What's For Noche Buena?: 12 Holiday Recipe Tips for the Best Christmas Feast

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Planning out your food for the grand Noche Buena with family this December is always exciting, but here's another hard truth: nobody wants to spend the entire Christmas Eve slaving away in the kitchen! Foodies and top home cooks know that for every feast, planning ahead is key, so we're here to help you out and turn you into an expert Noche Buena party planner.

Here's a lineup of 12 Noche Buena recipes and tips to make each one festive, delicious, and convenient. Browse the recipe cards below (and even instantly shop for all the ingredients!) to jumpstart your delicious Noche Buena planning this December.

Meaty Spaghetti

Birthday spaghetti is a classic and will never go out of style! Make your own recipe even better by adding broth cube into the ground meat to bring out an even meatier flavor for your pasta sauce.

Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 40 min
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  • 400 grams spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 pc onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 kg ground pork
  • 2 pc Knorr Pork Broth Cube
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 500 grams tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • salt to taste
How to cook
  1. First, cook the spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Drain well and set aside.
  2. Next, get a pan and make it nice and hot over medium heat. Pour some oil and threw in the onions and garlic. Cook until light brown, boil and simmer until sauce is thick.
  3. In goes the ground pork and cook until the color changes.
  4. Add Knorr Pork Cubes, stir well to dissolve before adding the tomato paste and tomato sauce. Just saute this for 2 minutes.
  5. Now, add sugar, pepper, and water and continue to simmer over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes until sauce has slightly thickened.
  6. Give this a nice seasoning of salt. You can add more sugar if preferred.
  7. Now comes the best part! Get a big platter ready for your cooked spaghetti noodles and pour the sauce on top with a sprinkle of grated cheese. And that's our dish!
  8. There's always a party when there's meaty spaghetti. Have this any day of the week and you'll surely have a treat!

Classic Macaroni Salad

The sweet and salty Filipino pasta salad is a great chilled appetizer for parties and potlucks. Achieve an always-perfect bite for your macaroni by cook the pasta just a little past al dente -- since pasta hardens when it gets cooled, you'll want to add an extra minute or two to get that soft (but not mushy!) macaroni.

Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 25 min
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  • 470ml Lady's Choice Real Mayonnaise
  • 200g salad macaroni
  • 1/4 cup minced carrots
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped onions
  • 1/3 cup pickle relish
  • 1/3 cup diced cooked ham
  • 2/3 cup pineapple tidbits, drained and diced (reserve juice)
  • 2/3 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup cheese, cut into small dice
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • fine iodized salt, to taste
How to cook
  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions and drain well. Set aside, covered.
  2. Combine carrots, onions, pickle relish, ham, pineapple, chicken, cheese and cooked macaroni. Toss well.
  3. Creamify by folding in Lady's Choice Real Mayonnaise and 1 tbsp of reserved pineapple juice until well blended then season with sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Chill before serving.

Pinoy Carbonara

This creamy pasta never fails to please the Filipino appetite so serve it up this season with an extra festive twist! Instead of your usual cheese, you can also top it with grated queso de bola for more festive flavors in your carbonara.

Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 20 min
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  • 400 grams spaghetti noodles
  • 4-6 strips bacon, chopped
  • 1 pc. onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 pc. Knorr Beef Broth Cubes, mashed
  • 2 cups all-purpose cream
  • 1 cup water
  • ground pepper, to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg (optional)
  • 3-4 tbsp cheese, grated
How to cook
  1. First, cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain well, drizzle with some oil and set aside.
  2. For the sauce, begin by getting your pan nice and hot over medium heat. Pan-fry the bacon until crisp. Remove the crispy bacon, leaving its oil in the pan. Throw in the onion next before adding the Knorr Beef Cubes that has been mashed with other spices.
  3. Stir in the all-purpose cream and water. You may use the water where you cooked the pasta. Allow this to simmer for a minute.
  4. Add the cooked spaghetti next and toss well to fully incorporate the sauce. Taste and check if the seasoning is well balanced. Transfer to a platter with crispy bacon bits on top and grated cheese. Finally, this dish is done!
  5. Don't you just love coming home to a delicious plate of pasta? Imagine if it's Pinoy Carbonara that your mom prepared. How divine!

Pork Sisig

The ultimate pulutan will get any celebration started! You can make it a sizzling standout by adding a dash of liquid seasoning, and topping it with crushed chicharon.

