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Hawaiian Haystacks were always a favorite dinner when we were growing up! We love how you can build your own dish just the way you like it!
Hawaiian Haystacks are about as Hawaiian as “Hawaiian” Pizza (you know, the ham and pineapple combo). To be honest, I have never had a Hawaiian haystack in Hawaii, nor did I ever see it on a menu anywhere. The closest thing to a Hawaiian haystack in Hawaii is a scoop of white rice on a lunch plate. Probably accompanied by a slice or two of spam. And maybe some macaroni salad (if you are in search of “authentic” Hawaiian dishes, see links below). But just because these aren’t “authentic” Hawaiian, doesn’t mean they aren’t a great weeknight meal. My kids LOVE these, and for that, they are a win in my book!
Want more rice recipes? Try some of our favorite ways to use rice as a main dish like our tasty Coconut Rice and this One Pot Chicken Teriyaki Bowl recipe which is always a crowd pleaser. As an easy side, try this Instant Pot Brown Rice.
What are Hawaiian Haystacks?
Basically, a Hawaiian haystack recipe starts with rice, chicken, and creamy sauce, and then topped with veggies, cheese, fruits, nuts, basically anything you want! Obviously, what makes Hawaiian Haystacks so great is that everyone can make them to their taste. Picky eaters (kids and adults alike) love putting on their own toppings to make it EXACTLY how they want. Even the pickiest of eaters can usually find one or two toppings they like. Me? I like ’em all. They make delicious leftovers too. If you have things to use up in the refrigerator, use this haystacks recipe to clean things out in a really delicious way!
Hawaiian Haystacks Topping Ideas
Use either white or brown rice, even cauliflower rice and then top with any of the following toppings:
- diced chicken or ham
- cheddar cheese
- garlic powder
- chow mein noodles
- green onions
- bell peppers (red or green bell pepper are great)
- mandarin oranges
- grated cheese
- slivered almonds or chopped cashews
Did I miss any? What are YOUR favorite toppings for Hawaiian Haystacks?
Hawaiian Haystacks for a Crowd
Hawaiian Haystacks are great for a little family weeknight dinner, but they are also great for a crowd. The key to cooking for a crowd is making sure everyone can be accommodated (to the best of your ability). All of the ingredients can easily be found or made in bulk, including the rice (especially the rice). Did you know you can make rice for 50 PEOPLE by BAKING it in one large pan? It’s true. We have the recipe HERE to prove it 🙂
Looking for Authentic Hawaiian Recipes?
- Hawaiian Macaroni Salad: This Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is the real deal. A no-frills, creamy mac salad that is the perfect side dish for any BBQ or Luau!
- Slow Cooker Kalua Pork with Cabbage: Kalua Pork with Cabbage is a Hawaiian dish often served at Luaus. This version is made in the slow cooker and tastes just like authentic shredded Kalua Pig.
- Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken: This Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken is the real deal. The sweet and savory Hawaiian teriyaki marinade is THE best and SO easy to make.
- Hawaiian Beef Teriyaki: Hawaiian beef teriyaki is a favorite of mine from when I lived in Hawaii. The teriyaki sauce is out of this world good. Great with a plate lunch!
How to Make Hawaiian Haystacks
- Heat soup and chicken broth to make a gravy. Add the chicken chunks and simmer 10 minutes.
- Stir in sour cream.
- To serve, put the rice on each individual serving plate. Top with the chicken gravy, then cheese, chow mein noodles, and any of the garnishes you like.
- Sprinkle soy sauce on top.