Food Hack: Pancake House’s Spaghetti

July 13, 2018

No other country in the world has debased spaghetti as much as the Philippines. While Jollibee leads the pack of spaghetti Frankensteins with sugar and bright red hotdogs, Pancake House comes in a very close second with a semi-sweet sauce, processed cheese and a few unusual ingredients that you can find in the recipe below.

It’s ironic how Pancake House lives by the tagline, “Come Home to Real Food” when this spaghetti is as fake as your Greenhills Louis Vuitton. The good thing is, it’s good fake. While purists would argue that Pancake House’s spaghetti is some sort of half-assed bolognese, pomodoro or even American meatball spaghetti, I think it’s an entirely different beast that deserves to have its own name.

Sometimes, I’d be in a pasta conversation with seasoned chefs like Jeremy of  Mr. Delicious. While he’d ramble about his food adventures in some complicated sounding place in the middle of Europe, he’d talk about proper pasta. Pretending to be sophisticated, I fabricate an agreeable nod and tell him that I’d love to try all that noodle he’s telling me about. In truth, I’m just waiting for him to leave. A few minutes later, I find myself in an orange room filled with movie posters and a plate of this spaghetti down my throat. I’ve won.

Authentic spaghetti: 0. Scumbag spaghetti: 1.

Pancake House Spaghetti

Total Time: 90 minutes / Yield: 3 servings


  • 1/2 kg ground beef
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 1 kg tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cumin, or less
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 liter water, or more


  1. Heat pan over medium flame, and sauté garlic oil for 3 minutes.
  2. Add in ground beef and sauté for 7-9 minutes.
  3. Add in tomato sauce, tomato paste, seasonings and water. Boil for 1 hour.
  4. Mix and check water every 10 minutes.
  5. Season to taste and serve on top of cooked spaghetti noodles.
  6. Serve with grated cheese on top.
49 comments in this post SHOW

49 responses to “Food Hack: Pancake House’s Spaghetti”

  1. Dionne says:

    LOL!! @jeremy slagle

  2. Marla Darwin says:

    3/4 cup sugar!!! No wonder! Ack.

  3. Gaaah. Never liked their spaghetti anyway. Or any of their pasta. The only thing I order there at Pancake House are the banana pancakes and tacos. the latter, out of habit since I always had tacos at a Pancake House branch nearby St. Luke’s hospital.

  4. tremendum says:

    thanks for sharing this, will try it soon. can you help me decipher the dressing they use for their fiesta taco salad? i’ve been trying to find that out for years and can’t get anywhere!!!

  5. i wonder if i could use a spaghetti sauce instead of the tomato sauce + tomato paste combination … coz i dont like the taste of tomato paste in my pasta …. what do you think?

  6. Nico Goco says:

    I can’t say for sure, but I think there was a time Pancake House changed the taste of their spaghetti, though the version above is the one they do serve now. I still go crazy over the chocolate marble waffles paired with banana syrup though, and the fried chicken.

    • Dwight Co says:

      oh god, that fried chicken is ridiculous. It’s citrusy-strange and usually overcooked, but I still order it every single time. 😐

    • Yeah, I remember that time, too. I keep complaining to them and telling them to change it right back to the way I used to know it since I was a kid in that old Pancake House restaurant beside the Magallanes theater. Thank goodness, they’ve heeded to the loyalists’ cries. ;p

  7. Johann says:

    Dear Food Hack: could you also hack Pancake House’s Roast Beef? Thanks!

  8. Kat says:

    Thanks for this!! Can’t wait to try it out. I hope there’s food hack for their chicken and gravy too.

  9. mrdeliciousph says:

    For your crimes against gastronomy retribution will be swift and unforgiving. You too, Dwight, shall bow your head and pay homage to my superior noodle.

  10. Joseph says:

    Oh, cumin. Kaya pala it tastes mildly curry-ish (more like Japanese curry though). I think they also put Reno liverspread in it.

  11. ellen joy says:

    1kg tomato sauce?!? Whoa

  12. Den says:

    Hack the fried chicken plz! And the mashed potato! And the gravy. My god, that gravy.

  13. Makati Supermart Spaghetti in Unimart Greenhills. FTW!

    • U8mypinkcookies says:

      Yeah i love thaT! Food hack of this recipe pls. And the ff. spaghetti dishes too — jollibee, amber’s spag with meat sauce, yellow cab charlie chan and world chicken’s asian noodles. Hehehe. 🙂

    • Stefhoney says:

      Yes, please do a Makati Supermarket spaghetti hack please. I now live in the States and it is one of the things I am craving for.

    • Angeli Antonio says:


  14. trisha_cm says:

    Can you do a food hack on Myron’s bread pudding, please?

  15. […] Dish: Pepper Lunch’s Beef Pepper Rice OR Recipes’s General’s Chicken Main Dish 2: Pancake House’s Spaghetti Dessert: Real Coffee and Tea’s Calamansi Muffins AND Flaming Wings’s Wicked Oreos […]

  16. mom says:

    I tried this recipe last night, not even close to pancake house’ spaghetti 🙁 but it’s good.

    • andi says:

      i was looking forward to trying this recipe but then i read your comment… kinda disappointed. 🙁 pancake house’s spaghetti is my all-time favorite and i’ve been looking for the recipe for their sauce.

      • mom says:

        It’s my fave too that’s why I immediately bought the ingredients for this recipe. It turned out to be really good but not really close to pancake house’ spag. I ended up adding mushrooms and spam bits just to enjoy the sauce more.

  17. andi says:

    I always thought that their sauce had liver spread in it and that’s what gave it a unique taste

  18. […] is a staple component to any holiday feast. Whether it’s the complex kind such as your favorite childhood spaghetti, salvaged from last night’s leftovers, or a classy upscale variety, you’re sure to see a dish […]

  19. […] specialty on one plate. You get one piece of Pan Chicken with gravy, a small serving of their strangely delicious spaghetti, and what they claim is the “Best Taco in Town.” I won’t go so far as to agree with that […]

  20. Lia says:

    Try adding corned beef to the ground beef. I did it before and i think it comes a little closer to the flavor profile of pancake house spaghetti.

  21. flynster says:

    Cumin!?! Ahhh. I have always wondered what spice they used. I actually thought it might either be nutmeg or cloves. Thanks!

  22. Ohspaghetti says:

    Hack Makati supermart spaghetti, please 🙁

  23. […] Fried Chicken, you also might want to check out our previous food hacks for Pancake House’s spaghetti and tacos, […]

  24. Mark Angala says:

    Pancake House Spaghetti recipe should include LIVER SPREAD!! This is not even close!

  25. […] Pancake House Spaghetti You may find the original post here. […]

  26. ange says:

    This isn’t even remotely close. It’s too watery even after simmering it down for almost 2 hours. Not enough meat and too sweet.

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