Preparation Time: 90 min
Cooking Time: 20 min
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  • 500g pig's mask or pork belly (trim excess fat if preferred), boiled in water with black peppercorns, bay leaf, onion and garlic until tender, drained
  • As needed fish sauce and black pepper
  • As needed canola oil
  • 1 pc. red onion, chopped
  • 1 (1-inch) pc ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chicken liver, chopped (optional)
  • 1 pc. green chili, sliced
  • As needed bird's eye chili, sliced
  • As needed Knorr Liquid Seasoning
  • 5 tbsp. Lady's Choice Real Mayonnaise
  • 3 pcs. calamansi
How to cook
  1. Season boiled meats then grill or cook in a 375F oven until crispy. Chop into small cubes.
  2. In pan, heat oil and saute onion and ginger. Add chicken liver and saute until cooked. Add the chopped meats, and chilies. Season with Knorr Liquid Seasoning according to taste.
  3. Off the heat, add Lady's Choice Real Mayonnaise and mix well. Serve hot with calamansi.

Lumpiang Shanghai

Surprise your guests by adding a secret ingredient to your tried and tested spring roll recipe -- mash a pork cube and add a little hot water, and combine this with the mixture of ground pork, garlic, onions, carrots, and singkamas. The meat flavor will be enhanced and extra lip-smacking!

Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 15 min
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  • 1/2 kilo ground pork
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pc onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely copped singkamas
  • 1 pc Knorr Pork Cube, crumbled
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • lumpia wrapper
  • oil, canola (for frying)
How to cook
  1. Begin by combining the ground pork, garlic, onions, carrots and singkamas in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Crumble the Knorr Pork Cube and drop into the mixture. Or, you may opt to dissolve the Knorr Pork Cube with some hot water. Add sugar, pepper and egg next. Mix well.
  3. To finish, wrap the pork mixture into lumpia wrappers and fry them in hot oil until golden brown. Serving Lumpia Shanghai with chili sauce or vinegar will definitely make your day. It's a comfort food on its own.

Pork Menudo

Put more oomph into your sauce by combining your tomato sauce with pork cubes, water, sugar, and black pepper! This way, every spoonful of this dish will give you sweet, salty, spice, and a deep savoriness that will leave your guests craving for extra rice.

Preparation Time: 30 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
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  • 2 tbsp Cooking oil
  • 2 pcs Potatoes, medium sized, cut in cubes
  • 1 pc Carrot, medium sized, cut in cubes
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 pc Onion, minced
  • 250 grams Pork kasim, cut in small cubes
  • 250 grams Pork liempo, cut in small cubes
  • 250 grams Pork liver, cut in small cubes
  • 1 250g pack Tomato sauce
  • 2 pcs Knorr Pork Broth Cube
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Raisins
  • 1 cup Cubed Red and green bell pepper
  • Ground black pepper to taste
How to cook
  1. Fry potato and carrots in hot oil. Remove from oil and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, saute garlic and onions. Add pork and fry until slightly brown in color then add liver. Cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add tomato sauce, Knorr Pork Broth Cube, water, sugar and black pepper. Mix well.
  4. Add fried potatoes and carrots. Continue to cook over medium heat until meat and potatoes are cooked and sauce has thicken.
  5. Add raisins and bell peppers. Cook for 2 minutes then serve.

Pancit Canton

Put more life into 'long life' pancit by making every noodle strand stand out with flavor -- this all boils down to a properly made sauce, which you can hack by combining only three ingredients: water, soy sauce, and shrimp cubes! Add a touch of pepper, and you're all set.

Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
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  • 125 grams pork thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 sml pc onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chicken liver, cut into bite-sized pcs
  • 1/2 cup shrimps, peeled
  • 1 sml pc carrot, cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup chicharro, sliced into strips
  • 1/4 pc cabbage, sliced into thick strips
  • 2 tbsp kintsay, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 pcs Knorr Shrimp Cubes
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 pack (240g) pancit canton noodles
How to cook
  1. First, you need to get a pan and boil the pork in 1/4 cup water for 10-15 minutes or until the water dries up.
  2. Next, pour in the oil and begin sauteing the pork until it turns brown in color.
  3. Throw in the onions and garlic next and cook until they are tender.
  4. Now, add the chicken liver and saute them until fully cooked before adding the shrimps. sauce on the side.
  5. When the shrimp changes color, add the carrots, chicharo, cabbage and kintsay and saute for a good 1 minute.
  6. Since the meats and vegetables are done, let's now make the sauce. Pour the water, Knorr Shrimp Cube and soy sauce into the pan and allow these to simmer until the cube is dissolved well. Give this a nice seasoning of pepper.
  7. We're almost of there with only a few more steps. Take the meat and vegetables out of the pan and drain them in a strainer or colander before transferring them in a bowl. This ensures that the noodles will cook properly in the stock and that the vegetables are still firm and not overcooked as well.
  8. With the stock still simmering, drop the noodles in. Stir it every once in a while. We need to move it around from time to time to let the noodles absorb all the flavours of the stock. If the noodles have absorbed all the liquid and it's still not yet tender, water may be added.
  9. Once the noodles are tender, transfer them onto a serving platter and arrange the cooked meats and vegetables on top. And then that's it! Our Pancit Canton is ready to be served. This dish is best served and paired with some calamansi and soy sauce on the side.

