The Happy Home Cook: Vegan Filipino Macaroni Salad

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Vegan Filipino Macaroni Salad (Photo by Astig Vegan)

Vegan Filipino Macaroni Salad (Photo by Astig Vegan)

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Compared to the Italian, Mediterranean, and other versions, Filipino Macaroni Salad is the sweeter and heartier counterpart. If it’s up to me, I would eat a whole bowl as entree and dessert (and I have). There’s something irresistible in the creamy elbow macaroni, sweet and tender pineapple, and savory touch of garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

But maybe that’s just me. I wasn’t sure if those who never had it before would like the sweet difference. After all, I would hear mixed reviews about the Filipino versions of spaghetti (bolognese) and potato salad. Perhaps people may not be ready for a sweeter macaroni salad yet.

But when I asked my recipe testers to try the Filipino macaroni salad, it was surprisingly a unanimous winner. In fact, I was there at one of the parties where my recipe tester brought the salad to and it kept getting compliments from both Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike!

Vegan Filipino Macaroni Salad (Photo by Astig Vegan)

Vegan Filipino Macaroni Salad (Photo by Astig Vegan)

This veganized dish is not that different from the omnivore version.  Both have the same ingredients except for vegan mayo and jackfruit. But where do you find vegan mayo? You could find vegan mayo at most grocery stores or you could make your own.  Another thing I did was to veganize the shredded chicken. To replace the chicken, I used jackfruit and good quality vegetable broth. But where do you find this jackfruit? You could find fresh or canned young, unripe, green jackfruit at most Asian grocery stores. Just make sure you get the unripe, young, green kind. That’s it, just two vegan substitutions.

Vegan Filipino Macaroni Salad (Photo by Astig Vegan)

Vegan Filipino Macaroni Salad (Photo by Astig Vegan)

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Serves 6


  • 4-6 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 package (8 ounces) elbow macaroni salad, uncooked
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2½ cups green unripe jackfruit, shredded
  • ½ cup vegetable broth (or 1-2 tablespoons vegetable broth powder/bouillon dissolved in ½ cup water)
  • 1 cup vegan mayo
  • ½ cup pineapple tidbits
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • dash of garlic powder
  • ¼ cup vegan cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Boil a pot of salted water then pour the elbow macaroni. Cook until soft but firm to bite.

  2. Before turning off the heat, add carrots and boil for another minute. Turn off heat, drain, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Let cool.

  3. Meanwhile, using the same pot, combine unripe jackfruit and vegetable broth. Put to a boil then turn off heat. Let it cool. After cooling down, the jackfruit should have fully absorbed the liquid. If not, drain the liquid.

  4. Once macaroni and carrots have cooled down, add rest of the ingredients. Mix well and adjust seasoning to taste.

  5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.


For a sweet tang, you could add about a teaspoon of sweet pickle relish.

In my family, my mom would always make Filipino macaroni salad for birthday parties. My family would dig in a tub full of macaroni goodness. There’s something about this salad that brings people together, which is probably why it’s great at parties. It has been a crowd pleaser in my family, and now with my recipe testers and their loved ones as well. Hopefully, you and your loved ones will enjoy this dish too.

Kain na, let’s eat!

Richgail Enriquez

Richgail Enriquez

RG Enriquez at discovers ways to show that Filipino food can be vegan, healthy, and delicious without losing its soul. Born and raised in the Philippines, RG veganizes the Filipino food of her childhood. She has appeared on the television show, "Adobo Nation" and given demonstrations and talks at "Savor Filipino", "Taste of South Lake”, “Barrio Fiesta”, Pitzer College, and Cal-State East Bay.

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