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The Mexican Breakfast Cookbook: Sweet and Spicy Morning Meals (1992) – Breakfast Tortas

November 2, 2012
Front cover of The Mexican Breakfast Cookbook: Sweet and Spicy Morning Meals (1992) by Jacqueline Higuera McMahan

Front cover of The Mexican Breakfast Cookbook: Sweet and Spicy Morning Meals (1992) by Jacqueline Higuera McMahan

McMahan, Jacqueline Higuera. The Mexican Breakfast Cookbook: Sweet and Spicy Morning Meals. Lake Hughes, CA: The Olive Press, 1992. P49-50. [TX716. M4 M39343 1992]

By Jerry Gloria, an undergraduate nutrition student at UTSA


Tortas is a traditional Mexican meal that can be served for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. Considered to be equivalent to America’s sandwiches, there can be a variety of fillings to place inside of the Bolillos. With the same principle of submarine bread, Bolillos is a type of bread roll that is hollowed out, and stuffed with different toppings.


Breakfast Tortas

Introduction from the cookbook: Another great use for bolillos is to make one of Mexico’s most dearly loved sandwiches – tortas. They consume mountains of tortas for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Pull out some of the insides from bolillos or Italian rolls and stuff them with a variety of fillings. Improvise. Mexican grocery stores usually carry fresh bolillos or make your own for tortas.

Fillings for Tortas:

  • Scrambled eggs and chorizo
  • Scrambled eggs with salsa verde
  • Scrambled eggs and red salsa
  • A thin layer of refried beans and Rings of pickled jalapeño chile
  • Slices of mild cheese like queso fresco or Monterey Jack
  • Crisp bacon or ham. 

1. Hollow out the bolillos to make room for fillings, reserving the breadcrumbs for another use. Heat bolillos in a 350 degree F. oven until hot. 


Components for breakfast tortas

Components for breakfast tortas

In the Kitchen:

I decided to make Breakfast Tortas, because I’d had them before and enjoyed the flavor. The toppings I chose to use are scrambled eggs with red salsa, refried beans, Monterey Jack cheese, and crisp ham. This is just my recipe, but there are a variety of other toppings to use such as, eggs and chorizo, eggs and potato, or egg and bacon. You can make it as spicy as you want by adding jalapeno to it or the different colors of salsa used to place inside.

The first step to making tortas, is to hollow out the Bolillos to make room for the fillings. This step was quite easy; the interior of the bread comes off effortlessly with a fork. Following this step, I placed a can of refried beans in a pot to warm them up and at the same time I had a pan ready to cook the slice of ham. The red salsa that I used to spice up this dish is a traditional family recipe made from scratch.

Breakfast tortas ready to eat

Breakfast tortas ready to eat

After the beans were warmed to the right temperature, I cooked my eggs, and then placed the bolillos in the oven for a short time to be heated. You do not want to leave the bolillos in the oven to long or they will become toast. As soon as the scrambled eggs are done, I started to fill the bolillos, first with a slice of cooked ham to cradle the scrambled eggs, which were then topped with my red salsa. Then, I spread a thick layer of refried beans over the toppings below, and sprinkled it all with shredded Monterey Jack cheese. The only thing left to do is eat a traditional Mexican style torta!


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