Bicol Express

Here's a simple hack: Knorr Ginataang Gulay Mix can make more dishes stand out, not just limited to your classic ginataang gulay! Simmer this along with chilis and your pork will absorb all the creamy and spicy goodness that will make guests crave for more.

Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 45 min
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  • 1 tbsp cooking oil, as needed
  • 1 pc onion, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp shrimp paste (not sweet)
  • 1/2 kg pork, cut into thin strips
  • 1 (40g) pack Knorr Ginataang Gulay Mix, dissolve in 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 pcs. Green chili, sliced
  • 1 pc. Bird's eye chili, sliced
How to cook
  1. There are different types of pots and pans available in the market with different materials for different usage. No matter how many there are, all are essential in cooking. It is important to know the right cookware to use so you can cook your dish evenly. You will need a medium sized pot for this recipe with a capacity of 4 cups.
  2. Get your pot ready and turn the heat on medium high. When hot enough, pour in a little oil and throw in the onions, garlic, ginger and shrimp paste. Mash the shrimp paste and saute the vegetables until you can smell the lovely aroma from the combined ingredients.
  3. It's time to add the pork. Allow this to cook for just a minute together with the aromatics (onions, garlic and ginger) to remove the gamey taste of the meat.
  4. You may now pour the dissolved Knorr Complete Recipe Mix Ginataang Gulay and bring this to a boil. Adjust your heat to low and cook this to simmer before adding the chillies. Stir once in a while then finish by cooking the pork until tender.
  5. Serve this dish hot but make sure you have enough rice for your family because they will definitely crave for more.

Classic Embutido

Embutido may seem complex and need ample prep time to cook, but it's actually one of the easiest things you can instantly serve for your Noche Buena. It's just all about combining ingredients into a roll, steaming it and the best part -- you may serve it either hot or cold!

Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 40 min
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  • 1 kg. ground pork
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 celery chopped
  • 1/4 cup pickle relish
  • 1/2 cup raisin
  • 1/3 cup red/green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 pcs. egg, beaten
  • 2-3 tbsp Knorr Liquid Seasoning
  • ground black pepper
  • 3 pcs. hardboiled eggs
  • cling wrap and aluminum foil for wrapping
How to cook
  1. Embutido is one of the easiest dishes that can be prepared in an instant. All you need to do is to combine all the ingredients, except the hard boiled egg, in a bowl and mix them well.
  2. To make the embutido roll, prepare a wrap using cling film and aluminium foil and cut them into 4. Divide the ground mixture into 4 equal portions and set these on top of the cling film. For each portion, slightly spread the mixture, placing the hard-boiled egg in the middle then roll and fold both ends of the cling film. Wrap it again with aluminium foil to tighten the embutido roll.
  3. See how simple embutido is. Now, place them in a steamer and cook for 30-40 minutes or until it is firm.
  4. The most versatile dishes are the simplest to do. They happen to be very delicious too. Whether it's hot or cold, and served with your favourite condiment, this is one of the best comfort dishes of all time.

Crispy Pata

Every Pinoy celebration demands a pork-centric centerpiece, and the crispy pata is just that! Make the main course a memorable one by making sure your crispy pork knuckles are properly partnered with lip-smacking dipping sauce: a Knorr Liquid Seasoning vinegar dip complete with all the spices that tickle the taste buds!

Preparation Time: 40 min
Cooking Time: 60 min
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  • 1 whole pork pata, cleaned and nails removed
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 pcs onions, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, crushed
  • 3 pcs. star anise
  • 2-3 tbsp rock salt
  • water, enough to cover meat
  • rock salt/fish sauce for rubbing
  • oil for frying

Dipping sauce:
  • 1/4 cup Knorr Liquid Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small pc red onion, chopped
  • 1 pc sili labuyo, sliced
  • Pinch ground black pepper
How to cook
  1. It's impossible not to serve this at least once in a while. It's so easy to prepare and it's incredibly flavourful.
  2. Let's begin by getting a big pot and placing the pork knuckles in with the black peppercorns, onions, garlic, star anise and salt. Fill this with water enough to cover the meat and bring this to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer.
  3. Once the pata is tender, remove from the pot and allow to drain. One way of infusing flavour is by rubbing the meat with salt or fish sauce. Everybody wants crispy skin. To achieve that crispiness, leave the pata in the chiller overnight without cover. In this way, you just want to remove the moistness from the pata and make it dry.
  4. Get a big shallow pan nice and hot. Fill it with oil and turn the heat up to medium high heat. Gently slide the pata in the hot oil and fry until brown and crispy.
  5. What would Crispy Pata be without Knorr Liquid Seasoning-Vinegar Dip. And how do we do that? Just combine all the ingredients for the dip and that's it! You may add siling labuyo to make it more spicy.
  6. Crispy Pata with Knorr Liquid Seasoning Vinegar Dip is impossible to resist so make sure you have lots of space in your stomach for you will definitely indulge!

