Hawaiian Haystacks

5 from 7 votes

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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 with toppings

Hawaiian Haystacks

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.

Hawaiian Haystacks with toppings

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
  • tomatoes
  • olives
  • celery
  • green onions
  • bell peppers (red or green bell pepper are great)
  • pineapple
  • mandarin oranges
  • coconut
  • grated cheese
  • slivered almonds or chopped cashews

Did I miss any? What are YOUR favorite toppings for Hawaiian Haystacks?

Ingredients and toppings for 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?

How to Make Hawaiian Haystacks

Hawaiian Haystacks with toppings

Hawaiian Haystacks

5 from 7 votes
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!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Hawaiian
Servings 6



Garnishes: Use any or all


  • 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.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 668kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 38gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 1655mgPotassium: 905mgFiber: 6gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 1160IUVitamin C: 37.6mgCalcium: 313mgIron: 2.5mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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  1. 5 stars
    I love Hawaiian Haystacks. This recipe is perfect for when you are trying something new. The way the rice and gravy, and the garnishes all compliment each other are completely amazing.

  2. 5 stars
    My aunt used to make this all the time for big family gatherings so there was always something for everyone to eat. Now that I have kids (picky eaters) I’m always trying to find something they’ll eat. Now that I found this again I’ll have to try it on them. (Fingers crossed.) I always loved mine with bean sprouts!

    1. You will have to come back and let me know how it goes! I know how it goes with picky eaters. It’s so hard trying to please everyone! Best of luck! Hopefully it will be a new hit with them!

    1. 5 stars
      This is one of my favorites! I also use raisins with this recipe. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  3. Your photos always turn out so wonderful. They make every thing seem so tasty & yummy-looking. I haven't made this in a long time. I've never tried it with milk, so maybe now I will try.

  4. 5 stars
    Flashback! My mom made these for my sister's wedding reception back in 1989! I need to introduce these to my kids.

  5. My 12-year old daughter was just introduced to hawaiian haystacks a couple weeks ago at an event, and loved them. Seeing your recipe reminded me that I wanted to try them at home. Thanks!