Gallo Pinto: Costa Rican Rice and Beans Breakfast

Gallo Pinto is the national breakfast of Costa Rica. Flavorful rice, beans and aromatic vegetables are topped with eggs and served with caramelized plantains on the side. It makes a sensational breakfast or brunch and it's hearty enough for lunch or dinner. Recipe |

5 from 2 reviews

Traditional breakfast of Costa Rica. A delicious hearty meal that would satisfy for lunch or dinner.




  1. Cook the Gallo Pinto: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Sauté garlic, red pepper and onion, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the cooked rice and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook, tossing, until everything is combined and hot, 3-4 minutes. Add beans and gently fold them into the rice mixture. Continue cooking and gently folding until everything is hot and thoroughly combined, 2 minutes or so. Stir in scallions, 6 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat and cover partially to keep warm.
  2. Cook the Plantains: In a medium bowl, toss sliced plantains with sugar, cinnamon and salt. Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a large, preferably cast iron, skillet over medium-high heat. Add the plantain slices in a single layer. ( If they don’t all fit, cook them in two batches) Cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until brown and caramelized and soft. Transfer to a plate. Squeeze some lime juice over them – about 1/4 of a juicy lime. Sprinkle a few pinches of course salt over them, to taste. Tent with foil.
  3. Fry the Eggs: Fry or scramble the eggs – however you like them.
  4. To Serve: Divide pinto gallo between 6 plates. Place a cooked egg on top of each. Garnish with a sprinkle of cilantro and some salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange a few plantain slices alongside. Garnish with a lime wedge. Pass around the hot sauce.