Spicy Cilantro Alfredo Pasta

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A spicy life is a more exciting life, am I right? Who wants to lead a bland, salt and pepper existence when your life could be doused in chili, tabasco, habernos and red pepper? Why would you want just regular alfredo when you could have a spicy cilantro alfredo pasta instead?


I think it’s because I was recently in Mexico, eating every jalapeno, shrimp, bundle of cilantro and haberno I could get my grubby little hands on, that I’ve recently been craving spice. In almost every single dish I’ve made, there’s been spice. It’s almost to the point I can’t eat something unless it slightly burns my tongue. Yes, I’m 100% aware of how creepy that sounds.

Spicy cilantro pasta

I can’t help it though, I crave all things spice! And not even just in my cooking or eating, but in my real life too. All of my clothes are vibrant, speckled with bright colors and shapes. I’m taking bigger risks and chances. I’m going on trips I would have NEVER considered a few months ago. I’m wearing crazier make-up and dying my hair funky shades of red. I’m the human version of this spicy cilantro alfredo pasta, really. I was once a boring plate of noodles and now I’m spicy, sassy and I’ll probably burn your tongue.

Spicy alfredo

I’ll let that marinade in your head for a second. I know a lot of people who don’t like cilantro. And to that I just have to shutter but pretend like I accept your decision. Hands down, this is my favorite fresh herb. In the entire world.


It’s what for dinner. And it’s what really balances the spiciness of the haberno, jalapeno and chili powder in this alfredo. It also gives the sauce such an added depth of flavor. You could omit it if you absolutely CAN’T stand cilantro, but I can’t make any promises that it’ll be as good. I’m just being honest. Even though this dish is a little heavier than my normal pasta dishes, one heaping serving only has 10 WW points, which is 4 less than Weight Watchers own recipe!

Creamy and spicy spaghetti with alfredo

If your life is a little blah, a little drab, a little boring, add this spicy cilantro alfredo pasta to your menu. THIS WEEK. Before you know it you’ll be dying your hair purple, wearing neon green pants and jumping out of airplanes.

Spicy Cilantro Alfredo Pasta

Creamy pasta with cilantro


Serves about 6.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes


  • 12 ounces spaghetti noodles 

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • About 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1 jalapeno, cut in half and seeded
  • 2 habernos, cut in half and seeded
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • About 2/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to broil. Place jalapeno, habernos and yellow pepper in an oven safe baking dish coated with cooking spray. Broil for about 5 – 8 minutes, or until soft and slightly blackened. Remove from the oven and place in a food processor. Pulse on low with one tablespoon of lemon juice until pureed. Set aside. 
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook until al-dente, about 8 minutes. Rinse and set aside.
  3. To make the sauce, melt butter in a 3-quart pan over medium heat. Add flour and stir in to create a roux. Add in the light cream and the light milk, 1/4 cup at a time, whisking after each addition. Stirring constantly, heat until mixture is thick (enough to coat the back of a spoon). Remove from heat and stir in goat cheese and parmesan cheese. Once cheese is fully melted, stir in chopped cilantro, chili powder and pureed jalapenos. Stir in salt, pepper and remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  4. Stir the noodles into the sauce and serve immediatley.

Nutritional information per serving (about 3/4 cup):

Calories:  377.5
Fat: 16 grams
Carbohydrates: 44.5 grams
Fiber: 2.25 grams
Protein: 13 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 10

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  1. Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
    Love this Claire...but then I also love cilantro. I hear if you don't like it, it tastes like soap. What a shame cause when it's good it's very, very good!

