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How to make gallo pinto at home

How to make gallo pinto at home

What is gallo pinto?

Gallo pinto is a dish that you’re bound to have eaten if you’ve been to Costa Rica. Apparently it is also served in Nicaragua but I haven’t been there (yet) so can’t tell you if that is true. (pretty sure it is though)

I can vividly remember the first time we went to Costa Rica in 2001 and when we were in a remote area the breakfast dish that got served was… gallo pinto. The literal translation is “spotted rooster” Not sure where that comes from but I wasn’t too excited about the dish to start with. It’s pretty heavy if you’re not used to having a big breakfast. But if you’re in Costa Rica for a longer time there is no getting around the dish as it is literally served every where.

Making gallo pinto at home

While it wasn’t love at first sight for me, Tom was an instant fan of the dish. Rice and beans is a classic anyway in many countries around the world and is known under various different names. Making gallo pinto at home is simple to do and you can vary this dish anyway you like. Here is the – almost – traditional way it gets served in Costa Rica with an egg on the side.

Have you tried Gallo pinto before? And if you did what is your favourite way to eat this simple and nutritious dish?

Gallo pinto

Gallo pinto

Yield: 4 personen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 150 gr rice
  • 200 gr black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, in cubes
  • 2 spring onions, in rings
  • pepper and salt

Optional to serve

  • tomatoes
  • fresh cilantro
  • egg


    1. Start by cooking the rice according to package instructions, drain and set aside.
    2. Heat a frying pan and add the cumin seeds. Bake this for a minute or so until it becomes fragrant., add the garlic, the coriander and the yellow bell pepper and bake for a few minutes. Add the black beans and bake for a minute or five until the beans crisp up a little.
    3. Add the rice and turn up the heat to bake the rice. Add the spring onions at the end.
    4. To serve you make a tomato salsa with fresh coriander and a bit of lime and bake an egg to serve along the side.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 161 Total Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 47mg Sodium: 171mg Carbohydrates: 29g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 1g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 8g

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Travel makes my heart sing a little. I love discovering new flavors around the world. Finding the best budget friendly way to walk around a city, or where to go for the best pho when you're in Vietnam. You'll find it all here!

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Written by Simone