This is the BEST EMBUTIDO ever! Made special with ground pork, cheese, and vegetables. It’s moist, tender, and won’t fall apart when sliced. Make it for Christmas, New Year, or just when you feel like celebrating.

Filipino meatloaf called embutido dipped in ketchup.

Embutido Recipe

Embutido is a Filipino-style meatloaf formed in the shape of a large sausage.  The name is of Spanish origin which means cured sausage. However, embutido is anything but that. It is, in fact, more of a Filipino version of American meatloaf with lots of other ingredients which you’ll see later.

Rolled meatloaf called Embutido.

Traditionally, embutido is cooked by using the steaming method but oven-baking works wonderfully too.  To add color and boost the flavor, even more, it is seared in hot oil until slightly charred just before serving.

Much like lumpia, Embutido is a popular dish enjoyed at Filipino parties and gatherings and is almost always present at Christmas Eve dinner (Noche Buena) and the New Year celebration.

Filipino pork meatloaf rolled in a foil.

What you need

And here are the ingredients you need to make the best Filipino Embutido.

ground pork, vegetables, panko bread crumbs, processed cheese, garlic, onion, bouillon, carrots, raisins and luncheon meat.
  • Ground pork – For moist and flavorful embutido use ground pork with fat. Tip: You can get your butcher to grind fresh pork for you and specify the amount of fat you want.
  • Luncheon Meat – Spam has become a popular addition to embutido as it enhances the overall flavor of the meatloaf. It also adds a slightly firmer texture and interesting contrast within each slice. You can also use vienna sausages as a substitute.
  • Carrots and Bell Peppers are the dynamic vegetable duo that takes center stage in embutido. Bell peppers, in particular, are the secret behind embutido’s unique flavor and aroma.
  • Garlic and Onion – Use fresh garlic and onion for the best flavor.
  • Raisins – Not only add a touch of sweetness but also give embutido its signature appearance.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs and Eggs act as a binder in meatloaf, helping to hold the ingredients together. This binding effect prevents the meatloaf from falling apart.


And here’s the secret to making the most delicious Filipino meatloaf:

  • Ketchup and optional sweet pickle relish add flavor, sweetness, and a tangy kick while also enhancing the dish’s moisture and texture.
  • Bouillon – Adds depth of flavor. You can use chicken or beef bouillon alternately.
  • Cheese adds creaminess, savory flavor, and texture, making the embutido richer and more flavorful.
  • Salt and Pepper
Filipino meatloaf served in a plate with ketchup dipping sauce.

How to Make It

And, here are my best tips on how to make embutido:

1. Chop the vegetables

Minced the vegetables using a sharp knife. For convenience, you can also use a food processor if available.

carrots, bell pepper, onion and garlic chopped in a food processor.

Use the pulse function of the food processor rather than continuous blending. Pulse in short bursts (about 1-2 seconds each) to control the chopping process. This allows you to stop and check the texture frequently.

2. Make the Pork Embutido Mixture

Combine all the ingredients and seasonings in a large bowl. I recommend combining the eggs and panko breadcrumbs together before adding them to the rest of the ingredients.

meatloaf mixture in a large mixing bowl.

Mix using your hands to thoroughly combine. Use food-grade gloves if you need to.

💭Top Tip! Fry a small amount of the mixture in hot oil. Taste and adjust salt and black pepper based on preference.

3. Wrap and Roll

step-by-step process on how to wrap embutido in an aluminium foil.
  • Use heavy-duty aluminum foil – it’s thicker, and tough enough to withstand the twisting, rolling, and high heat.
  • Brush foil with cooking oil to prevent the meat from sticking.
  • Spread 1 1/3 full cups of the meat mixture on the aluminum foil, and form it into a rectangular shape that is at least 1/2 inch thick. Don’t spread it too thinly especially if you’re making it with fillings.
  • Arrange slices of egg and sausage in the center. Carefully roll into a log, apply pressure, and compress. Be sure that the meat is completely wrapped over the fillings. Twist both sides tightly.

4. Cook in a Steamer

Pre-heat steamer on high heat. Once it’s boiling, lower the heat to medium heat.

step-by-step process on how to cook Embutido in a steamer.

Place the embutido rolls in the steamer basket and cook for 1 hour. Long cooking time is needed to thoroughly cook the meat all the way through. It also helps retain moisture within the embutido, preventing it from becoming dry.

How to Cook Embutido in the Oven

Yes, you can cook embutido in the oven. If you don’t have a steamer, it’s a perfect alternative cooking method.

Here’s how:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) while you prepare the embutido.
  2. Once the embutido rolls are ready, prepare a water bath using a roaster with a rack. Pour hot water into the pan.
  3. Place the meatloaf rolls into the rack then place inside the oven.
  4. Bake for 1 hour and it is done!
Filipino Embutido served with rice and drizzled with ketchup on top.


The smell, taste, and aroma of Embutido always put me in a Christmas mood. My favorite part is having the leftovers for breakfast the next day. It’s so good with fried eggs and garlic rice (a.k.a. EMBUSILOG). Best served with ketchup, of course!

💭 Tip: To prevent the cooked embutido from crumbling, let it cool for a few hours or overnight before slicing.

Storage and Shelf-life

Store embutido in an airtight container. It should last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days and 1 month in the freezer.


To reheat, defrost overnight in the fridge then pan-fry in hot oil until all sides are brown.


Why does embutido fall apart?

Because the mixture wasn’t mixed enough or it wasn’t rolled enough firmly. Using the right amount of eggs and breadcrumbs is also another key to a firm yet moist and tender meatloaf.

