How to Make a Macaroni Salad Filipino Style

Macaroni salad is one of the most popular Filipino food. It is so easy and quick to make, and it tastes great! It is also so versatile. They can be served as an appetizer or side dish. You can also serve them as a main course with some grilled chicken or fish. Below, we give you tips on how to make a macaroni salad Filipino style. So, if you are into sweets, this would be an advantage for you!

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What is a Filipino-style Macaroni Salad

Sweet Macaroni Salads is a common Filipino version in the Philippines vs macaroni salad. It is made with a sweetened fresh fruit cocktail, elbow pasta macaroni, condensed milk, and evaporated milk or heavy cream. Cheese and raisins also make a great addition to the mix.

Most of the time, Filipinos also create a chicken macaroni salad, but if you want something sweet for the dessert table, go for the classic Filipino macaroni salad. It makes great comfort food and it does not spoil easily, especially if stored in the fridge or freezer. 

How to Make a Macaroni Salad Filipino Style

The preparation of Sweet Macaroni Salad takes little time and effort. I believe that the emphasis should be placed on the ingredients rather than the cooking process. The elements for this dish might be intimidating at times but you will get through it with our easy instructions. 

Servings: 10 people

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb. elbow macaroni
  • 1 pack Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise 220 ml (optional)
  • 1 can fruit cocktail 15 oz.
  • 12 oz. pineapple chunks or pineapple tidbits
  • 1 can condense milk 14 oz.
  • 2 cans evaporated milk or heavy cream 14 oz each
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup kaong (sweet palm fruit)
  • 3/4 cup nata de coco
  • 6 oz. vegan cheddar cheese cubed

Cooking Process:

1. Boil the elbow macaroni for 5-8 minutes over medium heat. Drain the water and let it cool by pouring cold water to avoid sticking from each other.

2. Using a large-sized mixing bowl, pour and mix the fruit cocktail, nata de coco, kaong, drained pineapple chunks or pineapple tidbits, raisins, and cheese. Mix thoroughly.

3. Pour the condensed milk and evaporated milk. Mix well.

4. Fold and until well blended and refrigerate for at least an hour. Make sure to cover with a tight lid.

5. Remove from the fridge and enjoy! Any leftover can be placed in the fridge or freezer.

If you opt for something sumptuous, lessen half the amount of condensed milk and add a poached boneless chicken breast then shred it into tiny pieces. This could be the perfect dish served on special occasions. 

Filipino-style Macaroni Salad vs American Style Macaroni Salad
Filipino-style Macaroni Salad vs American Style Macaroni Salad

Helpful Tips in Making Macaroni Salad Filipino Style

Never forget to follow these simple yet important cooking tips when making a Filipino-style macaroni salad. 

1. Don’t forget condensed milk! It adds creaminess, a touch of sweetness, and helps balance out the savory flavor of the dish.

2. Mix the sauce to a smooth consistency. Allow the pasta and ingredients to cool fully before combining.

3. Do not overcook the macaroni. It will be drenched in milk or mayonnaise, so you want it firm enough to stay intact. Cook it al dente or follow the packaging instructions.

4. Add your own specialties. You can also add sweet gherkin pickles, 2 stalks of celery, or sliced bell pepper for added crunchy relish, but you can also use sweet pickle relish instead. Feel free to try different add-ins such as a fresh fruit cocktail or types of cheese for a more tropical flavor.

5. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. The pasta salad will be a bit loose when first combined due to the wet ingredients. But it will thicken considerably after an hour or two in the fridge. Some would even place it in the freezer if you want something really cold or frozen. 

How to Store Macaroni Salad Filipino Style

Macaroni salad is best stored in the refrigerator since it should be served cold. You can also opt to store it in the freezer if you plan to keep it for a longer time. 

How to Store Macaroni Salad Filipino Style in the Fridge

Refrigerating macaroni salad will help preserve its freshness and texture. If you are planning to make this recipe several days later, you can freeze the leftovers. To do so, here are the steps to follow:

1. Transfer the macaroni salad to an airtight container with a tight-fitting cover to maximize the freshness.

2. Set the refrigerator temperature at or below 40° F (4° C). Store for 3 to 5 days only.

3. Keep it away from odorous food and moisture content to prevent it from spoiling.

How to Store Macaroni Salad Filipino Style in the Freezer

Storing Filipino-style macaroni salad in the freezer may affect the flavor, especially the sweetness. Thus, make sure to put enough condensed milk content to maintain the sweet flavors. This is recommendable if it does contain even 1 cup mayonnaise on it. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Transfer the macaroni pasta salad to an airtight container with a tight-fitting cover to maximize the freshness.

2. Set the temperature within 0° F (-18° C). Store it until 4 to 12 weeks. 

3. Keep it away from odorous food and moisture content to prevent it from spoiling.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can macaroni salad stay at room temperature?

Filipino-style macaroni salad cannot stay at room temperature for long. It is recommended to let it out for at least an hour only. 

Should macaroni salad be refrigerated?

Yes! It should be refrigerated because it can spoil easily, especially if it contains mayonnaise and a lot of milk. To store in the fridge, refer above to the steps on how to do it.

Can I make macaroni salad in advance?

Yes. Just follow the cooking process we stated above and make sure to store it inside the refrigerator or freezer, depending on how long you make it in advance.

What side dishes go well with Filipino-style macaroni salad?

You can serve elbow macaroni salad with fresh fruit juices, fresh vegetable salads, beef steaks, onion rings, rotisserie chicken, and more!

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