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Filipino Spaghetti is the perfect comfort food to transport you back to your childhood! Classic spaghetti noodles served with a sweet and savory meat sauce complete with red “hot dogs” and vegan beef. Finish with a sprinkle of vegan cheese shreds for the ultimate Filipino main dish!
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A Sweet-Style Spaghetti
Filipino spaghetti is a popular, sweet, and tangy twist on the classic Italian pasta dish. It’s most commonly enjoyed by kiddos at birthday parties, but it can be served as a delicious family dinner, too!
This sweet spaghetti is made with a combination of sweet banana ketchup, a bit of sugar, and tomato sauce for a sweeter variation of Italian tomato sauce. It’s also commonly made with Filipino hot dogs and beef, but we veganized it using vegan hot dogs and Impossible ground beef and we’re stoked with how it came out! If you grew up loving this Filipino-style spaghetti sauce as much as I did, you’re going to love our vegan version!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Aromatics: A simple blend of onion and garlic is all you need to start the foundation of the spaghetti sauce off right. You can also add red bell pepper and carrots if desired, too!
- Hot dogs: In a perfect world, we’d use vegan Filipino-style hot dogs or “red hot dogs.” These are a popular type of sausage in the Philippines that are distinct from American hot dogs due to their bright red color and sweet and smoky flavor. Use any vegan hot dogs you like and have access to.
- Vegan beef: We used Impossible ground beef in this Filipino spaghetti sauce. It’s more neutral in flavor compared to Beyond Meat and tastes more similar to traditional beef, but feel free to use your favorite vegan ground beef crumbles.
- Tomato sauce + tomato paste: You’ll need both tomato sauce and tomato paste to make this homemade spaghetti sauce. If you are sensitive to sodium, opt for salt-free tomato products.
- Banana ketchup: Also known as banana sauce or “banana catsup,” this Filipino condiment is very similar to American ketchup and made primarily from mashed bananas, sugar, vinegar, and spices. We purchase our sweet banana ketchup from our local Asian grocery stores or this Online Filipino Grocery Store. Or, if you prefer, opt for traditional tomato ketchup.
- Broth: Beef broth is the traditional broth used in this sweet Filipino spaghetti, so we opted for vegan beef broth. If you don’t have access to vegan beef broth, opt for store-bought vegetable broth. Or, make your own at home using our easy homemade veggie broth recipe!
- Sugar: Filipino-style spaghetti is a sweeter spaghetti sauce, but a little goes a long way! You’ll need just 1 tablespoon of granulated white sugar or brown sugar. To make sure it is vegan, opt for vegan sugar.
- Vegan fish sauce: Fish sauce is a popular ingredient used in Filipino cooking to add flavor, saltiness, and an umami punch. Some brands sell vegan fish sauce online or you can make a Homemade Vegan “Fish” Sauce using basic pantry ingredients.
- Spaghetti: Any Italian spaghetti of your choice will work. If you are gluten-free, opt for gluten-free spaghetti from brands such as Jovial Foods.
How to Make Filipino Spaghetti
- Cook the spaghetti. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then cook the spaghetti noodles according to package instructions. When finished, drain the spaghetti, then add it back to the pot. Toss the spaghetti with about a tablespoon of neutral oil to prevent the spaghetti from sticking together.
- Brown the hot dogs. While the spaghetti cooks, heat another saucepan over medium heat. Once warm, heat a tablespoon of oil, then add the sliced hot dogs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the pan, and set aside.
- Cook the onion and garlic. Add an additional tablespoon of oil. Once warm, add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened.
- Brown the ground beef. Once the onion and peppers are softened, add the vegan beef to the pan, stirring occasionally, breaking it into small pieces until lightly browned.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pan. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, banana ketchup, vegan beef broth, sugar, vegan fish sauce, and browned hot dogs back into the pan. Stir everything together until well combined, then bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 10 minutes. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Serve. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, then serve the sweet meat sauce over the cooked spaghetti. Sprinkle with shredded vegan cheese, then enjoy!
Filipino spaghetti is typically served for special occasions in the Philippines, specifically for kids birthday parties! It’s the perfect meal to make when you’re in need of a comfort food that absolutely hits the spot.
If you’re looking for a few traditional Filipino side dishes to complete the meal, here are a few that pair perfectly:
Leftover spaghetti will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Store in an airtight container and reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through.
The spaghetti sauce itself can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.