El Desayuno Universitario – The University Student Breakfast


While we were in El Salvador we ate breakfast a couple times at a restaurant in Metrocentro called San Martin’s. One day I ordered something called “El Desayuno Universitario” (The University Student Breakfast). It was made of humble ingredients – french bread, cheese, beans, and a fresh salsa. I loved it.

Since coming back to the United States, I make this often – though usually for lunch or dinner. The entire family loves it, it’s affordable, healthy and easy to make. Here’s my version!

El Desayuno Universitario (The University Student Breakfast)


French bread or bolillos sliced in half
Frijoles Molidos (refried beans)
Mozzarella cheese cut in slices or shredded


1. Optional: Spread the bread with butter and pre-toast it on a comal.
2. Place bread slices on an ungreased baking sheet.
3. Spoon frijoles molidos onto the bread and spread to the edges with the back of the spoon.
4. Top each piece of bread with cheese.
5. Bake in the oven at 350 F until cheese is melted and bread is slightly toasted.

Optional: Put under a broiler to brown the cheese.

Serve with chunky-style salsa to spoon on top. I like to dice tomatoes with fresh basil and then add a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

Sometimes I combine diced tomato and chopped cilantro to make a quick fresh salsa. You can also add diced fresh onion, green bell pepper or your favorite fresh chile pepper, such as jalapeño or poblano.

Note: You can use fresh Parmesan cheese in place of Mozzarella if you prefer. (I like Mozzarella better, but Carlos likes Parmesan.)


  1. That looks so delicious! I love how the cheese is all browned on top. Sometimes we will fill french bread with fried black beans, cheese, avocado and whatever veggie we have on hand and roll them up in plastic. They’re great to take on day outings or I will sometimes pack them in my daughter’s lunch.

  2. San Martin is not really a Salvadoran restaurant, most of the time Universitarios don’t eat this (we mostly eat pupusas for breakfast or panes con frijoles). Anyways, it looks really good and is something to try… Thanks so much for all your recipes

  3. I pretty much ate this everyday for breakfast in Mexico in the university cafeteria. They were called molletes. Sooo good

  4. Their are call “Tajaditas” in El Salvador. Although, only COOL people eat ’em… Flautas: a bread roll fill with ham and cheese, sausage and cheese, bologna, frankfurt or chicken with cheese are truly popular high school and college students salvadoran breakfast/ mid-morning break snacks. I’ll share some salvadoran recipes, next time I stop by… keep it up with your ” gringa recipes” they truly are, indeed. A gringo taco :-) (fried chicken n mashed potato).

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