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Filipino Chicken Macaroni Salad spells the holidays for me. It is a sign that Christmas is just around the corner. I grew-up having this festive salad every Christmas dinner. This practice is still maintained in our household. We all help make the salad and enjoy it together as family.
Absolutely filling and bursting with flavor and varying textures, the Filipino rendition of Chicken Macaroni Salad is a dish worth learning. Compared to other types of macaroni salad, it is sweeter, and more fitted to work as a standalone dish. This is because we’ve layered it with various components that your body would need for a meal. It’s got its fair share of carbohydrates in macaroni. There is also protein in chicken breast, and of course, various nutrients and vitamins in our vegetables. These include green bell peppers and carrots.
Our Chicken Macaroni Salad has long established itself as an adaptable recipe. After all, it could work as both a side dish and a main entree. But like many other salads, the classic macaroni salad was served more often as a side dish. In the Philippines, we love to have it with chicken, and many other components. But it actually came from a much simpler idea.
Where did macaroni salad come from?
This family favorite of a dish actually has quite the fuzzy past, as its pure origin remains unanswered. While we recognize pasta’s Italian origins, the usage of a mayonnaise base or slick oil and vinegar on room temperature macaroni actually hasn’t been mentioned in the history of Italian cuisine. Most pasta salads are known to have American roots. There are recipes for macaroni salads that were actually recorded in American newspapers back in 1914.
However, it may have had its beginnings in the arrival and resulting popularity of potato salads dressed with mayonnaise and mustard. During the late 19th century, immigrants coming from Germany brought over the potato salad. And accordingly, they made the dish more of a household name. Soon, macaroni also began to gain fame as a more affordable option of an ingredient. This then was thought of less as an ‘ethnic’ Italian ingredient.
Many believe that the concept of the macaroni salad was born out of the need to make use of macaroni leftovers. In 1930, a recipe by the Washington Post called the macaroni salad a “mock potato salad”. And this became even more famous with the concept of ‘pasta salad box kits’. These were distributed in America during the late 80s. Eventually, the macaroni salad also made its way to the Philippines, but not without a few changes.
The simple, but flavorful appeal of macaroni salad definitely resonated with Filipino cooks. But they also found ways to alter it to the local palate. For one, we added chicken to give it a unique texture. This also makes it even more satisfying and hearty than it was before.
What are the health benefits of eating Chicken Macaroni Salad?
Luckily for us, chicken macaroni salad in general is packed with a lot of healthy ingredients. From vegetables to meat to delicious seasonings, this dish pretty much has it all. Let’s start talking about what you might gain health-wise by indulging in a bit of this dish.
As mentioned earlier, one of our main ingredients– macaroni– is a great source of carbohydrates to give your body energy. You can also find a good deal of selenium in macaroni. This helps activate antioxidants that help lessen molecular damage in anatomy. It also has manganese that aids in the process of keeping your blood sugar regulated. And if you’re looking for a carb option without cholesterol, macaroni is the ingredient for you. It also has low sodium content. This could help lessen your risk of suffering from a stroke, or having dangerously high blood pressure.
What about for ingredients like raisins and green bell peppers?
This scrumptious recipe also includes raisins, which are rich in fiber. With a great deal of fiber, you can avoid constipation, and help your digestive system overall. This ingredient also contains iron, which plays a significant role in creating red blood cells. Keeping your iron levels up also prevents you from getting anemia. These dried out grapes are also a good source of calcium, which is essential for your bone strength.
But the advantages for your body doesn’t end there. Our chicken macaroni salad’s got some green bell pepper as well for that added lovely, crisp texture to the dish. But it also provides some much welcome health benefits in having high fiber content, like our raisins. You can find other nutrients in this ingredient. This includes vitamin C, which helps to keep your blood vessels, skin, teeth and gums all well and healthy. Green bell peppers also contain vitamin E. This does a great job of helping your immune system build its strength, as well as prevent cell damage.
What are some substitutes I can use for ingredients I don’t have in this Chicken Macaroni Salad?
As it turns out, there are ways to get this jam-packed, delicious dish even healthier. If you are a vegan, you can also try some alternative ingredients to fit this dish into your diet. Chicken admittedly has a big role in the taste of the dish. But you can easily slice up some jackfruit in its place. Simply use some vegetable broth with your unripe jackfruit to get that similar meaty texture and mild taste. You could also try utilizing vegan mayo instead of mayonnaise for this dish.
But what if you’re trying to keep your carbs down or are on a keto diet? There actually are a couple of alternatives to macaroni that bear much resemblance to the original ingredient. This way, you still get to enjoy those excitingly tangy and sweet flavors while still adhering to your diet. One fitting substitute is cauliflower. Simply steam it and cook with the rest of your ingredients.
And if all you’d like to skip out on is the meat, there are ways to try to convert this into a vegetarian recipe. Instead, you can try other protein sources with this dish. You could try using canned tuna instead of boneless chicken breast to take the white meat out. The tuna could also bring out a lot more flavors. And it does so while still fitting in sensibly with the rest of the ingredients. But of course, you could also simply turn to the signature macaroni salad dish without meat. Keep reading to learn about this, as well as a couple of other related recipes to keep an eye on.
