Good morning!  How are you?  I hope well!  Things have been busy and fun around here.  Hunter’s moving more and more, although not crawling forward just yet.  We finally bought a gate for the stairs, now it just needs to be installed before he takes off!

I got behind on posting the weekly crockpot recipes, but I’ve still been making one a week.  Since I’m behind, you get a double dose of goodness today.

First up: crockpot cafe rio chicken

I had high hopes for this recipe after the delicious cafe rio sweet pork… and it did not disappoint!  Six simple ingredients into the crockpot, shred the chicken and it’s ready to top whatever you want.  I made it into a yummy pasta dish, which I’ll share the recipe for below.

Crockpot Cafe Rio Chicken
recipe from Chef in Training


  • 2 lbs chicken breasts
  • 1/2 a small bottle of zesty Italian dressing
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 pkt ranch dressing mix (mixed with 1/2 cup of water)
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin


  1. Place all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on high 5-6 hours OR on low 8 hours.
  2. Shred with fork and serve in salads, burritos, tacos…etc.
  3. You can also double or triple this to make extras for freezing. Then simply thaw and reheat for a fast and delicious meal.

Pasta portion


  • 6 ounces whole wheat pasta
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt (greek or regular)
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • optional: a squirt of sriracha


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and return to pot.  Add yogurt, mozzarella and sriracha to the pasta, heat on low until it is melted together.
  2. Mix with cafe rio chicken.

For myself I heated up some frozen peas for a little green.  I forgot how much I love peas!  Jacob isn’t a fan so they’re never allowed in meals.  Luckily I have Hunter around who will eat them with me soon.

Loved this meal.  Will definitely make it again and double like it’s suggested for freezing!

Last week we ate a meal that was a bit more involved, but still for a crockpot recipe pretty simple: chicken parmesan

We don’t eat chicken parmesan often in our house, so my standards for a crispy chicken aren’t that high.  The chicken was not crispy, but it didn’t matter.  The flavor was amazing, and preparation was simple too.

Crockpot Chicken Parmesan
recipe from Chef in Training


  • 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs (I used panko and added 2 tbsp italian seasoning to it)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese
  • favorite jarred marinara sauce *


  1. Spread the 1 tbsp of olive oil into the bottom of your crockpot.
  2. Beat the egg with a fork in a separate bowl.
  3. Mix the bread crumbs with the seasonings and the parmesan cheese in another separate dish.
  4. Dip the chicken into the egg, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides with crumbs, cheese and seasonings.
  5. Place the chicken breast pieces in the bottom of the crockpot.
  6. Layer 2-3 slices or 1-2 cups of mozzarella cheese on top, depending on how much cheese you like.
  7. Cover chicken and cheese with entire jar of marinara sauce.
  8. Close lid and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3.
  9. Serve with your favorite pasta.

* I ended up just using the pasta sauce I had on hand, which was probably equal to half of what the recipe called for.  While our chicken parmesan wasn’t very saucy, it still cooked up great!

We ate this with whole wheat spaghetti and pan cooked mushrooms.  The chicken breasts I used were pretty big, so we had leftovers for the next day.  Less cooking and a tasty dinner.  Again, another one I would make again!

Will all the crockpot recipes turn out this good?  We will see!

This week’s crockpot recipe: smothered chili colorado burritos

What have you been cooking up lately?


0 thoughts on “two crockpot recipes: cafe rio chicken and chicken parmesan”

    1. You and me both with the crockpot obsession! There are so many different things you can make in the crockpot… as I’m finding out with this year of crockpot recipes. I wanted to say thank you for the email yesterday. It was just what I needed to read, made me smile 🙂

  1. I saw that cafe rio chicken and thought about making it! Two great dishes. Josh is a chicken parm-aholic. Yayyy for movement. Its exciting and scary once they start crawling and then walking. Kaylin is getting soooo fast. Ah!

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