Gallo Pinto (Painted or Speckled Rooster) Costa Rica Recipe

Gallo Pinto (Painted or Speckled Rooster) Costa Rica Recipe


This dish, so-named because the beans speckle or color the rice, is a breakfast staple in Costa Rica, often served with fried or scrambled egg, sour cream, and pico de gallo (fresh salsa). Meat may be included as well. In some parts of the country, chopped hot peppers are added. In Nicaragua, the dish is more often made with small red beans. In Cuba and Spain, it is known as “Moros y Cristianos” (Moors and Christians, harking back to the Crusades).


2 C
Cooked Black Beans
½ medium onion, chopped—or 1 heaping tablespoon DH [chopped onion]
1/2 C
chopped red or yellow sweet bell pepper (or 1 heaping tablespoon FD [Red Bell Pepper Dices])
1 tsp
Minced Garlic
2 tbsp
fresh cilantro
3 oz.
cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
2 tbsp
vegetable oil


  1. 1) Fry chopped onion and pepper in vegetable oil for about 5 minutes, then add garlic and stir-fry for another minute.
  2. 2) Pour in beans, including ½ cup of the broth if you like your rice colored, or ½ cup chicken broth if not
  3. 3) Add in the cooked rice and stir thoroughly but gently, so as to not smash the beans.
  4. 4) Season to taste with salt and pepper. (In some parts of the country, they add hot peppers or sauce to taste.)
  5. 5) Stir in cilantro and serve with your choice of toppings.

Adapted from

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