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11 January 2021

This spaghetti verde recipe, aka espagueti verde or green spaghetti, is made with spaghetti noodles tossed in a flavorful green sauce of tomatillos and roasted peppers. Delicious!

It’s pasta time in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen, my friends. Are you in? Tonight we’re making spaghetti, only this isn’t a spaghetti like you’ve ever seen.

Spaghetti is a great stand by for quick and easy meals. When you don’t feel like doing a ton of cooking, a big bowl of spaghetti is easy to whip together, and it always satisfies.

Spaghetti is considered more of an Italian dish, or perhaps American, depending really on how you make it, like spaghetti and meatballs. This particular dish is neither.

We’re talking Spaghetti Verde, and I think you’re doing to love it. Spaghetti verde is an authentic Mexican recipe that feels like a Mexican-Italian mashup, an Italian pesto pasta made with Mexican ingredients. Pass the parmesan cheese, please! No, wait, cotija!

Spaghetti Verde, or Espagueti Verde, in a bowl with lots of garnish

Spaghetti verde, aka “Espagueti Verde” or “Green Spaghetti”, skips the tomato sauce and focuses on a green sauce made with tomatillos, roasted poblano peppers and a few flavorful extras.

It’s quite easy to make, and it’s huge on flavor. I find it wonderfully satisfying and easy to adjust to your flavor and heat preferences. Bust out the tomatillos for this one, my friends!

Fresh tomatillos for making Spaghetti Verde

Let’s talk about how we make spaghetti verde, shall we?

Spaghetti Verde Ingredients

  • FOR THE VERDE SAUCE
  • Peppers. Poblano peppers and jalapeno peppers. I love the combination.
  • Other Vegetables. Tomatillos, Spinach, Onion, Garlic, Cilantro.
  • Creaminess Factor. Mexican crema (or sour cream as an alternative), Cream cheese (optional, for extra creamy)
  • Extras. Olive oil for cooking, chicken stock (optional, to thin the verde sauce), Spaghetti Noodles
  • SEASONINGS
  • Ancho Powder, Cumin, Salt and Pepper. You can use others to your preference.
  • FOR SERVING
  • Crumbled cotija cheese (or use queso blanco or other crumbly white cheese), sliced peppers, red chili flakes, fresh chopped cilantro

How to Make Spaghetti Verde – the Recipe Method

Roast the Peppers. Preheat oven to 400 degrees or set it to broil. Slice the poblano peppers and jalapeno peppers in half lengthwise and remove the innards, if desired. Set the peppers onto a baking sheet (aluminum foil will make for easy cleanup), and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the skins are blackened and blistered. You might need a bit longer, depending on your oven. Roasting poblanos is easy!

Roasted poblanos and jalapenos for making Spaghetti Verde

See my posts on roasting poblano peppers and roasting peppers for more information and discussion.

Cool the Peppers. Allow the peppers to cool enough to handle. Transfer them to a bowl and cover them with plastic bags or a paper towel, or place them into baggies or paper bags to let the skins steam and loosen.

Peel the Peppers. Peel off the skins and discard them. Add the roasted peppers to a food processor.

Cook Down the Vegetables. Heat the oil in a pan to medium heat. Add the chopped tomatillos, spinach and onion. Cook for 5 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and stir. Cook for 1 more minute.

Cooking down the tomatillos and onions to make Spaghetti Verde

Process the Verde Sauce. Transfer the cooked ingredients to the food processor with the roasted peppers and process until chunky. Add the cilantro, crema, cream cheese (if using), ancho powder, cumin and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Adjust the thickness of the poblano sauce with chicken stock, if desired. Also taste and adjust for salt.

Espagueti Verde sauce (aka green spaghetti sauce) in a food processor

Toss the Spaghetti Verde. Transfer the verde sauce to the pan and heat to a simmer. Add the cooked spaghetti and toss to combine.

Swirling cooked spaghetti noodles into the Spaghetti Verde sauce

Serve! Serve into bowls and top with crumbled cotija cheese, pepper slices, red chili flakes and fresh chopped cilantro.

