The Happy Home Cook: Macaroni Chicken Salad with Pineapple

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Macaroni Chicken Salad with Pineapple (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Ann Quirino)

Macaroni Chicken Salad with Pineapple (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Ann Quirino)

Macaroni Chicken Salad with Pineapple is a fast, easy cold salad for summer or warmer days. This is a favorite Filipino holiday staple because hosts can extend this side dish or appetizer with more pasta. Filipinos love sweets in dishes, so one finds layers of sweetness from pineapple, raisins, the mayonnaise dressing, and the relish. I tried to recreate the original version of my aunt's macaroni salad, but hers will always be the best in my opinion. This is an AsianinAmericamag recipe. Serves 4.


1/2 pound, chopped, about 1 and 1/2 cups boiled chicken breast
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups cooked elbow macaroni - about 1 1/2 cup if uncooked
3/4 cup, canned, drained pineapple chunks
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon white pepper powder
2 teaspoons fresh parsley - chopped, for garnish (optional)


    Prepare chicken salad. In a large bowl, combine the boiled chicken chunks, celery, onion, sweet pickle relish, raisins. Mix in the mayonnaise and sour cream. Blend well.  Cover and refrigerate till ready to use

    Separately, boil elbow macaroni pasta in a large stock pot. Cook for about 11 minutes or till pasta is al dente. Remove pasta from stove top. Drain and cool pasta on counter for about 12 minutes.

    Once pasta has cooled thoroughly, add the chicken salad dressing. Blend well. Season with salt and white pepper. Add the pineapple chunks. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired. Cover salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate till ready to serve.

    Cook's comments: dishes with mayonnaise dressings should not be left outdoors under the sun for prolonged periods of time (no longer than an hour). When serving this salad outdoors, keep refrigerated then serve and pass around during the meal. Cover and keep refrigerated again till guests ask for more.

    Recipe tip: sometimes I use leftover roast chicken. I chop up the meat to yield about one and one half cup. If you do not have leftover cooked chicken, boil one half  pound  boneless chicken breast in  2 cups soup stock (or water), with a stalk of chopped celery, a pinch of salt and black pepper. Cook for about 40 minutes in a medium stock pot, over medium heat or till cooked thoroughly. No pink uncooked parts should be seen. When cooked, drain and chop cooked chicken breast. You should have about a cup and a half of cooked chicken.

    First published in

    Elizabeth Ann Quirino

    Elizabeth Ann Quirino

    Elizabeth Ann Quirino, based in New Jersey, is a journalist, food writer and member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). She blogs about Filipino home cooking and culinary travels to the Philippines on her site

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