This Mexican green spaghetti is made with a creamy and no-spicy poblano sauce. Is traditionally served as a side dish in Mexico but is also a wonderful one-pot meal for any day of the week!
Mexican green spaghetti is a dish consisting of pasta coated in a hearty sauce made with poblano peppers, cream, and cilantro. It has a mild and smoky flavor with hints of fresh herb
This flavorful dish is known under various names in Mexico, the most popular are espagueti verde or pasta poblana, and is mostly served as a side dish on special occasions like weddings and birthday parties.
The dish takes its name from that particular bright green color which is achieved by using poblano chiles and cilantro. Just like espagueti rojo which is made with red tomatoes.
The Mexican green spaghetti recipe is very easy and simple to follow, it requires only a few ingredients and it makes a wonderful and impressive side dish perfect to pair with your favorite protein.
- Pasta: Use spaghetti or other types of long pasta such as fettuccine, bucatini, or even linguine.
- Poblano peppers: This is the key ingredient! You can use fresh chiles poblanos or canned roasted poblanos in a pinch. Read below for more poblano peppers substitutes.
- Cream: Use Mexican crema or sour cream as a substitute.
- Butter: Just a little bit to cook the poblano sauce.
- Chicken stock: To help the ingredients to blend together into the creamy sauce.
- Cilantro: I recommend adding only a small amount of fresh cilantro to not cover the amazing flavor of poblanos.
- Seasonings: garlic, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Queso fresco: For serving, or use feta or fresh goat cheese as a substitute.
Fresh poblano pepper substitutes
- Green bell peppers. This is the best option to make espagueti verde as those peppers are easier to find all around the world.
- Anaheim peppers. Easily to find in the southern USA, this type of pepper is perfect to make this recipe too.
- Jalapeño peppers. Just remember that this kind of pepper is hotter than poblanos.
- Italian peppers. You can find that type of pepper almost all over the world. The taste is very similar to poblano with a small touch of bitterness.
How To Make Mexican Green Spaghetti
Wash well the poblano peppers, and roast them with the technique you prefer (in the oven, directly on the stove’s fire, or on a comal or pan). Read the FAQ section below for different ways of roasting peppers.
Pro Tip: Place the peppers in a plastic bag or container and then wrap them in a kitchen cloth and let them sit for 10-15 minutes. This will create some steam and make the peppers skin soften and become easy to remove.
Peel the poblano peppers then cut them in half and remove the seeds and veins. You can also save some for garnish if you want.
Place the roasted poblano peppers in a blender along with the cream, garlic clove, and cilantro. Pour the chicken stock and blend until you have a creamy sauce.
Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat and add the poblano sauce.
Season with salt and pepper then set the heat to low.
Simmer for 5 minutes uncovered or until the sauce thickens a bit. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil, add salt and cook the pasta as instructed in the package, and drain it.
Add cooked spaghetti to the pan with the sauce and mix for half a minute or until nicely coated.
Transfer the creamy Mexican green spaghetti to a serving platter and garnish with queso fresco and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
Notes and variations
- You can use chicken bouillon instead of chicken stock, add it to the sauce when it’s cooking, and replace the stock with water to blend the peppers.
- For a richer Mexican green spaghetti, add 1 pack (8oz) of cream cheese to the sauce.
- Use a large pot to cook the spaghetti in plenty of water, this will allow the pasta to cook evenly.
What To Serve With
Mexican green spaghetti makes a perfect side for chicken, pork, beef, and even fish! Here are my favorite recipes to pair with:
- Braised chicken guajillo
- Lomo mechado (for special occasions).
- Chori pollo
- Mojarra frita (fish)
- Pork adobo
How To Store & Reheat
Mexican green spaghetti leftovers last up to 3 days in the fridge nicely stored in an airtight container. I don’t recommend freezing.
Or you can also make the sauce up to 3 days ahead and kept it in the fridge, when ready to make this recipe just reheat the sauce, add the pasta and coat, then serve.
For reheating, place the leftovers in a pan with a splash of milk or chicken stock, then reheat over medium heat.
Is espagueti verde spicy?
Not really. Even though poblano peppers are somehow unpredictable, they are less spicy than jalapeños! Besides, you will remove most of the heat by discarding the seeds and veins.
How to roast the poblano peppers?
On the oven: This is the easiest way to do it. Just pop your peppers in the oven for about 20 minutes at 200°C (390 F). Be sure to flip them at least once to allow them to roast evenly.
On the grill: or directly on the gas stove flame. You will need to flip them constantly until they’re nicely and evenly charred.
On a comal or a cast iron skillet: Place the peppers and roast for about 20 minutes turning them every 4-5 minutes until they’re soft and with the skin falling.
How can I substitute Mexican cream?
You can “make” your own Mexican cream by using heavy cream and adding a few drops of lime juice and a sprinkle of salt. Mix, allow to rest overnight and use in the recipe.
More Spaghetti Recipes
Mexican Green Spaghetti
- 12 oz spaghetti
- 2 large poblano peppers (read notes for substitutions)
- 1 cup Mexican crema (or sour cream)
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 garlic clove
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- queso fresco (or the cheese you prefer)
- Roast the poblano peppers using your favorite method (on the stove, grill, or oven).
- Place them in a bowl and cover them with a kitchen towel. Let them rest for 15 minutes then peel them, and discard the stem and seeds.
- Place the peppers in a blender along with cilantro, garlic, and cream.
- Add chicken stock and blend until smooth.
- Melt butter in a large pan over medium-low heat.
- Add the poblano sauce, season with salt and pepper, and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Cook for 5 minutes stirring from time to time until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Cook pasta as instructed in the package.
- Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the poblano sauce. Mix nicely to coat.
- Serve immediately with queso fresco on top.
- If fresh poblano peppers are not easy to find where you live, you can use canned roasted poblanos, they are available at Mexican online food stores or on Amazon.
- Otherwise, you can substitute poblano peppers with green bell peppers, Anaheim peppers, or any other mild green pepper available to you.
- Use just a few sprigs of cilantro as you don’t want to cover the flavor of poblano chilies.
- If you want to make it spicier, add also 1 or 2 roasted jalapeño peppers or any hot green pepper available to you.