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Personally I like the Costa Rican cuisine very much. The dishes are very tasty and super nutritious. The typical Costa Rican recipes Casado and Gallo Pinto are good examples of this.

Gallo pinto is often eaten for breakfast in Costa Rica. It’s also eaten in the neighboring country Nicaragua. This recipe is a very good and nutritious start of the day! The main ingredients are rice and black beans. Rice and beans are used in many Costa Rican dishes. Gallo pinto is sometimes also served with fried egg, a toasted sandwich or fried banana. Fruit is widely consumed in Costa Rica and is often found in traditional dishes. Of course you can also bake some fish or meat as a nice addition. Drink a good cup of coffee with this.

I think Gallo Pinto is very suitable to eat in the evening with a nice piece of fish or meat. It’s so nutritious that it suits as a full dinner.

An important ingredient is Salsa Lizano. This sauce is actually only produced in Costa Rica, which makes it very difficult to obtain in other countries. Similarly in the Netherlands! The ticos love it, because they use this sauce for almost everything. So if you are in Costa Rica, don’t forget to bring some Salsa Lizano! Salsa Lizano is not added in this recipe because it wasn’t available.

During my trip in Costa Rica I’ve eaten this dish a number of times. But I’ve also eaten Casado for breakfast, lunch or dinner, which is also a delicious dish. Gallo pinto is actually the baked leftover from Casado. In addition, many ingredients are the same in both dishes.

Gallo Pinto gerecht Costa Rica

Gallo Pinto Recipe

Ingredients (for 4 people)

  • 250 grams of dried black beans (or a can *)
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250 grams of rice
  • coriander (to taste)
  • Chicken drumstick or fish, fried (optional)
  • 2 fried ripe plantains (optional)


Wash the dried beans and soak them in cold water overnight. Then rinse the beans.

Then peel 1 onion and the cloves of garlic but do not cut them. Top the beans with enough water so that the beans are fully under water. Add the garlic, onion, cloves and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 to 1.5 hours. Then drain the beans in a colander and save a little cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, cook the rice until tender and provide a dry grain.

Chop the onion. Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan and fry the onion. Then add the rice and beans and fry briefly. Add salt, pepper and some chopped coriander to taste. Add some cooking liquid if it is too dry. Make a nice heap of rice with beans on the plate and sprinkle the coriander on top.

* If you use a can of beans, you don’t have to soak them. Then add two chopped garlic cloves, a little clove and the bay leaf while baking the rice and beans. Do not use too much cloves, this will soon be too strong in taste.