Espagueti Blanco (Mexican white spaghetti)

This creamy espagueti blanco is made with simple ingredients and in so little time. Can be served as a side for many main dishes or enjoyed as a quick lunch with queso fresco on top.

Mexican Espagueti Blanco, aka spaghetti with white sauce.

About this recipe

The name of the recipe is pretty intuitive, blanco means white in English and it refers to the color of the sauce which is made of.

In Mexico, you can find this recipe with other names, such as espagueti con crema, or espagueti blanco con jamon, but it always refers to the same dish.

It is served mainly as a side for many dishes, especially those served during big events like Christmas, birthday parties, and even weddings. But sometimes is also eaten as a simple and quick lunch for the family.

Espagueti blanco in a pan.

For me, espagueti blanco is one of those family’s favorite comfort foods you should try because is:

  • Delicious and simple.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Fulfilling.
  • Rich and creamy.
  • Quick to make.

How To Cook Spaghetti Pasta

As simple as it sounds, cooking pasta is a big deal sometimes. Of course, it depends on where you live and your customs for cooking certain types of food, but let me tell you how do we cook pasta here in Italy, even for Mexican recipes like this:

  • Using a large pot where pasta can “swim” in lots of water.
  • Using a decent amount of water so it prevents the spaghetti from sticking.
  • Adding salt to water only when it starts to boil.
  • Not using any other seasonings for cooking it. Not oil, not garlic, not herbs, nothing.
  • Cooking molto al dente so it finish the cooking later with the sauce and the starch helps to create a creamier dish.

The ingredients needed

  • Spaghetti: Any brand you prefer, but try a medium-thick spaghetti such as No.5, look above some tips for cooking it.
  • Mexican crema: If you can’t find that type of cream, use regular cream you can find locally. Or you can also make a copy-cat version of Mexican cream, check out the notes in the recipe card.
  • Ham: This is totally optional, but kids love this version, you can also sub ham with hot dogs.
  • Seasonings: Garlic, onion, white pepper, and chicken bouillon. All in powder to make it easy to combine.
  • Toppings: Queso fresco or other type of cheese you prefer, some chopped fresh or dried parsley too.
The ingredients for espagueti blanco displayed and labeled with names on a marble surface.

Now that you know the ingredients, let’s see how to make this espagueti con crema recipe.

How To Make Mexican Espagueti Blanco

Place a large pot filled with water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add salt and then cook the spaghetti as instructed in the package.

While the pasta is cooking, place a large pan over medium heat and melt the butter along with olive oil. Add ham and sauté for a couple of minutes or until ham slightly browns.

Sautéed ham in a pan.

Add the cream, chicken bouillon, garlic, onion, and white or black pepper. Season with salt to taste.

Sautéed ham, Mexican crema, and spices in a pan.

Super tip: If you don’t have onion powder available, cut a small onion in half and then into chunks, saute the onion with one tablespoon of olive oil, then remove and continue with the recipe from the point where you melt the butter.

Pour in 1 cup of cooking water and mix nicely to combine all ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until the white sauce thickens a bit (about 3 minutes).

White creamy sauce for espagueti blanco.

Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with sauce. Toss to coat, if needed, pour over a little bit of the cooking water.

Finished espagueti blanco in a pan.

Keep tossing until the spaghetti is cooked through and nicely coated with the creamy sauce. Serve with crumbled queso fresco and some chopped parsley on top.

Serve With

Main dishes like chicken adobada, roasted pork leg (pierna al horno), shrimp a la diabla, or roasted turkey are the perfect pairing.

But for sure breaded chicken cutlets are my favorite dishes to serve with this creamy Mexican spaghetti, Season and Thyme have this wonderful recipe for Parmesan Crusted Chicken Romano that can’t be more perfect!

Also, from time to time, espagueti blanco is served as a main meal too. Kids love it with lots of cheese on top and grown-ups with some pickled chilies on the side.

Espagueti blanco in a serving plate.

How to store and reheat

Yes, you can make espagueti blanco con jamon ahead and have it ready for a quick lunch or a side for dinners.

You have two options, if you don’t like reheated pasta (my husband hates them) just make the white sauce and keep it stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, then reheat, cook your pasta and finish the recipe when you want.

Or add your recipe leftovers to a plastic or glass container with a tight lid and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.

  • Reheat prep sauce in a small saucepan over low heat while you cook the pasta. Then use as suggested in the recipe.
  • Reheat espagueti blanco leftovers by placing them in a pan, adding a splash of chicken stock or milk and reheating over medium heat stirring from time to time.

Other Mexican Pasta Recipes

  • Green Spaghetti. Made with a creamy poblano chile sauce this recipe is a keeper!
  • Jalapeño pasta salad. Your typical macaroni pasta salad with the addition of pickled jalapeno peppers.
  • Espagueti rojo. Creamy tomato-based sauce coats this spaghetti than then is served with queso fresco.
  • Chicken Fideo. Brothy fideo pasta with chicken and vegetables.
Espagueti Blanco Recipe.

Espagueti Blanco (Mexican white spaghetti)

A family favorite made in just 20 minutes! This creamy spaghetti with ham is perfect for any weekday as a quick lunch or side for chicken, beef, or vegetales.
PREP 5 minutes
COOK 15 minutes
TOTAL 20 minutes
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 6 sides
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

  • 14 oz spaghetti
  • 1 ½ cups Mexican crema (read notes)
  • 1 cup ham (cut into small pieces)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • salt (as needed)

For topping

  • queso fresco (or your favorite cheese)
  • parsley (chopped)

Instructions

  • Place a large pot filled with water over high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Add salt and then cook the spaghetti as instructed in the package.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium heat.
  • Add ham and sauté for a couple of minutes or until ham slightly browns.
  • Add the cream, chicken bouillon, garlic, onion, white pepper, and salt to taste.
  • Pour in 1 cup of pasta cooking water and mix nicely to combine all ingredients.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until the white sauce thickens a bit (about 3 minutes).
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with sauce.
  • Toss until spaghetti finish its cooking and is nicely coated with the creamy sauce.
  • Serve with crumbled queso fresco and some chopped parsley on top.

NOTES

Mexican cream has a distinctive flavor, so if you can’t find that type of cream where you live, here is a quick recipe to make a copy-cat of Mexican cream:
  • Place 1 ½  cups of whole regular cream in a bowl.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
  • Mix well and leave it to rest for a couple of hours in the fridge, or even better, overnight.
  • Use it in the recipe.
 
Nutrition
Calories: 465kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 1728mg | Potassium: 228mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 382IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 1mg
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