Gallo Pinto aus Costa Rica
America Recipes

C for Costa Rica (Gallo Pinto)

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In my today's post, I'll tell you the recipe for Gallo Pinto, the typical breakfast dish in Costa Rica. However, before I come to the actual recipe, I don't want to withhold these beautiful photos Thus, you will get into the mood for this fantastic latin american country.

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My friend took these photos on his trip through Costa Rica. Preparing this post I looked through his pictures and these are my my favorites:

You want more, right? And that brings us to the topic:

Breakfast in Costa Rica – Gallo Pinto

The traditionell breakfast dish in Costa Rica is Gallo Pinto.

It consists of Rice and cooked black beans (Frijoles negros). In Nicaragua Gallo Pinto is also very popular, although red beans (Frijoles rojos) are traditionally used there. In general, rice and beans are often found on the menu throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, albeit under a different name and seasoned differently. Of course, the residents of Costa Rica (Ticos) swear, that their Gallo Pinto recipe is the very best of all!

Gallo Pinto is spanish and means: spotted rooster. This has nothing to do with the bird, but is because the beans color stain the white rice.

The easiest and most efficient way to prepare Gallo Pinto is taking leftover rice and beans from the day before. If so, you do it like the Ticos and serve the leftovers from the previous evening for breakfast. Otherwise, I recommend cooking the rice the evening before.

For Gallo Pinto Beans and rice are fried with little oil in a pan. Often, vegetables are added, especially finely chopped onions, chopped peppers or celery. By the way, I use dried beans that I soaked in water beforehand. It takes longer, but I think the dried beans taste better than canned beans. Of course, you can also use canned beans.

Salsa Lizano for a special flavor

Decisive for the taste of Gallo Pinto is a special seasoning sauce, which is called Salsa Lizano in Costa Rica:

Salsa Lizano

It is available in Germany in stores selling products from Latin American. In Frankfurt, I recommend Ricon Latino, a shop in the citiy center across to the Kleinmarkthalle. The shop is easily overlooked because it's so tiny. The owners are very nice and conjure up almost everything from the shelves that you need for a Latin American dishes

Of course, you can also order Salsa Lizano in the Internet. Simply enter Salsa Lizano in the search field and you will get a few hits.

Instead of Salsa Lizano you can also take Worcestershire Sauce . It's not quite as authentic, but it tastes just as good.

The traditionell recipe for Gallo Pinto is not spicy. But those who like to eat spicy can of course also add spicy pepper / chili sauces.

Garnish and Side dishes

I like to use coriander as a garnish. If you don't like coriander, you can leave it out or replace it with parsley. Everything that tastes good is allowed!

Gallo Pinto is usually served with corn tortillas. Enriched with various side dishes, such as fried eggs, scrambled eggs, white cheese (Queso frito), fried plantains (Plátanos maduros) and a blob of sour cream (Natilla), Gallo Pinto becomes a filling meal that will keep you full for a long time.

Gallo Pinto mit Beilagen

Well, I am pretty sure you are hungry now. So then, let's go to the pots and go for it!

¡Buen provecho!

Gallo Pinto aus Costa Rica

Gallo Pinto

4.34 from 3 votes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast, Main
Cuisine Costa Rica, Latin America
Servings 2 Persons


  • 125 gr Long grain rice
  • 220 ml water (for the rice)
  • 125 gr black beans dried
  • cold water for soaking the beans
  • 1 tbsp. Oil or clarified butter for frying
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 peppers cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 piece celery cut into small cubes
  • 1 tsp. cumin grounded
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds grounded
  • 50 ml Vegetable or poultry stock (broth works too)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 – 2 stalks of fresh coriander for garnish optional
  • 2 – 3 tbsp. Salsa Lizano (alternatively: Worcestershire Sauce)


  • For the Gallo Pinto from Costa Rica the evening before: Boil the rice and let it evaporate well. Cover the beans with cold water and soak overnight (10-12 hours).
    Tip: If you blanch the beans for 1 minute before soaking, the soaking time is reduced to 3 - 4 hours.
  • Drain the beans well. Throw away the soaking water. Cover the beans with water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for approx. 45 - 60 minutes.
  • Fry onions and garlic with 1 tablespoon hot oil or clarified butter. Add spices and fry until the roasted aromas develop. Then add the vegetables and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add beans and vegetable stock. Let it simmer for some minutes. Add the rice and mix it in.
  • Season with salsa lizano, salt and pepper.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander


Gallo Pinto is traditionally served with freshly baked corn tortillas, fried or scrambled eggs. Fried plantains (Plátanos Maduros), white cheese (queso frito) and a little sour cream (Natilla) taste also very good as a side dish. 
Keyword Breakfast, Breakfast World, Breakfastworld, Frühstück, Frühstücksrezepte aus aller Welt, Koriander, Lizano Soße, Reis, schwarze Bohnen, weltweite Frühstücksrezepte, Worcestershiresoße

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Sources: Gallo Pinto

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