Homemade Hawaiian Haystacks

Sharing my favorite Hawaiian Haystacks recipe today!  Perfect crock pot recipe the whole family loves! Homemade chicken gravy and lots of toppings! hawaiian haystacks

Hawaiian Haystacks

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.

Try my Crock Pot Chicken Broccoli Over Rice recipe too!  Follow Picky Palate on Instagram for daily recipe inspiration!

Hawaiian Haystacks Toppingshawaiian haystacks recipe

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

hawaiian haystacks

Green onions 🙂

hawaiian haystacks

These dried cranberries are really good as a topping.

hawaiian haystacks

Mmmmm almonds!

hawaiian haystacks

Crispy Chow Mein noodles. Adds the perfect crunch!

hawaiian haystacks

Some pineapple and sliced black olives.

hawaiian haystacks

Lots of cheese please 🙂

hawaiian haystacks

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

hawaiian haystacks

Add your chicken gravy and some green onions.

hawaiian haystacks

Some cranberries and olives.

hawaiian haystacks

Pineapple chunks and tomatoes!

hawaiian haystacks

LOVE these crispy noodles!

hawaiian haystacks

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

hawaiian haystacks

Tips For Serving

  1. It’s nice serving this meal family style.  I like to put all of the toppings in little dishes so everyone can choose their favorites for their own plate.
  2. Keep the chicken gravy in a crock pot so that it stays warm all night
  3. A nice chopped salad goes great with this dinner.
  4. Hawaiian Haystacks are perfect for Sunday Dinner serving a crowd!

Homemade Hawaiian Haystacks

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Servings: 8
Calories: 237kcal
Author: Jenny
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  • 8 tablespoons (1 sticunsalted 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
  • Toppings
  • Chow Mein Crispy Noodles
  • sliced green onions
  • black olives
  • pineapple
  • cranberries
  • almonds
  • tomatoes
  • shredded cheese


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


Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 648mg | Potassium: 206mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 455IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords: easy chicken dinner recipes, easy dinner ideas, easy dinner recipes, easy dinner recipes for family, hawaiian haystacks, hawaiian haystacks recipe, hawaiian haystacks sauce, hawaiian haystacks toppings, how to make hawaiian haystacks, sunday dinner recipe, sunday dinner recipes

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107 Responses
  1. Maureen

    I love this recipe! It’s our family favourite. I do have one family member who is gluten free. Would you recommend using a cornstarch slurry to thicken or gluten free flour?

  2. Lisa

    We make the “Mexican” version…There is also an Israeli version, Egyptian, Greek…Well, you get the picture! I love that you can customize this dish per your family and taste preferences. Then there’s always the good ‘ol “kitchen sink” version ; )

  3. Cami

    I made this for my family and they LOVED IT! Thank you so much for sharing, this was so delicious and I will never go back to making it with Cream of ??? Ha!

  4. Danna

    We eat Hawaiian haystacks twice a month or so and have always used cream of chicken for the gravy. We tried this recipe last time we made it and will never go back! Love, love, love your gravy recipe! Thank you times a million!

  5. Liz

    I made this tonight as I was intrigued (hadn’t heard of them before). I didn’t really care for the combination of flavors….I actually wondered if this was an April Fools joke as it was published on 4/1. I googled and found many similar recipes not published on 4/1 ;). My east coast taste buds just don’t know what to think of this dish. Loved the images, though!

  6. Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I to find It
    truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I’m hoping to present something again and aid others such as you aided me.

  7. Ashley

    I just ordered your cookbook. And headed to the superstore tonight to get post-it flags so I’m prepared for it’s arrival! 😉 just one question, do you think this would taste good w/ a plain marinara sauce instead of the gravy? If not marinara can you suggest another sauce. My hubby is extremely picky & doesn’t like gravy (weird I know) haha.

