Gallo Pinto (Costa Rican Beans and Rice)

"I encountered this dish on a vacation to Costa Rica. They served it all over the country at breakfast. There is a sauce that they put on it that is very good. It is called Lizano. You can find it in a Latin American grocery."
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Ready In:


  • 16 ounces black beans (cooked, either fresh, dried, or canned are fine)
  • 10 sprigs fresh cilantro (not dried)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup sweet red pepper (or yellow. finely chopped)
  • 2 cups cooked rice (I like to blend white and brown rice together)
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or similar oil)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons green chili sauce (Lizano Brand. optional, but really good)


  • Fresh black beans are the best, but if you can't find them you can use either dried or canned. The recipe is good either way. If you use dried, follow the instructions on the bag to soak and cook them. If you use fresh beans, then place into saucepan, add water to one inch over the beans, salt them, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan with a lid, and reduce heat to a simmer until beans are soft (about 3 hours).
  • Finely chop the cilantro, onion, and sweet pepper.
  • Add 2 tablespoons oil to a large frying pan or wok. Add the rice, cilantro, onion, and sweet pepper and saute over medium flame for about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, and saute for another few minutes until flavor absorbs into rice. Add the beans, saute together for a few minutes, and add fresh cilantro, and turn off heat.
  • Enjoy.

Questions & Replies

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  1. i was just in jaco beach, costa rica and this is a good recipe but it tastes like it is missing something. also i think that 1 cup of chicken broth is too much because the rice was mushy afterward.. otherwise, the flavour of this dish was good.


Chantilly Virginia (a suburb of Washington DC) is my home, and I am a Management Consulting Executive by trade. I am an enthusiast participant in all outdoor activities and sports. I enjoy the company of people and I particularly love cooking. It is a pleasure to share good food with friends and family.
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