Taqueria-style Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

Taqueria-style slow cooker shredded chicken

Have the dog days of summer gotten to you yet? Would you like to know where that phrase, ‘dog days of summer’ originated? Here’s some trivia for the masses. According to Wikipedia, the fount of all truth and knowledge, the phrase refers to the hottest days of summer, typically experienced during July and August. It derives from the ancient Greek and Roman belief that the star, Sirius, also known as the dog star, was the cause of the hottest days of summer because of the star’s close proximity to the sun during July & August.

Fun facts to know and tell. It’s the grown-up version of show and tell.

So, while Sirius is doing his thing hanging out too close to the sun and you are wrestling with the wisdom and ethics of running your air conditioner at full tilt while also turning on your oven, remember your trusty slow cooker., aka crock pot. It’s such a great little device. The 70’s were so great—-ummm… big bell bottoms…. annnnd….disco…. ohhhhhhh and Watergate…. let’s seeee…. Afros and Farah Fawcett hair…. and last, but not least, the beloved crock pot!

Hey! Do you want to know who invented crock pots? The Naxon Utilities Corporation of Chicago invented the Naxon Beanery All-Purpose Cooker. Then, in 1970 the Rival Corporation bought Naxon, worked some serious industrial magic on the Beanery and in 1971 introduced the Crock Pot. Officially, Crock Pot is a brand name and slow cooker is the generic, all encompassing name for appliances in the Crock Pot genre.

Oh gosh, can you stand it? Look how much you’ve learned in this post. May the force be with you (yea 70’s!).

Taqueria-style slow cooker shredded chicken

Moving on. This slow cooker chicken is a summertime dream come true. It is very easy, very tasty, and very kind to your electric bill. I found a particular copy cat recipe all over the internet for Cafe Rio chicken and after much deliberation, decided to give it a try. I couldn’t see how it could possibly taste good because the combination of ingredients seemed so unusual. Yet, there were literally dozens of testimonials to it’s greatness, so I caved and gave it a try…with changes. One change was deliberate, one change was because I actually didn’t have a particular ingredient on hand, and the final change was because I misread the recipe. It all turned out excellent, however!

Please note, I honestly tried to find the originator of this recipe, but after looking at 21 pages of recipes on Google, I gave up. The earliest rendition that I could find was from 2008 and the person posting the recipe clearly stated that they had gotten the recipe at a family reunion. As you may or may not know, if a recipe comes out a winner from a family reunion, then it is nigh unto being canonized.

Taqueria-style Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder or 1 chipotle pepper in adobo
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 packet (0.7 ounce) Italian salad dressing mix (I used Good Seasons brand)
  • 1 packet (1 ounce) Ranch dressing mix (I used Hidden Valley brand)
  • 1/2 cup salad oil (use a neutral flavored oil)
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, optional
  • 1-2 limes cut into wedges, optional


  1. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place in the lightly oiled crock of a slower cooker. Set aside.
  2. In a pint jar, place the water, white vinegar, cumin, chipotle chile powder or chipotle chile in adobo, minced garlic, Italian salad dressing mix, and Ranch dressing mix. Put the lid on the jar and shake until the ingredients are well blended.
  3. Remove lid from jar and add salad oil. Put lid back on jar and shake to blend oil wellwith the other ingredients. Pour over chicken.
  4. Cover slow cooker and cook on high 4-5 hours. Shred chicken with two forks and allow to remain in slow cooker for an additional 30 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken from slow cooker with a slotted spoon to allow juices to drain away. Keep cooking juices to moisten chicken as desired. Dress chicken with chopped cilantro and lime wedges, optional.
  6. May be used in tacos, burritos, enchiladas, salads, or other Mexican dishes of choice.


Taqueria-style slow cooker shredded chicken

This recipe has been linked to the following linky parties:

This recipe was featured at:

Six Sister’s Stuff




You may also like:

King's Ranch Chicken Casserole
King’s Ranch Chicken Casserole
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
Kick-Your-Can Chicken Salad
Kick-Your-Can Chicken Salad


  1. says

    Hi Terri,
    I am really loving Slow Cooker recipes right now in this horrible heat and your recipe looks delicious. The flavors in your recipe are some of my favorites. Hope you are having a great summer week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  2. Anonymous says

    Can’t wait to try this…looks delish.
    What is in the bowl (white) showing the chicken, lettuce and tomatoes?
    Thanking you in advance.

    • says

      Oh…that’s sour cream! And the yellowish blur in the upper right background is softened corn tortillas. The corn tortillas are what I had on hand at the time, but this chicken would work just as well with flour tortillas. Additionally the chicken would also be absolutely delicious made up into a chicken taco soup.

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