Costa Rican Gallo Pinto

June 11, 2015 (Last Updated: December 30, 2020)

Black Beans and Rice – Costa Rican Gallo Pinto is a famous and favorite traditional dish of gorgeous Costa Rica. It’s a dish so versatile to the locals and can be served at almost any meal in Costa Rica, often eaten and enjoyed with fried eggs for breakfast or brunch or as a side dish along with seasoned meat, fried plantains, and salad for dinner.

Gallo pinto’s history is somewhat sketchy, and if you ask locals, you will hear many varying stories from one local to another. Disputes can be heard running rampant among the Costa Ricans and the Nicaraguans about where the beloved traditional dish originated. Over the years, I have learned that most traditional dishes in these regions were often influenced by 2 major cultures, the Spanish and the Africans. Both had key roles when it comes to the cuisine often being served on a day to day basis.

 

 

Black Beans & Rice - Costa Rican Gallo Pinto is one of the famous and favorite traditional dishes of gorgeous Costa Rica. It’s a dish so versatile to the locals and can be served at almost any meal in Costa Rica, often eaten and enjoyed with fried eggs for breakfast or brunch or as a side dish along with seasoned meat, fried plantains, and salad for dinner.

There are some variations of this traditional dish in other countries, such as  Moros y Cristianos (“Moors and Christians”) from Spain and Cuba, or just Moro. Another similar dish can be found in Panama and in El Salvador, where it is called casamiento.

Below you will find my version of the beloved Costa Rican Gallo Pinto with simple to find ingredients that will be at your local grocer in the produce and Latin foods section. If your grocer does not have a section dedicated to Latin Cuisine, they should still have many ingredients in various areas of the store.

 

 

 

 

Black Beans and Rice

Costa Rican Gallo Pinto

hmccallum
Costa Rican Gallo Pinto is one of the famous and favorite traditional dishes of gorgeous Costa Rica. It’s a dish so versatile to the locals and can be served at almost any meal in Costa Rica, often eaten and enjoyed with fried eggs for breakfast or brunch or as a side dish along with seasoned meat, fried plantains, and salad for dinner.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Costa Rican
Servings 8 People
Calories 256 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups dried black beans soaked and cooked or canned
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large red sweet bell pepper diced
  • 1 small Spanish onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped + more for garnish
  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Costa Rican Salsa or Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt to own taste
  • ground black pepper to own taste
  • 2 cups Tico style rice or white rice cooked

Instructions
 

  • Soak and cook dried beans according to package directions or use 2 cups of dried beans. Do not drain beans completely if cooked from dried beans. Keep at least 1 and ½ cups of the black water; if they are canned, do not rinse beans.
  • Place a large metal frying pan on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Place cooked or canned black beans that you have reserved 1 and ½cups of cooking water from the dried beans or the can of beans you have not rinsed, and diced red sweet pepper and one small diced Spanish onion in the metal pan on medium heat, sauté till soft, then add 3 cloves of minced garlic to the metal frying pan,¼ of a cup of chopped fresh cilantro, ½ of a tablespoon of dried oregano, ¼ of a teaspoon of cumin, and 1 tablespoon of Costa Rican Salsa ” Lizano” or 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce a dash of cayenne, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Simmer on very low heat for about 25 minutes
  • Once the black bean mixture is done simmering add 2 cups of Tico Style rice or plain white rice to beans and combine together carefully as not to break up the rice.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.
  • Serve with a side of fried eggs and fried plantains for breakfast or as a side dish to your meal.

Nutrition

Serving: 01Calories: 256kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 8gFat: 2gSodium: 19mgPotassium: 279mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 685IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Black Beans
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

 

If you enjoyed this recipe for Costa Rican Gallo Pinto, you might like

  • Rice with Pigeon Peas { Arroz Con Gandules } is one of my favorite Puerto Rican recipes usually served on holidays, and special occasions, made with medium-grain rice, Spanish tomato sauce, sofrito, pigeon peas, green olives, capers, and seasoned with Sazon Seasoning with achiote, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper.
  • Moros y Cristianos has been said to translate to Moors and Christians. The Black beans represent the Moors, and the rice represents the Christians. Cuban food has always been considered to have strong ties to the Spanish, North African, and Caribbean areas.
  • Mexican Rice with Corn is a flavorful yet simple and utterly delicious Mexican-inspired recipe that pairs well with almost any of your favorite Mexican Dishes; combining long grain rice with fresh green bell peppers, red bell peppers, Spanish onion, minced garlic, organic non-GMO corn, and seasoned to perfection with Mexican Spices.

 

 

 

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Pastelón de Plátano Maduro | The McCallum's Shamrock Patch
    January 18, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    […] Costa Rican Gallo Pinto is a famous and favorite traditional dish of gorgeous Costa Rica. It’s a dish so versatile to the locals and can be served at almost any meal in Costa Rica, often eaten and enjoyed with fried eggs for breakfast or brunch or as a side dish along with seasoned meat, fried plantains, and salad for dinner. […]

  • Reply
    Moros y Cristianos | The McCallum's Shamrock Patch
    January 4, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    […] Costa Rican Gallo Pinto is a famous and favorite traditional dish of gorgeous Costa Rica. It’s a dish so versatile to the locals and can be served at almost any meal in Costa Rica, often eaten and enjoyed with fried eggs for breakfast or brunch or as a side dish along with seasoned meat, fried plantains, and salad for dinner. […]

  • Reply
    Winnie
    June 21, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Heidy – it’s a fantastic dish!! It looks great and I have not doubt it tastes wonderful 🙂

  • Reply
    dishofdailylife
    June 12, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Looks delicious, Heidy! I love beans and rice and all that cilantro…yum!

  • Reply
    Nicole Neverman
    June 12, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Your black beans and rice recipe sounds absolutely wonderful!!

  • Reply
    mikewinsc
    June 12, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Great job Heidy! As a world cuisine aficionado, I can only congratulate you for this authentic dish from Costa Rica. And I love the fact that you used the REAL sauce Lizano! I made this dish with all the typical sides a couple years ago when we (virtually) traveled to Costa Rica on 196 flavors. I absolutely loved the “spotted rooster” too 😉

    • Reply
      Heidy L. McCallum
      May 2, 2017 at 12:27 am

      Thank you, Mike. I am thrilled you enjoyed the recipe and am so glad you stopped by.

  • Reply
    Florian @Contentednesscooking.com
    June 12, 2015 at 3:44 am

    This looks delicious, love all the flavors! Beautiful picture!

  • Reply
    homemadefoodjunkie
    June 11, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    I love beans and rice! this sounds like something I’ve wanted to try for a long time. Thanks for sharing! Pinned!

  • Reply
    Healing Tomato (@healingtomato)
    June 11, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    This is an awesome recipe! I love all the wonderful comfort food ingredients you have in this recipe.

    • Reply
      Heidy McCallum
      July 23, 2018 at 2:29 pm

      Rini, I am so sorry I missed this comment. Thank you so much for the sweet comment.

  • Reply
    Angela LeMoine
    June 11, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Oh Heidy this recipe sounds absolutely amazing!!! I love anything with rice and beans and the flavors you’ve got going on in this dish sound just perfect!

    • Reply
      Heidy McCallum
      July 23, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      I have no idea how I missed your comment back in the day, I am so sorry. Thank you for stopping by and showing some love.

    Leave a Reply to Winnie Cancel Reply

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