Gallo Pinto: Not Your Average Rice & Beans

Beans and rice make a simple meal, but simple is awesome! Check out how simply delicious this dish is!

If you’ve ever been to Costa Rica or Nicaragua, you have likely been served Gallo Pinto. It could be said that Gallo Pinto is the national food of these countries. It looks like rice and beans because it is rice and beans, with a few secret ingredients that infuse this daily staple with fabulous flavor. Gallo Pinto means spotted rooster in Spanish, but don’t worry, this is a rooster friendly vegan dish that is simple and sublime. It contains just seven ingredients and only takes about ten minutes to make as long as you cook the rice and beans ahead of time.

Gallo Pinto packs a great amount of nutrients, particularly protein, fiber, folate, and antioxidants. The avocado slices add healthy fats, the cilantro is especially rich in vitamins A & K, and the red pepper gives us a boost of vitamins C. Together rice and beans contain all of the amino acids, forming a complete protein. Even though you don’t have to eat them at the same to get the benefits, they sure do taste great together.


Gallo Pinto: Not Your Average Rice & Beans

Prep Time
Total Time


  • 8–10 springs fresh cilantro
  • 1 red or green pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cups of cooked beans (black, kidney, or red)
  • 1.5–2 cups of cooked brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 small tomato


1. Cook rice and beans (see instructions below)

2. Wash and chop cilantro. Slice avocado. Set Aside.

3. Dice onion and pepper and stir fry in a large pan or wok with 2 tablespoons oil on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes

4. Add 2 cups of beans, 1.5 cups of rice, and salt. Cook for 2 minutes until thoroughly warmed

5. Serve in bowls, add fresh cilantro, and mix well.

6. Add avocado slices

7. Enjoy!

Dry Bean Instructions (rinse thoroughly first)

A. Slow Cooker: fill 3/4 with water, 1/4 with beans, cook on high 4 hours

B. Stovetop: Soak 2 cups dry beans in 4 cups of water overnight. Add to large pan with additional 1 cup water- bring to boil, reduce to medium heat and cook 3 hours. (Note: This will yield more beans than necessary for this recipe, store in refrigerator for up to 1 week!)

Canned bean instructions (not advised)

Drain and rinse very thoroughly.

Brown Rice instructions

To a medium saucepan add 3 cups of water and 1 cups dry rice - let simmer on low/medium heat for 20–30 minutes, partially covered. Stir occasionally. Add 1/4 cup water if needed.


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