Are there recipes here that are similar to Chicken Macaroni Salad?
Colorful, rich, and popping with various flavors, the Classic Macaroni Salad simply is one of those dishes people can look forward to in any dining occasion. It satisfies your diners’ cravings for something savory, sweet, and sour. And as I said earlier, this is definitely a good go-to for when you’ve craving macaroni salad without any meat on it.
Understandably enough, this may seem like an intimidating dish. After all, it has wide array of ingredients you need to work with. But it’ll shock you just how quick and simple the steps are to get to that fresh and creamy bowl of delicious macaroni. And it takes about half the time to make a Chicken Macaroni Salad. This only takes 22 minutes of prep and cooking. If this is your first time putting that chef’s hat on, this might be a great option to warm up those cooking skills!
There is something so undeniably lovable about a good fruit salad. Irresistibly milky and sweet, this is a dessert that practically every Filipino can admit to indulging in quite often. But one way to give it some more of that hearty quality, as well as add to its variety of textures, is by integrating some delightfully soft elbow macaroni.
This Macaroni Fruit Salad is actually better known in Visayas and Mindanao. If you’re among those from Luzon who haven’t tried your fruit salad with this pasta component, you’ve been missing out! This only takes a short 15 minutes to put together. But in the end, we get the most filling and exciting dessert dish out of this recipe. And if you are a fan of desserts like Ginataang Halo-halo, you are likely to find yourself enjoying this one. They’ve both got a vibrant list of ingredients pooled together in a sweet soup.
These recipes got you looking for more delightful Filipino dishes? No need to worry, as you can explore this site for more great recipes!
Can you Freeze Chicken Macaroni Salad?
This recipe is really good. It can feed a lot of people too. There are times when there are leftovers because you might have made more than enough. You might also be preparing it in advance for a pot-luck party. Can you freeze Filipino chicken macaroni salad for later use? I do not recommend freezing as it will affect the taste and consistency of the dish. However, it can be placed inside the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make sure that it is properly covered to prevent contamination.
Our family cooks a lot of dishes during Noche Buena. This is one of the dishes that we make. I always get excited when the entire family works together in the kitchen to prepare our meal. It is our way to bond as a family. It will get messy and noisy, but it is also fun.
How to Make Filipino Chicken Macaroni Salad
Making your own Chicken Macaroni Salad Filipino Version is easy. It can be more enjoyable if you involve everyone in the family.
There are three major steps. The first is to prepare the macaroni. Next is to get the chicken ready. Lastly, mix everything together.
I suggest following the package instructions when cooking macaroni. This gives you the best result. I did it by boiling around 3 quarts of water, added a teaspoon of sea salt, and poured the macaroni into the pot. This cooks for 9 minutes or until al dente. Discard water and set the cooked macaroni aside.
Preparing the chicken means cooking and shredding it into pieces. Boneless and skinless chicken breast was used in the demonstration. I did it by boiling the chicken for 22 minutes in a pot. Adding a teaspoon of salt is ideal. It adds flavor to the chicken. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the pot and let it cool down. Shred it into small pieces afterwards using your hands.
The last step is to combine all the ingredients together and literally toss until well blended. This is where it starts to get fun.
I recommend chilling your chicken mac salad for at least 1 hour before serving. I usually refrigerate mine for 3 hours.
Try this Filipino Chicken Macaroni Salad Recipe. And have you got any questions or feedback you’d like for us to hear? Don’t forget to leave a comment below!
- 1 lb. boneless chicken breast
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 1 1/2 cups Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise
- 1 can pineapple chunks 20 oz
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 bottle pimiento 6.5 oz chopped
- 1 cup carrot chopped
- 1 piece green bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup sweet relish
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 teaspoons salt this will be used when boiling chicken and macaroni, and as a seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Water for boiling
- Prepare the chicken. Start to boil the chicken by pouring 1 quart water on a cooking pot over a stove top. Apply heat and let boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and put the chicken breasts into the pot. Cover and boil in medium heat for 22 minutes. Remove chicken from the pot. Let it cool down. Manually shred into pieces and set aside.
- Prepare the macaroni by following package instructions. Boil 3 quarts water in a pot. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Pour the macaroni into the pot. Stir. Cover the pot and continue to boil the macaroni in medium heat for 9 minutes or until al dente. Make sure to stir every 3 minutes to prevent the macaroni from sticking to each other. Drain the water. Set macaroni aside.
- Arrange Macaroni in a large mixing bowl. Add shredded chicken. Toss.
- Put-in pineapple, pimiento, green bell pepper, raisins, carrot, sweet relish, and cheese. Toss until ingredients are blended.
- Add lady’s Choice Mayonnaise and garlic powder. Gently toss until well blended.
- Season with salt and ground black pepper.
- Serve! Share with the family and enjoy.