Gallo Pinto (bean and rice) recipe

Gallo Pinto is the national dish of Costa Rica. Most people here eat it especially for breakfast. You can find this dish also in other countries in Central America under a different name. In Nicaragua for example they use red beans instead of black beans.

Ingredients (4 people):

  • 200 g brown or basmati rice
  • 400 g black beans
  • 1 TSP coconut oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1/8 TSP cumin
  • 1/8 TSP cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 200 g tomatoes
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper
  • some fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 1 lime


  1. Cook the rice and beans in a separated pan in salted water with a lid according to the packet instruction.
  2. In a pan, first sauté the onions in coconut oil until slightly brown. Add garlic, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper and fry briefly.
  3. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, bell pepper, and beans.
  4. Add the rice and the finely chopped coriander and let it roast for 5 mins. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lime.

The tomatoes (makes it more moisty) and cinnamon are not part of the traditional Gallo Pinto.

Spicy, sweet alternative: Add 1 red chili and 1 banana

Side dishes are often scrambled or fried eggs, corn tortilla or toast, fried plantains, and Natilla (sour cream). Instead of eggs you can also use scrambled tofu. And instead of Natilla cashew butter with coconut milk.

10 thoughts on “Gallo Pinto (bean and rice) recipe

  1. Black Beans original from Central America, is one of the sources of health, In Brasil, one of the national dish is the Feijoada, basicaly, Black beans with Left over from porc( yes, what the rich didnt eat was left to the slaves), Today one of the most traditional dish eaten on Saturday in Brazil, besides yummy here is some reason to eat Black beans


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