Full Gallo Pinto BreakfastI fell in love with Nicaragua.  Have vacationed there many times, travelled around most of the country, and continually fall in love with it.  From the beaches, the people, the lakes, volcanos, to the food, I have fond memories of my time in Nicaragua.  So, whenever I make this dish, it takes me back to one of my favorite places.  It is usually served at breakfast with eggs, fruit, and toast.  So good!

Nicaraguan GalloPinto

Beautiful church in Granada Main Square

Beautiful church in Granada Main Square

Serves 4

For the beans

  • 1 (16-ounce) bag dried small red beans
  • salt
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled

For the rice

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup), divided

    Yep, that's me ziplining upside down over a Nicaraguan jungle. Such a rush!

    Yep, that’s me ziplining upside down over a Nicaraguan jungle. Such a rush!

  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cored and seeded
  • 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

For the beans: Pick over the beans to remove any stones and broken beans.  Rinse the beans in cold water and place in a large pot.  Cover with cold water until water is about 3 inches above the beans.  Soak for 30 minutes.

Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer beans for 30 minutes. Turn off heat, cover beans, and set aside for 1 hour.  Return pot to high heat and bring beans back up to a boil.  Add 2 teaspoons salt and garlic, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until beans are tender, 30 to 60 minutes.

For the rice: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2/3 of the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add rice and cook, stirring, until grains are evenly coated with oil, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add broth and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil.  Add bell pepper on top of rice – do not stir in.

Boil rice without stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated and you can see small bubbles bursting on the surface of the rice.  Reduce the heat to to very low, cover, and cook (do not stir, do not remove lid) for 15 minutes. Remove and discard bell pepper. Fluff rice with chopsticks or fork, then let cool in refrigerator for at least an hour, more is better.

For the gallopinto: Saute remaining onion in 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add rice , adobo sauce, and 2 cups of the cooked beans to skillet and cook, stirring, until rice is evenly coated. Continue to cook, stirring, to allow flavors to meld and mixture to become slightly crisp, about 10 minutes. Cover and cook over low heat an additional 10 minutes.  Stir in cilantro.

Serve and enjoy.


Nicaraguan GalloPinto

April 4, 2016


1 10 Minutes


16 oz. dried small red beans

1 tbsp Salt

7 Garlic Cloves, Peeled

1/4 cup Coconut Oil, divided

1 Medium Onion, minced (about 1 cup), divided

1 1/2 cup Long-grain white rice

1/2 green bell pepper, cored and seeded

1/2 tsp teaspoon adobo sauce

2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro