Foodies Delights – Gallo Pinto – Costa Rica’s Staple Food

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This is the most traditional Costa Rica dish there is!
It is mainly served for breakfast, but if you enter any Costa Rica house at any given moment, there will always be Gallo Pinto to serve!

Plus, it is healthy, filling, super easy to make and everyone can eat it: kids, adults, vegetarians, and vegans.

Find more traditional food of Costa Rica to try.



3 cups cooked rice (day old for the true Tico way)
2 cups cooked black beans (day old for the true Tico way)
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, finely chopped (cilantro)
2 tablespoons oil
Salt to taste


Frying pan
mixing spoon

Saute onion and bell pepper in oil on medium heat. Add beans and cook two minutes longer. Add rice and mix, cook three minutes more. Add coriander, mix well.

Serve. Most Costa Ricans eat it with lots of sour cream.

What is Gallo Pinto?

Wikipedia gives a great definition for this dish – literal translation: Spotted Rooster.

Did you know…

Facts, history and other interesting stuff about Gallo Pinto

Add a Pinch of Imagination and a Sprinkle of Creativity! (variations)Latina Magazine adds some bacon to their mix.
The REAL Costa Rico Blog gives you the recipe in English and Spanish.
The BackPacker uses chicken broth rather than the juice of the beans.
Global Destinations throws in a bunch of veggies to shake it up a bit.

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About Marina Kuperman Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 10+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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