There are so many reasons to make these plant-based Cemita Sandwiches!
Perfect for an easy dinner, these bite-sized sliders are inspired by their larger, meatier cousins from Puebla, Mexico, but vegetarian, full of flavor, and completely irresistible.
A Cemita Poblana is a flavor-packed sandwich traditionally piled-high with crispy-fried beef or pork Milanesa, Oaxacan cheese, chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, and a fragrant herb called Papalo, all on a sesame seed buns called Cemita Rolls.
In Puebla where the sandwich is from, you’ll find street stands and restaurants dedicated to just this one delicious sandwich.
What makes this Cemita recipe unique is I’ve swapped the traditional breaded meat cutlets with crispy pan-fried ripe plantains.
As a family we are trying to eat more plant-based meals, not only because it is better for our planet, but our health as well. Plantains are a rich source of fiber, high in magnesium and potassium, and loaded with vitamins.
The fried plantains may seem an unusual choice, but you are going to love this sweet and salty combo.
The other difference here is a Cemita sandwich is typically made on a sesame seed bun that shares the same name.
These larger buns with the crusty, sesame seed tops are just perfect for holding all the fillings and I highly suggest either searching them out at a Panaderia or Mexican bakery near you or if you love to bake bread, give a try at making them yourself, Sonia has an awesome recipe.
But for something more bite-sized, I’ve swapped the traditional sesame seed buns with brioche slider rolls.
Their soft, buttery texture are so good with the fillings and making them small means they can be anything from a hearty appetizer to dinner.
You ready to dive in?
what is a cemita?
The name Cemita can refer to a sandwich or a sesame seed roll, so it kind of depends on the context.
The sandwich (or Mexican Torta), is most commonly made with golden brown cutlets.
In Puebla, Mexico, where the Cemita is from, the sandwich is served cold with no lettuce or tomato.
It’s layers of flavor come from the slightly sweet bun, savory meat, and a trickle of spicy, salty, creamy, herbal flavors from the other ingredients like cheese and avocado.
why you must try this recipe!
- These mini Cemita sliders have all the complexity of the traditional sandwich, just without the meat!
- Their smaller size makes them perfect party food or family-friendly dinner—great for little hands!
what’s in these cemita sliders
There are just a few ingredients and they all can be found at your local Latin market!
- Brioche slider rolls
- Ripe Plantain (sometimes labeled Platano Macho)
- Canned Chipotle Peppers in Adobo (see this post to find out my favorite brand)
- Queso Oaxaca
- Papalo (a fragrant herb that tastes how crisp, raw rhubarb smells. Substitute cilantro if you can’t find it.)
- Thinly sliced raw onion
how to make it!
There is very little cooking involved with these tortas, which means they can be on the table in minutes.
- Fry the plantains. Peel and slice the plantains and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Then simply fry in a little oil, drain on a paper towel, and sprinkle with salt.
- Shred the Queso Oaxaca. Remember string cheese? That’s how you do it! Pull the strands of cheese until you have a pile of thin pieces. If you get really good you should be able to pull it into hair-thin strands—I haven’t gotten there yet, but I’m practicing.
- Stack it up! Layer the slices of avocado first, then spread chipotle peppers on top (I like to chop them up a bit). Next add the plantains, cheese, Papalo, and onion. Top with the bun and that’s it!
more mexican torta recipes to try
This Cemita sounds pretty amazing, right?! There’s so many more Mexican sandwiches to try. Here are some of my favorites:
- Cold Turkey Torta with Marinated Tomatoes
- Coconut Shrimp Torta with Black Beans
- Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog with Pickled Avocado
- Chicken Milanesa Sandwich with Basil-Lime Mayo
cemita sliders are you new favorite sandwich!
Try these plant-based plantain cemita sliders, and let me know how you like them, OK? Because I’m pretty convinced they’re going to be your new favorite sandwich. Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so that I can see your stuff! Happy eating!
Fried Plantain Cemita Sliders (Plant-Based)
This plant-based version of a Cemita Poblana sandwich swaps classic milanesa for fried plantain and the sesame bun for brioche slider rolls.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 12 sliders 1x
- Category: sandwich
- Method: no cook
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Diet: Vegetarian
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 medium, ripe plantains, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
12 brioche slider rolls
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
3–4 chipotles in adobo, chopped
3 ounces Queso Oaxaca, shredded into thin strands
1/2 cup Papalo leaves or cilantro
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
Fry the plantain: Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Once oil is shimmering, add plantain slices in a single layer (you may need to do this in batches). Fry until browned on one side, about 2 minutes, flip and repeat on the other side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
Layer it up! Slice the rolls in half. Lay a couple slices of avocado on each half, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread some of the chopped chipotles over the avocado slices. Lay a couple of plantain pieces on top then evenly distribute the cheese, Papalo, and onion slices among the sandwiches. Place the other side of the rolls on top and dig in!