Slow Cooker Cafe Rio Salad with Tomatillo Ranch Dressing

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4-8 hours
  • Total Time: 1 minute
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Super easy slow cooker chicken that is similar to cafe rio chicken salad.



For the Chicken:

  • 6 frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs (doesn’t have to be frozen but if you don’t want to defrost you don’t need to)
  • 1 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

For the Dressing:

  • 1 package Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 tomatillos (peel outer skin layer)
  • 1 clove minced garlic (1 tsp of pre-packaged stuff)
  • 1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tsp lime juice
  • 1 small jalapeno (seeds removed)


  1. Place thighs in bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-8 hours (if chicken is thawed then closer to 4 hours, if frozen closer to 8)
  4. Shred chicken and serve on top of salad greens with cheese, tomatoes, avocado and any other preferred toppings.
  5. To make the dressing: Place all ingredients into a blender.  Blend until smooth and refrigerate.


Ideal slow cooker size:  3-4 quart

  • Method: Slow Cooker