Mexican Torta


5 from 40 votes
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Learn how to make Torta, the famous Mexican sandwich that the world is raving about! Filled with seasoned steak, refried beans, and plenty of cheese, it is ready in minutes and a fresh and healthy meal! 

Mexican torta sandwich.

If you love all things Mexican food and the convenience of sandwiches, you will love this torta recipe. 

The steak turns out juicy and tender, while the creamy beans, melted cheese, and crusty roll make for an even heartier, more satisfying sandwich. 

Table of Contents
  1. What is a traditional Mexican torta?
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make Mexican tortas
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. How to store leftovers
  6. More Mexican dishes to try
  7. Mexican Torta Sandwich (Recipe Card)

What is a traditional Mexican torta?

Tortas, also known as ‘torta ahogada’ or ‘torta Mexicana, ‘ are essentially Mexican sandwiches. Sometimes open-faced, they’re a popular Mexican street food designed to be eaten on the go. They usually contain seasoned steak, mayonnaise, cheese, refried beans, and fresh veggies piled on a crunchy bread roll. 

When we have all the ingredients, you better believe we make tortas on repeat. Here are some reasons why I LOVE this recipe:

  • Easy to make. Like chopped cheese, once you season and cut the steak, all that’s left is to build the sandwiches and dig in.
  • Endlessly customizable. From the bread rolls to the protein and fix-ins, every element of this sandwich can be customized for you. 
  • Perfect for leftovers. Whenever my family and I make carne asada or arrachera, I always use the leftovers for tortas (or mulitas). Plus, I can use whatever veggies I have on hand.
mexican torta.

Ingredients needed

  • Seasoned steak. This recipe uses my skirt steak, though marinated flank steak would work just as well. Use any store-bought taco seasoning, too.
  • Mayonnaise. The standard spread that is used. I recommend lathering both sides of the bread with it for optimum flavor and extra creaminess. 
  • Refined beans. The signature ingredient of any good torta. It adds protein, fiber, and a spicy kick. 
  • Salad vegetables. A mix of tomatoes, onion, and bell peppers. You are welcome to use pico de gallo instead.
  • Avocado. Sliced or mashed into a mock guacamole
  • Shredded cheese. I used cheddar cheese, but mozzarella cheese or a Mexican cheese blend can be used.

How to make Mexican tortas

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Cook the steak. In a non-stick pan or skillet, add some oil and place it over medium heat. Once hot, add the sliced beef and cook for 3-4 minutes, until no longer pink. Add the taco seasoning, along with two tablespoons of water, and cook until most of the water is absorbed. 

steak for torta.

Step 2- Prepare the bread. Next, slice open the bread and spread mayonnaise on top. Add refried beans, salad vegetables, and avocado to the other side. For an extra creamy hit, spread more mayonnaise on top. 

assembling a torta.

Step 3- Assemble and serve. Finally, add a generous portion of the seasoned beef, followed by the cheese, and serve immediately.  

aseembled torta.

What bread is best for tortas?

There are three main kinds of bread that work best for tortas-

  • Telera: Similar to a hoagie bun, these have a crusty exterior and are soft and fluffy in the middle. 
  • Bollilo: Similar to a Telera, this kind of bread is much softer and is often used in bread pudding. If you use this option, toast them first. 
  • Birote: Similar to a baguette, birote are often made using a sourdough starter and are a more flavorful option. 

Of course, if none of these bread options are available, you can use hoagie rolls, baguettes, or even a hot dog bun. 

Recipe tips and variations

  • Marinate the steak. If I have extra time, I’ll marinate the steak with my 3-ingredient steak marinade for a few hours before cooking. 
  • Use pre-cooked steak. If you’ve got some leftover pan seared steak, sirloin steak, or porterhouse steak, you can use that instead of cooking up a steak from scratch.
  • Toast the bread. You want the outside of the roll to be crusty, so if it isn’t, I suggest lightly toasting it before adding the fillings. 
  • Switch up the protein. Try fajita chicken, carnitas, chorizo, ground turkey, or sliced ham.
  • Make vegetarian tortas. Skip the meat or add sofritas instead.
  • Spice it up. To make spicy sandwiches, I like to use spicy mayo or add a few dashes of hot sauce to the steak.
  • Add extra veggies. Like shredded lettuce, sliced peppers, or even salsa for a spicy kick.

How to store leftovers

Torta sandwiches should always be made fresh. However, you can make the steak filling in advance so that when you are ready to eat it.

  • To store: Store the filling in the fridge for 3-4 days. 
  • To freeze: Place the cooked and cooled filling in a shallow container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. 
  • Reheating- Zap the filling in the microwave for 20-30 seconds until warm.

Make ahead tip

To save time, you can make the steak the night before, so all you have to do is reheat it before making your sandwiches.

Torta sandwich.

More Mexican dishes to try

  • Birria quesadillas– Made with our slow-cooked birria meat and layers of gooey cheese. 
  • Gorditas– Made with masa harina dough pressed flat and fried until crispy on the outside and pillowy in the center. 
  • Pollo asado– Marinated grilled or baked chicken filled with flavor in every bite.
  • Birria ramen– Worlds collide: Savory ramen with tender birria meat in a warming broth.
mexican torta recipe.

Mexican Torta Sandwich

5 from 40 votes
Learn how to make Torta, the famous Mexican sandwich that the world is raving about! Filled with seasoned steak, refried beans, and plenty of cheese, it is ready in minutes and a fresh and healthy meal! Watch how I make this in my kitchen in the video below!
Servings: 4 sandwiches
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes



  • 1 pound skirt steak
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 hoagie rolls or any long crusty roll
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 16 ounces refried beans one standard can
  • 1 large avocado sliced
  • 1 large tomato sliced
  • 1/2 large red onion sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cheese


  • In a ziplock bag, add the steak and taco seasoning and rub together. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add oil to a non-stick pan and cook the steak for 5-6 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove the meat off the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, slice it up into 1/4-inch slices.
  • Halve each of the rolls. Spread mayonnaise on one side of it. To the other side, add your salad vegetables. Add the seasoned steak, followed by the shredded cheese.
  • Use a sharp bread knife to cut the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.


TO STORE. Tortas are best enjoyed fresh, but if you plan on having leftovers, store the fillings separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The bread should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days.
TO FREEZE. Place the cooked and cooled filling in a shallow container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. 
TO REHEAT. Microwave the steak for 30 seconds or until warm, then build the sandwiches.


Serving: 1sandwichCalories: 395kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 30gFat: 19gSodium: 919mgPotassium: 462mgFiber: 6gVitamin A: 609IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 3mgNET CARBS: 32g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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