Wooden bowl of Spicy Gallo Pinto with a wooden spoon laid across the top.

Spicy Gallo Pinto

Spice up mealtime with an international flair. This rendition of a traditional gallo pinto packs a nutritious punch yet adds a more robust and spicier flavor. It’s a tasty dish abundant in feel-full fiber and plant-based protein to help keep blood sugars stable between meals. Not to mention, it adds a burst of color in every bite, each containing its own unique health benefits.

Specifically, this phytonutrient-rich dish can help decrease chronic inflammation and oxidative stress—common complications associated with diabetes.1 Elevated consumption of these plant-based nutrients can also help improve blood flow and immune function!2 Talk about a mighty meal! Enjoy this colorful creation alongside eggs and non-fat Greek yogurt for a healthful spin on a traditional classic.

Makes: 2 servings
Serving size: ½ mixture
Prep time: 10 minutes (with canned beans)
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients for spicy gallo pinto

For mixture:

  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked (vacuumed package or cook in a pressure cooker to save time)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup black beans
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro (use kitchen scissors to save time)
  • 2 medium bell peppers (red, green, orange, or mixture)
  • ½ medium sweet onion
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  •  ¼ tsp cumin
  • Salt to taste


  •  1/3 medium tomato

Sauce (included in nutritional information):

  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp siracha
  • 2 tbsp red tomato salsa
  • ¼ tsp honey
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder

Sauce substitutions: This also tastes good with any one of the substitutions below

  • 1 tbsp Salsa Lizano
  • 1 tbsp Worchester sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Korean barbecue

Directions for spicy gallo pinto

  1. In a large pot, prepare rice according to cooking instructions. For an al dente texture, cook rice in less water.
  2. In a medium pot, prepare beans according to cooking instructions. Or, use canned beans and include liquid.
  3. On a large plate, chop bell peppers, onion, and tomato. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, add soy sauce, siracha, tomato salsa, honey, garlic, and cumin. Mix until combined. Set aside.
  5. In a large oiled skillet on medium heat, add chopped vegetables. Mix until fully incorporated. Cook until onions are translucent.
  6. Once vegetables are cooked, add rice, black beans with liquid, salt, and sauce.
  7. Turn heat to medium-low. Allow it to simmer until water is absorbed. Approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  8. Remove from heat. Add cilantro.
  9. Traditionally served with eggs and sour cream. For a healthier alternative, swap sour cream for non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt.

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Nutrition facts

Per Serving

  • calories: 375
  • carbohydrate: 54.5g
  • fat: 13g
  • fiber: 13g
  • potassium: 801mg
  • protein: 12g
  • saturated fat: 1g
  • sodium: 302mg
  • sugar: 6.5g

Disclaimer: Type2Diabetes.com does not provide any express or implied warrant toward the content or outcome of any recipe.

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