    I can only imagine how this would liven up alfredo...yum is the word!
  2. Posted by Laura (Tutti Dolci) on
    Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
    I love cilantro, what a great pasta!
  3. Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
    I could certainly use a little spice in my life. This pasta dish looks so good! And I love skinny alfredo recipes. :)
  4. Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
    I could live inside that pasta
  5. Posted by Meagan @ A Zesty Bite on
    Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
    This sauce looks and sounds AMAZING! Love a good alfredo.
  6. Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
    Seriously. I love you for this!
  7. Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
    I don't think I've ever had cilantro with a creamy pasta but gosh does that sound insanely good right now!
  8. Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
    i love everything spicy as well - in food and life :) absolutely love the idea of adding goat cheese and cilantro- yummmm
  9. Posted by Liz @ The Lemon Bowl on
    Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
    I want 50,000 bowls of this right now. Love the spiciness!!!
  10. Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
    I say yes-yes-yes to spicy!
  11. Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
    oh my! This sounds so incredible! I love this!
  12. Posted by Jola on
    Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
    I just started spicing things up. Would you recommend it for a beginner as well?
    • Posted by cgallam10 on
      Thursday, April 4th, 2013
      Yes!! If you want less spice, adjust the number of habernos!
  13. Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
    oh my! LOVE this!
  14. Posted by Bree on
    Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
    Que delicioso!
  15. Posted by Memoria on
    Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
    I saw this recipe and photos and knew immediately that I had to make this dish today. It was beyond fantastic. Next time I make this I plan to add some garlic and leave in a bit of the seeds from the jalapeños or add in chili peppers because I was expecting more heat (but I have a pretty high tolerance for heat).

    I did not have cream, so I used 1 1/4 cups of whole milk. That is the only modification I had to make. Thank you for this recipe!
    • Posted by cgallam10 on
      Thursday, April 4th, 2013
      Oh yay!!! I'm glad you loved it! I actually did leave the seeds on the jalapeno, but left that off b/c I didn't want people to think it was "too" spicy. Glad we are on the same page!
  16. Posted by Julie @ Table for Two on
    Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
    My face needs to be in that pasta. I love how creamy it is!! Alfredos are the best!
    • Posted by cgallam10 on
      Thursday, April 4th, 2013
      Dude, agreed. 100% agreed.
  17. Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
    Girl, I love this so much!!! I want to put cilantro on everything!
    • Posted by cgallam10 on
      Thursday, April 4th, 2013
      I know right? I love it so much!
  18. Friday, April 5th, 2013
    I love cilantro! This sauce sounds incredible!
  19. Posted by Stacy on
    Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
    I absolutely loved this recipe! You are a brave soul using 2 habaneros, I only used 1 and it was perfect. I made it for my mom for mother's day and it was a hit! Thank you for sharing, I'll definitely be making this one again :)
  20. Posted by Nicole Cline on
    Thursday, August 8th, 2013
    This was AMAZING! I can't believe how low calorie this is and soooo insanely good! I omitted the habernos and used two jalapenos instead. This created just the right amount of heat, I think the habernos would have made it way too spicy for our family. I also used fat free half and half for the light cream. We served this with blackend/grilled shrimp.

    I think the possibilities are endless with this. I want to make this next time with herb goat cheese and see what it tastes like.

    Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe and blog. I am a loyal follower from now on...(This week alone for dinner we have had this alfredo, skillet lasagna and schezuan chicken). :)
  21. Posted by Pauline on
    Saturday, October 11th, 2014
    That is a good idea, adding jalapenos to this pasta instead of the usual red pepper flakes for spice. I saw the cilantro in the title and immediately swung over to read the recipe. I was rewarded with even more than just a normal Alfredo spruced up with cilantro for freshness, but jalapenos too. I will have to try this soon. Also, what is that pasta soon you have in the photos? I've never seen it but it looks quite useful for picking up long noodles of pasta
  22. Posted by Michael on
    Monday, May 29th, 2017
    The recipe looks amazing. I'll be making it next week. but please have someone who knows how to spell edit the article!
    • Posted by cgallam10 on
      Thursday, August 17th, 2017
      Ha. Good tip. Maybe when I'm not traveling the world and running four businesses, I'll do that.