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Gallo Pinto Recipe

A classic rice and bean dish from Central America. Nice with scrambled eggs, sour cream and a tortilla.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Breakfast, Rice
Servings 4


  • Chop the onion; set aside.
  • Chop the red bell pepper and garlic; set aside (you can mix these.)
  • Chop the fresh coriander (cilantro); set aside.
  • Heat the oil over medium heat; add the onion to it, let soften, about 3 minutes. then add the red pepper and garlic, and fry for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the beans, the Lizano and Tabasco sauce, the black pepper and the cumin. Let it cook for a few minutes to heat the beans through, then add the rice and cook a few more minutes to get the rice hot. If it feels dry for your liking, add a bit of the cooking water from the beans.
  • Remove from heat, stir in the chopped coriander, and serve.


Cook the beans up in advance, using 1/2 stock cube (chicken or beef) in the cooking water. In Costa Rica, they use black beans; in Nicarauga, they use red. Reserve some of the bean cooking water to add to the mixture in the event you should want to moisten it a bit. Instead of Salsa Lizano, you can use Worcestershire sauce. The taste will be different, but still good in its own way. Instead of Tabasco sauce, you can use any chile or pepper sauce: this dish isn't meant to be fiery hot, though. Easily doubled or tripled or more. In Central America, this dish is served any time of day, with any meal.
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