Mexican Molletes (avocado, bean & cheese melts)

I wish I could spin a story about feasting on molletes during our trip to Mexico with the kids, but even though we ate like kings on the local fare, I can’t recall ever coming across the traditional dish of beans and cheese melted on bolillos.

I suppose molletes (pronounced: mo-YEH-tehs, alright?) are more of a comfort food in Northern Mexico, and we were in the state of Nayarit at the time. Nope, I didn’t grow up eating them either, unlike bolillos, instead, I discovered the idea on a wonderful little corner of the web written by Lisa of Homesick Texan.

Open-faced sandwiches? Piled high with refried beans and salsa, then topped with cheese and broiled? Everything about them sounded delicious – and I knew my burrito-loving children would likely echo my sentiments.

Mexican Mollets (avocado bean cheese melts) || Simple Bites

We first broiled up a batch of molletes after a brisk morning on the sledding hill behind our house and they disappeared off the tray before they even had a proper chance to cool. The edges of the rolls were crisp and shattered when we bit into them, but the interior of the mollete was soft and creamy, thanks to seasoned refried beans and a generous slice of avocado.

To make the molletes, I started with a recipe of homemade bolillos, those delightful crusty Mexican buns, but you could also substitute a whole wheat bun with a good crust, such as Kaisers or individual Ciabatta.

Mexican Mollets (avocado bean cheese melts)-1

I almost always have a batch of Mexican ranch style beans in the freezer (they keep exceedingly well, preserved in their cooking liquid) and so I mashed them up in a cast iron skillet with a bit of oil, garlic powder and salt. I suppose everyone has their own method for refried beans, and if you don’t, may I suggest these homemade refried beans from Amber of Bluebonnet Baker. She knows her Tex-Mex!

Of course, it is perfectly fine to open up a can of refried beans, if that is all you have. It certainly is quick and this snack is supposed to be snappy. Top with cheese, sliced avocado and more cheese and broil until the cheese is melted.

Mexican Mollets (avocado bean cheese melts) || Simple Bites

Top molletes with salsa and creme fraiche or sour cream to really make them irresistible, and a pinch of alfalfa sprouts or shredded iceberg lettuce on top is great, too. Of course, if it were summertime, with an abundance of vine-ripened tomatoes, I’d be topping my molletes with homemade pico de gallo.

There you have it, a perfect Saturday lunch before hockey practice or an afternoon of sledding. I know I just gave you the recipe, but here’s the version to print. Let me know if you try molletes for yourself.

Mexican Molletes (avocado, bean & cheese melts)
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Recipe type: Snack
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Total time:
Serves/Yield: 12 small molletes
Making molletes is certainly easier than pronouncing them! Try this traditional Mexican snack of beans and cheese melted on toast, then customize the toppings to suit your tastes.
Ingredients
  • 6 small bolillos or similar crusty rolls
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups refried beans
  • 1 1 /2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • sour cream
  • salsa
  • alfalfa sprouts or shredded lettuce
Instructions
  1. Preheat a broiler to 550F.
  2. Split the bolillos in two and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread with butter. Place in the oven and broil for 1-2 minutes, or until the edges begin to crisp. Carefully remove from the oven.
  3. Divide the refried beans among the toasted bolillos, about 2 tablespoons each. Smash them down with the back of a fork. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the beans.
  4. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Cut into quarters and peel off the skin. Slice each quarter into three sections. Place a slice of avocado on each bolillo bun.
  5. Sprinkle remaining cheese all over the avocado. Place under the broiler and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is fully melted. Keep a close eye on the pan and do not walk away.
  6. Remove from oven and cool molletes slightly. Serve hot with sour cream, salsa and sprouts or lettuce.

New to Molletes? Try these next:

Eat Seasonal

I realize this recipe is a bit of a stretch for seasonal eating, but avocado season in California begins in February. I’ve already noticed an improvement in the avocados I bring home. Also – homegrown alfalfa sprouts! Those are a welcome bit of green during a particularly winter-white month here in the North.

February-Seasonal-Recipes

Here’s a round-up of seasonal eating inspiration from our group:

Tangerine Sorbet Champagne Floats by Completely Delicious

Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts Pasta Carbonara by Suitcase Foodist

Citrus, Fennel, and Avocado Salad by Flavor the Moments

Savory Dutch Baby with Roasted Broccoli by Floating Kitchen

Roasted Red Potatoes with Zahatar and Lemon by Project Domestication

Parsnip Hash Browns by Vintage Mixer

Greens and Potato Soup with Hominy and Pinto Beans by Letty’s Kitchen

Penne Pasta with Cauliflower and Pancetta by Foodie Crush

Rosemary Cheddar Cauliflower Cakes by Food for My Family

Creamed Brussel Sprout Tater Tot Casserole by Climbing Grier Mountain

Honey Mustard Citrus Chicken with Mango Chutney by Kitchen Confidante

Happy seasonal eating in February! 

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. this looks amazing! yummy!

  2. Thank you for the link back, friend! These look absolutely amazing. Next I expect you to make refried bean and cheese breakfast tacos (flour tortillas, please) for the babies. That’s a staple around these parts. Just refried beans and cheddar cheese. THAT is comfort food, as far as I’m concerned. Now, how is it I’ve never had a mollete?

  3. I’ve never heard of molletes before, and they look incredibly good! I love the idea of eating beans and cheese on toast — my kids would love these!

  4. Yum… so, so much better than McMollettes. Yes, really… was at a McDonald’s in Mexico City with a friend years ago… my only travelling/cuisine mistake on that trip, luckily. Love your IG photo of the “crick”… looks like a painting!

  5. I have never had molletes before, but I just know I’m going to love them! It’s snowing here today, and I’m liking the idea of baking some of these up after I go and shovel out my car!

  6. These look soooo good. I’m from the Midwest where there is a ton of Mexican/Hispanic food and now living in BC there is none! I’ve found one good (decent) Mexican restaurant and joy and joys! I found a tiny Mexican market that I can now frequent, but that’s one thing I’ve missed from home
    I’ve never seen this type of food before but it looks like a fusion. 🙂 What a great way to incorporate more beans. I’m definitely going to try these–they look really pretty, too.

    • You’re lucky to find a Mexican market. They are few and far between in BC, I would know.
      I hope to try molletes! Let me know how you like them.

  7. These look so tasty! I love avocado and alfalfa sprout toppings – I never would have thought to pair sprouts with Mexican flavours. I think I’d have to slather a generous amount of Sriracha on mine as well. YUM. 🙂

  8. Mexicans may eat these for breakfast–but what a great appetizer snack they make as well. And you sneak those sprouts on top so nicely! And homemade bolillos–wow!

  9. These look SO good! Our daughter has decided to be vegetarian as her way of helping the planet – and this recipe would be both filling and nourishing. It’s also customizable, so each person in the family could use whichever toppings they love best. Going to pin it now! xo M.

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