HOW TO: Make molletes

Great for a quick, easy meal or a snack made from leftovers, molletes are very popular in Mexico. You can typically find them at any coffee shop and in many casual restaurants around the country as well. They can be eaten for any meal and you probably have all of the ingredients without knowing it!

A few notes: Day old bread is best, but you can use fresh bread just fine if you toast it well. There aren’t really exact proportions here in this guide. I typically make refried beans at the beginning of each week and just use them until they’re gone. If you don’t do the same, a small can of refried beans will do just fine here, and you’ll still have some left over. Here, I’ve used pinto beans. You can also use frijoles bayos refritos (a cousin in taste and texture to the pinto bean) or refried black beans. You can also add as much or as little cheese as you’d like; the point is that you cover the beans.


  • For each serving  of two molletes, you’ll need one bolillo roll. If you don’t have those, you can substitute with a loaf of soft French bread cut into sections.
  • A little bit of butter or margarine
  • A few tablespoons of refried beans (frijoles refritos) for each piece of bread
  • Shredded cheese (I recommend: Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Monterrey Jack. Note: In Mexico, I prefer what they call manchego, which is not the same as Spanish manchego, but they don’t sell Mexican manchego in the U.S. to my knowledge.)
  • Salsa mexicana (here’s my recipe for 2 servings, which can be doubled or tripled for however many you’re feeding)

Keep reading for step-by-step photos to help you assemble your molletes.

1. Cut the bread open lengthwise. If there’s too much bread in the middle, sometimes I remove a little bit. Toast the bread under the broiler or in a toaster oven until the edges turn golden. Lightly butter the toasted bread.

2. Spread a few tablespoons of beans onto each piece of bread. Be careful not to make them too heavy. The refried beans pictured here have cooked chorizo mixed in for extra flavor, but that’s completely optional. If you use regular refried beans, this can be a vegetarian meal.

3. Add shredded cheese over the top of the beans and place under the broiler or in a toaster oven until the cheese melts.

4. Add salsa mexicana (or any other salsa you like) over the top and enjoy.

  • How do you make your molletes? Do you have a favorite place where you like to get them in Mexico?


  1. says

    oh yum! I use to eat these as a kid with just frijoles and queso fresco! I think i have the craving of trying a white pizza flavored one now easy and so delicious!

      • Sarai says

        My mom always made them with queso fresco, finely shredded, and baked them, lots of them. She also made a very good salsa, instead of pico de gallo. I’m making those tomorrow for a small celebration. :) That’s how I always ate them, and when I saw they sold them with manchego cheese and some people even nuking them I was like, What the heck!

  2. says

    OMG, these look amazing. “Molletes” sounded like they had a lot of meat involved in the preparation, but now that I see they’re vegetarian I’m totally putting this in my to-do list. I guess they’re the Mexican bruschetta?

    • says

      Morena, yes – they are completely vegetarian (unless you add chorizo to your refried beans, of course)! You can click on the vegetarian category at the top of the post to see all my other meatless options as well :)

  3. Aspen says

    Hey, they sell manchego at Food City. I don’t know where you live, but they do sell it state-side. Thanks for posting this recipe! I made some for a friend. I’ve never had them so I’m hoping I made them right. :)

    • says

      Hi Aspen, thanks for stopping by. Since we moved to Los Angeles earlier this year, we discovered Cacique sells a manchego that’s pretty good (we never saw it in Chicago though), but it’s not the same manchego that Nestle sells in Mexico (which is my favorite). Hope you enjoyed the molletes!


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