What is a Mexican Torta?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

One of several tasty Mexican sandwiches, the Mexican torta can be created with a variety of different ingredients, and may be served as hot comfort food or a cold meal on a hot day. Generally around six to eight inches in length, a Mexican torta may utilize several different types of meat or fish garnished with peppers, onions, and cheese. Often, eggs or a mixture of eggs and vegetables and meats will be used as part of the filler, making them an option for just about any time of the day.

Tortas often include creamed avocado in the dish.
Tortas often include creamed avocado in the dish.

Creating the basic torta requires a split bolillo — white roll, a choice of meat or fish, and some type of cheese. There are a wide range of meats that are used in the creation of tortas. Some of the more popular options are marinated pork or steak, ground beef, or sausage. Turkey breast or chicken as well as breaded fish or shrimp may also be used. Cheeses used in the dish may range from mild cheddar to simple goat cheese.

A Mexican torta may be garnished with cheese.
A Mexican torta may be garnished with cheese.

Peppers and onions add to the taste of the Mexican torta. Green peppers are particularly popular with this Mexican sandwich. Often, the peppers are dipped in an egg batter and fried to a crispy texture. Onions may also be battered and fried, or sautéed or simply slices or diced into small pieces.

There is also a wide range of garnishes that may be used with the Mexican torta. Creamed avocado adds both color and flavor to the dish, as does a dollop of sour cream. Sliced or diced sections of tomato are also popular additions. As for seasonings, cayenne is a popular option, although often simple salt and pepper is considered to be sufficient.

In general, the torta is understood to be a sandwich in all parts of Mexico. However, the definition of the Mexican torta is a little broader in Mexico City. There, a torta can also refer to a dish that is created with beef, mashed potatoes, broccoli and scrambled eggs.

Chopped tomatoes are a popular addition to a hearty Mexican torta.
Chopped tomatoes are a popular addition to a hearty Mexican torta.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


I can't say what's right or wrong when it comes to Mexican torta recipes. Any kind of filling will make me happy, because in my opinion it's all about the bread.

Never, ever use sourdough. No matter how desperate you are to make Mexican tortas I promise you'll regret it. Some people will tell you any old bread roll will do, but the best taste comes from something softer on the inside and just a little harder on the outside.


@Potterspop - You are so right. How about the torta cubana? Cheese is the major ingredient along with meat in that sandwich. I have fond memories of eating an entire two pound monster of one of these. It seemed like a good idea at the time, though I regretted it later.

It had four kinds of meat as well as the cheese and all the usual add ons. I could hardly hold it, but every mouthful was like heaven!


@anon123921 - I lived in Mexico for a while and I definitely noticed cheese in some Mexican torta recipes. I think it really depends on where you eat, as each shop seems to have a distinct idea of whst should be inside it!

It's possible that more places use cheese when tourists are buying, but that's not true all of the time. Personally I like all styles, but prefer my avocado to be sliced thickly rather than creamed.


tortas usually do not have cheese, much less goat cheese.

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