Costa Rican Gallo Pinto

Costa Rican Gallo Pinto
Any visitor to Costa Rica will learn about breakfast Tico-style—which always include Gallo Pinto. This can be enjoyed throughout the day of course, but the Costa Ricans consider it a breakfast first and foremost! Gallo Pinto is made differently from home to home, this comes from Arlen’s stay at her friend’s casa in San José. As Vivian Vargas taught her, the best rice to use for this dish is leftover white rice, but here we recommend the nutritionally richer choice of brown rice. This dish has two of my Latin powerfoods, garlic and cilantro. It also has bell pepper, onions, black beans and brown rice.

Read Related: Mashed Yucca with Garlic Sauce


2 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ TSP fresh ginger, minced (according to taste)
½ red onion, chopped
1½ cups of cooked and drained black beans (if you make the beans, save the bean stock)
1½ cups of cooked brown rice, at room temperature or warm
1 TBSP Salsa Lizano or Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 TBSP fresh chopped cilantro


  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat (until the oil is hot, but not smoking).
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, and onion and cook, stirring frequently. (Lower the heat if the onions starts to brown.) After the onions starts to wilt, about 2 minutes, add the red pepper and saute until softened, about another 3 minutes.
  3. Add the beans, and cook just until the beans warm, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  4. Pour the rice into a large bowl. Stir in the bean mixture and mix well. Add the Salsa Lizano (or Worcestershire) and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in the cilantro, and serve—with or without scrambled eggs and a side dish of fresh fruit (preferably tropical!).