      1. Ashley

        Thanks! Just spent the afternoon “flagging” your cookbook & realized I was flagging pretty much every.single.page. I cam tell this may be my most used favorite cookbook soon. Now I’m ready for your next one! 🙂

  8. Sherry

    My family loves this! I always just made it with cream of chicken soup, but this is SO much better! Thanks for the great recipe

  9. I’m convinced that these are a Western Mormon tradition… I’m Mormon but grew up in Indiana. I never had a Hawaiian Haystack until a RS activity at BYU! But people LOVE them out here. I’ve never made them because I hate cream-of’s so now I have no excuse and I live in UT now too, so it’s time I correctly indoctrinate my kids too right?! LOL. If you aren’t Mormon then you surely grew up in a predominantly LDS area in AZ…

  10. Taasio

    I tried this recipe today and everybody loved it! It’s such a fun meal to make for a crowd. And so much better than using cream of whatever.

    Here’s some things I will change next time: use less flour. I had to add some water because it was too flour-y. And I will also skip the salt/pepper/garlic salt. The ranch seasoning alone gives the dish enough saltiness and flavor (and I like my food salty!) I added half cube of chicken buillion for some extra flavor.

    This is deffinately a keeper recipe!! Thanks so much for posting it.

  11. Janet

    I’m a little late posting on this, but my family also has Haystacks all the time! We also do corn, cucumbers, green peppers, avocados, and onions. For our sauce, we use chicken broth, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, and chicken gravy mix. This sauce recipe sounds delish, too, so I’m going to be trying it next time! Thanks for the recipe!! And, I’ve never thought of using the cranberries, but that’s an amazing idea! Definitely going on my next plate of Hawaiian Haystacks!!!

  12. Colleen Shurtz

    They are also called Chinese Sundaes (hence the reason for chow mein noodles). Some recipes add coconut and pineapple which may be why it got tagged as Hawaiian…. I personally love green peppers on mine.

  13. I first had haystacks in college, but they were just slathered in cream of soup…bleh. Your sauce, however, is AMAZING! Love that you add sour cream and ranch seasoning, it just makes it so flavorful. This is how Hawaiian Haystacks should be made!

  14. I love the name! We always called it “Snow on the Mountain” when I was growing up. My mom had it as a child & she shared it with all of us. Such a fun recipe that everyone can enjoy…the toppings make it delicious for any taste-buds.

  15. Kylee Duff

    Just made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Love making the gravy homemade instead of the canned cream of chicken! Just wondering, have you ever froze the gravy, I never know when stuff will freeze well or not. Just wondered if it was a ‘freeze well’ food or not.

  16. EmilyR

    Huge hit! I didn’t have crunchy noodles or green onions, but I did have those french-fried onions usually reserved for green bean casserole. Scrumptious. Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Your pictures are beautiful. Thank you for the gravy recipe, and the crock pot idea. My family loves coconut, so we always have it as part of this meal.

  18. Paulemay

    My daughter loves Hawaiian Haystacks. They are on the elementary school lunch menu here in Utah. I’m going to try your recipe because I am so tied of the taste of crem of chicken soup.

  19. hHeather

    I live in AZ and have had these ton and tons of times. They are so good. For us in this small town I think it is an lds thing.

  20. Nicholya

    If you like the sweet and salty mixture, hawaiian haystacks taste FANTASTIC with a little bit of sweetened flake coconut on top. Hawaiian haystacks are probably one of my all time favorite dinners. I’m so glad you are sharing this recipe with all of us!

  21. In all honesty its really a Mormon dish kinda became popular in Utah then branched out to other Mormon populated states such as AZ, and CA. We had this all growing up and was my favorite only if the gravy was homemade and NOT canned (YUCK)

  22. I’ve never been big fan of Haystacks because of the cream of chicken soup. Your homemade version with all the great toppings sounds like a must try.

  23. 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!

  24. Kristy Fife

    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)

  25. 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.

  26. Natalie

    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!!

  27. Kristi

    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 : )

    1. 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!

  28. Donna Hurst

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

  29. Martha T

    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.

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

  31. millie

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

  32. Michelle Mosley

    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.

  33. Jessica

    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.

    1. Michelle

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

      A Hawaiian Haystack lover!

  34. Janelle

    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!

  35. Tammy Dant

    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.

  36. Julie

    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!

  37. Christine

    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!!

  38. Cindy

    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.

  39. brooke

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

  40. 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!

  41. Diane

    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!!

  42. van pham

    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.

  43. Lisa Johnson

    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. 🙂

  44. Kristi

    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?

  45. Lisa

    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.

  46. Heather Yospe

    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!

  47. Jenni Allen

    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.

      1. Heidi

        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.

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