Boom! Done! Green spaghetti in the house! Ready to serve. If you’ve never tried spaghetti verde, I believe you’ll fall in love with it instantly. Such an easy recipe, both to make and to love.

Spaghetti Verde, or "green spaghetti", in a bowl ready to serve

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • The Peppers. Poblano peppers are traditionally used to make espagueti verde. I like to add jalapeno peppers and sometimes serrano peppers for the heat factor. You can use other hotter peppers or others. Try it with Anaheim peppers or other larger sweeter peppers.
  • The Tomatillos. Tomatillos add so much flavor to the verde sauce. I cook mine down in the pan with the onions and spinach, but you can also roast them if you’d like. See how to roast tomatillos
  • The Verde Sauce. You can easily adjust the spaghetti verde sauce to your preference with other seasonings and other peppers. Add in extra crema or sour cream and also cream cheese for body and creaminess. Try it with heavy cream for a richer sauce.
  • The Pasta. Spaghetti noodles are traditional with espagueti verdi, hence the name, though you can easily make this with other pasta noodles. Just bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta per the packaging instructions. I enjoy making a version with penne noodles, then baking it with melty cheese over the top. Delicious!
  • Serving Spaghetti Verde. Serve your green spaghetti verde as a main course. Toss in your favorite protein for a fuller meal, like grilled chicken, shrimp, pork or even tofu. Add extra vegetables to keep it vegetarian. Serve it cold as a great summer side dish. 

Spaghetti Verde, or "green spaghetti", in a bowl

That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this spaghetti verde recipe. Let me know if you make it. Green spaghetti is amazing! I’d love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!

Mike twirling Spaghetti Verde on a fork

Try Some of My Other Popular Pasta Recipes

Try Some of My Other Popular Verde Recipes

Spaghetti Verde twirled on a fork

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Spaghetti Verde twirled on a fork
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Spaghetti Verde Recipe (Espagueti Verde)

This spaghetti verde recipe, aka espagueti verde or green spaghetti, is easy spaghetti tossed in a flavorful green sauce of tomatillos and roasted peppers.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: jalapeno, pasta, poblano, spicy, tomatillos
Servings: 6
Calories: 375kcal

Ingredients

FOR THE VERDE SAUCE

  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 tomatillos husks removed, chopped
  • 1.5 cups spinach roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Mexican crema or more to taste - use sour cream as an alternative
  • 2 ounces cream cheese optional, for extra creamy
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock optional, to thin the verde sauce

SEASONINGS

  • 2 teaspoons ancho powder or use your favorite chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • FOR THE SPAGHETTI VERDE
  • 12 ounces spaghetti noodles cooked to package instructions (al dente)

FOR SERVING

  • Crumbled cotija cheese or use queso blanco or other crumbly white cheese, sliced peppers, red chili flakes, fresh chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Roast the Peppers. Preheat oven to 400 degrees or set it to broil. Slice the poblano peppers and jalapeno peppers in half lengthwise and remove the innards, if desired. Set the peppers onto a baking sheet (aluminum foil will make for easy cleanup), and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the skins are blackened and blistered. You might need a bit longer, depending on your oven.
  • Allow the peppers to cool enough to handle. Transfer them to a bowl and cover them with plastic or a paper towel, or place them into baggies or paper bags to let the skins steam and loosen.
  • Peel off the skins and discard them. Add the roasted peppers to a food processor.
  • Heat the oil in a pan to medium heat. Add the chopped tomatillos, spinach and onion. Cook for 5 minutes to soften.
  • Add the garlic and stir. Cook for 1 more minute.
  • Transfer the cooked ingredients to the food processor with the roasted peppers and process until chunky.
  • Add the cilantro, crema, cream cheese (if using), ancho powder, cumin and salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
  • Adjust the thickness of the verde sauce with chicken stock, if desired. Also taste and adjust for salt.
  • Transfer the verde sauce to the pan and heat to a simmer.
  • Add the cooked spaghetti and toss to combine.
  • Serve into bowls and top with crumbled cotija cheese, pepper slices, red chili flakes and fresh chopped cilantro.

Nutrition

Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 231mg | Potassium: 446mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1525IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 2mg