Filipino Macaroni Salad


From time to time, I make this salad when we have leftovers like roast chicken or ham and some vegetables in the fridge. This is a popular Filipino dish served during parties since it can be made ahead of time and keeps in the fridge for a few days. It is good as a side dish, a snack or a light meal on its own. It’s also very easy to make although it does take some time to prepare.

Here’s the recipe:


  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded (preferably white meat) or diced ham
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 tbsps. finely minced shallots
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 1 15 oz. can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, diced or shredded
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • a handful or two of dried cranberries or raisins
  • salt and pepper to taste

There really is not much cooking involved in this recipe other than the macaroni which should be cooked according to package instructions or until they’re al dente. It is very important the macaroni is completely cooled before mixing it with the other ingredients, particularly with the mayonnaise or the entire thing will turn into an oily mess.

As for the chicken, we usually use either leftovers or store bought roast chicken. Alternatively, you can also boil a couple of pieces of chicken breasts in water with salt and pepper and shred in 1-inch lengths. In this case, we actually had leftover chicken and ham so we added them both in the salad.

Combine all ingredients while adding salt and pepper, to taste. Add the chopped egg last so it doesn’t break down too much while mixing the salad.

And that’s pretty much it. Just refrigerate, then serve. I can assure you it’s way better than those store-bought macaroni salads.


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