Filipino-style macaroni salad is a must-have at any party or celebration! It’s loaded with chicken, ham, cheese, and crushed pineapple for a hearty and delicious side dish that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Filipino Macaroni Salad
Like spaghetti, Filipino-style macaroni salad is one dish we’ve adapted from the west and given our Pinoy twist. Bursting with tropical flavors, it’s a perfect match for our tastes.
This recipe was first published in September 2013, but today I’m giving it a bit of a makeover with new photos and cooking tips as Christmas is almost here. No Filipino party or get-together is complete without chicken macaroni, and as far as I can tell, this version of mine is the mother of all macaroni salads!
With a delicious assortment of hearty pasta, shredded chicken, shredded ham and cheese, crushed pineapple, plump raisins, shredded carrots, and chopped eggs, it’s an array of flavors and textures your guests won’t be able to get enough of. They will line up for a few seconds. Or thirds!
Good thing this macaroni salad recipe can easily be doubled (or tripled) for a large crowd and can be made ahead for less stress.
- Do not overcook the macaroni. It is thrown with a lot of mixed ins and you want it to be strong enough to last.
- Poach the chicken instead of “cooking” it. This gentle cooking method ensures that the meat is moist and juicy instead of dry and stringy. I like to use boneless chicken breasts, but a combination of dark and white meat will also work well.
- Blanch the carrots. As with bagging the chicken, this step makes a big difference. Pre-cooking in hot water and then shocking in ice water will keep the vegetables alive and tender.
- Add your favorite mixes. I like to dice sweet cucumbers for extra crunch, but feel free to substitute sweet cucumber. Don’t be afraid to experiment with other additions such as chopped peppers or celery for flavor and color.
- Don’t leave out the condensed milk! It adds creaminess and a touch of sweetness that balances the spicy flavors of the dish.
- Cool the ingredients completely. For food safety, allow pasta and ingredients to cool completely before mixing.
- Chill in the refrigerator. The pasta salad will be a little runny when first combined, but will thicken nicely after about an hour in the fridge. I know everyone will be excited to get into this, but give it some time to cool completely and come together.
How long can you keep macaroni salad?
- Although you can make the salad ahead of time, I do not recommend keeping it at room temperature for more than 2 hours or in the refrigerator for more than 3 days for food safety reasons. With mayonnaise, eggs, and other protein-rich ingredients, it spoils faster than most foods.
- Unfortunately, due to the nature of the ingredients, this Chicken Macaroni Salad does not freeze well. The fats and oils in mayonnaise break down and lose their creaminess as they freeze and thaw.
Filipino-style macaroni salad is an excellent side dish for special occasions or holiday celebrations. It’s also a great addition to picnics, barbecues, and potlucks.
If you’re looking for more festive salads, enjoy the same flavors in potato form! Or try my Pasta Fruit Salad for a delicious Noche Buena dessert. If you like tuna, I’ve got you too!
Filipino Macaroni Salad
Chicken macaroni salad with ham, crushed pineapple and raisins is perfect for soups or parties. Hearty, flavorful and packed with tropical flavors, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 min
Total time: 50 minutes
- 1 pound uncooked medium-sized macaroni
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 cup diced ham
- 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 can (14 ounces) crushed pineapple
- 1 cup diced Eden or Velveeta cheese
- 1/2 cup sweet pickle
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring about 4 liters of salted water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the macaroni and cook according to package directions for about 8 to 9 minutes, or until firm to the bite. Drain well and let cool completely.
2. Add the chicken and enough water to cover the pot. Bring the water to a boil, skimming off the scum that floats on the surface. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked. Drain from liquid, let cool completely and slice. Set aside.
3. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the diced carrots and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from the water using a slotted spoon and place in an ice bath until completely cold. Drain and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, mix macaroni, chicken, carrots, ham, eggs, crushed pineapple including juice from package, cheese, sweet cucumber, raisins, onion, mayonnaise and sweetened condensed milk. Mix gently until evenly distributed.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Put in the fridge for about 1 hour to cool completely and the flavors to combine.
Calories: 600 kcal, Carbohydrates: 57 g, Protein: 24 g, Fat: 30 g, Saturated fatty acids: 7 g, Cholesterol: 149 mg, Sodium: 812 mg, Potassium: 580 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 51 g, Vitamin C, 51 g, Vitamin: 53, Vitamin 57 mg, Calcium: 186 mg, Iron: 1.7 mg
“This website provides approximate nutritional information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is collected primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database whenever available or other online calculators.”