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Costa Rican Chifrijo Recipe

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This traditional Costa Rican chifrijo combines white rice, red beans, chimichurri sauce, freshly fried chicharrones, avocado slices and tortilla chips to make one of the most delightful and popular Costa Rican recipes of all time.

costa rican taco bowl chifrijo with chimichurri sauce

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About This Recipe

The Costa Rican chifrijo, much like its name, is a mix of several Costa Rican recipes, and it’s a beloved dish throughout the country. The word chi-frijo is a combination of two Spanish words, chicharrón (fried pork belly) and frijoles (beans). Not quite soup, not quite dry dish, its a combination of flavors distinctly Costa Rican.

This recipe is all Costa Rica- it’s not popular anywhere else, and I have enjoyed watching people fall in love with this dish over the years. Often found on menus as a boca (or small plate) this dish might be the most revered dish in all of Costa Rica (after gallo pinto, of course).

Related post: Big List Of Delicious Recipes Served With White Rice

costa rican chifrijo white rice, red beans, tortilla strips, chimichurri sauce, avocado, chicharron and tortilla strips,

Chifrijo can be as labor-intensive as you want it to be, but it does require making several different elements of the dish ahead of time. Because the recipe combines Costa Rican beans, Costa Rican white rice, Costa Rican chimichurri, and chicharrones, this dish definitely takes some planning.

What I like to do is have the beans and chimichurri ready ahead of time, marinate the pork the day before, and start the white rice before I fry the pork. While the pork is frying I can decide to either fry my own tortilla chips or not, and then just heat up the beans and slice the avocado.

Our Most Popular Costa Rican Recipes:

white rice, kidney beans, fried pork, pico de gallo and avocado slices

Costa Rican Chifrijo Recipe

Yield: 1 Chifrijo

Ingredients:

Instructions:

In a bowl, place the white rice. On top, add the beans and with broth. In the center of the rice and beans mixture, add your chimichurri. Then add your pieces of chicharron. Garnish with ripe avocado slices and fried corn tortillas. Garnish with freshly squeezed lime juice. Serve with Salsa Lizano if desired.

traditional costa rican chifrijo kidney beans, chicharron, white rice, avocado and totilla chips

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Substitutions

You can use kidney beans from a can for this recipe, and it makes it a lot faster to prepare. I usually heat the can of beans on low for about 10 minutes and then mix in about a teaspoon of Salsa Lizano to give the beans a bit more flavor than just from the can.

You can also use microwaved or minute rice for this recipe. Some people prefer brown rice.

Some people substitute the packaged pork rinds for the homemade, but I figure if you are going to do that, just order a pizza.

Variations

This recipe is very traditional, and people don’t mess with it much at all. The biggest variation I have seen is to use black beans instead of red. Scandalous! 😉

This is a very popular Costa Rican menu item with vegetarians and vegans- just ask for it to be prepared without chicharron for a healthy and balanced meal sans meat!

costa rican chfrijo with white rice and black beans

Serving Suggestions

This is generally a boca (which is like an appetizer on steroids) or a snack/informal food. It’s not really one that you serve as a meal in Costa Rica.

However, I absolutely serve it as a meal, along with a green salad and a refreshing fruit drink or Imperial. Don’t forget the Tres Leches cake for dessert!

FAQ

How much does chifrijo cost in Costa Rica? – I would say the cost ranges from about 1,500 colones ($3) for a small bowl to about 4,500 colones ($7) for a larger portion or fancier restaurant.

Where can I find the best chrifijo? – There are so so so many places. Off the top of my head, I can say I had a great one at Soda La Parada in La Fortuna. I adore the one at La Guardia Bar in San Ramon as well.

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Printable Recipe

Costa Rican Chifrijo Recipe

Costa Rican chifrijo white rice, red beans, tortilla strips, chimichurri sauce, avocado, chicharron and tortilla strips.

This traditional Costa Rican chifrijo combines white rice, red beans, chimichurri sauce, freshly fried chicharrones, avocado slices and tortilla chips to make one of the most delightful and popular Costa Rican recipes of all time. 

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Costa Rican White Rice, hot
  • 1/2 cup Costa Rican red beans (kidney) with broth, hot
  • 1/2 cup Costa Rican chicharrones, hot
  • 1/4 cup Costa Rican chimichurri (similar to pico de gallo)
  • 2 slices ripe avocado (for garnish)
  • 4-5 tortilla chips (for garnish)
  • lime (for serving)

Instructions

In a bowl, place the white rice. On top, add the beans and with broth. In the center of the rice and beans mixture, add your chimichurri. Then add your pieces of chicharron. Garnish with ripe avocado slices and fried corn tortillas. Garnish with freshly squeezed lime juice. Serve with Salsa Lizano if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1313Total Fat: 103gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 82gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 1233mgCarbohydrates: 85gFiber: 31gSugar: 8gProtein: 28g

Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.

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About the Author

Christa profile image

Hi- I’m Christa! I fell in love with Latin America in my 20s, and I’m still head over heels! Here at Pura Vida Moms I celebrate what it means to be bicultural- Costa Rican recipes, bilingual parenting and family travel.

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4 Responses

  1. The original chifrijo from Costa Rica does not have rice, it is just chicharron, frijoles, pico de gallo, chips and avocado

    1. How interesting. I’ve always had it with rice, but I think it might depend on what region of the country you are in. I know some regions eat it more like a bean soup while other places serve it almost dry with rice. That’s the great part about cooking- every cook gets to put their own touch on the recipe! Pura vida! ~Christa

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Christa profile image

Hi- I’m Christa, and I’m on a mission to help the world fall in love with Costa Rica through food, language and travel. I’m a Latina mom, bicultural, bilingual (English/Spanish), and 100% in love with celebrating parenthood in all its forms, (even the sucky parts). I’m so happy you found the site- WELCOME! Find out more about me here.

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