Traditional Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe

Traditional Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe

Have you tried Gallo Pinto? If not, then you’re missing out!

Gallo Pinto is the national dish of Costa Rica, consisting of beans and rice. Sometimes it is topped with scrambled eggs and Salsa Lizano, the latter which is a favorite condiment of Ticos (locals). Gallo Pinto is simple and nourishing, as well as Gluten Free and Vegan.

Most locals eat Gallo Pinto for breakfast, but it is delicious all day long. This easy recipe can be used as a main course or a side dish. ¡Pura Vida! (Pure Life!)


Costa Rican Cuisine - Traditional Gallo Pinto Recipe

Traditional Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe

From the Kitchen of Blue Osa

Ingredients of Gallo Pinto:

2 cups of cooked white short grain rice
1 cups of cooked red beans
1/2 cups of Salsa Lizano
1/3 a red pepper
1/3 an onion
1/2 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic
1/3 cup of chopped cilantro

Preparation of Gallo Pinto:

  1. Saute the onions, pepper, garlic in a large pan

    Traditional Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe

    Traditional Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe

    Traditional Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe


  3. Add the cooked beans and the Salsa Lizano

    Traditional Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe

    Traditional Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe


  5. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes

    Traditional Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe


  7. Stir in the cooked rice
  8. Simmer on very low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until all excess liquid is absorbed

    Traditional Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe


  10. Fold in the fresh cut cilantro
  11. Serve warm

    Traditional Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe

Buen Provecho from Blue Osa Yoga Retreat + Spa!

Want to taste some of the best Gallo Pinto in Costa Rica? Our staff serves up an amazing variation of Gallo Pinto here at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat + Spa. We invite you to come taste it for yourself!

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Traditional Gallo Pinto Recipe


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13 Comments on “Traditional Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe”

  1. I had gallo pinto many times during my travels to Costa Rica. I made this tonight and it was delicious. However, mine was a bit too wet even after cooking it for almost 30 minutes after adding the rice. Do you have any tips for me?

  2. Was just in Costa Rica and loved the rice and beans! The rice seemed darker and the beans looked blacker there ??? Can one buy Lizano salsa easily in the state, e.i., Ohio?

  3. They listed red beans but the images show black beans. I make mine with black beans.

    If you end up too wet, I’d just simmer it until it dries up a little.

  4. All the Gallo Pinto we ate while in CR, included chayote squash diced. I love that variation. Also gives the dish a little more nutrition. You can substitute zucchini

  5. When I cook the beans (turtle beans/black beans) I use the black leftover water to cook the rice in, that will turn the rice into a darker brown/grey.

  6. My recollection is that, in Costa Rican restaurants, gallo pinto is a grill food, with portions made when ordered.

    1. That is not always the case. Could be sometimes… there are actually several recipes for gallo pinto. The one we posted is the more traditional one.

  7. It has been a long time since I lived in Costa Rica, so I don’t remember everything. But what I think made (makes) gallo pinto delicious was (is) the addition of onion, cilantro, tomato, and peppers, lightly cooked on the griddle, and mixed into the ‘refried’ rice and beans. And also that, in Costa Rica, the beans were (are?) generally cooked with spices (cilantro, sage, oregano, onion, garlic, peppers, etc.). Correct me if you wish. But I do it that way now, and call it Costa-Rican style!

    1. J.E. Logan :
      I would love to try your version — would you share the amounts of spices used?
      Thanks – Kelley

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