This Filipino sweet macaroni salad is super popular for gatherings and during the holidays! Very easy to make and is the perfect side to the main dish! Sweet, creamy, with a rich flavor different than the traditional macaroni salad recipe!
Filipino sweet macaroni salad is a crowd-favorite that is super creamy, smooth, with just the right amount of sweetness!
This is perfect for large gatherings as this sweet macaroni salad recipe will give plenty! So much flavor in every bite, as even the chicken and carrots are cooked in a simple broth before mixing.
You won’t have your macaroni salad any other way once you learn this family recipe, easy enough for anyone to learn!
This post will go over everything you need to know to create this Filipino sweet macaroni salad.
Recipe difficulty: Of course, beginner level again!
Literally all you need to do is mix this Filipino macaroni salad ingredients in a large bowl! The prep work is what is more time-consuming, but don’t worry as long as you can open a can and chop, you will be fine!
Sam’s Pro Tips for this Filipino Sweet Macaroni Salad
Keeping the Chicken Flavorful
- How to make sure my chicken will stay moist and flavorful? For this sweet chicken macaroni salad Filipino style, the chicken will boil in water, garlic, salt, and pepper for 30 minutes. This is very similar to my Easy Shredded Chicken Tacos Recipe with Green Salsa to have the shredded chicken maintain a nice flavor. Make sure to have this step going while you prep the other ingredients. You can also cook the chicken in a crock pot or instant pot if you have it, but make sure to follow the directions for your appliance and put the garlic in the water.
- Don’t throw away the broth the chicken is cooked in! This is a special bonus tip! I always save the broth the chicken is cooked in, as the water and garlic gives the best flavor. No need to buy chicken broth that is usually high in sodium. You can save this broth and use it to flavor your rice or soup!
- During the last 5-7 minutes, have the carrots boil with the chicken. As the creamy macaroni salad recipe is soft and creamy, we like to boil the carrots during the last 5-7 minutes with the chicken so that the diced carrots are not overly hard when mixed in with the macaroni salad. This is optional, but I personally like the carrots a bit softened. By cooking the carrots with the chicken, some of the chicken flavor will be infused with the carrots and is a nice extra touch!
Mix and Set
- Make sure to mix the ingredients together in an extra-large bowl! I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but seriously plan to use the largest bowl you have! After everything is dumped in the bowl, you need room to mix the ingredients together without it flying out of the bowl. Be sure you have room to put this bowl in the refrigerator after so that you don’t need to transfer to a different container!
- Remember, the flavor is always better the next day! For the mixed sweet macaroni salad ingredients to set, the macaroni salad needs to be in the refrigerator for 2 hours at a minimum. Ideally, making this the day before is optimal as it can settle overnight. This gives the ingredients of this Filipino sweet macaroni salad time to blend the flavors together and to slightly thicken. So good the next day!
Key Ingredients – Filipino Sweet Macaroni Salad
Below are some key ingredients for this recipe:
The Savory Ingredients
- Small, tubular pasta: Ok, so for our family recipe we don’t use the traditional elbow macaroni pasta. We love the small, tubular pasta from Barilla Ditalini, so that the mayonnaise, sweetened condensed milk, and sweet relish completely coats each bite of pasta. As the pasta is smaller, you can fit more of the other ingredients in every bite!
- Shredded chicken: Adding the shredded chicken to this creamy macaroni salad gives it a hearty, rounded taste. Make sure to read Sam’s Pro Tips for this Filipino Sweet Macaroni Salad above on how I get the chicken super flavorful.
- Celery: The diced celery will be the main vegetable in the ingredients of macaroni salad. For 1 pound of pasta, we use about six diced celery stalks just to give a little crunch. Definitely adds a crisp freshness to the macaroni salad!
- Carrots: Remember how I said above the carrots will be cooked in with the chicken during the last 5-7 minutes? This adds great flavor and will not make the macaroni salad overly crunchy!
- Cheddar cheese: Diced mild cheddar cheese is another ingredient added to the macaroni salad. Surprise!
The Sweet Ingredients
- Pineapple tidbits: The pineapple tidbits are what gives part of the sweetness to this amazing dish! The juice from the tidbits is a nice dressing to this salad, with a little going a long way!
- Sweet relish: To add a little tang to this dish, the sweet relish is a nice compliment to cut the sweetness level. This is one of the ingredients no one will suspect!
- Sweetened condensed milk: Here comes the sugar! The sweetened condensed milk adds to the creaminess of the macaroni salad and is what really makes this dish unique. You only need 1 cup for the whole dish!
- Mayonnaise: You can use either real mayonnaise or light mayo, but real mayonnaise is preferred. Mixed with the sweetened condensed milk, the jar of mayonnaise gives a creamy, rich dressing to this sweet chicken macaroni salad Filipino style!
More Variations to this Recipe
There are a few ways you can variate this Filipino sweet macaroni salad. Here’s how:
- Try it with raisins! Traditionally, there are raisins in this Filipino sweet macaroni salad. However, I hate raisins, so I never put it in. If you like raisins, this can totally be added and mixed in with the other ingredients. Start with a 1/2 cup and add more depending on preference. You may need to adjust the mayonnaise and sweetened condensed milk depending on how much is added.
- What can I pair with this dish? Filipino sweet macaroni salad is a great accompaniment to your main dish or for a midday snack! I remember always eating this during the holiday season. Try this with our Stovetop Honey Soy Chicken Wings with Ginger or with our Stuffed Chicken Bake Recipe!
- Filipino Baked Salmon Recipe with Mayonnaise
- Spiced Honey Glazed Carrots Recipe with Pecans
- Stovetop Honey Soy Chicken Wings with Ginger
- Stuffed Chicken Bake Recipe That is Extremely Satisfying
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the mixture of macaroni salad?
Filipino sweet macaroni salad is typically made with cooked pasta, pineapple, mayonnaise, sweetened condensed milk, and cheese.
How do you make macaroni salad less sweet?
You can limit the sweetened condensed milk and pineapple tidbits in this Filipino sweet macaroni salad.
How long does pasta salad with mayo last in the fridge?
This Filipino sweet macaroni salad can last 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Should I let pasta cool before adding mayo?
Before adding the mayonnaise and sweetened condensed milk to this Filipino sweet macaroni salad, have the pasta slightly cooled first.