Molletes

Molletes, Mexico’s beloved open faced sandwiches, are quick, healthy and budget friendly meal perfect for everyone. You only need 4 ingredients and they can be ready in about 15 minutes.

How to Make Molletes. Two open faced Mexican sandwiches with refried beans, shredded cheese and salsa fresca.
How to Make Molletes

What Are Molletes

Molletes are Mexican torta or sandwich rolls sliced in half, smeared with refried beans, topped with shredded cheese, then baked to melt the cheese and lastly topped with some salsa fresca.

They are a very common meal or snack for Mexicans. You’ll also find them at most restaurants and usually are on offer in the appetizers or snacks section.

Molletes Mexicanos are Traditionally Vegetarian

These refried beans crispy breads are a traditional or authentic Mexican vegetarian dish.

Believe it or not there are many traditionally meatless Mexican foods…So next time you hear someone say that we can’t be meatless and be Mexican, tell them they crazy! LOL

Ingredients for making Mexican molletes.
Ingredients

Ingredients for Molletes

The ingredients are incredibly simple and I bet you may always have them or something similar at home all the time.

  • Bolillo bread rolls: This rustic bread rolls can be found at any Mexican food store. Check the tips section below for alternatives.
  • Refried beans: You can use homemade or a good tasting and healthy store bought, your choice. Just make sure they’re not too runny, you should be able to spread them over the bread easily.
  • Cheese: You can use shredded or sliced. Check the tips below for recommended types.
  • Pico de gallo salsa: This is for topping them right before serving.

Ingredient Variations


  • Bolillo Alternatives: Try telera and if that’s not available then use French bread or a baguette.
  • Cheese Alternatives: If you don’t have access to the previously mentioned Mexican ones, mozzarella or Monterrey Jack are great alternatives and they melt well.
  • Salsas to Use: Pico de gallo or salsa verde or salsa molcajeteada. Or even just chopped jalapeños in a pinch.
  • Beans Alternative: Instead of refried pinto beans you can use black beans, they are actually more common to use than the pintos.
Mexican bolillo bread roll.
Bolillo Bread Rolls for Making Mexican Open Faced Sandwich

What Bread to Use

Most people use bolillos, you could use a telera instead if you don’t happen to have bolillos.

In a pinch you could even use sliced baguettes. You want a rusty or crisp kind of bread roll. A soft textured one will be harder to spread with the beans.

Mexican Open Face Bean Sandwich Topped with Shredded Cheese
Mexican Open Face Bean Sandwich Topped with Shredded Cheese

What Cheese to Use

The best cheese to use is one that melts well.

I personally like to use Manchego cheese, queso Menonita, or Oaxaca cheese.

In the “Ingredient Variations” section I offer more alternatives for those that can’t find the 3 cheeses I listed above.

A big bowl of raw salsa or tomato salsa fresca.
Pico de Gallo Salsa for Topping Mexican Molletes Sandwiches

What Salsa to Use

The salsa used for topping molletes that you’ll see most commonly is pico de gallo salsa.

Some people will drizzle an additional blended salsa over the pico de gallo. Or in a pinch if you only have a blended salsa, like salsa verde, or a chunky tomato salsa, like molcajete salsa, either of those is also fine to use.

If you have none of the ones mentioned, well in a pinch you could top with some pickled jalapeños or hot sauce from a jar.

Molletes_Topped with Pico de Gallo Salsa.
Molletes Topped with Pico de Gallo Salsa

Should You Use Butter or Mayo

Some people like to spread butter onto the bolillo halves before spreading the refried beans over them. Sometimes these people will also toast the bolillo before topping with the beans.

I don’t personally do it but it is a popular option to try.

A vegan mollete Mexican open faced sandwich with refried beans and melted cheese and topped with salsa.
Vegan Molletes

Vegan Molletes

The traditional recipe is incredibly easy to veganize.

Make sure you make my homemade vegan refried beans, or buy them at the store just make sure they’re vegan.

The bolillos and teleras are vegan breads.

For the cheese just make sure to use your favorite melting vegan cheese.

The rest of the instructions are exactly the same.

Molletes Recipe | How to Make Authentic Mexican Molletes

Ok amigos below is the written recipes. Please make sure you leave me a comment with a rating to let me know how you liked this delectable and easy recipe. Enjoy!

A vegan mollete Mexican open faced sandwich with refried beans and melted cheese and topped with salsa.

