Don't miss a single recipe from Picky Palate: sign up for my weekly newsletter


Homemade Hawaiian Haystacks

Tags: , , , , ,

Has everyone heard of Hawaiian Haystacks?!  I had a friend over for dinner last week and she had never heard of or had Hawaiian Haystacks!  I couldn’t believe it.  We had this dinner all the time in Arizona, lol!  Maybe it’s just an Arizona thing.

If you haven’t had this kind of dinner before you are in for a treat.  It’s basically rice layered with a creamy chicken soup like gravy and topped with all kinds of fun toppings as you can see.  It’s great to serve when you’ve got a lot of people over so everyone can make their own style.

Have fun!!

You can pretty much use whatever veggies you like with chicken.  We love these baby heirlooms!

Green onions 🙂

These dried cranberries are really good as a topping.

Mmmmm almonds!

Crispy Chow Mein noodles.  Adds the perfect crunch!

Some pineapple and sliced black olives.

Lots of cheese please 🙂

Alright, here we go, let’s start adding to this!

Add your chicken gravy and some green onions.

Some cranberries and olives.

Pineapple chunks and tomatoes!

LOVE these crispy noodles!

Don’t forget the cheese…..then grab your fork and go to town!


Homemade Hawaiian Haystacks

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

32 ounces reduced sodium chicken broth

2 teaspoons of dry Ranch Dressing seasoning packet

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast

Steamed rice, enough for your family


Chow Mein Crispy Noodles

sliced green onions

black olives





shredded cheese

1. Place butter into a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring to melt. Slowly whisk in flour, salt and pepper until smooth and thick, for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in chicken broth until smooth. Increase heat to high whisking until thick, about 2 minutes. Add sour cream, Ranch seasoning, garlic salt, and cooked chicken breast. Stir and season accordingly. You may prefer additional, salt, pepper and garlic salt. I transferred this to my crock pot and kept it on low all day until dinner. You can either serve it immediately or crock pot it until you are ready.

2. Place rice on serving plates and top with chicken gravy. Have toppings at the table and top with whatever you like! Have fun!

Makes 4 servings

Follow me on instagram

FOLLOW PICKY PALATE ON INSTAGRAM! Show me what recipes you're making from Picky Palate by using #pickypalate.

Comments Leave a Reply
Print Recipe Print Recipe

Powered by MailChimp

Other recipes you may enjoy...


120 Responses | Comments RSS

  1. 1

    Pineapple, cheese, baby heirlooms…right there, my eyes just lit up! Such pretty colors in this dish, Jenny!

  2. 2
    Jen says:

    I grew up in Hawaii and have never heard of Hawaiian Haystacks..

  3. 3

    I’ve never heard of these but it’s such a cool idea!

  4. 4
    Jennifer says:

    We also put coconut,and sliced avocado on ours. Yum!

  5. 5
    Suzanne says:

    I lived in AZ for 26 years and never heard of this dish ever. 🙂

  6. 6
    GinaE says:

    Never heard of this before. I live in TX and we are more King Ranch Chicken types.

    • 6.1
      Jenny says:

      I’ve never heard of King Ranch Chicken, what is it? Bet it’s delicious!

      • 6.1.1
        Heidi says:

        I had never heard of Hawaiian Haystacks until I attended BYU (I think is a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints thing)! I loved HH day in the dorms and have continued the tradition in our family. We serve it with mandarin oranges, baby corn, and sometimes sliced water chestnuts, and always shredded coconut. Thanks for sharing.

  7. 7
    Jenni Allen says:

    we make this all the time! It is my kids favorite dinner. I usually just use cream of Chicken soup for the topping, but I am going to try it your way.

  8. 8

    Get out of TOWN. I’m so doing this.

  9. 9
    Rosey says:

    Never heard of it, but it looks delicious.

  10. 10
    Heather says:

    Kentucky girl here….never heard of them. My six kids would love this! Trying soon!

  11. 11
    Teresa says:

    Arizona born and raised…never heard of it either.

  12. 12
    Heather Yospe says:

    I love Hawaiian haystacks! I’ve had them in CA and PA. I think the only other thing we add is chopped celery. Such a fun meal!

