How To Make Mexican Molletes

Two Mexican Molletes sitting on a white plate with a bowl of roasted garlic crema next to it.

Mexican Molletes are an open faced sandwich layered with refried beans, melted cheese, and fresh pico de gallo. This no-fuss, vegetarian meal is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner and is extra good with a dollop of roasted garlic-tomato crema on top!



For the refried beans:

1 pound dried pinto beans

1/4 cup sunflower oil or other neutral-flavored oil

1 small white onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried epazote or oregano

For the roasted garlic-tomato crema: 

1 head garlic, cloves peeled and trimmed

2 large tomatoes, quartered

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup Mexican crema or sour cream

For the molletes:

2 Mexican bolillo rolls, cut in half

4 tablespoons softened butter

2 cups shredded aged white cheddar cheese

2 cups Pico de Gallo


For the refried beans: 

Soak beans. Rinse the dried beans in a colander and remove any pieces of dirt or rocks. Place in a large container and cover with water by about 2 inches. Let soak on the counter overnight.

Cook beans. The next day, drain the soaked beans through a colander, give another rinse and place in a large pot. Cover with fresh water by about 4-5 inches and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and skim off any foam that has come to the surface with a ladle. Let cook until tender, about 2 hours.

Fry the beans. Heat the 1/4 cup of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once shimmering add the onions, garlic, and teaspoon of salt, and sauté until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the cumin and epazote and stir to toast in the oil briefly.

Add a cupful of beans (with their cooking liquid) at a time (using only about 5 cups of beans total), and mash with a potato masher. Let them cook until thick for about 8 to 10 minutes, and continue mashing and stirring, until they have achieved a thick puree consistency and are somewhat pasty looking. If you want super smooth beans, transfer this mixture to a blender and blend until very smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed.
For the roasted garlic-tomato crema:
Roast the veggies. Heat oven to 375°F. Combine garlic cloves and tomatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and season with the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss to coat well. Roast until very soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes.
Puree with crema. Transfer roasted veggies to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add the crema and puree until smooth. Taste and add more salt as needed.
For the molletes. 
Toast the bread. Heat oven to 425°F. Butter each cut-side of the rolls and lay them butter-side up on a baking sheet. Toast until golden on the outside and still soft in the middle, about 5 minutes.
Top with beans and cheese. Spread 1/4 cup refried beans on each half of the rolls and top with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese on each. Return to the oven and bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, another 5-10 minutes.
Top with garnishes. Top each half with Pico de Gallo and a dollop of roasted garlic-tomato crema and dig in!


Refried beans can be made several days in advance and kept in the refrigerator. It is best however to cook the whole beans, then refry them when you are ready to make the molletes. Any leftover cooked beans will keep in the fridge for up to a week or 3 months in the freezer.

The Roasted Garlic Tomato Crema will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Keywords: molletes