Healthy Recipe

April 10, 2011

Weekly Recipe – Gallo Pinto w/Red Pepper

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Prep time: 20 minutes
Rice Cook time: 40 minutes
Additional Cook time: 15 minutes

Last summer we spent a month in Costa Rica learning spanish, to surf, and becoming scuba certified.  On our first night in Montezuma, we ate at a little restaurant and asked our server what he recommended. Gallo Pinto or rice cooked with beans.  It is Costa Rica’s (and Nicaragua’s) national dish and traditionally eaten at breakfast; however, it can be eaten anytime.

Ours was served with fried plantains, side salad and chicken called a casado. We loved it! We were both very full and left the restaurant in a vacation love haze as we walked the dirt road back to our hotel.

Below is my take on gallo pinto. I added kidney beans, garlic, bell pepper and used brown rice.  As I normally do not cook with salt, feel free to salt and pepper to taste, in moderation of course!


  • 1 cup brown rice or 3.75 cooked
  • 2 shallots, roasted and then chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 baby bella mushrooms, diced
  • 1 garlic head, roasted
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 15 oz can S&W Black Beans 50% less sodium
  • 1 15 oz can S&W Kidney Beans 50% Less Sodium
  • 1 tsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Preheat oven to 500.

In a medium pot or rice cooker, cook rice according to instructions.

Meanwhile, on a baking sheet roast shallots and garlic head for 5 minutes in preheated oven.

Lightly roast garlic head and shallots.

Dice bell pepper, onion and mushrooms. Set aside.

Remove shallots and garlic.  When cool to touch, carefully peel shallots and garlic, slice.

When rice is done:

In a large sauce pan, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and saute roasted shallots, garlic, bell pepper, mushrooms and onions for 3 minutes over medium high heat. Add rice, kidney beans and black beans.  Stir constantly until the majority of the juices evaporate and mixture thickens (about 7 minutes).

Stir constantly for 7 minutes until mixture thickens and liquid evaporates.

I enjoyed mine served up taco style in two corn tortillas with Marie Sharp’s Habanero Pepper Sauce!


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6 thoughts on “Weekly Recipe – Gallo Pinto w/Red Pepper

    1. I think it is amazing that every culture has a version of rice and beans. Original recipes will call for white rice which will soak up the color of the beans causing it to look dirty or speckled. The versatility of these two ingredients plus the combined nutrient power punch almost make me want to try a vegetarian diet.

  1. This looks sooo good. I imagine the roasted garlic gives it an incredibly lovely flavor which would pair well with some sweet fried plantain. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Thank you. Although I didn’t completely roast the garlic, I imagine it would mix in quite lovely either directly or as a separate sauce. I wish I had plantains at the time…yum, another reason to go to the store. 🙂

  2. So bizarre–this is the second time Gallo Pinto popped up this week. I had to ask one of my friends, who’s from CR, about it. I’d never heard it before–now, everywhere I look, there it is again! HA HA! I understand you MUST try to look for Salsa Lizano to go with. My friend is bringing some for me to try this week! Thank you for explaining this dish! 🙂

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