Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cafe Rio Smothered Chicken Burrito and Salad

My husband LOVES Cafe Rio (that is an understatement).  We have been toying with the idea of making it at home, and I finally gathered and compared enough recipes to try it.
This post will include recipes for Cafe Rio's: Chicken, Cilantro Lime Rice, Enchilada Sauce, and Creamy Tomatillo dressing

Cafe Rio Smothered Chicken Burrito
Raw tortilla (refrigerated section)
Cilantro Lime Rice
Black or Pinto Beans
Enchilada Sauce
Lettuce and Salsa

Cook tortilla.  Layer with rice, beans and chicken.  Wrap up and smother with enchilada sauce.  Place on an oven safe plate and put under low broil until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Top with lettuce, salsa, sour cream, etc.

Cafe Rio Chiken Salad
Raw tortilla (refrigerated section)
Cilantro Lime Rice
Black or Pinto Beans
Creamy Tomatillo Dressing
Cheese, Lettuce, Salsa, Sour Cream

Cook tortilla and place on plate.  Top with rice, beans and chicken.  Top with cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, and Tomatillo Dressing.

When I found the following recipes they were meant to feed a TON of people.  I have downsized quiet a bit.  These recipes are enough to feed my family of 4 (big eaters), with enough for leftovers.

Cafe Rio Chicken
Recipe from Clements Clan Cuisine (

2 large chicken breasts
1/2 bottle Italian Dressing
1/2 Tbsp. cumin
1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
Place in crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Shred chicken and return to pot for the last hour.

Cafe Rio Cilantro Lime Rice
Recipe from Clements Clan Cuisine (

3/4 c. rice
1 1/2 c. water
1 chicken bouillon
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 can diced green chilies
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. butter
1/4 c. onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. lime juice (1/2 of a lime)
zest from 1 lime

Combine all ingredients (except rice) in a pan and bring to a boil.  Add rice, cover and simmer about 20 minutes.

Enchilada Sauce
This isn't supposed to mimic Cafe Rio's, but my hubs thought it was pretty good.  I can't remember where I got the recipe.

1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 can diced green chilies
1-2 green onions, rough chop
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 small garlic clove, minced

Combine all ingredients and place in a blender; puree to desired consistency.  Heat over for 5 minutes, or until heated through.

Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing
Recipe from Clements Clan Cuisine (

1/4 of a large jalepeno
1 clove garlic
1 tomatillo
1/8 c. cilantro leaves
juice from 1/2 a lime (2 Tbsp.)
1/4 c. milk
2 Tbsp. mayo
1/4 pkg. hidden valley ranch dressing mix

Blend and chill.


  1. Hey Michelle! This is Nicki Germane. I have been blog stalking you HAHAHA. Thanks for posting these recipes. I also have been trying to master The Rio at home and have not been able to come close with the rice so I am excited to try this one. I dont know if you guys like the Pork but thats our favorite and I think I found one that pretty much nails it....

    2 pounds pork
    3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
    1/4 c. brown sugar
    dash garlic salt
    1/4 c. water
    1 can sliced green chilies
    3/4 can enchilada sauce
    1 c. brown sugar

    Put the pork in a heavy duty Ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade overnight.

    Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry). Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.

    In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.

    Put shredded pork and sauce in crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours.

  2. Thanks Nikki! I actually LOVE the pork, but Tate hates it, and I can't justify making two separate meats, so I tolerate the chicken. I am definately going to try your recipe sometime, though.

  3. Chicken, beans, and spinach herb tortilla.