30 Minute Meal/ Breakfast/ The Fabled Plate

Gallo Pinto Recipe – Costa Rican Breakfast Rice and Beans Bowl

Gallo Pinto is an easy and delicious Costa Rica rice and beans breakfast bowl with loads of flavor!  This easy 30 minute skillet meal is a great Costa Rican Rice and Beans Recipe that uses a combination of leftovers and fresh produce to make a lovely meal for any time of the day!


bowl of Costa Rican Gallo Pinto beside Skillet


Thank you to Stephany Salazar Nelson for sponsoring this post. And Thank YOU for supporting the brands that support me and allow me to continue to grow my blog. All opinions, recipe and photographs are my own.


close up of gallo pinto costa rican rice and beans breakfast bowl with plantains and avocados


Jenni Ward/The Gingered Whisk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Every now and then you find something that just seems like fate. That is totally what happened when I discovered this Lovely Amelia Travels book! Written by Stephany Salazar Nelson, this adorable book follows a little girl named Amelia as she travels the world with her parents. In this first book in a series, Amelia and her parents visit Costa Rica. Amelia loves discovering beautiful places, trying new foods, and exploring the world around her. I mean, can a book be any more perfect for me? I knew I needed to share it with you, and also to create a fun, easy, and delicious meal that would accompany it.


bowl and skillet of gallo pinto


My girls and I have really enjoyed reading this book. It is told in the style of a travel journal written by Amelia and gives facts about the places where she visits. It does the magnificent job of being educational but fun and entertaining at the same time. The illustrations are beautiful and the writing is perfect for young children! I cannot wait to see where Amelia travels next!


cast iron skillet with gallo pinto


What is a typical Costa Rica Breakfast?

In Costa Rica, a typical breakfast is Gallo Pinto! It is a Costa Rican rice and beans made with leftovers with plenty of great toppings added in.

  • Sometimes Gallo Pinto is served with sausages, and sometimes with plantains. You usually see it with fried or poached eggs, but I chose to serve it with scrambled because I know my girls will eat scrambled better.
  • I also served our skillet Gallo Pinto with sweet fried cinnamon-sugar plantains, fresh sliced avocado, and tomatoes.

What does Gallo Pinto Taste Like?

Gallo Pinto is basically a scramble/hash of leftover rice and beans combined with eggs and fresh produce.

Costa Rican Rice and Beans is just the type of breakfast you would need to fuel up with before going on amazing adventures!


gallo pinto overhead shot


Having a giant brunch on the weekend is such a great way to start the week, but I also love having meals like this for dinner, too! (Like these 20 Minute Kid-Approved Roasted Vegetable Tacos!) This 30 minute Gallo Pinto recipe is perfect for a weekend brunch but it also works well as a vegetarian dinner. It is filling, flavorful, and sure to be a hit with your family, no matter what time of day you serve it!


Tips for How to make Gallo Pinto Bowls Easy:

  • Use microwave pouches of rice to cut down on cooking time. Heat them up and dump them in the skillet!
  • Use canned reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed instead of cooking your own black beans from scratch.
  • You can sauté the onions and peppers earlier and store them in the fridge until ready to use, which means this meal will just need to be a heated through + frying the plantains and scrambling the eggs. A quick meal!



To be really authentic, serve your gallo pinto breakfast bowls with Salsa Lizano, which is a Costa Rican hot table sauce recipe – its kind of a cross between ketchup and salsa.


Lovely Amelia travels Book


Make sure you check out the Beginner’s Guide to Latin American Food for more tips and tricks on how to make Latin American cuisine weeknight and kid-friendly!


Gallo Pinto Breakfast Bowls

Gallo Pinto Breakfast Bowls

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Gallo Pinto is an easy and delicious breakfast from Costa Rica with loads of flavor!  This easy 30 minute skillet meal uses a combination of leftovers and fresh produce to make a lovely meatless meal for any time of the day!


For the Rice and Beans:

  • 1 Bell Pepper, diced (or a few sweet mini peppers - I used yellow and orange)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper


  • 2 ripe plaintains
  • 3 TBS coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the Eggs:

  • 4 Eggs


  • 2 ripe Avocados, sliced or diced
  • 3 Limes, cut into wedges
  • 3 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 roma tomatoes, sliced or diced
  • Hot Sauce (optional)


To Make the Rice and Beans

  • In a large non-stick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  • Saute the  bell pepper, and onion until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cumin and stir, about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  • Add in the rice and black beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is heated through.
  • Stir in 1/2 cup cilantro, salt and pepper.
  • Remove from heat and keep warm.

To Make the Plantains

  • In the same skillet, warm the coconut oil.
  • Slice the plantains into 1/2" thick diagonal coins.
  • Toss the slices into the sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  • When the oil is melted and hot, place the plantains in a single layer and cook until starting to turn brown and caramelized and soft (about 2-3 minutes).
  • Flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side.
  • Remove to a plate and tent with foil. Note - do NOT place them on a paper towel. They will stick and make a mess!

Scramble or Fry the eggs.

To Serve:

  1. Serve with avocado slices, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, romao tomatoes, and hot sauce.
  2. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 830 Total Fat: 31g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 16g Cholesterol: 186mg Sodium: 1841mg Carbohydrates: 126g Fiber: 21g Sugar: 27g Protein: 21g

Looking for other out of the box fun breakfast recipes?

