Molletes with Pico: No Way not to Fall in Love


Molletes with Pico: No Way not to Fall in Love

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 1

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

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.

Molletes 3
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 4

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.


Grilled Bean and Cheese Heros

4 to 6 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Antojos
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Antojo, beans, Monterrey Jack cheese, mozzarella, Oaxaca cheese, pati's mexican table, Pico de Gallo, Recipe, refried beans, telera
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
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.


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

To Prepare

  • 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.

60 comments on “Molletes with Pico: No Way not to Fall in Love

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  1. Love your show! My wife and I finally tried the Molletes and they are amazing!! Super fun and easy to make. Packed with flavors. Your recipes do not disappoint. Everyone must try this recipe!

  2. So, I just purchased some beautiful Bollilo rolls. They looked so beautiful, I had to see what they tasted like, and I googled Bollilo along with my favorite Mexican chef, Patti Jinich, and this recipe popped up. I’m very excited to try this for dinner tonight. I have some marinated flank steak I plan to add as well as fresh pico de gallo and guacamole! I love all of your recipes! You have helped me step up my game with Mexican cuisine. Thank you for wonderful hours of watching and learning from you on Create TV 🤩

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words Barrie, so glad you got your hands on some bolillos, yum! They are perfect for molletes and your idea of adding flank steak is perfect, you can also top them with chorizo, ham, bacon or eggs. Enjoy!

  3. I watched your episode with the molletes and pico de hallo, alphabet soup, and dulce de leche cheesecake. I have three boys, ages 19, 18, and 14…this episode reminded me so much when they were little and we would Cook together. What wonderful family memories to have with your sons. We still have a weekly night of Mexican foods together, and I will make this menu for them. I love your show, Pati!

  4. I watched this episode last night and loved seeing you with your sons. The recipes looked great and I have a son and it is a wonderful bond that a mother and son have!

    1. I also watched it on the same night that Stacy did (and have seen it before). This recipe looks very easy; I can’t wait to try it. Your boys have grown since this episode with the Molletes; they are all very sweet and good looking, too! Also intrigued by the soup with the browned dry ditalini pasta. I’m going to give that a try as well.

  5. I just wanted to say I just had my family try your Molletes and they went nuts for them they are fantastic you truly are a inspiration to me with all your great food love your show your recipes are fantastic thank you Pati Your Faithful fan
    Thank You
    Woody Sery

  6. Hi Pati,

    I saw you make Molletes recently, I haven’t seen them since I left CA.

    Like all your recipes, this was so good so easy to make and they’ve become my favorite “I don’t want to cook” meal. They are addicting.

    I’m a chef and love watching your show. I find myself replicating most of your recipes and I’ve not been disappointed one time. Plus I adore your accent and love laughing at your sons teasing you about your pronunciations…it’s so endearing.

    Thank you for some really great meals. I always look forward to seeing what’s next on my menu!

  7. My husband and watched you making these on our local PBS station last night (5/10/15) and decided we had to try them! Well, we made them tonight and they were absolutely delicious! We’ll definitely have them again!

    We so enjoy watching your show! Thank you for sharing such great recipes!

  8. I first visited Mexico last year but I’ve been cooking Mexican food at home in Australia for some time and have made this dish a few times. At our hotel in Mexico City breakfast was included, a different dish every day, and I was in the kitchen one morning fixing myself a coffee and I noticed a pile of fresh bolillos next to the cook, who was making pico de gallo. I asked him “are we having molletes for breakfast?” and he was super excited that a white guy like me knew and loved this dish 🙂 These are so good!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

    1. 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!

  12. 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!

    1. 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 ; )


  14. 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?

  15. 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

    1. 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… : )

  16. 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!!

    1. 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…

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