Are you ready to dig into cheesy, "meaty", and crispy mulitas de carnitas? Enjoy this tasty Mexican street food from the comfort of your very own home.
Chewy jackfruit carnitas, dairy-free cheese, guacamole, and salsa roja are sandwiched between two homemade corn tortillas. It doesn't get much better than this!
Mulitas are one of the tastiest snack foods you may come across when in Mexico (or some places in the states). Ooey-gooey cheese and savoury meats are served between two crispy tortillas and loaded with salsas.
Well... Let's make them plant-based together!
Although it was hard to find a detailed history on the origin of mulitas, they likely stemmed from the taco invention many years ago.
Instead of stuffing foods into one tortilla, they used two tortillas to hold all the fillings in place.
Nowadays, you can find mulitas in a wide variety of places including Mexico, L.A., and other places in the US at street stalls or restaurants.
What are mulitas?
Mulitas translates to "little mules" in English, which might seem like a weird name at first, but hear us out. Just like mules are used to pack goods for long trips, mulitas are jam-packed full of tasty ingredients. See the correlation?
We think of mulitas like a loaded Mexican grilled cheese, but with tortillas used in place of the bread. You'll also hear people say they are like a mix between a taco and a quesadilla. However you think of them, they're deeelicious.
Layer cheese and carnitas onto a tortilla, then add more cheese (for good measure). Close it with another tortilla and crisp everything up.
Once it's nice and melty, you can peel back one tortilla and add toppings like salsa, guacamole, or even pickled jalapeños. The most common meat used in mulitas is carne asada, but you can also find them made with al pastor or carnitas.
Are mulitas vegan?
Unfortunately, mulitas are not usually vegan-friendly. With cheese and meat in the same recipe, it's a double-whammy. But, we really enjoy this recipe with jackfruit carnitas and vegan mozzarella for a meat and dairy-free version!
Enjoy your mulitas hot off the skillet (or comal) while the cheese is still warm and gooey. Peel back the top and slather it with any of your favorite sauces like:
This is one of those recipes that pairs perfectly with an ice-cold cerveza.
Not an alcohol fan? No problem. Try it with an agua fresca instead like:
Whatever you serve your mulitas with, this recipe is finger-licking good!
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Taste: holding everything together are sweet, soft, and tender corn tortillas made from scratch. Although not necessary, if you ever try homemade tortillas, there's a good chance you'll never go for store-bought again.
Health: naturally gluten-free and a great source of iron and calcium, we can't get enough of corn tortillas. We almost always opt for corn over flour tortillas because they're lower in calories and have a taste we just love so much.
Taste: these meaty, herbaceous, and slightly sweet jackfruit carnitas make a perfect replacement for the usual non-vegan fillings found in mulitas. Slow-cooked with tamari, thyme, Mexican oregano, orange juice, and bay leaves, you'll be in flavor heaven.
Health: you won't find things like saturated fat, cholesterol, or added hormones in a jackfruit carnitas recipe. Plus, jackfruit is filled with potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. That means eating more of this alien fruit is actually great for your heart!
Taste: mulitas just aren't mulitas without a healthy dose of melted cheese. With the right amount of salty, umami flavor, vegan mozzarella is what keeps this tortilla sandwich together. If you live in Mexico, you may even be able to find vegan replacements for Chihuahua, Oaxaca, or Manchego cheese (we've found Chihuahua, but not the latter two).
Health: since vegan cheese typically uses ingredients like nuts, you'll receive extra health benefits. Nuts like cashews or almonds are full of unsaturated fats, which are also really good for the heart!
Taste: no Mexican recipe is complete without a choice of fillings and garnishes. To add to the size and flavor of this mulita recipe, we went with creamy guacamole and smoky salsa roja. But as always, the sky is the limit since you can use any number of different sauces and toppings.
Health: avocados are known for having heart-healthy properties thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids found in them. But, did you know they contain more potassium than bananas? Go ahead and add an extra scoop of guac to your mulitas!
If you have questions about this vegan mulitas recipe, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: prepare your jackfruit carnitas, or use store-bought pulled jackfruit. Make the guacamole and salsa roja, and shred your vegan cheese. Either make corn tortillas or use store-bought tortillas.
Step 2: heat some oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium. Place a corn tortilla down and add a layer of cheese, then meat, then more cheese. Top everything with another tortilla.
Step 3: cook on the first side for a couple of minutes, then flip and continue cooking until the cheese is melted to your liking. Transfer to a serving plate while you finish cooking the rest of your mulitas. Add more oil to the pan as needed.
Step 4: pull away the top corn tortilla and add a layer of guacamole, salsa, pickled jalapeños, more fresh onions, or cilantro if you like. Serve while warm. Happy eating!
Mulitas taste delicious hot off the grill, but they are also good as leftovers! Follow these storage tips so they stay fresh.
You can keep your mulitas in the fridge for up to 3 days in airtight containers or Ziplock bags.
The best way to reheat these is on a cast-iron skillet. Cook them over medium-low for about 45 seconds per side, or until warmed.
💭 Pro tips
Time to share our tips and tricks we learned while experimenting with this plant-based mulitas recipe:
- Try your favorite fillings. This recipe is easy to customize with whatever ingredients you have laying around the house. Try refried beans, al pastor, or grilled veggies!
- Use the best material. For the most even cook, try using a cast-iron skillet or comal.
- Use block cheese. Grating your own vegan cheese will allow for better melt-ability. Pre-shredded cheese uses preservatives so it doesn't clump.
- Keep them warm. If you're making a lot of mulitas, keep them warm in your oven at 200 degrees F.
- Prep fillings in advance. Nothing is better than a quick dinner. Try prepping some of your fillings (like the salsa and carnitas) in advance to save on time!
🍴 Tasting notes
Bring all of the delicious flavors of Mexican street food straight into your home with these mulitas. They're:
If you try this mulitas recipe, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
- Cast-iron skillet or comal
- Tortilla press
- Cheese shredder
- 12 corn tortillas ($0.26)
- 1-2 tablespoons neutral oil for frying ($0.11)
- Prepare jackfruit carnitas, or use store-bought pulled jackfruit. Make the guacamole and salsa roja, and shred your vegan cheese. Use homemade or store-bought corn tortillas.
- Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium. Place 1 corn tortilla down and add a layer of cheese, then meat, then more cheese. Top everything with another tortilla.
- Cook on the first side for 2-3 minutes, then flip and continue cooking until the cheese is melted to your liking. Transfer to a serving plate while you finish cooking the rest of your mulitas.
- Garnishes: pull away the top corn tortilla and add a layer of guacamole, salsa, more fresh onions, or cilantro if you like. Serve while warm. Happy eating!
- Make your carnitas and salsa the night before for even quicker meal prep.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more tasty vegan street foods and snacks, check out our:
- Sweet potato quesadillas for a quick weeknight dinner idea that's filled with health benefits.
- Vegan quesabirria tacos for melty cheese and crispy oyster mushrooms stuffed inside corn tortillas and dipped in birria.
- Pambazos to try this chile-dipped bread stuffed with potatoes and vegan chorizo.
- Torta cubana for a massive, vegan meat-filled sandwich that became famous on the streets of Mexico city.
Yes, you can use flour tortillas instead of corn. Most of the time you'll see corn used, which we think provides a better flavor.
If you use corn tortillas, your mulitas should be gluten-free. But, it really depends on the fillings you choose. However, this mulitas recipe is gluten-free since we use tamari in our carnitas.