Filipino Sweet Spaghetti Sauce with Pasta
Filipino Recipes

Filipino Spaghetti (Sweet Spaghetti Sauce)

Cooks in 40 minutes Difficulty Easy 2 comments

My goal in creating this recipe was to make a true and authentic Filipino style Sweet Spaghetti Sauce recipe that contained no additives, food coloring, artificial flavors, nor preservatives!

I am so stoked to be sharing with you my own developed Sweet Spaghetti Sauce recipe! Spoiler alert: You will find that cooking it yourself from scratch is actually really easy to make, very nutritious for the family, and of course, absolutely Filipino-ly delicious! 

Why Filipino Sweet Spaghetti Sauce is different from regular pasta sauce

The difference is the sweet-tasting flavor. Unlike traditional Italian pasta sauces, Filipino spaghetti sauce is more sweet than it is savory. Even though Filipino-Style Sweet Spaghetti Sauce is sweeter than regular pasta sauces, it’s still not a dessert. Don’t let the idea or anticipation of sweet pasta dissuade you from trying this dish! The level of sweetness is not to overwhelm your taste buds, but rather to complement the savory flavors and to balance the tartiness of tomato!

Filipino Sweet Spaghetti Sauce contains pieces of hot dogs (or other types of frankfurters) along with ground beef. The reason being is that hot dogs, at least in Filipino culture, brings about sentiment of fun gatherings. It’s also a relatively inexpensive ingredient, so it makes an an economical choice to serve at parties. Adding pieces of hot dog also adds an umami element, effectively enhancing the flavor overall. It’s no wonder this dish is a crowd favorite!

Benefits of homemade Filipino Sweet Spaghetti Sauce

It all boils down to personal preference. As someone who likes to cook, it comes more easily to me to use individual sets of ingredients (as opposed to premade packets bought from a grocery store) and I have the time for it. However, making this dish from scratch is quite straightforward.

The alternative version

Of course, you are always welcome to cook it the way most Filipinos would make this dish. Filipinos mostly use the UFC Fiesta Filipino-Style Sweet Spaghetti Sauce packet that you can buy at a local Asian grocery in your area. It may also be available on Amazon, depending where you live. With that being said, another reason why I cook homemade is because I found the following ingredient in that packet of sauce:

Colors E110, E102 and E129 (may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children)

Understandably, many store bought items contain colors such as this. So, it’s not unique to this brand. Nevertheless, if you have the time, energy, and motivation to cook, homemade option is always best.

Filipino Spaghetti in Fast Food: Jollibee

For those who don’t know what Jollibee is, it’s a Filipino fast-food franchise that sells fried chicken, Filipino spaghetti, chicken sandwiches and more. It’s slowly attracting more consumers on the market, but I do believe they have limited establishments outside of the Philippines. Therefore, they are still underrepresented globally. Next time you’re being a tourist somewhere, why not look for a Jollibee near you and try them out!

Fun story: I remember eating Filipino Spaghetti since I could first remember. I went to a small, private Christian kindergarten in the Philippines. Whenever someone had a birthday, we would get Jollibee catering! When it’s time for lunch, we would line our tables up in 2 rows and face each other. The birthday celebrant would then sit at the top by themselves and face down the line. Parents would be there, too. We’d then get distributed a classic Jollibee meal each, consisting of 1 piece fried chicken and a Filipino Spaghetti. This was so memorable to me, that even to this day, I would feel like I’m a kid again whenever I order the classic at Jollibee!

Give this recipe a shot!

Now, without further ado, I present to you my original recipe! I tried to add as many helpful and useful notes in the recipe below (much to brevity’s detriment), but if you do need more help, please leave a comment below or get in touch with me! I’ll be happy to answer any questions!

Lastly, you’ll find that my pictures have other pasta than spaghetti! That’s because we only had these types of pasta in the house at the time. Of course, you are welcome to use any pasta of your choice: Spaghetti is just the mainstream option, but as you can see, it doesn’t have to be that way!

Filipino Sweet Spaghetti Sauce with pasta

Filipino Spaghetti (Sweet Spaghetti Sauce)

Unveiling the Irresistible Delight of Filipino Sweet Spaghetti: A Taste of the Philippines
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: Bolognese, Dinner, Filipino, Meal, Pasta, Sauce, Spaghetti, Sweet
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 931kcal
Author: Micah Alvord
Cost: 15

Equipment

  • 1 Medium to Large Saucepan
  • 1 Wooden Spoon
  • 1 Chopping Board
  • 1 Knife
  • 1 food processor if using

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 brown onion (finely diced or food processed) Yellow Onion in US English. See note 1.
  • 6 cloves garlic (finely chopped or food processed) Add or reduce to your liking. See note 1.
  • 500-600 grams ground pork or ground beef Minced Beef or Minced Pork in UK English. See note 2.
  • Approx. 350 grams kielbasa polish sausage (diced) Make sure it contains beef. If the sausage contains pork & beef, that's perfect. But if it contains pork & chicken, then don't use it. See note 3.
  • 1 litre beef stock or beef broth Use whatever you have
  • 340 grams tomato paste See note 4.
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs granulated white sugar Use 1/2 cup of sugar instead if you want it really sweet. See note 5.
  • 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese (freshly grated) This is a secret ingredient: Use the finest or freshest Parmesan Cheese you have. Don't use other cheeses as using other cheeses will alter the flavor!
  • 1 tbs oregano Fresh or dried, use whatever you have
  • 1/2 tbs salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp white vinegar This is a secret ingredient, don't omit!
  • English cheddar cheese (freshly grated) for topping Optional but HIGHLY recommended. Don't use other cheeses for the topping. Only use English cheddar. Using other cheeses will alter the flavor.
  • pasta of your choice We like the thin spaghetti

