, and required no extra shopping that night!

Normally, I attempt to thaw meat that I freeze the night before if I am going to have a meal created in the slow cooker, but the day this became a favorite recipe, I quickly discovered I did not have anything thawed, and homework was beckoning to me. The recipe I had started with said that the chicken could be frozen and placed in the slow cooker with no problems. Immediately, placing all my hope in the simple statement, I began editting the recipe to suit our own tastes. Though the original sounded amazing, there were a few things I immediately knew would have to be added in order to accomplish the meal I had in mind.

Tossing everything in the slow cooker, I took a deep breath and hoped it was not a mistake. Then started my homework. When the time for dinner arrived, I was already beginning to feel nervous and worry that perhaps I had made a hasty decision, and was already discussing where we may have to run out for dinner, just in case. Fortunately, I began shredding the chicken, took a tiny sample, and knew immediately I had found a recipe that I would be using again and again!

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 8 hours
Ready in: 8 hours 15 min
Yields: 12 Servings


  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, frozen or thawed
  • 1/2 c. zesty Italian salad dressing
  • 1 tbsp. dried ranch seasoning mix
  • 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small red pepper, orange pepper, and green pepper, diced
  1. In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients, minus the chicken together.
  2. Place chicken in Slow cooker and pour the mixed ingredients over top.
  3. Cover and cook on high for one hour, then turn down to low and let cook for seven hours.
  4. Take two forks, and shred the chicken, then stir the shredded chicken together with the other ingredients.
  5. Serve in the style you prefer!

There is a tie between the two favorite ways to serve this in our house: (1) lightly butter two soft taco shells, spring cheese on one of the shells, place meat on top, cover with a touch of refried beans, sprinkle some more cheese on the beans, place the other shell on top and then place in a quesadilla grill until cheese melts to hold the two shells together; or (2) using the favorite taco shells, place the chicken and all your favorite ingredients for a taco together and enjoy!

While these are the two most popular in our home, I do know that it is an excellent addition to a salad, or even placed on a bed of rice. When I prepare this, usually prep some con quesa dip and serve with tortilla chips. It is an excellent meal for those nights when the family is wanting a little Mexican flare.

Not only this, but can refridgerate the chicken and create a cold salad for lunch the next day! I am a huge fan of adding kidney beans or refried beans as a complilment to the chicken and enjoy this in all the ways I have tried it. Not only this, instead of being a recipe where the ranch is overpowering, as well as the Italian dressing, they work well in complimenting each others and creating a unique flavor! Definitely a favorite in our home, not to mention if something happens and I do not have any meat thawed, can quickly turn to this in the morning and not have to worry about having to cook that night.


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