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    You are in: Home / Recipes / El Gallo Pinto (From Costa Rica- Beans and Rice) Recipe
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    El Gallo Pinto (From Costa Rica- Beans and Rice)

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    20 mins

    10 mins

    10 mins

    alijen's Note:

    I was lucky enough to spend part of the summer in Costa Rica. This is the traditional dish that every Tico eats for breakfast, lunch, and probably dinner. I never got used to it for breakfast, but this is what I've come up with to imitate my travels there.

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    Units: US | Metric


    1. 1
      Fry onion and bell pepper in the vegetable oil, about 3 minutes.
    2. 2
      Add the garlic and sauté a bit more.
    3. 3
      Pour in the beans and the stock, bring to a simmer.
    4. 4
      Avoid the mixture drying up.
    5. 5
      Add in the rice and stir thoroughly, gently.
    6. 6
      Don't mash the beans!
    7. 7
      Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    8. 8
      Right before serving, stir in the coriander, and top with heavy cream if desired.

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    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on October 27, 2007


      This has to be my favorite way of making rice with beans, but I, too, can't imagine Gallo Pinto without Salsa Lizano. Last time I looked, it wasn't being imported to the States. But Half Moon Bay Trading Company makes an even better Lizano style salsa (they start with fresh veggies, not dried, and use a higher quality vinegar). Check out Pirates Blend Caribbean Condiment at I've heard there are as many recipes for Gallo Pinto as there are Costa Ricans. To try a spicier version, substitute 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, and 1/2 tsp ground ginger for the fresh coriander in Alijen's recipe.

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    • on May 27, 2009


      I made this for my boyfriend who spent 4 months in Costa Rica as a surprise. He loved it, and so did I! I nixed the heavy cream and substituted the Lizano salsa for a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce. (I heard that they're similar). Totally pleased and I can't wait to make it again!!

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    • on October 08, 2004


      This is a great recipe! As a Costa Rican (aka tico), I love indulging in a healthy and tasty plate of pinto for breakfast. One vital thing you missed,however, for the wonderful flavor unique to a Tico's pinto, was Salsa Lizano. It's a completely veggie-based sauce (worchestershire is very similar) we use down in ticolandia. Just add a dash and stir it in while cooking the dish up on the stove. Try serving your pinto with fried or scrambled eggs ("Pinto con huevo") and a couple of tomato slices on the side. I also always top it off with a dollop of sour cream for "Pinto con natilla" to add some extra moisture. MMmmmmmm.....delicioso! Buen provecho.

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    Read All Reviews (7)


    Nutritional Facts for El Gallo Pinto (From Costa Rica- Beans and Rice)

    Serving Size: 1 (231 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 4

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 308.3
    Calories from Fat 67
    Total Fat 7.5 g
    Saturated Fat 1.0 g
    Cholesterol 0.0 mg
    Sodium 2.7 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 50.1 g
    Dietary Fiber 8.5 g
    Sugars 1.3 g
    Protein 10.3 g

    The following items or measurements are not included:

    bean stock

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