Gallo Pinto (Black Beans & Rice)

“In Nicaragua, gallo pinto is the great social equalizer,” Cordúa says. “It’s part of almost every meal, whether you are rich, poor, white, black or native.” He serves this black beans and rice dish to his family for breakfast or a late-night snack, adding crispy bits of fried onions. Slideshow: More Bean RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook 

Black Beans and Rice
Photo: © Chris Court
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


  • 1 pound dried black beans, picked over and rinsed

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 cup Carolina or other long-grain white rice

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 small white onion, diced (1 cup)

  • Kosher salt

  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish

  • Lime wedges and chopped red onion, for serving


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the black beans, garlic and enough water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil and simmer over moderate heat, adding more water as necessary, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. Drain.

  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the rice and 1 3/4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently over moderately low heat until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer the rice to a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate until cool. (You should have about 4 cups of rice.)

  3. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 cup of the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion to a small bowl. Add 3 cups of the beans to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until crispy, about 20 minutes. Stir in another 2 cups of the beans, the cooled rice, the sautéed onion and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir to incorporate and season with salt. (Reserve the remaining 1 cup of beans for another use.) Transfer the beans and rice to a serving bowl and garnish with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and chopped red onion.

Make Ahead

The cooked beans can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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