Gallo Pinto (Costa Rican Rice and Beans)

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 15 mins

This recipe was actually posted by TheMom51 in her reply to Gallo Pinto (Costa Rican Rice and Beans). I thought I'd post it as a searchable recipe. Her original comment was: Just thought I'd add my Costa Rican daughter-in-law's recipe. It uses the traditional Salsa Lizano (you can order it over the Internet) which is probably why Matoszinho didn't think this recipe was quite right Preparation time does not include time to cook the rice. If you need to cook your rice add an additional 15 minutes to the prep time.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon salsa, lizano
  • 1 12 cups black beans, cooked
  • 2 12 cups rice, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander, chopped (Celantro)


  1. Saute onion and bell pepper for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the black beans and salsa and simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Then, add the cooked rice and mix in the coriander.
  4. Cooked bacon, pork, chicken or sausage can be added. For breakfast, scrambled eggs can be added.
Most Helpful

THANKS YOU TheMom51 for posting the recipe, and Chef Jonny Ringo for making it viewable to the rest of us! Salsa Lizano makes ALL the difference! Its so good i am using it in almost everything lately. I even used it as a salad dressing :) To whomever reads this review. Order you a bottle of Lizano Salsa of the net (i got me some from amazon) and try this recipe.

Matoszinho October 28, 2008

I can't say enough great things about this recipe; I have never been so thankful for a recipe in my life!! It is cheap and extremely easy to make, nutritious and filling. It has become a staple for my family, and my two boys, teen and pre-teen, love it. And I totally agree: Salsa Lizano MAKES this recipe; without it it's just black beans and rice and not Gallo Pinto. If you live in a big city, esp if it has a considerable Latin American population, you should be able to find Salsa Lizano at a Latin American grocery. Or the net. Just don't go without it!

lwjordan1 June 18, 2011

This is a good basic Gallo Pinto recipe. This dish is so popular that McDonald's offers McPinto. I lived in Costa Rica for 10 years, and cooked Gallo Pinto most mornings for breakfast topped with a fried egg and strip of bacon. It stays with you all morning. I traveled extensively throughout the country and eat numerous versions of this dish. The most authentic recipes used day old rice and leftover beans and gravy; the onions, peppers, and garlic were sauted in a saturated fat, i.e., bacon drippings, lard, or coconut oil. Salza Lizano was a must. The real secrets to this dish is to prepare it with your family in mind. For example, I like to make my black beans and gravy Cuban style, cut my onion and peppers (green, orange, yellow, or red) in a 1/8" dice, and fluff my rice several times (the day before) to ensure that the grains are separated. I sweat the onions and peppers over med-low heat for about 4-5 minutes then add the minced garlic for 1 minutes. I add the black beans and gravy to the veggies, add the Salsa Lizano (or Worcestershire Sauce with a kernel size squirt of yellow mustard as a substitute), a dash or two of Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning blend and bring the mixture up in temperature before gently folding in the rice. I do not let the mixture get to dry and stick to the pan. I add a bit of liquid (water or broth or I use coffee because it is handy and hot). Truth be told, I use the coffee in small additions for about 5 minutes to make the rice creamier (like risotto technique). I add the cilantro after plating for my wife because she has never acquired the taste for the herb. At night, I use Gallo Pinto as a side topped with room temperature pico de gallo and sour cream. Yum

spin August 11, 2012