Our Super Popular Costa Rican Chifrijo Recipe

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A serving bowl of Chifrijo.
Chifrijo Tico with chips in a bowl.

 

When you are craving Costa Rica’s most popular appetizer, this chifrijo recipe is perfect! It combines many of our most popular Costa Rican appetizers into one mouthwatering dish.

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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 a 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 Costa Rican appetizer) this dish might be the most revered dish in all of Costa Rica (after gallo pinto, of course).

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 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

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Costa Rican Chifrijo Recipe

(Printable Recipe Below)

Ingredients:

Instructions:

If you prepare each part of the dish according to the recipes above, you’ll have everything prepped and ready. From there, you can just serve up the chifrijo.

In a bowl, place the white rice. On top, add the beans and broth. In the center of the rice and beans mixture, add your chimichurri (pico de gallo). 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.

Also read: What Is Salsa Lizano From Costa Rica

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 ones, 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 3,500 colones ($7) for a small bowl to about 6,000 colones ($10) for a larger portion at a fancier restaurant.

Where can I find the best chifrijo in Costa Rica?

Printable Recipe

Costa Rican Chifrijo Recipe

Traditional Costa Rican chifrijo kidney beans, chicharron, white rice, avocado and totilla chips.

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.

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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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