Monday, July 14, 2014

Gallo Pinto ~ A Costa Rica Treat

As far back as I can remember, I have eaten Gallo Pinto. Translated, it means Spotted or Painted Rooster. It is really just kicked up rice and beans. It is also probably the most well-known Costa Rican dish.

Because I have eaten it for over 40+ years, I love it. Usually it is eaten for breakfast with an egg, sausage or bacon, and buttered toast. At least that's the way I like it. I also serve it as a side dish. But pinto and eggs is the best thing ever!

When I was little my mom and grandmother would make it for us. When we traveled to Costa Rica, my other grandmother (my dad's mom) always made it. She would always cook up almost every traditional dish possible when we visited. I always remember the dining room table would be loaded with food and we could pick and choose what we wanted.

As I got older, I never made it for myself. When I moved to Miami, I had a burner for a stove and it was always so hard for me to make involved meals. When I met Tom, I never made it because it was a dish he wasn't familiar with. But as we traveled to Costa Rica, he developed a taste for my beloved Gallo Pinto. My mom would always make it for him in the mornings.

Now when we travel to Costa Rica, I make sure I eat it. This past trip, I think I had it almost every morning except for one. Even Tom will order it now. It is delicious. I have a recipe on this blog for Gallo Pinto but that was in my early days when I was really willy-nilly about posting. So I decided to do a more involved recipe and post better pictures!

So here is my version of Gallo Pinto. I made it in honor of the Costa Rica vs. Netherlands World Cup Soccer game. Costa Rica lost but they are still winners in my eyes. Here is my recipe. It's willy-nilly because for Gallo Pinto, you do not have exact measurements. You just toss it together and eat!

Gallo Pinto

2 cups cooked white rice
1 can of black beans
chopped red pepper
chopped garlic
chopped onion
A knob of butter
Salsa Lizano


Here are the ingredients you will need. Now Salsa Lizano is Costa Rican, so it would be tough to get but you can use Worcestershire Sauce.

Chop up the onions, garlic, red pepper and cilantro. I like mine finely chopped. 

Add the butter to the pan. 

Add the peppers, garlic and onions and saute. 

Saute until the veggies are soft. 

Add the beans. I do not drain them because I want some of the liquid to get into the rice. 

Add the Salsa Lizano, salt and pepper. 

Add the rice and mix well. Make sure all the rice is covered with the beans and veggies. 

Add the cilantro and stir.

Deliciousness. I LOVE this dish. It is an easy and delicious meal. 


  1. This is a complete protein meal that is very healthy. I love all the ingredients and have to make it. It sure sounds delicious. I have almost all of the items, but I need the garlic and cilantro. Thanks for sharing an awesome recipe from Costa Rica!

  2. I would probly add spinach instead of cilantro since I don't like it, my sister love it but just not for me. This dish looks really good. Great treat for sure.

  3. I can't believe I've never heard of Gallo Pinto. I'd love to try it someday! :)

  4. I love black beans and rice. This recipe looks so wonderful. I know my family would really love it.

  5. Looks great. Cilantro is an herb that people either like or can't stand - no middle ground.

    slehan at juno dot com

  6. I've never been to Costa Rica or had this kind of food, but it sure looks yummy!

  7. One of my staple favorite comfort meals is a bowl of spiced rice and beans, sometimes with veggies included. Therefore I love this dish right off the bat! I love the combo of onions, red pepper and garlic cooked in butter! So savory! Black beans are also my choice of beans, besides kidney and chick peas. Thanks for the recipe! I'll have to track down a bottle of Salsa Lizano!

  8. This recipe really looks interesting. We eat alot of rice at our house so this would be a nice alternative. Thanks for sharing.

  9. oooh this looks great! I love having a hearty breakfast or even breakfast for dinner, I'd love to try this, it could become a daily fav!!!!