Looking for a unique twist on traditional spaghetti? Give Filipino spaghetti a try! Known for its sweet and savory flavors, this dish is a staple in many Filipino households. Here’s how to make it from scratch and bring a taste of the Philippines to your kitchen.

filipino spaghetti

Introduction to Filipino Spaghetti

Filipino spaghetti is not your average pasta dish. Unlike the typical Italian version, Filipino spaghetti features a sweet and savory sauce, often incorporating banana ketchup and hotdogs. This delightful combination makes it a popular choice for family gatherings, celebrations, and everyday meals.

Main Ingredients

Before we begin, let's gather the essentials:

  • Filipino-style spaghetti sauce: You can find this at most Asian grocery stores, or make it from scratch (recipe below).
  • Hotdogs or ground meat: Traditional Filipino spaghetti uses sliced hotdogs, but you can also use ground beef or pork.
  • Banana ketchup: This adds the signature sweetness.
  • Cheese: Grated cheddar or processed cheese for topping.
  • Spaghetti noodles: Cooked according to package instructions.

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Preparing the Filipino-style Spaghetti Sauce


  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup banana ketchup
  • 1/4 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Sauté the Aromatics

In a large pan, heat some oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic, sautéing until they turn golden brown.

  1. Add the Tomato Sauce and Banana Ketchup

Pour in the tomato sauce and banana ketchup. Stir well to combine.

  1. Sweeten the Mix

Add the sugar and water. Stir continuously until the sugar dissolves.

  1. Season and Simmer

Add salt and pepper to taste. If you're using bell peppers, add them now. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for about 15-20 minutes, allowing all the flavors to meld together.

2. Cooking the Hotdogs or Ground Meat


  1. Slice the Hotdogs

Cut the hotdogs into thin, bite-sized pieces.

  1. Pan-fry the Hotdogs

In a separate pan, heat a small amount of oil over medium heat. Add the sliced hotdogs and cook until they turn slightly crispy and browned. Set aside.

Ground Meat:

  1. Cook the Ground Meat

In the same pan used for the hotdogs, add the ground meat. Cook until it's browned and fully cooked through.

  1. Combine with the Sauce

Once cooked, add the hotdogs or ground meat to the simmering sauce. Stir well to ensure everything is evenly coated.

3. Achieving the Perfect Sweet and Savory Balance

  • Adjust Sweetness

Taste the sauce and adjust the sweetness by adding more sugar or banana ketchup, if needed.

  • Enhance Savory Notes

Add a splash of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce for an extra umami kick.

4. Serving Suggestions and Complementary Dishes

Serve the Filipino spaghetti hot, topped with generous amounts of grated cheese. For a complete Filipino-inspired meal, consider these complementary dishes:

  • Garlic bread

Perfect for soaking up the delicious sauce.

  • Fried chicken

A crispy and flavorful addition to your meal.

  • Coleslaw

Adds a refreshing crunch.


Filipino spaghetti is more than just a meal; it's a beloved comfort food that brings families together. Whether you're making it for a special occasion or a simple weeknight dinner, this dish is sure to please. Give it a try, and experience the unique flavors of the Philippines in your own home.

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