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Black beans, rice, red bell peppers, and cilantro in a black skillet.
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5 from 10 votes

Gallo Pinto (Costa Rican Rice and Beans)

Look no further than this Gallo Pinto recipe when you need a quick side dish that's big on taste. This traditional Costa Rican rice dish combines black beans, rice, peppers, and onions in a Lizano sauce for an explosion of flavor.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Costa Rican, Latin American
Servings: 4 servings


  • 3 cups cooked rice brown or white*
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper finely diced
  • 1 sweet onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • cup Lizano salsa
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt to taste
  • 15- oz. can black beans drained


  • In a large skillet over medium heat add olive oil, bell peppers, and onion. Sauté for 5-7 minutes or until veggies are tender.
    2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 red bell pepper, 1 sweet onion
  • Add crushed garlic and continue sautéing for 1 minute.
    2 cloves garlic
  • Whisk together cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt in a small bowl.
    ½ tsp. cumin, ¼ tsp. paprika, ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper, ½ tsp. salt
  • Add rice, beans, and seasoning ingredients to the skillet. Stir to combine.
    3 cups cooked rice, 15- oz. can black beans
  • Pour Lizano salsa over rice and stir well. Cook for 5-10 minutes, uncovered, over low heat, or until rice absorbs the sauce.
    ⅓ cup Lizano salsa
  • Serve gallo pinto with cilantro and additional Lizano salsa, if desired, and enjoy!


  • Three cups cooked rice is roughly 1 cup uncooked rice. Day old rice is preferable.
  • Estimated time does not take into account the time it takes to cook the rice.
Prep-Ahead Instructions:
You can save time making this dish by cooking the rice and chopping the bell peppers and onions in advance. Store separately until ready to cook. 
Storage Directions:
Gallo pinto stores well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. It also freezes well if placed in a freezer-safe container for up to 4-6 months. You can either warm it up in the microwave or add it back to a skillet with a bit of oil. Cook on medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly, or until heated through.


Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1146mg | Potassium: 512mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1180IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 3mg