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How to Make Filipino Spaghetti

Filipino Style Spaghetti is my husband’s favorite Filipino noodle dish. He likes the sweetness of the sauce and the bits and pieces of the hotdog. Because we have limited access to outside food due to the current world crisis I made my version of his favorite Filipino pasta aka sweet spaghetti. As a twist, I used pork sausage (Jimmy Dean regular pork sausage) instead of the traditional ground pork to add more flavor to the dish. I left out the cheese as it is not the same if it’s not the Kraft Eden processed cheese. Anyhow, all the ingredients I used with this dish can be found in your local grocery store.

Origins of Flipino Style Spaghetti

Filipino-style spaghetti, a unique and beloved dish in the Philippines, traces its origins to the complex cultural interactions during the American occupation in the early 20th century.

This fusion dish reflects a blend of Western and Eastern flavors, adapted to suit the local Filipino palate. Unlike traditional Italian spaghetti, which emphasizes a savory tomato base, Filipino spaghetti is distinctly sweet, often incorporating ingredients like banana ketchup, a legacy of World War II when tomatoes were scarce in the Philippines.

Hot dogs in Spaghetti?

Hot dogs or sweetened ham, is very common in Filipino Spaghetti. The dish evolved as a popular item at birthday parties and festive gatherings, symbolizing a fusion of global influences and the adaptability of Filipino cuisine. This sweet and savory pasta dish has become a culinary emblem of the Philippines, showcasing the nation’s capacity to integrate foreign elements into its rich gastronomic tapestry. Come join me in making Filipino Style Spaghetti!

Banana Ketchup?

When my husband first came to the Philippines he had fried chicken. We didn’t have any condiments but Banana Ketchup. At first, he was skeptical and gave me some funny looks. Now, he always keeps a bottle of his favorite banana ketchup in the fridge. It’s worth a try!

As always we do a bit of research about the origins of our ingredients. Banana Ketchup was created out of necessity during a time when there was a shortage of tomatoes in the Philippines. Basically during World War 2 Filipinos could not source tomatoes easily. Maria Orosa, a Filipino food technologist and war heroine, innovated this unique sauce as a substitute for tomato ketchup. Pretty neat how resilient Filipinos can truly be!

Filipino Spaghetti Recipe - How to Make Filipino Spaghetti


  • 1/2 lb pasta noodles (I prefer the Barilla whole wheat spaghetti noodles, any type and/or brand works fine)
  • 12 cups water, room temperature (for boiling the noodles, save 2 CUPS of the pasta water)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 lb regular pork sausage (I prefer the Jimmy Dean brand)
  • 1 cup water, room temperature (optional, to make the sausage less salty)
  • 2 medium-sized shallots, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 large hotdog (I prefer the Costco Beef Frank brand. Any brand and/or type works fine)
  • 1 24 Oz spaghetti sauce (I prefer the Bertolli Organic Tomato and Basil. Filipino Style Spaghetti sauce or any type of sauce works fine)
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used the Heinz brand. Any type works just fine)
  • 1 cup milk (I used whole milk. Evap, 2% milk or nonfat works fine)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar (white, brown, dark brown works just fine)


Cook noodles:

spaghetti noodles raw in pot

Boil water in a pot over medium-high heat. Add salt. When the water is boiling put the noodles in. Cook the noodles for 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked (al dente). About 3/4’s of the way into boiling fish out one noodle and break it in half. The thin ring in the middle means the noodle is cooked. You may also taste it to make sure.

Save pasta water and drain the rest:

pasta water being saved from spaghetti noodles

When the noodles are cooked turn the fire off. Save 2 CUPS of the pasta water for later use. Drain the remaining water completely. Rinse the noodles with cold drinking water to keep the noodles from sticking to each other and keeping it firm at the same time. Set aside for later.

Cook the meat:

sausage being cooked in pot for spaghetti

Using the same pot, cook the sausage over medium-high heat. If you like the sausage to be less salty you may add 1 CUP of water (this is optional).


spaghetti sauce being cooked in a large pot

When the sausage is cooked discard the water by using a paper towel or draining it completely in the sink. Add the shallots and saute until translucent. Mix in the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add in the hotdog and cook it for 2 minutes. Stir to combine and simmer for 2 minutes. Pour the sauce. Add 1 CUP of the pasta water in the bottle (adjust to your liking). Shake well to collect the remaining sauce. Pour all of it in the pot. Add the ketchup (adjust to your liking) and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent from burning. Add the milk, ground black pepper, and sugar (adjust to your liking). Stir to combine. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Add the cooked noodles. Stir thoroughly to coat the noodles with the pasta sauce. Simmer for 2 more minutes then turn the heat off.

If you enjoyed this classic Filipino dish. Check out our video on how to make Filipino Adobo.

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Did you enjoy this recipe? Please leave a review.

Maria Lopez
Maria Lopez
Maria Lopez

Not exactly the same as Jollibee, but I really enjoyed this recipe.