This Costa Rican rice and beans recipe is an authentic breakfast full of flavor. It’s easy to make, healthy and even uses up leftover ingredients!
I love trying out different cuisines and since my good friend from Costa Rica introduced me to this delicious meal, I knew I had to share with all of you!
This recipe is based off of her homemade version, made multiple times to figure out amounts of each ingredients and then tasted and approved by her whole family!
To make this classic Costa Rican rice and bean recipe you will need the following ingredients:
The salsa mentioned, Lizano, is a classic Costa Rican condiment. You may be able to find it at some grocery stores or specialty stores. If you can’t find it anywhere it is online. The flavor is so unique and delicious I do not recommend substituting it for anything else. Plus, once you get a taste you’ll want to put it on everything!
How to make Costa Rican Rice and Beans
Gallo Pinto is an amazingly easy recipe that makes great use of leftovers. Here’s what to do:
- Sauté the onions and peppers.
- Add the beans with juices.
- Mix in the rice and Salsa Lizano.
- Stir in the cilantro.
Gallo pinto can be served as is, but it’s so good you’ll want to enjoy it as many ways as possible!
- Mix up with eggs for breakfast
- Pair with warm corn tortillas
- Top with a dollop of sour cream
- Garnish with slices of creamy avocado or guacamole
- Use as a base for a burrito bowl
- Add leftovers to taco salads
- Serve as a side to jackfruit tacos
Tips and tricks
Follow these suggestions in order to create the best Costa Rican rice and beans:
- Prepping ahead is easy since you can use leftover rice and beans! Simply chop up the peppers ahead of time as well.
- Make sure the rice used is cooked al dente so it doesn’t get too mushy.
- Include some of the juice from the beans, homemade is best.
- If you must use canned beans you can, but the liquid won’t be as rich and savory as homemade.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
- Keep it even longer in the freezer! Seal in a freezer safe airtight container for up to 3 months.
- Reheat in a skillet over medium heat, or quickly in the microwave.
Gallo pinto, a dish made with rice, beans, peppers, and Salsa Lizano, is the national dish of Costa Rica.
The name translates to “spotted rooster”. It was named this due to the speckled appearance of the dish.
Gallo pinto is a common Costa Rican breakfast. It is often served with eggs, corn tortillas, sausage, sour cream, and plantains.
More Easy Vegan Recipes
Easy recipes are the best recipes! These family friendly plant based meals are so simple to put together, you’re going to love them!
- Baked Vegan Feta Pasta
- Ultimate Vegan Burritos
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Greek Lentil Soup
- Broccoli Casserole
- Veggie Fried Rice
Gallo Pinto Recipe (Costa Rican Rice and Beans)
- ½ cup chopped yellow onion
- ½ cup chopped red pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt , optional (will depend on black bean salt content and how much Salsa Lizano you use)
- Drizzle of oil or broth to saute
- 2 cups homemade black beans juices , ½ recipe my homemade black beans (see note)
- 3 cups cooked rice , al dente so it doesn’t get too mushy
- 2 – 4 tablespoons Salsa Lizano , start with 2 and taste to adjust (see note)
- ¼ – ½ cup cilantro , adjust to your liking
- Saute the onion, pepper and salt in a pan over medium heat with oil or broth until they soften (about 3-5 minutes).
- Add beans with juices. Cook until almost all the juice is gone.
- Add the rice and Salsa Lizano. Stir it and let it dry up.
- Turn off the heat and mix in the cilantro.
- Serve with eggs, other sides/toppings or plain!
- This is traditionally made with leftover beans and rice. Just make sure there is enough juice in the beans. If you are in a pinch you can use canned beans with their liquid but the end flavor won’t be as rich and savory as my homemade beans have a lot of flavor as is.
- The rice is best old and cold, cooked al dente so it doesn’t absorb too much liquid and get mushy.
- Salsa Lizano is traditional in this dish. You can find it online, in a specialty market or in the ethnic aisle of some grocery stores. There isn’t really a straight substitute as it is a very unique flavor but some sources online say you can use Worchester sauce. My Costa Rican friends say it’s more like A1 steak sauce. Adjust the amount for your preference as it may change depending on the beans you use.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.