Mexican Green Spaghetti

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 in a plate and garnished with queso fresco and chopped cilantro.

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.

Close up of Mexican green spaghetti.

Ingredients

  • 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.

Roasted poblano peppers in a baking tray.

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.

Adding the green spaghetti sauce to a pan with butter.

Simmer for 5 minutes uncovered or until the sauce thickens a bit. Turn off the heat and set aside.

The green spaghetti sauce thickened in a pan.

Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil, add salt and cook the pasta as instructed in the package, and drain it.

Taking cooked spaghetti from the pot.

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:

Mexican green spaghetti served in a plate garnished with queso fresco.

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.

FAQ

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

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Mexican green spaghetti recipe.

Mexican Green Spaghetti

4 servings
This Mexican green spaghetti is made with a creamy and no-spicy poblano sauce. Serve as a side with your favorite protein or on its own as a simple and quick dinner with lots of cheese!
prep 10 minutes
cook 20 minutes
total 30 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 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)

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 864mg | Potassium: 362mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 656IU | Vitamin C: 66mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




21 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just finished making this and although it took me 3 hours because I was scared of messing up and had to modify the recipe for a larger batch…..everyone loved it!

  2. I love creamy poblano sauce. I usually put it in rice, but using it in pasta sounds great. I look forward to trying this recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made a sauce with poblanos before, but only for enchiladas. I love the pasta idea, so I’m definitely making this over the weekend! I’ve also made my own sour cream: I highly recommend it because it has a more interesting flavor than store-bought sour cream!

    1. You’re so right about the sour cream, here in Italy I can find some brands but honestly they’re just so bad, I prefer making my own version with more fresh ingredients.

  4. 5 stars
    Ow, this looks so yummy. It looks so much like a normal pasta pesto, but this one is much nicer. Love the combination of poblano peppers, cilantro and queso fresco. This will be a winner at dinner parties.

    1. It truly is Sabine! I live in a country where pasta is a big deal and when I serve my mexican version everyone loves it!

    1. Regular whole cream would be better because of the thicker texture, but whipping cream is also an option. Btw, you can see in one photo the texture of the cream I used.

    1. Tracy, I wouldn’t recommend canning this sauce. You can, however, blend poblanos with garlic and cilantro with a little bit of water (just enough to make a thick sauce), and store that mixture. Then, when you want to make this recipe, just add cream and proceed as per instructions. Hope it helps.

      Also, you can roast your peppers, peel them, discard seeds and stem, and freeze them wrapped with cling film or in zip bags. They last up to 4 months!

  5. 5 stars
    My absolute favorite since my friends abuela made for me when prego with twins!!!!! I have a habit of adding more spicy so I love jalapeño and clean one and Blanche it with green tomatoes and my serrano peppers. I add sour cream and a lime in the side too!!! my all time favorite quick comfort food!!!!

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious! I squeezed fresh lime juice on when serving! Would be amazing with tequila lime grilled shrimp or chicken!