Instructions

  • Melt butter in saucepan on medium-low heat. Once melted, sauté onions in butter until onions are slightly translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. After onions are slightly cooked, add the garlic. Sauté garlic for a few minutes until it is aromatic. (Remember not to burn garlic. If needed, lower heat to prevent burnt garlic.)
    4 tbsp butter, 1 brown onion (finely diced or food processed), 6 cloves garlic (finely chopped or food processed)
  • Add your ground beef in and start breaking it up with your wooden spoon. I usually turn my heat up when I add in the beef to get some char-flavor going. After breaking up the ground beef, cook the beef until its juices and fat have almost disappeared (tip: browning the bottom of the meat during this step will make the sauce taste really good).
    500-600 grams ground pork or ground beef
  • Once the beef has browned, add in the polish sausage. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes to get it cooked.
    Approx. 350 grams kielbasa polish sausage (diced)
  • Add in the beef stock (or broth), tomato paste, and sugar. Stir and ensure the heat is high enough to get it to start boiling. Let it boil until liquid has evaporated slightly and sauce is slightly thickened (about 5 to 8 minutes).
    1 litre beef stock or beef broth, 340 grams tomato paste, 1/4 cup + 2 tbs granulated white sugar
  • Add in the first secret ingredient: parmesan cheese! Stir until cheese has dissolved.
    1 cup fresh parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
  • Add in your spices: oregano, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
    1 tbs oregano, 1/2 tbs salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Add in the vinegar. Mix well. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until you reach your desired sauce consistency. And you're done with the sauce!
    1 tsp white vinegar
  • Cook pasta of your choice until al dente ("just right"). Add the Filipino Style Sweet Spaghetti Sauce to your cooked pasta. Top with cheddar cheese. Enjoy!

Notes

Note 1: If you have a food processor, you can use it to pulse the onion and garlic so you don’t have to spend time chopping these up. This is what I do, and it cuts my prep time from 10 minutes down to 4 or less. This recipe doesn’t require nice-looking diced onions or garlic, so pulsing these ingredients together 1 second at a time (3 to 4 times) will achieve the same chunky consistency as your manually chopped onion and garlic. This is my secret to cooking easily and efficiently, and doing this will not damage or alter the texture or flavor of this dish.
Note 2: Use whatever you have and whatever you have easy access to. I’ve found that some parts of the world doesn’t readily have ground pork / pork mince available in local supermarkets. If this sounds like you, then use ground beef / minced beef instead! What’s the difference? Ground pork / minced pork is traditional and it emphasizes the flavor of the sausages more, which is what you’d expect to find if you order this dish at restaurants or takeouts (like Jollibee). But ground beef / minced beef works fine, too! You’ll just expect it to taste more beefy than it does beef-sausagey.
I also added a variance of 100 grams (i.e., use between 500-600g). Why? Simply because of packaging. Ground / minced meat are sometimes sold in 500g batches, some sold in 600g batches. It doesn’t matter which you choose, whatever is easier for you. For example, if it’s easier to get pre-packaged meat that is sold at 500g instead, then use that instead of opting to use 600g for the recipe and then needing to buy 2x 500g and having 400g left over. Bottom line: Adding 500g, or 600g, or even 800g, won’t alter the flavor. If you decide to add more, the sauce will be thicker with meat, like Mexican chili. But sticking between 500g-600g will make it more traditional.
Note 3: Depending on what’s available in your area, kielbasa polish sausage that contains BEEF and pork works best. Some packaging comes in one, HUGE sausage which is roughly 380g — that’s perfect for this recipe! Some packages come with 4 small-medium sausages, which is also perfect for this! As long as the sausage is between 300-400g, then you’re fine! Also, make sure the sausage contains beef. Again, beef and pork works best. But if it’s pork and chicken, I would advise against it because it will alter the flavor.
I also want to note that traditionally, hot dog sausage is used for this. But I find that hot dog sausages are more processed and contains ingredients I don’t like to consume (like a variety of preservatives and artificial flavorings, etc.). For this reason, I opt to use a good polish sausage. I’ve found that sausages labelled kielbasa polish sausage tastes the best!
Note 4: It’s important you get this measurement accurately. I use 2x 170g (6 oz) Organic Tomato Paste cans, which adds up to 340g. If some packaging are sold in 500g, make sure to weigh it out to use only 340g. ONLY use tomato paste. Do not use tomato puree, diced tomatoes, etc. Using tomato other than the tomato paste will alter both flavor and texture.
Note 5: Don’t use brown sugar. Using brown sugar will change the flavor as brown sugar itself comes with a specific flavor. Use a neutral, white sugar to add sweetness. A neutral white sugar will achieve adding sweetness without introducing other sugar flavors.

Nutrition

Serving: 250g | Calories: 931kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 71g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 28g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 203mg | Sodium: 3853mg | Potassium: 1692mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1895IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 334mg | Iron: 6mg

2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    OHHH yum! I love filipino spaghetti this is delicious and such an easy recipe to follow. Thank you for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    This was very authentic. Loved it and will make again. I didn’t add polish sausage as I didn’t have it on hand but still delicious. Will be a regular go to recipe as it’s quick and tasty. Thank you.

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