This Filipino spaghetti sauce recipe has a unique twist to the classic Filipino spaghetti! While ground beef, banana ketchup, and hot dogs is used for the savory sauce, there is a secret ingredient included that will definitely surprise you!
When I say this is the ULTIMATE Filipino spaghetti sauce recipe, I am not lying! Different than the sweet Filipino style spaghetti, this recipe has a slightly spicy kick combined with authentic banana ketchup.
PLUS, this Filipino spaghetti recipe has a secret ingredient used to add a hint of sweetness that blends all the flavors together to the perfect consistency! Any guesses? Hint: It’s not sugar!
This is truly the BEST Filipino spaghetti recipe and is probably my most favorite recipe I have in this blog.
This post will go over everything you need to know to create this Filipino spaghetti sauce recipe.
Recipe difficulty: Totally beginner level as this is one of the first recipes I learned when I left the nest…
For this Filipino spaghetti sauce, some favorite ingredients will be used such as banana ketchup, ground beef, and even hot dogs to develop the tangy sauce! The prep work of these ingredients will be super easy, and if you have a food processor, it’s even easier! Make sure to read my tips for below for what you will ABSOLUTELY NEED for this recipe!
Sam’s Pro Tips for this Filipino Spaghetti Sauce Recipe
The Secret Ingredient
- Your SECRET INGREDIENT is PINEAPPLE JUICE! Drumroll please! That’s right folks! Pineapple juice will give you the best flavor for this spaghetti recipe, without making it overly sweet! You only need a small can, so we use the Dole Pineapple Juice 6-ounce can and mix it in with the sauce! I know this may sound weird, but combined with the banana ketchup and tomato sauce, you won’t get a strong pineapple taste but will get the sweetness instead!
For the Best Filipino Spaghetti Sauce…
- For best results, use a food processor! Now I’m all about saving time and effort, and in this case, using the food processor will lead to a BETTER consistency in this Filipino spaghetti sauce. When adding the onion, garlic, and even the hot dogs, I like to run it in the food processor until a finely chopped consistency is reached. Not mushy, finely chopped! If you don’t have a food processor, no worries, just plan to manually finely chop the ingredients.
- Make sure you’re not wasting any tomato sauce! So, here’s my little housekeeping tip! Don’t you hate when you dump your canned goods out, there always seems to be a ton of excess still in the can? I know, I do! When dumping the tomato sauce into the pan, put a little water in the can and swirl it about to capture all that extra tomato sauce. Adding a little water to the tomato sauce won’t hurt your Filipino spaghetti sauce recipe and ensures you get every last bit of the tomato sauce!
Need Help Finding Banana Ketchup?
- What is banana ketchup and where do I find it? Banana ketchup is a favorite in Filipino cuisine and can be served with a Tortang Talong Recipe with Giniling | Grilled Eggplant Omelet with Meat or as a favorite dipping sauce! Fun fact, traditionally there is actually no tomato in this condiment. It does have sugar, vinegar, banana, and other ingredients to create a yummy, sweet flavor! Need help finding this ingredient? Download our Top 5 Crazy-Cheap Ingredients You Need for Filipino Cooking and Where to Find It from my free resource library! (Get the password to the library in the form at the bottom of this post.)
Key Ingredients – Filipino Spaghetti Sauce Recipe
Below are some key ingredients for this recipe:
- Ground beef: Try to get a high lean content of ground beef! We shared this tip in our Filipino Beef Giniling to Warm the Soul | Meat Stew for the best flavor. It’s also a lot healthier, even if you don’t strain the oil from the meat so we usually get 96% lean ground beef.
- Hot dogs: You can use Filipino hot dogs or get the all-beef hot dogs. This is a favorite in the sauce!
- Tomato sauce: One can of tomato sauce is used to add to the meat mixture. Don’t worry, this will be thoroughly flavored with our seasoning!
- Tomato paste: The tomato paste is actually used to help thicken this Filipino style spaghetti sauce recipe and gives the perfect consistency.
- Pineapple juice: The secret ingredient in this spaghetti sauce! Use the Dole Pineapple Juice 6-ounce can and mix it in with the sauce!
Seasoning and Herbs
- Onion: As discussed in the Tips section above, try to use the food processor to finely chop the onion with the garlic.
- Garlic: 5 cloves is needed for the best flavor! That’s right folks, 5 cloves!
- Bay leaves: 5 bay leaves will simmer with all these delicious ingredients! Be sure to remove the bay leaves when serving! (No one wants to eat a leaf!)
- Chili flakes: For some extra spice, a ½ tablespoon of chili flakes is used. You can tone this down, but with all the sweetness in the sauce, this gives the right balance.
- Basil: Using a tablespoon of dried basil adds a nice, herb flavor to the sauce. Make sure to always keep some in your spice rack!
- Oregano: Using oregano in pasta sauce is pretty common, and this Filipino spaghetti sauce recipe is no exception! A tablespoon of dried oregano does wonders for this sauce.
Cheese and Noodles
- Shredded parmesan cheese: After the spaghetti sauce is mostly done simmering, the shredded parmesan cheese will be tossed in at the last 5 minutes. At this point, the sauce is seasoned perfectly and has everything you can ask for. Delicious!
- Spaghetti noodles: The obvious ingredient! I shared this tip in my Best Shrimp Scampi Recipe with Pasta, but make sure to cook the pasta with salt and olive oil in the water. The salt helps flavor the pasta and the olive oil prevents the noodles from sticking.
More Variations to this Filipino Spaghetti Sauce Recipe
There are a few ways you can variate this Filipino spaghetti sauce recipe. Here’s how:
- Add some sugar. If you would like this Filipino spaghetti recipe to be slightly on the sweeter side, you can add a spoonful of sugar to simmer with the sauce. I don’t think this is needed as the sauce has the perfect balance of spicy and sweet, but you can tilt it more on the sweeter side.
- What can I pair with this dish? This Filipino style spaghetti is a solid main dish and sure to be a family favorite! Make sure to save room for dessert with our Creamy Filipino Leche Flan or our Perfectly Sweet and Crispy Filipino Turon Recipe to finish the meal off the right way!
Don’t know where to find some of these ingredients? Download our Top 5 Crazy-Cheap Ingredients You Need for Filipino Cooking and Where to Find It from my free resource library! (Need the password to the library? Look out for the form at the bottom of this post!)
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Frequently Asked Questions
What’s different about Filipino spaghetti?
Filipino spaghetti tends to have more of a sweeter taste compared to traditional spaghetti sauce. This can be due to the addition of banana ketchup, sugar, or even pineapple juice.
How long does Filipino spaghetti last?
For the best Filipino spaghetti recipe, consume within 3-4 days in the refrigerator for optimal flavor.
What is the rule of thumb in regard to substituting fresh herbs for dried herbs?
Dry herbs are more potent compared to fresh herbs. A good rule of thumb is to use 3x the amount of fresh herbs compared to dried herbs. For example, 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley is equivalent to one teaspoon of dried parsley.