Classic Kare Kare

Everyone has their own favorite style of kare-kare, so make yours unforgettable by adding more into the sauce. Take your sauce base of onion water where you softened your oxtail, and combine it with peanut butter and beef cubes for a punchier, meatier finish that will have friends and family swarm for more servings (and more rice!).

Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 120 min
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  • 1-1.5 kilo oxtail, cut ups
  • 2 pcs onions, quartered
  • water, enough to cover meat
  • 4 tbsp oil, canola
  • 2 tbsp annatto/achuete seeds
  • 1 pc onion, chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup creamy or unsweetened peanut butter
  • 3 pcs eggplants, sliced
  • 1 bundle sitaw, cut into 2" pieces
  • 1 pack pechay Tagalog, sliced
How to cook
  1. First, you need to tenderize the oxtail to be able to enjoy this majestic dish. Get a pot and throw in the oxtail and quartered onions in. Pour the water and just boil over high heat then reduce to a simmer until oxtail is tender. Once tender, strain the oxtail from the broth and set aside the meat and broth.
  2. Now, get a pan and combine the oil and annatto seeds together. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes or until the color of the oil turn orange. Strain out the seeds then pour the infused oil back into the pan. Throw in the onions and garlic and saute until lightly toasted. Add the softened oxtail next and continue to saute.
  3. Just a few more steps and this dish is done. Add the peanut butter, 1 1/2 cups of broth (where oxtail was softened) and Knorr Beef Cubes. Mix well until peanut butter is dissolved. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until sauce has slightly thickened.
  4. Now, add the vegetables last and cook until done. That's it! Classic Kare Kare is best enjoyed with a serving of warm bagoong. We kid you not, you will definitely eat more than usual. It's sooo delicious!

Festive Chicken Curry

Making a delicious curry sauce can be tricky, but we're sharing how to hack it in a hurry. Dissolving Knorr Ginataang Gulay Mix along with chicken cubes into your sauce along with curry powder works amazingly! Try it and surprise everyone with your cooking.

Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
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  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pc medium sized onion, minced
  • 1/2 kg chicken leg quarter, cut into serving pieces
  • 1 pc medium sized potato, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 (29g) pack Knorr Complete Recipe Mix Ginataang Gulay dissolved in 1 cup water
  • 1 can evaporated milk (150ml)
  • 1 pc Knorr Chicken-Broth Cube
  • 1 cup red and green bell pepper, seeds removed and sliced
  • Ground black pepper to taste
How to cook
  1. Begin by getting your pan nice and hot over medium heat. Pour oil and then throw in the garlic and onions. Add-the chicken and saute until it is half cooked and the color changes.
  2. Add the potatoes and carrots next. Cook until slightly brown in color. Mix well.
  3. Add curry powder, dissolved Knorr Complete Recipe Mix Ginataang Gulay and evaporated milk. Mix well then bring to a boil before dropping the Knorr Chicken Broth Cube. Simmer until chicken is cooked.
  4. In goes the red and green bell peppers. Season with ground pepper. Let this boil for 2 minutes and that's it. With a serving of warm rice and a platter full of Chicken Curry, you know you're going to have a great day ahead. It's a feel good dish!

Hungry for more holiday food recipes and tips? There are many more top dish ideas for Christmas and everyday meals with Panlasang Pinoy's recipe tutorials online at WhatsForNocheBuena.com that will satisfy the palate of Filipinos, even the pickiest of eaters! Your favorite cooking brands Knorr and Lady's Choice have whipped up fantastic food ideas using everyday ingredients to make your meals extra delicious, and their easy-to-follow recipes will take you every step of the way to bring out the best flavors in your Noche Buena dishes.

The Noche Buena meal plan is made even better this season because everything you'll need for every recipe is easily shoppable online -- Honestbee, Robinsons, and Panlasang Pinoy are partnering up to bring you the best of Noche Buena right to your doorstep. So get a headstart in your Noche Buena planning and have all the best flavors come alive this Christmas by visiting WhatsForNocheBuena.com!