Hawaiian Haystacks are a family favorite and definite comfort food at our house. A creamy chicken gravy served over rice with all your favorite toppings.
I think this dish is pretty much a staple for a lot of families and was a regular part of our meal rotation when we had kids at home. Whenever my daughter, Cali got to pick what we had for dinner her choice was always Hawaiian Haystacks. It is also a favorite thing to fix when all our kids come home for a visit and now the grandbabies love it too!
I think this recipe came from one of the very first cookbooks I got when I was married – Make a Mix.
Quick and Easy Hawaiian Haystacks
This dinner is quick and easy to prepare and it is a great one when you are feeding a crowd too. The other reason it is great for a crowd is because it’s perfect for picky eaters. People can personalize it to their tastes, depending on what toppings they add.
Chicken. I always use chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts but you could also use thighs. Leftover turkey can also be used.
Cream of Chicken Soup. We are using store bought canned soup for a quick and easy meal I also have a dairy free, gluten free version of cream of chicken soup.
Chicken Broth. If you prefer a creamier sauce/gravy you can use milk instead. You could also add in some sour cream if you’d like a creamier texture.
Salt and Pepper. Add to taste.
- Pineapple Tidbits
- Chow mein noodles
- Peanuts (or other nuts such as slivered almonds)
- Green Onions
- Cheese (we use cheddar cheese)
- Black Olives
- Dried Cranberries
- Shredded Carrot
- Mandarin Oranges
- Bell Peppers
How to make Hawaiian Haystack Recipe
- Cook the Chicken. I have three favorite ways for cooking chicken. The first one is in the slow cooker, the chicken stays nice and moist and doesn’t dry out. You can also do it in the Instant Pot in less time, it only takes about 25 minutes and is a great way to do a lot at one time. The quickest way to do though is in the microwave. You can find all the details for the microwave method here.
- Shred Chicken. Shredding the chicken while it is still warm is the easiest way. You can shred it or dice it into small bite size pieces.
- Make the Gravy. The easiest way to make the gravy is with canned cream of chicken for the gravy but you can also make your own cream of chicken (see below). I also have a diary free, gluten free version here. Add the soup to a sauce pan and then add in chicken, stir to incorpoate. Add in enough chicken broth to get the consistency you like. We don’t like it too runny! Heat through.
- Heat over medium heat on the stove top.
How to Serve It
We always serve Hawaiian Haystacks over a bed of rice. You can use white rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice.
Pour chicken gravy over rice and then add favorite toppings and you are good to go! It doesn’t get any easier than this! It’s a meal the whole family will love!
Tips and Tricks
Use your crockpot to keep the gravy warm. This is the perfect way to serve it if you are feeding a crowd or taking this to a potluck.
Store leftover Hawaiian Haystacks in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. The gravy can also be frozen for 2-3 months.
Reheat chicken gravy in a saucepan on the stove top or in the microwave. If the gravy seems to thick, add some additional chicken broth to thin it down
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes you can! Instead of canned cream of chicken soup use this recipe for Gluten Free Dairy Free Cream of Chicken Soup. It’s delicious and no one will ever know it’s dairy free and gluten free!
This is the perfect make ahead meal. Make the chicken gravy ahead and store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve. Rewarm on the stove top, microwave or crockpot. If you are serving a crowd, serve it out of the crockpot. All the toppings can be prepared ahead of time and then just kept stored in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap until ready to serve.
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For other delicious recipes try these:
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1-2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- green onion
- chow mein noodles
- black olives
- dried cranberries
- Add chicken to cream of chicken soup
- Add chicken broth until desired consistency
- Serve over rice
- Top with desired toppings
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