DIVAS ON A DIME: The 15-minute meal miracle — molletes

By Patti Diamond

Here’s an easy meal that’s faster than the drive-thru! (www.JasonCoblentz.com)

Here’s the question, “I need dinner, now! What can I make that’s inexpensive, faster than the drive-thru and just as tasty?” Here’s my answer, “Make molletes!”

In Mexican cuisine, a mollete (moh-yeh-teh) is an open-faced sandwich made with beans and cheese. It uses bolillo rolls, split lengthwise and toasted, schmeared with creamy, savory refried beans, topped with lots of cheese then grilled or broiled to melty, gooey, glorious perfection. The sandwich is delectable just like this, but it’s also a blank canvas for all kinds of toppings.

Molletes are often served with salsa or pico de gallo (pictured). For a heartier meal, a fried egg, sliced ham, bacon or chorizo can be added. Additional toppings like avocado, mushrooms, jalapeno or serrano peppers add variety.

Bolillo rolls can be found in the specialty bakery department in most grocery stores. You can use traditional Mexican cheeses like queso ranchero or swap in any shredded cheese you like. Purchase your favorite refried beans, either black or pinto beans.

The recipe below is the easiest way to whip up a delicious meal for two in just 15 minutes using inexpensive ingredients easily found at the grocery store.




2 bolillo roles, or another sandwich roll

2 tablespoons butter, optional

1 (15.4 ounce) can refried beans, your favorite

2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese


  1. Preheat broiler. Slice bolillo rolls lengthwise spreading with butter if using. Place them under the broiler until lightly golden.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the refried beans with 2 tablespoons water in the microwave or stovetop. Evenly divide the refried beans between the toasted rolls. Top with cheese and return to the broiler to melt the cheese. Serve with a side salad and you’re Diva-dinner-done!


Now, if time and energy allow, you can dress molletes up for company by upgrading a few simple elements.

Ever wonder why restaurant refried beans are so creamy and flavorful? It’s because they spend hours making them from scratch. I don’t know about you, but I don’t always have that kind of time. So, here’s my 10-minute shortcut to dreamy, creamy beanies.



Yield: 2 cups  Time: 10 minutes


2 tablespoons butter, lard or olive oil

1/2 cup onion, minced

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 (15.5 ounce) can of pinto beans, partially drained

1/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half

Salt (if needed, to taste)

Optional ingredients: 1 tablespoon minced cilantro and 1/2 tablespoon lime juice


In a medium saucepan or large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil or fat. Add the onion and saute until softened. Add the garlic powder, cumin and chili powder and stir. Add the partially drained beans — you want a little of that liquid for texture. Add the cream or half-and-half and let this simmer for a few minutes. Now use either an immersion blender, a potato masher or the back of a fork to mash the beans to your desired consistency. If you’re adding the cilantro and lime juice, now’s the time. This recipe is worth doubling just to have leftovers.



Yield: 3/4 cup (easily doubles)


1 Roma tomato

1/4 cup onion, white or red

1 tablespoon jalapeno pepper

3 or 4 sprigs cilantro

1 teaspoon lime, juiced

Pinch kosher salt


Please use caution when working with jalapenos. Dice and combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and adjust ingredients to taste as desired.

So, the next time you have the urge to hit the drive-thru, head home, because you’re only 15 minutes away from a delicious homemade meal.


Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the penny-pinching, party-planning, recipe developer and content creator of the website “Divas On A Dime — Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com


© 2022 King Features Synd., Inc.

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