Molletes

Nancy Lopez & MexicanMadeMeatless.com
Molletes, Mexico’s beloved open faced sandwiches, are quick, healthy and budget friendly meal perfect for everyone. You only need 4 ingredients and they can be ready in about 15 minutes.
5 from 27 votes
Save Recipe
Prep Time 8 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Course lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Mexican vegan, mexican vegetarian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 444 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400F and have a baking sheet ready. If you need to make the pico de gallo salsa do so now.
    A big bowl of raw salsa or tomato salsa fresca.
  • Slice the bolillos in half going lengthwise. If you want you can remove a bit of the inside.
    How to make Mexican Molletes
  • Spread half a cup of refried beans over each bolillo halft.
    How to make Mexican Molletes
  • Sprinkle half a cup of shredded cheese over each half.
    How to make Mexican Molletes
  • Bake in center of oven until the cheese is melted.
    How to make Mexican Molletes
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
    How to make Mexican Molletes
  • Top with the pico de gallo salsa. Serve and enjoy.
    How to make Mexican Molletes

Video

Notes

Ingredient Variations
Bolillo Alternatives: Try telera and if that’s not available then use French bread or a baguette.
Cheese Alternatives: If you don’t have access to the previously mentioned Mexican ones, mozzarella or Monterrey Jack are great alternatives and they melt well.
Salsas to Use: Pico de gallo or salsa verde or salsa molcajeteada. Or even just chopped jalapeños in a pinch.
Beans Alternative: Instead of refried pinto beans you can use black beans, they are actually more common to use than the pintos.

Nutrition

Serving: 4servingsCalories: 444kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 24gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 2041mgPotassium: 366mgFiber: 8gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1034IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 708mgIron: 3mg
Keyword molletes, refried beans, sanwiches
Tried this recipe?Mention @MexicanMadeMeatless or tag #mexicamademeatless!
Vegetarian Refried Bean Mexican Sandwich Molletes
Vegetarian Refried Bean Mexican Sandwich

Serving Suggestions | How to Serve Them

Molletes are traditionally simple served with just a bit of extra pico de gallo and maybe some blended salsa for more heat.

You could also serve some pickled carrots on the side, if desired. I have easy and delicious recipe already here on the blog, zanahorias en escabeche.

If you’d like to make this a bigger meal you could serve a small bowl of soup like my fideo soup. But quite honestly the molletes are a meal all their own.

Vegetarian Refried Bean Mexican Sandwich Molletes
Molletes with Vegan or Vegetarian Options

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42 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Molletes is one of my favorite antojitos mexicanos ever. I usually make them with queso fresco but they are delicious with manchego.

  2. 5 stars
    I have been making something like this with flour tortillas. I love your site! Years ago I went to a nutritionist because of health issues. I spoke to her about my Latin heritage and asked about modifying some of our family favorites. She told me to forget about it. She said there is no healthy Mexican food. I ignored her, of course, but your recipes have been a great help to me. I thank you.

    1. 5 stars
      I’m so glad you ignored her Carissa. That is a big misconception about Mexican food, but in reality our food is filled with fresh and seasonal ingredients. For fried foods we have options to bake or even better, air fry. There’s no reason to miss out on our culture’s flavors. Thank you so much, I’m so happy that I could help a little bit in your journey. Hugs!

  3. 5 stars
    Would love to try the recipe. Thanks for sharing ❤️.This has my name written all over it.

  4. 5 stars
    I love how easy the molletes come together. The beans and salsa are definitely my favorite part!

  5. 5 stars
    Open face sandwiches are my favorite and this one was super easy to make! Refried beans and pico de gallo go great together and make a delicious snack!

  6. 5 stars
    I know what I’m making for lunch this weekend! Molletes, these look easy and fun to make!

  7. 5 stars
    These molletes are like the mexican version of Italian bruschetta ( We live in Italy) but definitely tastier! I had to promise my husband I’d make more next time!

  8. 5 stars
    I made this for lunch today and my boys loved it. It was so easy specially with the can of beans I already had. For salsa I used one from the store. Thank you they requested I make it again.

  9. 5 stars
    What I love about the Mexican food recipe is the color it gives, which makes any dish looks absolutely delicious. Plus the dish is a complete meal and healthy too.

  10. 5 stars
    This recipe was so fabulous! I sincerely am glad I found it on Pinterest. We made it for our friends on Friday, and they even said it was awesome. I love when guests are happy! Have a great day.

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