Travel recipes: Gallo Pinto (Costa Rica)

Gallo pinto |

Rice with beans

To be entirely honest. when we were in Costa Rica, gallo pinto was not really my favorite breakfast. Sometimes there was no other choice so we had to eat it. And it is filling for sure. A plate of gallo pinto (which means spotted rooster) will keep you going far into lunch time without getting hungry.

You will find this dish both in Costa Rica and in Nicaragua. What the exact origin of the dish is, is a little unclear. Some say it came with the slaves out of Africa and others claim that the origin is in one of the Latin American countries. Whatever the case; if you’ve been to Costa Rica, you have probably seen it on the menu.

Gallo pinto |

We made a slightly different version with a nice baked egg and some fresh tomatoes. That way I thought it was pretty decent. So yes, not my favorite but I did think it belonged in this list of recipes! Of course the base of Gallo pinto is the rice and the beans. And if you would follow the recipe that is all that should be in it. But if you feel the urge to make this for your own breakfast, feel free to add whatever you like. We had this as dinner with the egg, the tomatoes and some lettuce.


Gallo Pinto

  • Author: Jamie oliver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes


The original but a little pimped


  • 150 gram brown rice
  • 200 gram black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp cilantro (ground)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (in cubes)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (fresh)
  • 2 spring onions (in rings)
  • pepper and salt (to taste)

For serving

  • 200 gram cherry tomatoes
  • cilantro fresh
  • 1 lime
  • 4 eggs


  1. Boil the rice according to package instructions, drain and leave to the side.
  2. Heat a large frying pan and briefly bake the cumin seeds until they become fragrant. Add a bit of the oil and the cilantro, garlic and yellow bell pepper.
  3. Add the black beans and bake those until they become crispy. About five minutes
  4. Add the rice and bake that too. Add the spring onions and the fresh cilantro at the end.
  5. For serving you can bake an egg and make a tomato salso by chopping the tomatoes and mix with fresh coriander, pepper, salt and lime juice




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Written by
Simone van den Berg

Travelling makes my heart beat just a little faster. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to discover the world and experience other cultures. Ever since our first far away trip to Mexico in 1997 I love to explore outside of Europe. Having said that: there is so much to see closer to home still! Combining travel with delicious food is the ultimate combination as far as I'm concerned. Of all my travels I have kept journals. That's why this site is called 'Paper Travels"

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Written by Simone van den Berg