April 11, 2011 12:00 PM
Molletes with Pico: No Way not to Fall in Love
POSTED IN: Anytime Antojos , Recipes
TAGS: bread , cheese , jalapeno , molletes , pico de gallo , recipe , refried beans
Print This Page | Print Recipe | COMMENTS (23)

It takes three ingredients, plus any extra topping that you fancy, 8 minutes in the toaster or oven and you get one of the most comforting foods I have eaten since I can remember: Molletes.

One of the most popular Mexican anytime antojitos or cravings, that can be eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch, a hearty afternoon snack or dinner.  It used to be a standard option for breakfast or dinner at my house growing up in Mexico City, just as quesadillas were. But I also used to crave Molletes from my school cafeteria.

So yes, even if I had some at home in the morning, I would have more for lunch at school...
First, you need the earthy and filling refried beans. You can make your own at home -I make a weekly double batch of beans and use it all week long- or buy ready made at the store. I usually go for Pintos, from photo below, or Black beans.

Molletes 5.JPG
Secondly, you need crispy bread. In Mexico it is always a bolillo or telera, the Mexican adaptation of the baguette (since times of Maximilian in the 1860's...). But you can use petite baguettes or cut individual portions from a large baguette. Portuguese buns are similar too.

Slice the breads in half lengthwise and slather 2 to 4 tablespoons of refried beans on each half.

Molletes 2.jpg
Lastly, add a generous amount of shredded, melting cheese. Something flavorful, but not too overpowering, like Oaxaca, Mozzarella (but not the fresh wet one), Monterey Jack, Light Cheddar or Muenster. In Mexico I would also go for the Chihuahua or Mexican Manchego, but those are hard to come by in the US.

Then in the toaster or oven they go, for about 8 minutes. Until the bread crisps on the outside even more, the earthy beans have heated up and the cheese is oozing on top of it all.

As with most antojitos, they can be messed around with. You can add extra toppings like crumbled bacon, chorizo, turkey or ham.

My boys love to have those choices! It makes them feel empowered in the kitchen, different from one another and like they are fully enforcing their free will on my territory. Which honestly, is more and more theirs, as the years go by. And I just love that, I can't begin to tell you how much.

In restaurants and coffee shops Molletes are usually served with a side of Pico de Gallo

Molletes 6.JPG
Talk about a way to make them even more wholesome and colorful. A healthy mix of ripe tomatoes, a bit of onion, cilantro and fresh chile, all mixed with fresh squeezed lime juice. But sometimes I will serve them along a Salsa Verde or Chipotles in Adobo. Delicious as well. 

There is no way not to fall in love with this quick, fun and tasty meal. There's just... none.


Serves 4-6

4 teleras, bolillos, petite baguettes or large baguettes cut into 6" portions
2 cups refried beans(homemade or store bought)
2 cups Mexican Oaxaca, Mozzarella or Monterrey jack, grated (any melting cheese of you liking will do)
Serve with Pico de Gallo salsa or another salsa of your choice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the bread in half lengthwise to have 8 pieces. Spread each piece with 3 to 4 tablespoons of refried beans and add 3 to 4 tablespoons of grated cheese on top. Arrange Molletes on a baking sheet as you make them. If you want, add additional toppings like ham, turkey, bacon or chorizo. Sprinkle them on top of the cheese. When they are all assembled, place the baking sheet into the oven.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the bread has a nice toasted crust around the edges. Serve with Pico de Gallo salsa, or a salsa of your choice, on the side or on top.


I made these for my anglo husband and sadly he did not care for them. I think they are easy and filling. So delicious!

Noelle | April 11, 2011 12:43 PM

Pati: You've done it again. Can't wait to try this and often. Enjoyed watching you & Paula on her show the other day. Anxious make your Crispy Fried Tacos w/Salsa Verde as well as all the other recipes you funny girls cooked up. The summary on her show site also mentioned a recipe for Brisket w/ Pasilla Chile, but didn't offer the recipe. I'll search site as well as Food Network's site. Sounds Yummy! Love your updated site. Keep up the great work, mi amiga!!