  13. 13
    Lisa says:

    Our family LOVES these. It’s especially great when company comes, since you can adjust the amount you make easily. My friend that grew up in Hawaii had never heard of these either. It think they are called that because of the pineapple and coconut.

  14. 14
    Kristi says:

    We had these growing up, only they were called Japanese Ah-So Sundaes. We still love them.
    Love that you made your own sauce, but one question – the list of ingredients says “sour cream”, but the directions say to add “cream cheese.” Which is it?

  15. 15

    I love Hawaiian Haystacks! Make them often. Gorgeous photos!

  16. 16
    Laura says:

    This is a family favorite at our house. I am gonna have to try your version! We also love coconut and celery on ours.

  17. 17
    Lisa Johnson says:

    We had something similar growing up, except it was called Amish Haystack. It had rice and a taco meat topping and all sorts of toppings. I dont know why it was called amish haystack when it was more mexican themed, but it was a family favorite. We didn’t care. 🙂

  18. 18
    Aimee says:

    I’ve had hawaiian haystacks, but never made my own. Thanks for sharing, I will definitely be making this one 🙂

  19. 19
    van pham says:

    Never heard of this and sorta unsure about the combination. But more so because of the cheese and tomatoes. I am not a huge fan of raw tomatoes.

  20. 20
    Diane says:

    I grew up on Hawaiian Haystacks!! I have never tried it with dried cranberries though! Yum!! We were out of rice last time so my husband made it with quinoa. It was delicious!!

  21. 21
    Jessica says:

    I love these!! I’ve had them and and I call them Hawaiian Haystacks, but a friend of mine from Virginia called it “Snow on the Mountains” because of the creamy sauce on top of the chicken and rice I guess. Haven’t made these in forever, so I’ll have to add it back on to my dinner menu one of these days!

  22. 22
    brooke says:

    We create these using smoked pork… Gravy is not creamy but made from the juice of pork. It’s FAB!!

  23. 23
    Lynna H. says:

    i have not heard of hawaiian haystacks before, but i`m definitely willing to try this out! you got me at chicken gravy. 🙂

  24. 24
    Cindy says:

    I’m surprised you don’t have coconut on your ingredients since that is what makes them “Hawaiian”. 🙂 We love these and like someone else said, they are the perfect dinner for company because everyone can choose what they like.

  25. 25
    Christine says:

    I have these on the menu for thiw week! We always do celery, never had it with olives before, but my kiddos love olives, so I’ll have to try it. And we always top ours with a maraschino cherry 🙂 Yours looks much prettier than mine turns out!!

  26. 26
    Julie says:

    I grew up in Utah and I love Hawaiian Haystacks…thought it was a “Utah” thing. Good to see it’s loved elsewhere. For myself, I love the homemade sauce. And for toppings, there’s so many out there. Peas, fresh mushrooms, diced bell peppers, shredded coconut but I’ve gotta have the pineapple and shredded coconut with lots of cheese like you. This dish is so colorful it should be renamed “Rainbow Haystacks”. Thanks for sharing!

  27. 27
    Tammy Dant says:

    I live near an Amish community. They have gatherings centered around haystacks. I’m told they begin with rice or macaroni and cheese. Then you add taco meat or chili, onions, cheese, tomatoes, crunchy noodles and whatever else you like.

  28. 28
    Janelle says:

    I always use canned cream of chicken soup for the gravy — one can soup to 1/2 can milk (double for more people, obviously). I made it this week when my dad was in town. He was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and is careful about his carbs now, so I used brown rice instead of the traditional white — it was really tasty. We usually put ham, chicken (pick one or take a little of both), green onion, tomato, green bell pepper, celery, carrots, crushed pineapple, toasted almonds, and cheese on for our toppings. Yummmmmm!

  29. 29
    Jessica says:

    We do something very similar to this. We mke an easy chicken curry and then serve it with rice and a ton of toppings (bacon, hard boiled egg, green nions, pineapple, coconut, almonds, avocado, olives and more). Such a great easy dinner especially with company.

    • 29.1
      Michelle says:

      I would love to get your curry recipe! Sounds delicious, do you have it posted some where?

      A Hawaiian Haystack lover!

