Cafe Rio (shredded) Chicken

I found this recipe from the Chef in Training's blog a couple of years ago, adapted it, and have been making it on a regular basis ever since. It is SO simple, easy, delicious and versatile! Add it on top of your salad (like I do my Crisp Wedge Salad), use it as your meat in tacos/burritos/enchiladas, throw it on a bed of rice and top it with some cheese. The possibilities are endless - get creative!


Yield: 4 servings Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8-10 minutes or 3-6 hours

I like to use my slow cooker or pressure cooker (depending on how much time I have) to make this dish.

Prep & Save: store in an airtight for 3-4 days in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer.


2 lbs. of chicken (about 4 breasts)

½ bottle of Italian dressing

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Ranch dressing packet (mixed with ½ cup of water)

*or use 3 Tbsp. of homemade version listed below!

1 ½ tsp. chili powder

1 ½ tsp. of ground cumin

Salt & Pepper, to taste


Mix the contents of 1 Ranch packet with ½ cup of water and pour into the bottom of the pressure cooker or slow cooker. Add the Italian dressing, minced garlic, chili powder and cumin. Mix until combined.

Pat the chicken breasts dry, using a paper towel. Season both sides of each breast with salt, pepper, garlic powder and any other seasonings of your choosing.

You don't need to season the chicken too much as it is all going to dissolve into the liquid mixture. Plus the Ranch packet and the Italian dressing already provide quite a bit of flavor.

Place the seasoned chicken into the liquid mixture and cover the lid.

Pressure Cooker:

Thawed -- cook on high pressure for 8 minutes, using the quick release

Frozen -- cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, using the quick release

Slow Cooker:

Thawed -- cook for 3 hours on high or 5 hours on low

Frozen -- cook for 6 hours on high (I wouldn't recommend low heat)


Yield: approximately 1 cup* Prep Time: 5 minutes

Use this seasoning to make a quick Ranch Dressing and/or Ranch Dip:

Dressing: mix 2 Tbsp. dry mix with 1 cup mayo and 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream

Dip: mix 2 Tbsp. dry mix with 2 cups of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Mix a few hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.


½ cup dry buttermilk powder**

2 Tbsp. dried parsley

2 tsp. dried dill

1 tsp. dried chives

1 Tbsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. dried onion flakes

1 tsp. Kosher salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper


Combine all of the ingredients. Put in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 months. It is recommended that it stay in the fridge due to the buttermilk powder.


*One store bought packet has 1 oz. of dry mix in it. 1 oz. = 3 Tbsp.

**You can find this in the baking aisle where the powdered milk is.

#homemade #ranchpacket #chicken #foodprep #mexican #ranchdressing #ranchdip

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