Randy Badger | April 11, 2011 1:58 PM

Pati, I love them for breakfast. They stick to your ribs. There is a Mexican bakery down on Route 1 (Old Richmond Highway) that makes the perfect bolillos for these. Called La Mexicana, at 2907 Arlington Drive in Alexandria. LL

Lydia | April 11, 2011 9:08 PM

That is so funny! Yes, they stick to your ribs... Thanks for information on La Mexicana, I've never been and its not far from me... : )

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Lydia | April 11, 2011 10:14 PM

Hi Randy,
Thanks so much! The recipe for the Brisket with pasilla sauce is on my site! Just look it up under main dishes in recipes.
When I went to visit Paula, we ended up not having time to add this recipe. I am so glad you like the site, I am making some more changes which hopefully will make it a bit better...

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Randy Badger | April 11, 2011 10:18 PM

Aw. Too bad about your husband not liking them. Maybe with the addition of extra toppings and salsa on the side ; )

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Noelle | April 11, 2011 10:23 PM

Pati!! We love your recipes here in Canada! Can you ask in PBS if we will be able to see your show in Canada? I haven't found it! :(

Georgina Collins | April 12, 2011 8:35 AM

Oh thank you Georgina! Hm.. let me ask... : )

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Georgina Collins | April 12, 2011 9:39 AM

This sounds so good but I don't like beans. Could I use ground meat as a base instead of beans or does that change it too much into a completely different recipe?

Vicky | April 12, 2011 10:57 AM

If you go to La Mexicana, try their torta de carnitas. They also sell teleras.

Lydia | April 12, 2011 11:27 AM





SANDRA ELENA SMITH | April 13, 2011 12:50 PM

mis molletitos:

Christian Irabien | April 14, 2011 12:47 PM

Que bonitos molletitos!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Christian Irabien | April 14, 2011 6:10 PM

Pati! I got a response regarding your show in Eastern Canada:

"Thank you for your interest in the programming on WPBS-TV. We will be airing Pati’s Mexican Table on Wednesdays at 1:00 starting May 4th. I hope you enjoy the series."

Isn't that great? :) Looking forward to it!


Georgina | April 16, 2011 5:45 PM

Hi Georgina,
That is SUCH great news!!! Thank you so much for sharing the news and for requesting it, now I hope that you will like it!!! Send along any cravings that you have ; )

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Georgina | April 18, 2011 1:23 PM

In other parts of Mexico they call bolillos, francesitos (little french's). I had never heard the word telera. Thank you for the info and your recipe's. I'm going to try making mole from scratch for the first time.

Armando | April 18, 2011 3:51 PM

Of course! You will loooove making the mole. you can refashion it in a thousand ways, with chicken, over enmoladas (like enchiladas but with mole), as a sauce on the side of meat, all mixed up with shredded meat inside of tortas or sandwiches, over eggs... you name it!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Armando | April 18, 2011 6:49 PM

We enjoyed these in Oaxaca and have had them for lunch or snacks ever since.

Elaine | April 24, 2011 9:08 PM

I'm visiting here in California. Just saw your show for the first time and enjoyed it so much. I hope I can find your show when I go back home to Kansas City.

Cecelia | May 21, 2011 5:11 PM

Pati-Thank you for reminding me how delicious these molletes are and so simple! My daughter just married. I will pass this on to her. Do you also make frijoladas,with tortillas folded into the beans with queso freso? mmmm.

Patrice Castillo | June 26, 2011 5:58 PM

Thanks for asking Patrice! Here is a link to my recipe for enfrijoladas:
It's another super simple and really tasty recipe!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Patrice Castillo | June 28, 2011 2:50 PM

Made this yesterday to go with my fresh pico de gallo; it was easy and delicious! Even my picky son loved it! Thanks again! :)

Missy | August 18, 2011 7:27 AM

That is great news! I know how difficult it can be with picky eaters!!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Missy | August 18, 2011 6:42 PM