Ready in only 15 minutes, this Molletes recipe is made with all the Mexican staples – bolillo bread rolls, refried pinto beans and cheese! Top it with a little pico de gallo or your favorite salsa and enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner any day of the week.
What are Molletes?
Molletes (pronounced moh-yeh-tehs) is a Mexican dish made from toasted bolillo bread rolls topped with refried beans and melted cheese.
They’re often referred to as an open-faced Mexican grilled cheese sandwich or Mexican bruschetta. I like to think of them as a simple beans and cheese on toast!
They’re a perfect option when you’re wanting to make something quick and easy for lunch or dinner, and they’re also great for feeding a crowd. If you ask my husband, he’ll even tell you they make a great afternoon snack!
- Bolillo Bread – You can easily find bolillo bread rolls in any Mexican grocery store. Many large grocery store chains in the United States have also started carrying it in the bakery section of the store where all the specialty breads are located. Alternatively, you could make homemade bolillo bread as well! (See notes below for substitutions.)
- Butter – Because buttered bread is the best! (See notes below for substitutions.)
- Refried Beans – Nothing’s better than homemade refried beans on molletes, but you could also use your favorite store-bought refried beans if you prefer.
- Monterey Jack Cheese – Not only does Monterey Jack cheese melt really nicely (which is exactly what we’re looking for), but it also has a sharper flavor than other melty cheeses. (See notes below for substitutions.) I recommend buying a block of Monterey Jack and shredding it yourself for optimum melting. Pre-shredded packaged cheese typically is coated with an anti-caking powder which doesn’t always produce the best melted cheese.
- Toppings – Molletes are typically topped with a red or green salsa to add a touch of spice and/or acidity. Pico de gallo, salsa verde, chile de arbol salsa, and this roasted tomato salsa are all great options!
How to Make Molletes
Making molletes is as easy as toasting some bread! First, slice the bolillo bread rolls in half lengthwise, and spread a little butter on each slice. Place them under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to crisp up the bread and firm it up a bit.
Next, top with refried beans and cheese. Broil one last time for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese and that’s it! Top it with some fresh pico de gallo or your favorite Mexican salsa and enjoy.
- Remember to move the oven rack to the middle position before turning on the oven broiler. This will help the bread from browning too quickly.
- Make sure to keep an eye on the molletes when they’re in the oven as the bread can quickly go from toasted to burned.
- If you have a toaster oven, you can use that instead if you prefer!
Substitutions and Variations
Don’t quite have everything you need? Here are some options that may be helpful.
- Instead of shredded Monterey Jack cheese, you can use any other melty cheese you have on hand. Other classic Mexican cheeses that are often used are Chihuahua or Oaxaca cheese. You could also use Mozzarella.
- Can’t find bolillo bread rolls? You can use any French bread, Italian bread, or sub sandwich bread instead.
- Instead of traditional refried beans made with pinto beans, you could use refried black beans.
- Adding butter or margarine is completely optional. Feel free to leave that out if you prefer.
- To make the molletes a bit more filling, you could also add some sliced avocados, guacamole or even crumbled chorizo on top!
Storing and Reheating
Molletes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Over time, the refried beans can soak into the bread and make it a little soggier than I’d like so I don’t recommend storing it any longer than that.
To combat any sogginess that may happen after storing them in the fridge, I recommend reheating the molletes in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes to crisp and warm them up without risking burning the bread.