Cook's Hideout: Costa Rican Refried Rice & Beans (Vegan Recipe)

May 03, 2014

Costa Rican Refried Rice & Beans (Vegan Recipe)

Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) is on Monday and I wanted to post a quick and easy recipe to make on that day. I found this recipe in Viva Vegan cookbook that fits the bill perfectly. If you have cooked rice and beans, then this recipe is a breeze to make.
Costa Rican Refried Rice & Beans (Vegan Recipe)
Each Latin American country has its own version of Rice and beans. In Costa Rica and Nicaragua, it is called Gallo Pinto -- which literally means 'painted rooster'. It is a delicious mix of precooked rice, beans that are refried with extra vegetables, herbs and spices.
Costa Rican Refried Rice & Beans (Vegan Recipe)
This dish can be made with either precooked white or brown rice. Black beansm small red benas or even pink beans can be used. This is a dish where the bean-cooking liquid is very important to the final dish, it gives the refried rice and beans the proper color flavor and consistency. So make sure that you save that bean cooking liquid.
Costa Rican Refried Rice & Beans (Vegan Recipe)
Ingredients: Serves 1~2
White or Brown Rice - 1cup, cooked
Black or Red or Pink Beans - 1cup, cooked
Onion - 1small, finely chopped
Garlic - 2cloves, minced
Green Chili - 1 small, minced (optional)
Red Pepper - 1 medium, seeded and finely diced (I left it out, since I didn't have any)
Bean Cooking liquid or Vegetable broth - ¼tsp 
Ground Cumin - ½tsp
Vegetarian Worcestershire sauce - 2tsp
Salt & Pepper - to taste
Cilantro - 3tbsp, finely chopped

  • In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 2tbsp olive oil and garlic over medium heat. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the onion, chili and bell pepper. Saute for 6~8 minutes or until the veggies are soft.
  • Stir in the rice and fry for 7~8 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Then add the ground cumin, beans, bean-cooking liquid, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir frequently and mash the beans into the rice with the back of the spoon.
  • Cook until most of the liquid is absorbed but the rice is still moistm about 10~12 minutes. If the mixture looks too dry, then drizzle 1~2tbsp of additional liquid to get the desired consistency.
  • Stir in the chopped cilantro and remove from heat. Serve with hot sauce.
Costa Rican Refried Rice & Beans (Vegan Recipe)
I served with a simple tomato-onion salsa.

Linking this to Valli's 'Cooking from Cookbook ChallengeMay -- Week 1'.

Linking this to this week's Fabulous Feast Friday# 13 being hosted by Sandhya & Mir.


  1. This looks delicious. such bold flavours with almost instantly available pantry staples. must try this out soon

  2. Fantastic protein packed rice, looks wonderful.

  3. never before seen worcestershire used in Latin American cooking - thats a new twist

  4. Nice reading about the history Pavani, good one..and the dish surely looks very inviting with that combination..though I not cooked much with brown rice..

  5. Looks colorful .. Simple and quick recipe.


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