By Madellaine Ortea 2021-02-06

Celebrate Every Day With Filipino Style Sweet Spaghetti 

Spaghetti is so closely linked with birthdays that when it's served without any festivities, people will ask, "sino may birthday?" ("who's birthday is it?") or "anong handaan?" ("what's the occasion?"). Along with hotdogs with marshmallows, pancit, lumpia, and embutido, spaghetti is what makes a Filipino celebration complete. As always, Filipinos love cooking in big batches. In a gathering, any leftover is generously given to guests. You rarely go home from a Filipino party without any baon. The hosts would hand over containers filled with a slice of cake, pieces of shanghai and/or a big serving of spaghetti.


But you don't have to wait for a birthday invite to get a taste of Filipino spaghetti. You can make some at home with just a few ingredients. Filipino style spaghetti is sweeter than the original Italian version. It is a whole new recipe from it. The traditional way of making Filipino style sweet spaghetti uses banana ketchup and sugar. It's a jarring combination and almost sacrilegious to the original Italian version to add ketchup and sugar to pasta. But Filipinos have a way of making food taste good with unique ingredients. The spaghetti is topped with sliced hotdogs and grated cheese that adds a savory and sweet taste. 

If the banana ketchup sauce is too weird for you, you can start with using a tomato-based sweet spaghetti sauce. It has the common tomato pasta sauce flavor but with an added sweetness of the trademark Filipino style. 


  • 1 lb uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 red hotdogs, sliced diagonally
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 cups Filipino Style Sweet Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese


  1. In a pot over medium heat, cook spaghetti in salted boiling water for 7 to 9 minutes or until firm. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat oil. Add sliced hotdogs and cook until lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add onion and garlic to the pan. Cook until softened.
  4. Add ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking into small pieces until lightly browned.
  5. Add spaghetti sauce, beef broth and sugar. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer for 30 minutes or until meat is fully cooked and sauce is thickened. Add water if sauce is too thick.
  7. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, add hotdogs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve noodles and sauce separately or mix together and top with shredded cheese.

A similar recipe can be found in Kawaling Pinoy. Ingredients can be sourced from My Tindahan. Image from Kawaling Pinoy.


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