Costa Rican Rice and Beans (Gallo Pinto)

Vickie Parks


This is traditionally a breakfast dish in Costa Rica, usually served with fried plantains and eggs (fried or scrambled) . But it's also commonly served as a lunch dish, usually topped with sour cream or pico de gallo (or sliced tomatoes). Many variations of this recipe exist, differing mostly in spice and pepper choice.

For the ingredients, the salsa lizano contributes a lot of flavor. It can be found in larger markets with a Latin section. It's worth trying to find. Otherwise you can use Worcestershire sauce, though some of the traditional flavor of this dish will be sacrificed.


★★★★★ 2 votes

10 Min
15 Min
Stove Top


  • 2 Tbsp
    canola oil
  • 1 medium
    onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small
    yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1
    sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 1/2
    lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1 tsp
    ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp
    salsa lizano (or worcestershire sauce can be used in a pinch, though salsa lizano is the better choice)
  • ·
    salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups
    cooked rice
  • 2 cups
    cooked black beans, drained and rinsed (i used a 15-oz can, rinsed and drained)
  • 1/3 cup
    fresh cilantro, chopped

  • ·
    sliced green onions
  • ·
    sour cream
  • ·
    pico de gallo, or fresh tomato slices

How to Make Costa Rican Rice and Beans (Gallo Pinto)


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and sweet pepper, and sauté in the hot oil until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onion is starting to turn a golden color.
  3. Stir in the lime juice, cumin, coriander, ginger, salsa lizano, salt and pepper. Then add the black beans, and rice, and cook until beans are heated through, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro just before serving.
  4. Top each serving with sour cream or pica de gallo. Garnish with chopped green onion, and serve immediately while still hot.

Printable Recipe Card

About Costa Rican Rice and Beans (Gallo Pinto)

Course/Dish: Other Breakfast
Main Ingredient: Rice/Grains
Regional Style: Latin American
Dietary Needs: Low Fat Low Sodium

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