  30. 30
    Michelle Mosley says:

    Growing up in Washington we ate these all the time! We also like to have green peppers and tomatoes on ours. Mmmm. I think we’ll need to eat this sometime this week.

  31. 31
    Lauren says:

    I haven’t had one of these in forever!! TOTAL blast from the past!

  32. 32

    Wow, I’ve never heard of these!! There’s a lot of stuff going on in that dish so it has to be good! Love your pretty tomatoes 🙂

  33. 33

    I’ve never had these or heard of them but I have a feeling now that they will be making an appearance on the dinner table regularly. I’m already thinking of variations that I can make on this, too! Great idea!

  34. 34
    millie says:

    I had never heard of Hawaiian Haystack,either…but I printed off the recipe and plan to make it!!! THANKS!!

  35. 35
    Traci says:

    Delicious! We also include mandarin oranges, diced bell peppers, and toasted coconut. This looks delicious and I love your varieties!

  36. 36
    Thesha says:

    I love Hawaiian Haystacks! We also add peas and diced bell peppers to ours.

  37. 37

    We eat this here in Utah pretty regularly too. They are great for feeding a crowd of picky eaters!! Everyone can customize theirs. I like mine with coconut, almonds, chow mein noodles, and cheese.

  38. 38

    Your so right, I really am in for a treat! This has so many ingredients that I love! It’s definitely a new recipe that I’m going to try asap!

  39. 39
    Martha T says:

    I grew up eating a similar dish, but we call it Javanese Chicken. It is always amazing at how much it grows before you get to the end.

  40. 40
    Laura says:

    This looks so incredibly good. Those tomatoes are gorgeous!

  41. 41

    I have never heard of these before. I grew up in the Midwest, so it must be regional. It looks delicious, and so versatile. I am alwasy looking for an excuse to use the crispy Chow Mein Noodles.

  42. 42
    Donna Hurst says:

    We eat these all the time here in Utah and have for many years. Love your blog, thanks for you email updates.

  43. 43
    Kristi says:

    I absolutley LOVE Hawaiian Haystacks- my family has them all the time, especially when we have big get togethers. In all of my 26 years I’ve never heard of anyone else even knowing what these are! They are also really yummy with toasted coconut. thanks for sharing : )

    • 43.1
      Jenny says:

      Too funny Kristi! I was shocked when so many people hadn’t heard of this dish! I too like toasted coconut, but my family however….not fans, lol!

  44. 44

    Wowsers! That’s flavor-town all in one plate. Gorgeous colors, Jenny 🙂

  45. 45
    Lisa says:

    Yep! Love them. I’m in Idaho

  46. 46
    Natalie says:

    We had them growing up too and I put them on the menu this month the other day, hoping to find a recipe that did not use cream of chicken soup. THanks!!

  47. 47

    These are so fun, Jenny! I’ve heard of them, but never made them. I need to keep them in my file for when Julia gets older. I’m sure she’ll love making and eating them.

  48. 48
    Kristy Fife says:

    My family has been eating this dinner for YEARS! It’s such a family get together meal 🙂 Each person can make their own individual dinner of their choice. Love it! And yes, we call them Hawiian Haystacks or Chinese Chicken sundae’s (with the chow mein crunchy noodles)

  49. 49
    kate says:

    We have had a lot of family together as my daughter has moved here (Iowa) from Seattle as her husband will be deploying. Had never heard of Hawaiian chicken – but boy was it a hit! Doubled the batch and had all your recommended toppings! And used the crockpot for serving later in the day! Many thanks, I love getting new recipes that everyone likes!

  50. 50

    […] Hearty family recipe: Personally, I could eat a salad for dinner every day, but if you’ve got a hungry brood, they’re probably going to want something that sticks to their ribs. I wasn’t familiar with Hawaiian haystacks, but they sound like a great way to customize dinner for everyone at the table. Start with rice, add chicken gravy, then let everyone in the family go crazy with their own toppings — pineapple, cranberries, crispy noodles, grated cheese, you name it. (Picky Palate) […]

Leave a Comment

Jenny Flake

Welcome to Picky Palate, my online kitchen! You'll usually find me with a cookie in one hand and a salad in the other. It's all about the balance :) The recipes you'll see are my creations. The Picky Palate Cookbook is now available. Enjoy!

Follow on Instagram