What’s a good substitute for bread crumbs?

Use slices of white bread as an alternative to breadcrumbs. Finely slice into small pieces then soak in the egg and milk mixture.

Watch How to Make It

Try these next…

More Filipino recipes for your Christmas menu!

Main dishes

Sides and Dessert

Filipino meatloaf served in a plate with ketchup dipping sauce.

Embutido with Cheese (special recipe)

5 from 4 votes
Recipe Video Above. This is the BEST EMBUTIDO ever! Made with ground pork, cheese, bell peppers, raisins, and pickles. Moist and tender Filipino meatloaf for Christmas, New Year, or just when you feel like celebrating!
Servings6 servings (4-5 rolls)
preparation time20 minutes
Total cooking time1 hour


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (note 1)
  • 18 oz ground pork with fat
  • ½ can luncheon meat / spam (diced, note 2)
  • 1 small carrots (minced)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (finely minced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ½ piece green bell pepper (minced)
  • ½ piece red bell pepper (minced)
  • cup raisins (add more if preferred)
  • 2 tablespoon pickle relish (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (add more if preferred)
  • 1 piece chicken bouillon (crumbled)
  • ground black pepper (to taste)
  • ¾ cup processed cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 2 tbsp ketchup

Fillings (optional, note 3)

  • 5 small hard-boiled eggs
  • 6 pcs sliced sausage


  • Place egg in a large bowl. Lightly beat with a fork. Add breadcrumbs and stir until a thick paste forms.
    2 eggs, 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well using your hands. Fry a small amount of the mixture in hot oil. Taste and adjust salt, and pepper as needed.
    18 oz ground pork with fat, 1/2 can luncheon meat / spam, 1 small carrots, 1 medium yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1/2 piece green bell pepper, 1/2 piece red bell pepper, 1/3 cup raisins, 2 tablespoon pickle relish, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 piece chicken bouillon, ground black pepper, 3/4 cup processed cheddar cheese, 2 tbsp ketchup


  • Prepare 5 pieces of foil that are 18" long and 12" wide. Brush the center with vegetable oil.
  • Spread 1 1/3 cups of the meat mixture on the aluminum foil. Form into a rectangular shape that is at least 1/2 inch thick. Don’t spread it too thinly especially if you’re making it with fillings. Make sure there's space on all sides, more to the top.
  • Arrange slices of egg and sausage in the center. Carefully roll into a log, apply pressure, and compress. Be sure that the meat is completely wrapped over the fillings. Twist both sides tightly. Repeat for the rest of the mixture.
    5 small hard-boiled eggs, 6 pcs sliced sausage


  • Pre-heat steamer on high heat. Once it's boiling, set heat to medium heat, and then place all your prepared embutido rolls in the steamer basket. Cover and cook for 1 hour.

To Serve

  • Cool completely and chill before removing the foil. Slice into pieces before serving. Pan-fry in hot oil to brown each side if preferred. Serve with ketchup or sweet chili sauce. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes & Tips:

  1. Panko Breadcrumbs – larger than normal breadcrumbs so they make the meatloaf softer. Nowadays they are found in most supermarkets usually in both the Asian section and alongside normal breadcrumbs.
  2. Luncheon Meat – use your favorite brand or sausage. Substitute with 170g of ground pork if  preferred.
  3. Fillings – you can omit the hard-boiled eggs and sausage. It will still taste the same. Promise!
  4. Serving – embutido is easier to slice when it’s cold and firm. Slice into pieces before frying. 
  5. Shelf-life: Keep refrigerated in an airtight container, it should last 3 to 4 days and 1 month in the freezer.
  6. To reheat, defrost overnight in the fridge. Pan-fry in hot oil until all sides are slightly brown.
Jump to Video
Author : Mella
Course : Main Course
Cuisine : Filipino
Keyword : embutido recipe, Filipino Christmas food, filipino meatloaf
Nutrition Facts
Embutido with Cheese (special recipe)
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Tag @rivertenkitchen or leave a comment below!

Originally published October 2019. Updated with new photos, and a streamlined recipe after further testing to improve the recipe! A new recipe video coming soon

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  1. Has this recipe changed? Been using this for over a year and I remember having milk mixed in with the bread crumbs and egg as well as worcestershire sauce I think rather than ketchup 🙁

    1. Hi Dylan, Thank you for reaching out! I periodically refine recipes through additional testing and experimentation. The current version features fewer ingredients and is equally delicious. I’ve sent you the old recipe. Feel free to continue using it 🙂

      Happy cooking!

  2. 5 stars
    What kind of ketchup do you use? Tomato or banana? How many cups is the grated cheese? In your previous recipe — which I have done several times and was delicious — it was 1 cup. In this new recipe, it just says 1/2 “block”, so I’m not sure how many grams or cups that would be. Also, in this new recipe, can I omit the luncheon meat?

    1. Hi Stella, I used tomato ketchup. For the cheese, it’s about 3/4 cup grated cheese. Yes, you can definitely omit the luncheon meat. This recipe uses less ingredients than the previous one but definitely delicious! I hope you like it.

      – Mella

  3. 5 stars
    Made 2 batches of this embutido, placed the others in the freezer and took one out today and ate it. Super yummy! Thank you for this recipe!

  4. Just reading this recipe, I know it is a good one. Prepare imbutido for the first time tonight and was delighted with the outcome. I used a a combination of the worcestershire sauce and ketcchup (to add color). This recipe “delivers the goods”!!!

  5. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe today. It’s soo good! I love how moist and tender this is! Love to eat it with white rice plus ketchup! Will be making these again once we get through the batch. Yum yum yum!