Munch on these delectable tortas de jamón to experience the authentic and savory flavors of Mexico. Toasty bread, sweet ham, salty cheese, pickled chilies, and crunchy vegetables—what more could you ask for?

Tortas de jamón are Mexican ham sandwiches packed on soft teleras or crusty bolillos. It is often served as a to-go breakfast but also makes for a delicious and satisfying lunch or afternoon snack.

This fulfilling sandwich was one of the lunches my mother packed daily for me to eat at school, so no wonder why is one of my favorites and now I also make it often for my family.

After buttering the sliced bread on all sides and toasting them in a griddle, ham torta is spread with mayonnaise and/or Mexican crema and layered with ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, and pickled jalapeño peppers.

While the ingredients may vary, the perfectly toasted bread, sweet ham, and crunchy vegetables remain a classic.

Tortas de jamón cut in half to show the fillings.

Ingredients

  • Telera rolls: Soft on the inside and outside, teleras are the most commonly used rolls for tortas de jamón. They can be substituted with bolillo rolls or even French rolls.
  • Butter: I like using butter to slightly toast the bread and make it yummier.
  • Ham: The standard choice is sweet-cured ham, but if you don’t have it on hand, you can use any type of ham.
  • Cheese: Use cheese slices, such as cheddar, muenster, and scamorza. Adding queso fresco into the mix also adds a lot of creaminess. You can also use Oaxaca or Chihuahua cheese.
  • Spread: Spread some mayonnaise on one or both halves of the bread. For a creamy, tangy kick, mix in some Mexican crema. Put in as little or as much mustard as you like for a sour and spicy contrast.
  • Fillings: Sliced tomato, onion, avocado, and shredded lettuce are the most common additions, but you can also add refried beans and queso fresco for a change.
  • Pickled jalapeño peppers: A little bit of heat is always welcome. You can also use other types of pickled peppers like serranos or chipotles.
The ingredients for tortas de jamón on a kitchen countertop with names overlay.

How To Make Tortas de Jamón

Slice the telera rolls in half lengthwise and nicely butter the crumb. Make sure the butter is softened so it will be easier to spread.

Buttering a telera roll bread.

Heat a griddle or a comal over medium heat and toast the bread until lightly golden and crisp.

Top Tip: Toasting the bread will prevent it from getting soggy!

Toasted telera bread on a comal.

Spread mayonnaise and mustard on the crumb of each slice of bread.

I usually add mayo on the bottom piece and mustard on the top, but this is just a personal preference!

Spreading mustard on an half of a telera roll.

Take the bottom slice of a roll and place it on a serving plate. Then, assemble your torta placing first 2 slices of ham, then 2 slices of cheese. 

Follow with tomato, onion, avocado slices, pickled jalapeño peppers, and a bit of lettuce.

Assembled open torta de jamón in a plate.

Close the assembled sandwich with the other half of the bread and repeat to assemble 4 tortas de jamón. Serve whole or slice each torta in half if preferred.

Recipe Notes

  • If you can’t find teleras or bolillos in your area, French bread rolls or any soft bread rolls make a great substitute.
  • Thinly sliced sweet ham is best for tortas de jamón, but you can use leftover ham or even turkey slices.
  • Toast the bread slices in butter and apply mayonnaise on both sides of the bread to prevent your ham torta from getting super soggy.
  • I suggest using both mayonnaise and Mexican crema as they add the perfect creamy and tangy flavor to this traditional Mexican sandwich.
Tortas de jamón on a cutting board.

How To Store

I love making these ham tortas in the morning (and even the night before!) to have them on hand for a quick breakfast, a hearty lunch for work or school, or a snack for last-minute trips.

Whether you’re prepping them on the go or saving them for later, keep them fresh by tightly wrapping them in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Store each individually packed sandwich in an airtight container and they will be good for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.

For reheating, use a sandwich maker or a hot griddle over medium heat until tortas de jamón are lightly toasted again.

FAQ

What is traditionally on a torta?

Tortas traditionally contain meat, cheese, sauce, vegetables, and various fillings packed between two slices of bread like teleras or bolillos. Besides this one made with ham, there are many popular and traditional recipes such as tortas al pastor or chorizo torta.

Are tortas from Mexico?

Yes. The name torta is exclusively used in Mexico to refer to a sandwich filled with various types of meat, spicy chilies, and other Mexican ingredients like chorizo and refried beans.

What is a torta del chavo?

El chavo del 8 is a Mexican sitcom. The show focused on the residents of a lower-income neighborhood, especially on the character el chavo, an orphan boy living alone and always dreaming of eating a torta de jamón. That’s why to this day, this sandwich is also known as torta del chavo.

More Tortas Recipes

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Tortas de jamón recipe.

Tortas de Jamón

4 tortas
Torta de jamón is a Mexican sandwich made of ham, toasty bread, salty cheese, pickled chilies, and crunchy vegetables. A perfect combination of flavors and textures!
prep 15 minutes
cook 5 minutes
total 20 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 4 telera rolls (or any sandwich bread)
  • 8 slices ham
  • 8 slices cheese (cheddar, muenster, scamorza, etc)
  • 1 large tomato (cut into slices)
  • ½ small onion (sliced)
  • 1 avocado (sliced)
  • 1 cup lettuce (shredded)
  • Pickled jalapeño peppers (as needed)
  • mayonnaise (as needed)
  • Mustard (as needed)
  • softened butter (as needed)

Instructions
 

  • Slice the telera rolls in half lengthwise and nicely butter the crumb.
  • Heat a griddle or a comal and toast the bread until lightly golden and crisp.
  • Spread mayonnaise and mustard on the crumb of each slice of bread.
  • Take the bottom slice of a roll and place it on a plate.
  • Place first 2 slices of ham, then 2 slices of cheese.
  • Follow with tomato, onion, avocado, pickled jalapeño peppers, and a bit of lettuce.
  • Close the sandwich with the other half of the bread and repeat to assemble 4 tortas.
  • Serve whole or slice each torta in half.

Notes

  • If you can’t find teleras or bolillos in your area, French bread rolls or any soft bread rolls make a great substitute.
  • Thinly sliced sweet ham is best for torta de jamón, but you can use leftover ham or even turkey slices.
  • Toast the bread slices in butter and apply mayonnaise on both sides of the bread to prevent your ham torta from getting super soggy.
  • I suggest using both mayonnaise and Mexican crema as they add the perfect creamy and tangy flavor to this traditional Mexican sandwich.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1 torta | Calories: 589kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 1111mg | Potassium: 571mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1073IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 418mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I remember watching el chavo del 8 when we were kids and always wondered what a torta de jamon tasted like…thanks to you now I can enjoy it anytime :D

  2. 5 stars
    This sandwich was tasty! The pickled jalapeños were a game changer for sure, can’t wait to try them also in other types of sandwiches. Thank you!