Torta Cubana Recipe (Mexican Sandwich)

Torta Cubana is a popular Mexican sandwich packed with breaded pork loin, hotdog sausages, ham, chorizo, cheese, and various vegetables. All beautifully stuffed in a crusty bolillo or telera.

Mexican torta cubana in a cutting board.

What Is a Torta Cubana?

The torta cubana is an incredibly flavorful sandwich recipe. The basic version of the dish contains pork meat, cheese, and pickled peppers. Though it’s called “cubana”, this recipe is not actually Cuban, it’s Mexican and the dish is very popular in the country. 

Authentic Torta cubana is a homage to Mexican cuisine and it can contain refried beans, avocado, onion rings, lettuce, sliced tomato, Manchego or Oaxaca cheese, ham, sausage, roasted pork leg, Tolucan chorizo, milanesa (a thin, breaded pork steak) and mayonnaise or Mexican cream. 

As in most Mexican recipes, chili peppers are also added to the sandwich in the form of sliced jalapeños, and in some places, a fried egg is placed on top. Once the bread is stuffed, it’s toasted in a comal griddle.

Of course, there are many variations of this dish where some of the ingredients mentioned above are either changed or omitted.

Mexican torta cubana cut in half in a cutting board with a glass of beer on the side.

The Origin

There are a few theories about the origin of torta cubana. One of them explains that the dish originated at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century in Calle de Cuba. This is a street located in downtown Mexico City where they sold sandwiches that contained “a bit of everything”. 

They became so popular that they were named after the street and the rest is history! Whatever the true origin may be, we’re very happy that these tortas are a huge part of Mexican gastronomy.

About Mexican Tortas

Mexican tortas are one of the most popular Mexican dishes due to their versatility. If I were to mention all the types of Mexican tortas there are, this article would go on and on and on.

So, in a nutshell, a torta is a Mexican sandwich that’s made with white bread and stuffed with a whole bunch of different ingredients. 

It’s believed that the first-ever torta originated in the mid-19th century in the streets of Puebla. Back then it was known as “torta abierta” or open sandwich. The early versions of this sandwich contained sardines, ham, or galantine. From then, it evolved into what it is now, with a wider variety of ingredients. 

During the 20th century, the Mexican torta gained renown and it became significantly popular all over the country. It was the creativity of Mexican men and women that gave way to new recipes and it’s why we can enjoy such a great variety to this day. 

Mexican tortas are very easy to make and the ingredients can be chosen to suit anyone’s preference or dietary needs. If the ingredients are chosen correctly, the torta is a much healthier alternative to pizza, burgers, burritos, and other dishes, but still very delicious. 

The Ingredients And Substitutes

The base:

  • You can choose any type of bread for your torta cubana, if you want to try an authentic experience, we recommend Mexican teleras or bolillos.
  • Butter to toast your bread or any oil you prefer.
  • Mayonnaise and mustard because there are no authentic tortas without those two. You can also add some Mexican cream.
Some ingredients for torta cuban labeled and displayed on a cutting board.

The vegetables:

You will need some vegetables such as lettuce, onions, tomatoes, pickled jalapeño chiles, and avocado. Wash them, slice them and keep them on a plate ready before you start to assemble your sandwiches.

Vegetables for torta cubana on a plate.

You can even prepare the veggies the day before and keep them in separated containers in the fridge. This is particularly handy when you want to make a large batch of cuban sandwiches for a party.

The proteins:

  • Beans. Either make our recipe for frijoles refritos or just use your favorite brand of store-bought refried beans.
  • Pork milanesa. This is the one that takes longer to make, but it totally worth the time invested. You can use also chicken or beef to make the milanesas.
  • Mexican chorizo. This is a must! it just adds the perfect Mexican touch, so make sure you are using some. You will need to cook it in a pan until slightly crispy.
  • Hot dog sausages. Cut them in half lengthwise, then heat them in a pan with a bit of oil.
  • Jamón. Aka, ham. Use any type you prefer.
  • Cheese. Mexican Asadero or Quesillo (aka Oaxaca cheese) should be your first options, but other types of cheese are also good, like provolone, mozzarella, queso fresco, etc.

How To Make Torta Cubana Recipe

  • Start by preparing the vegetables and placing them separated in a plate or container.
  • Place refried beans in a bowl and do the same with cooked chorizo.
  • Cut the hot dog sausages lengthwise and heat them up in a pan with a bit of oil.

Make the milanesas:

  1. Whisk an egg in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place 3 tablespoons of flour and about 1 ½ cups of breadcrumbs on separated plates.
  3. Dredge one pork slice in flour and shake to remove excess.
  4. Dip it into the egg mixture.
  5. Place it on the plate with breadcrumbs and turn it to coat both sides.
  6. Repeat with all pork slices.
  7. Heat a pan or large skillet with about ½ inch of oil over medium-high heat.
  8. Fry each milanesa until golden crispy.
  9. Once done, place it on a plate with kitchen towels to remove excess oil and set it aside.
Collage with preparation of milanesa for torta cubana.

