Homebeans Gallo Pinto (Costa Rican Black Beans and Rice)

Gallo Pinto (Costa Rican Black Beans and Rice)

Posted in : beans, breakfast, Costa Rica, dinner, easy, guest, guest post, international, lunch, recipe, rice, Uncategorized, vegan on by : Jeanette Rueb

Hey, all! Today’s post was written for us by my dear friend, Kristen Navarro. While I did the cooking and took the pictures, the writing, recipe, and story are all her — you go, girl! Hopefully, I’ll do the recipe justice (I haven’t got a drop of Costa Rican in my blood, but I do appreciate cultural dietary staples).

Let’s raise a toast and thank Kristen for the recipe — one which will hopefully kick off a collection of dishes from around the world. Send me a favorite recipe from your family or country and I’ll happily post it (you can send me just the recipe, a story like Kristen did here, or even a full post, complete with pictures — I’ll still make it myself to give it a try). Send suggestions to greyhoundracer94@gmail.com!

Now, onto Kristen’s story and the food!!

This dish is extremely common and popular within Costa Rica. It can be found in sodas – tiny, local diners all across the country. There are many varieties of gallo pinto, and it tends to differ slightly from family to family. Nevertheless, it is extremely cheap, filling, and delicious! It is one of my favorite dishes because it can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

  • 2 cups of white rice
  • 1 1/2 cups of dried black beans or 1 12oz can of black beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped (feel free to add more if you like garlic!)
  • ~2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro, for garnish

  1. Rinse white rice and prepare using a rice cooker or using a stovetop pot according to directions on the rice’s package.
    1. If using dried black beans — rinse with water, add water to a pot along with beans (beans should be covered by water) and a whole garlic clove, and cook for 1 1/2 hours under medium-low heat (or until beans are tender)
      1. Be sure to stir beans occasionally and add more water if needed
  1. Chop red bell pepper, onion, and garlic.
  2. Place a frying pan on the stove over medium heat, cook chopped bell pepper until tender
  3. Add garlic and onion, and cook until garlic is slightly brown/onion is translucent
  4. Add cooked dried beans or canned beans and cook for ~1-2 minutes
    1. Be sure to reserve some cooking water if using canned beans
  1. When beans are warmed add white rice and stir until beans are rice are distributed evenly, add some cooking water from the beans to give the rice a nice brown color
    1. Season with salt and pepper at this stage, to taste
    2. In Costa Rica, we add a pepper sauce called salsa lisano. If you do not have it, feel free to omit. In its place, plenty of black pepper and a little bit of salt go quite well.
  2. Turn off heat and serve!*
Makes 4 servings

*Serving notes:
In Costa Rica, there are many sides that can accompany gallo pinto. It is extremely popular for gallo pinto to be served with an egg and tortillas. When my mom was little, scrambled eggs (huevos revueltos) were most typical. However, fried eggs (huevos fritos) are becoming more popular now. It is also common to serve gallo pinto with a nice dollop of sour cream on top of the rice. (Adds a nice creamy texture)

I like to have my gallo pinto with a tortilla and avocado. Avocado also gives the rice a good creamy texture. Enjoy! 🙂

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