Gallo Pinto: A Traditional Costa Rican Breakfast

Forget the flu shot! This year, fight back with food instead! Welcome back to Five Flu-Fighting Foods–a 5-week series that will arm you with recipes to stay healthy this season!

I’m excited to be joining the following 5 amazing bloggers in hosting this series:

Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger
Mindy @ The Purposed Heart
Anne @ Authentic Simplicity
Leigh Ann @ Intentional by Grace
Rachel @ Day2Day Joys

Come back each Wednesday as we reveal five different foods that support your immune system.

Image by theswedish

This week’s flu-fighting food is breakfast! You may have grown up with your mother and teachers saying breakfast was the most important meal of the day.

Well, guess what? It turns out that eating breakfast may actually help keep you healthy during flu season!

According to this article, a study suggests that those who skipped breakfast were more likely to develop the cold or flu virus than those who chose to partake in this most important meal.

I’ll be transparent and say that breakfast has been a BIG challenge in our house the past couple months–since we found out about Little Girl’s food intolerances. She can’t eat eggs, and I used to make egg dishes A LOT!

Then it hit me the other day–why not make Gallo Pinto? (Gallo Pinto literally means “painted rooster.”)

I first tasted this reminiscent recipe while living and serving as a missionary to Costa Rica–right out of college. It’s where my hubby and I met!

Little Girl absolutely loves black beans, and this traditional Costa Rican breakfast combines rice and beans with just the right amount of cilantro, peppers and garlic to make a scrumptious complete protein meal!

Without further ado, here’s a recipe for Gallo Pinto–A Traditional Costa Rican Breakfast!

Gallo Pinto


  • 2 cups soaked and cooked black beans
  • 10 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 bell pepper (green, red or yellow), diced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 /2 tsp. salt (or to taste)


1. Heat pan to medium and add oil. Add beans, cilantro, garlic, peppers and stock and saute until soft. (The beans should already be pretty soft from cooking.) Once softened and very hot, add the rice, salt and stock.

2. Continue to cook on medium until all the stock is absorbed. Then cook for another 2-3 minutes.

This is a traditional Costa Rican breakfast! You can top with sour cream and serve with eggs, bacon and any other breakfast foods.

I serve this to my daughter alone and feel good that she can have a protein-packed breakfast even without eggs! It also doesn’t hurt that this meal is very cheap!

Be sure to check out the great breakfast recipes and tips shared by the other amazing homemakers hosting this series!

Apple Chai Muesli @ The Purposed Heart
The Importance of Eating Breakfast @ Day2Day Joys
Immune-Boosting Breakfast Lentil Soup @ Intentional by Grace
Fight the Flu with Granola @ Authentic Simplicity

Stacy Makes Cents has a great omelet tutorial on her site as well!

Gallo pinto images by La.blasco

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat


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