Gallo Pinto Recipe (aka Painted Rooster)

Try this Tasty Recipe for Painted Rooster aka Gallo Pinto

“I’ll take one Painted Rooster please!”

Painted Rooster? What’s that?

GALLO PINTO! Costa Rica’s most well known and commonly consumed dish, Gallo Pinto, literally

translates to “painted rooster.” Don’t let the name fool you though. This simple and flavorful

national dish is 100% vegetarian, and often served for breakfast with fried or scrambled eggs.

A combination of black beans and white rice, paired with a variety of spices and fresh,

locally harvested ingredients, such as red pepper and cilantro, help create this popular Costa Rican

dish. While visiting Guanacaste, grab Gallo Pinto for breakfast, or any time of day, at one

of the local sodas (restaurants). Eat it like a Tico (a local) and sprinkle some salsa Lizano or

natilla on top!

Want to try your hand at local cooking while on your beach vacation? Check out our recipe

for traditional Gallo Pinto!

Gallo Pinto is a popular Costa Rican dish
Gallo Pinto or Painted Rooster is a popular Costa Rican dish


What You’ll Need:

  • 1 medium, yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1 tbsp of finely chopped or minced garlic
  • 2 cups of cooked black beans (drained, homemade or canned)
  • 1/2 cup of salsa Lizano (get it at the local supermarket)
  • 3 cups of cooked white rice
  • 1/2 cup of fresh, chopped cilantro (to liking)


1. In a large pan, heat the oil on medium heat, sautéing the onion, red peppers and garlic until


2. Add the beans and Lizano sauce to the veggie mixture. Lizano is a popular Costa Rican

condiment that can be found at most supermarkets here. Simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Mix in the cooked rice and reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally.

4. Once the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is well heated, remove from heat and

sprinkle with cilantro! You can also try your Gallo Pinto with natilla, a Costa Rican style

combo between sour cream and cream cheese. Que rico! Buen provecho!

Elapsed Time: 20 mins

Our nicely-appointed kitchens make preparing local dishes like this one so easy!

Tamarindo and surrounding area boasts some of the best cuisine on the Gold Coast. Try a

variety of local and international cuisine at the plethora of town center and beach front

restaurants while vacationing with Costa Rica Vision. The fresh seafood, natural fruit drinks,

and variety of price points allow you to enjoy flavors from around the globe on any budget!

Some other popular dishes to try include; casado, olla de carne, tamales, plantain, ceviche,

and tres leches cake.

Ask us about some of our favorite dining spots, where to get local cuisine, we can arrange a private chef experience while you’re staying with us!