Mexican bean toasts aka molletes. Molletes are open-faced sandwiches with a bean mash, cheese, and a zingy pico de gallo for freshness and balance. They’re traditionally made with black beans but I’ve used kidney beans (rajma) here.

The mash itself is pretty straight forward – sautéed onions and garlic, spices, and cooked beans. For some smokiness and heat I put my own spin on it by throwing in some chipotles chillies, but this is totally optional. (Chipotle in adobo or just chilli powder are good substitutes.) Everything is cooked together, then coarsely mashed.

Bread wise, sourdough slices are ideal here – their structural integrity holds up well against the softness of the mash and cheese. You also get a good ratio of bread:mash:cheese with sourdough. That’s not to say regular bread won’t work. Just go easy on the amount of mash and cheese so you get a good balance with every bite.

The mash keeps well for a few days in the fridge. I find myself making more than I’d immediately need just to keep some on hand for breakfasts. Standard operating procedure as below, only, topped with a fried egg. Nutritious and filling for a busy day ahead.


Servings: 4 people


  • 1 cup dried kidney beans
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ tablespoon cumin powder
  • 6 dried chipotle chillies, powdered (see notes for substitutions)
  • ¼ cup tomato purée/paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 200 grams cheddar cheese, grated
  • 8-10 slices of bread (sourdough works best)
  • Salt, to taste

Pico de gallo:

  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste


  • Wash and soak the dried kidney beans overnight (or for at least 6 hours). Add fresh water and pressure cook until tender. (Should break apart easily when pinched.) Drain and set aside.
  • Make the pico de gallo by mixing together all the ingredients listed above. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C. Lay out the bread onto a baking tray and bake until lightly browned.
  • Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until nicely browned. Add tomato purée and season with salt. Cook for 5 mins.
  • Add the spices: chipotle/chipotle in adobo/chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and dried oregano.
  • Tip in the cooked kidney beans and mash them into the base. Add a little water if necessary to loosen. Cook covered for 10 mins. You want a thick mashed potato consistency.
  • Divide the bean mixture between the slices of bread: spread it out evenly on each slice and top with grated cheese. Repeat with the rest, then lay each slice back on the baking tray.
  • Bake the toasts for 7-10 mins or until the cheese is melted through. Serve hot with a good sprinkling of pico de gallo over each.


Substitutions for dried chipotles: 2 tablespoons of chipotle in adobo (chopped) or 1 teaspoon chilli powder.

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