Assemble:

Heat a cast-iron skillet or a griddle over medium heat. Cut the bolillo bread in half lengthwise and remove most of the crumbs.

Butter all sides of the bread and toast it until slightly crispy.

Toasted bolillo bread for torta cubana.

Spread the top piece of bread with mayonnaise and mustard, and add much as you want. Then spread some refried beans on the bottom slice. Top the beans with a spoonful of chorizo.

A collage with two photos of the assembling of torta cubana.

Next, add some ham, hot dog sausage, and a milanesa. Then add a few slices of cheese.

Torta cubana preparation assembling.

Finish the assembling by adding lettuce leaves, fresh tomato slices, onions, avocado, and some pickled jalapeños. Again, add as much as you want.

Torta cubana preparation assembling the vegetables.

Now, close the torta by placing the top slice of bread on top. Cut it in half and enjoy.

Or you can quickly heat it up in a panini maker or a griddle, is really up to you.

Torta cubana freshly made and placed in a plate.

Make Ahead and Store

  • Cut all vegetables, besides avocado, and keep them in separate containers for up to 2 days.
  • Cook chorizo and hot dog sausages and place them in a single container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Slightly heat them up in the microwave or a pan before assembling your torta cubana.
  • Make the refried beans and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Add a splash of water and heat them up in a pan or in a bowl in the microwave before using.

Drinks To Pair With

Enjoy this recipe with any of the following drinks for the best Mexican experience.

Watch How To Make It

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Mexican Torta Cubana Recipe.

Torta Cubana (Mexican Sandwich)

author Maricruz
This torta cubana sandwich is stuffed with chorizo, ham, hot dogs, cheese, beans, and vegetables. It is beyond delicious!
prep 15 minutes
cook 20 minutes
total 35 minutes
serving 4

Ingredients 

For cuban tortas

  • 4 bolillos (or your prefered panini bread)
  • 4 slices ham
  • cup Mexican chorizo (cooked)
  • 4 hot dog sausages (cut lengthwise and lightly fried)
  • ¾ cup refried beans
  • 8 slices Asadero cheese (or any other cheese you prefer)
  • mayonnaise (as needed)
  • mustard (as needed)
  • 2 Tbsp butter

Vegetables

  • 1 large tomato (sliced)
  • 1 small onion (sliced)
  • 4 leaves iceberg lettuce
  • 1 avocado (sliced)
  • pickled jalapeño peppers (as needed)

For pork milanesas

  • 4 medium pork sirloin slices
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups breadcrumbs
  • oil for frying
  • salt and pepper

Instructions
 

Make the milanesas

  • Whisk the egg in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place flour and breadcrumbs on separated plates.
  • Dredge one pork slice in flour and shake to remove excess.
  • Dip it into the egg mixture.
  • Place it on the plate with breadcrumbs and turn it to coat both sides.
  • Repeat with all pork slices.
  • Heat a pan with about ½ inch of oil over medium heat.
  • Fry each milanesa until golden crispy.
  • Place them on a plate with kitchen towels to remove excess oil.

Make tortas cubanas

  • Heat a cast-iron skillet or a griddle over medium heat.
  • Cut the bolillo bread in half lengthwise and remove most of the crumbs.
  • Butter all sides of the bread and toast it until slightly crispy.
  • Spread the top piece of bolillo with mayonnaise and mustard.
  • Spread some refried beans on the bottom slice.
  • Add on top of the beans a spoonful of chorizo.
  • Make layers with ham, hot dog sausage, milanesas, and cheese.
  • Make layers with the lettuce leaves, tomato slices, onions, avocado, and pickled jalapeños.
  • Now, you can close your torta cubana by just placing the top slice of bread on top and enjoy it right away.
  • Or you can quickly heat it up in a panini maker or a griddle.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 1418kcal | Carbohydrates: 168g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 57g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 4062mg | Potassium: 1033mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 924IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 379mg | Iron: 13mg
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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Best torta cubana recipe ever! It has everything! Made these often for my husband’s lunch at work and he loves them.

  2. 5 stars
    I love tortas cubanas, but I make them with teleras and queso fresco. My husband wants his with lots of jalapenos and my kids with lots of ham and hotdogs, I like mine with frijolitos and mucho queso. Everyone wins :)

  3. 5 stars
    Oh wow! Now, that’s how a REAL torta cubana is made in Mexico, lots of meat, vegetables, mayo, and chiles jalapeños. I’d just use other type of bread as the ones in the photos doesn’t looks like bolillo or teleras to me but overall, a 10/10 recipe!