Cook's Hideout: Vegetarian Molletes - Mexican Open Face Sandwich

May 01, 2015

Vegetarian Molletes - Mexican Open Face Sandwich

After all the sweet & savory bakes in April, I'm starting May with a baked Mexican open faced sandwich called Mollete. When I think of May, I think of Cinco de Mayo that is celebrated on the 5th of May. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French at the battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. So May 5th means make Mexican food and enjoy!!
I was browsing through my 'Cookshelf -- Mexican' cookbook for some recipes and found this Mollete sandwich. It is a Mexican version of open faced sandwich that is filled with refried beans and cheese, then topped with a crunchy cabbage salad.
Vegetarian Molletes
Molletes are traditionally made with bolillos, a savory Mexican bread that is similar to a baguette but is shorter in length and has a crunchy crust and soft inside. I couldn't find bolillo in my neighborhood, so bought wholewheat crusty rolls and made the sandwiches with them.

Mollete is like Mexican version of pizza, it is very filling and very delicious. It is easy to make too, if you have refried beans already cooked up (or if you have a can of store bought refried beans).

Ingredients: Makes 2 sandwiches
Bread rolls - 2 (traditionally bolillos are used to make these sandwiches)

For the Filling:
Refried beans - 1cup (either homemade or store bought)
Onion - 1 small, chopped
Garlic cloves - 2, finely chopped
Tomatoes - 2 ripe, chopped
Ground Cumin - ½tsp
Cheese - ¼cup, grated (I used Pepper jack cheese, but traditionally queso ranchero, asadero or queso menonita are used)
Salt & Pepper - to taste

For the Cabbage Salad:
Cabbage - ¼cup, thinly sliced
Pickled jalapenos from a jar - 1tbsp, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil - 2tsp
Apple cider Vinegar - 1½tbsp
Dried Oregano - ¼tsp
Salt & Pepper - to taste

Other Optional Toppings:
Avocado - sliced
Sour cream

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Make the Cabbage salad: Combine all the ingredients for the salad in a mixing bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  • Cut the rolls in half and remove some of the crumb to make space for the filling. Brush them with oil and place them on a baking sheet. Bake them for 8~10 minutes or until the rolls are crisp and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and keep the oven on.
  • In the meantime, heat the refried beans in a small sauce pan along with some water to thin it out into a smooth paste. 
  • Heat 2tsp oil in a saute pan; add the onions and garlic and cook till onions turn soft. Add the tomatoes and cook thick they turn mushy.
  • Add the beans to the onion mixture. Stir in the ground cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 more minutes and set aside.
  • To assemble: Fill the rolls with the warm bean mixture, then top with the grated cheese. Place the rolls back on the baking sheet and bake for 2~3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  • Spoon in a little cabbage salad and the other optional toppings and serve immediately. 
Vegetarian Molletes

Linking this to Valli's 'Cooking from Cookbook ChallengeMay -- Week 1'.



  1. Wow that picture is surely tempting Pavani..agreed with all that bakes we have been doing, this is a refreshing sandwich..

  2. what what a hearty lunch that would be

  3. Tempting and delicious open sandwich.

  4. Wow, that sure makes a delicious & hearty lunch, Pavani. Lovely presentation :)


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