20 Minute Roasted Vegetable Tacos

Kid Approved Breakfast Tacos


Monte Cristo Sliders

Monte Cristo Sliders with Raspberry Jam




  • Reply
    February 6, 2018 at 12:52 PM

    I would love to start my day off with this! I can see this on my sunday brunch buffet I host! YUM!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2018 at 12:59 PM

    Looks like an AMAZING way to start the day!!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2018 at 1:15 PM

    This looks absolutely delicious – been looking for a recipe just like this to try out, and I think I’ve found it! Yum! 🙂

  • Reply
    Marsha | Marsha's Baking Addiction
    February 6, 2018 at 1:17 PM

    What a totally comforting breakfast bowl! I’d love this right now!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2018 at 1:39 PM

    This looks amazing! It would make a great breakfast for dinner. Plantains are my weakness.

  • Reply
    February 6, 2018 at 1:44 PM

    Gallo Pinto is such a fantastic dish. I was so grateful when my friend’s grandmother from Costa Rica taught me how to make it a few years ago! Nothing beats a hearty Costa Rican breakfast with eggs, gallo pinto, and plantains!

  • Reply
    Carrie | Clean Eating Kitchen
    February 6, 2018 at 3:18 PM

    I’ve never heard of this before – it looks and sounds delicious! Such a hearty and healthy breakfast!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2018 at 8:06 PM

    This is such a delicious meal! My kids loved it too! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Dominique | Perchance to Cook
    February 6, 2018 at 8:17 PM

    Now that’s my kind of breakfast bowl! SOooo much flavor and goodness all in one place. Love it!

  • Reply
    Jenni LeBaron
    February 7, 2018 at 4:34 AM

    I love the idea of a rice bowl for breakfast. These look fantastic!

  • Reply
    Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    February 7, 2018 at 4:19 PM

    This is my kind of breakfast (well really I’m more of a brunch person). I would totally eat this for “breakfast for dinner”…several times a week!!

  • Reply
    Anne Murphy
    February 8, 2018 at 4:50 PM

    That book sounds delightful!

    And I usually have cooked rice and beans around the house – sounds like a great way to use it. (I do need to find plantains here, though… love them!)

  • Reply
    February 8, 2018 at 5:54 PM

    Oh yummy! My husband would love this with a fried egg and plantains. Perfect way to start his day.

  • Reply
    Elaine @ Dishes Delish
    February 9, 2018 at 1:46 AM

    I have to say I love everything about this recipe! It looks fresh and delicious! I look forward to trying it this weekend. Hubby is going to love it! If he can get some before I eat it all!

  • Reply
    Rezel Kealoha
    February 9, 2018 at 3:04 AM

    That book is super cute and this dish is so beautiful. I love all the pops of color and the addition of the fresh tomatoes.

  • Reply
    Tamara Andersen
    February 9, 2018 at 7:06 PM

    A healthy, hearty breakfast recipe and a great book are a great combination! Love this 🙂

  • Reply
    Camilla Hawkins
    February 9, 2018 at 11:20 PM

    This looks like a dish my family would love, black beans and cilantro are big favourites here and I love the look of the plantain which I’ve never had before!

  • Reply
    February 10, 2018 at 2:31 AM

    Thank you for introducing me to a dish I’ve never tried before! This sounds like an incredible breakfast that could last me a couple of days. Can’t wait to give it a shot!

  • Reply
    Chef Mireille
    February 10, 2018 at 4:09 AM

    I remember these kind of hearty breakfasts when I was in Costa Rica but I don’t like avocados so I always had fresh mango with mine instead. I miss those breakfasts!

  • Reply
    February 10, 2018 at 5:01 AM

    We actually honeymooned in Costa Rica and I loved eating Gallo Pinto! It’s such a delicious, filling breakfast and I’m looking forward to making this for my girls soon!

  • Reply
    February 10, 2018 at 2:47 PM

    What a gorgeous looking breakfast! I love trying dishes like this from different places around the world.

  • Reply
    Lynn | The Road to Honey
    February 10, 2018 at 9:12 PM

    I’ve traveled all over the world but Costa Rica is one place I have not had the pleasure of visiting yet (although the hubby and I tried to take a last minute trip during the holidays. . .but all the hotels were booked). I always find it interesting to see and experience the foods that help other cultures start their day. This is such a carb and protein packed meal. Sure to keep the energy going throughout the morning.

  • Reply
    Britt @ A Lil' Sweet, Spice, & Advice
    February 12, 2018 at 12:58 AM

    I absolutely love that you used plantains in this breakfast bowl! It all sounds so wonderful. Will definitely be trying this soon!

  • Reply
    February 12, 2018 at 6:46 AM

    This looks delicious! The perfect way to bring a little Costa Rica into your day.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2018 at 12:42 PM

    We love traveling with our kids! My oldest has big plans to travel the world! This book looks like a great read.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2018 at 1:19 PM

    Sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    Sarah B
    February 12, 2018 at 9:10 PM

    England….definitely England!

  • Reply
    February 13, 2018 at 1:47 PM

    My daughter wants to go to Paris!

  • Reply
    Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids
    February 13, 2018 at 3:18 PM

    First, the breakfast bowl looks delicious! And Second, I would love to take our children to England or Germany. We have family that live in England so we’d have our own personal tour guides. And our family is originally from Germany so I would love to discover that with our kids.

  • Reply
    Deb Nash
    February 13, 2018 at 3:45 PM

    This looks lovely! I would love to take my children anywhere, really, I’m not picky! I just want to give them a broader worldview.

  • Reply
    Emily Gough
    August 16, 2018 at 10:02 AM

    Is the calorie content really correct?? 879 per serving?? I eat a variance on this breakfast sometimes and always considered it a healthy option. Hopefully its the plantains that are making this so calorific (I don’t often cook these)… If not, I’ll have to make some serious alterations!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.