This molletes is really more something you commit to memory than it is a recipe. It's just refried beans on toast smothered with cheese and broiled until bubbly. Essentially Mexican grilled cheese.

Molletes Recipe

Molletes. They’re the Mexican equivalent of the American grilled cheese. Essentially, it’s stuff that you scrounge from the fridge, and in Mexico, that’s typically beans, cheese, and salsa. And it makes an insanely satiating comfort food fix any time of day. But lest you think this is a no brainer, there’s an art to it, including properly toasting and buttering the bread, adding just the right amount of beans and cheese, and then carefully melting that queso under the broiler until golden and bubbly. And as you probably already surmised, although this recipe makes ample to serve you and a few others, it can easily be scaled down to make just one. You know, for emergencies. This recipe has been updated. Originally published January 16, 2013.Renee Schettler Rossi

Molletes Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 15 M
  • Makes 4


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large rolls, preferably teleras, Portuguese, kaiser, or ciabatta, split
  • 1/4 cup (or a little more) refried beans, either pinto or black
  • 6 ounces Chihuahua cheese or provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Pico de Gallo or salsa


  • 1. Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 500°F (260°C).
  • 2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat until it’s nice and hot. Spread the butter over the cut sides of the roll halves. Place the rolls, cut sides down, in the skillet and let them go, untouched, until lightly golden brown and crisp, which ought to take just a minute or so.
  • 3. Spread a thin layer of beans over the toasted side of each roll. Top with a thin layer of cheese. Place the molletes in the oven just until the cheese has melted and turned golden brown in a few spots, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • 4. Serve the molletes immediately and pass the Pico de Gallo or salsa on the side.

Cooking For Two Or Cooking For One Variation

  • This molletes recipe can easily be scaled down to serve just the two of you. Simply halve the ingredients. Everything else remains the same. And if you want to make just a single molletes—or would that be mollete?—go on and scale it down even more. Easy peasy. Just rely on your second grade math skills.
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