Jump to RecipeJump to VideoLeave a ReviewPin Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Add some fun to your next family meal with Aunt Bee’s 20-Minute Hawaiian Haystacks! A simple chicken gravy is served over a bed of rice and finished off with all of your favorite toppings for a kid-friendly, healthy and easy dinner recipe!

I’ve learned that children are much more likely to enjoy their food when they are involved in the preparation. That’s why this meal is such a hit with the little ones! They can customize their own dish and make their Hawaiian Haystacks exactly how they like them!

What are Hawaiian Haystacks?

Hawaiian Haystacks are sometimes called “chicken sundaes,” and include a creamy chicken gravy served over rice. Toppings such as diced pineapple, Chinese chow mein noodles, and fresh vegetables are set out buffet-style for diners to pile on the chicken.

Hawaiian Haystacks Origin:

While the haystacks recipe did not actually originate in Hawaii, the dish gets its name from the Hawaiian-style of some of the popular toppings — including pineapple and shredded coconut!

How to Make Hawaiian Haystacks:

This recipe actually goes back to my mom’s godmother, Aunt Bee, who has been kind enough to send me many, many care packages over the past few years. From her home in South Carolina, I regularly receive envelopes full of some of her favorite family recipes from decades past, as well as dishes, table linens and other beautiful heirlooms that she knows I will enjoy.

The recipe is very easy, so you can prepare everything in advance and then just warm the chicken gravy before serving.

Hawaiian Haystacks Sauce:

The Hawaiian Haystacks gravy is made with just a few pantry staples:

  • Cream of chicken soup
  • Cream of celery soup
  • Chicken broth
  • Cooked chicken

Ingredients for Hawaiian Haystacks chicken gravy

First, whisk together soups and broth in a large pot until smooth and warm.

Hawaiian Haystacks sauce in pot

Add the cooked chicken and simmer just until the gravy is heated through.

Chicken gravy for Hawaiian Haystacks in pot with whisk

That’s really the extent of your work! Then it’s just a matter of setting out the remaining ingredients and assembling the Hawaiian Haystack Chicken!

What to serve with Hawaiian Haystacks?

Traditionally, the chicken sauce is served over a bed of rice; however, if you’re looking for other options, try mashed potatoes, riced cauliflower, or mashed cauliflower. The riced or mashed cauliflower is a great way to lighten up the dish!

You can obviously prepare your own rice or mashed potatoes from scratch, or you can use a shortcut like these microwaveable options for busy weeknights!

Rice and mashed cauliflower for Hawaiian Haystacks

What toppings go on Hawaiian Haystacks?

This is where you can have some fun, because the options are endless! You can set out a huge table full of options, or just grab a few of your family’s favorites.

Common Hawaiian Haystacks toppings include:

  • Diced bell pepper
  • Diced celery
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Sliced water chestnuts
  • Sliced green onions
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Slivered almonds
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Chow mein noodles
  • Pineapple tidbits
  • Shredded coconut

Close overhead shot of Hawaiian Haystacks in a bowl

COOK’S TIPS AND RECIPE VARIATIONS:

  • This recipe calls for cooked, diced or shredded chicken. You have a few good options, including a store-bought rotisserie chicken, store-bought cooked chicken strips (such as Perdue Shortcuts), leftover chicken from another meal, canned chicken, or chicken breasts that you cook at home on your own (in the oven or in the slow cooker).
  • If you want to bake your chicken in the oven, line a dish with foil (for easy clean-up) and spray it with cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in the dish, rub them with a very small amount of oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cover tightly. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 25-30 minutes (maybe longer if your chicken is particularly thick). Allow the meat to cool slightly, then just shred, slice, or chop.
  • Serve the chicken gravy over any cooked rice of your choice. You can use brown rice, white rice, or wild rice.
  • As an alternative, try serving your chicken gravy over mashed potatoes!
  • Lighten up the dish by using cauliflower rice or mashed cauliflower instead of regular rice or potatoes.

Overhead shot of Hawaiian Haystacks in bowls with rice, vegetables and other toppings

Even more easy chicken dinner recipes that you might enjoy:

Close overhead shot of Hawaiian Haystacks in a bowl

20-Minute Hawaiian Haystacks

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 259 kcal
Add some fun to your next family meal with Aunt Bee's 20-Minute Hawaiian Haystacks! A simple chicken gravy is served over a bed of rice and finished off with all of your favorite toppings for a kid-friendly, healthy and easy dinner recipe!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup, NOT diluted
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, NOT diluted
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3-4 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
  • For serving: cooked rice of choice, cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower

Toppings of choice, such as:

  • Diced red bell pepper
  • Diced celery
  • Diced tomato
  • Sliced water chestnuts
  • Sliced green onions
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Slivered almonds
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Chow mein noodles
  • Pineapple tidbits
  • Shredded coconut

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, stir together soups and broth until smooth and hot. Add cooked chicken and simmer over low heat until warmed through.
  • Place toppings in individual bowls and set out on the table.
  • Divide rice (or cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower) between individual bowls. Spoon chicken gravy over rice. Allow each person to add desired toppings.

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1/4 of the chicken gravy. This does not include any rice, cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower. Toppings are not included in this calculation either.
  • This recipe calls for cooked, diced or shredded chicken. You have a few good options, including a store-bought rotisserie chicken, store-bought cooked chicken strips (such as Perdue Shortcuts), leftover chicken from another meal, canned chicken, or chicken breasts that you cook at home on your own (in the oven or in the slow cooker).
  • If you want to bake your chicken in the oven, line a dish with foil (for easy clean-up) and spray it with cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in the dish, rub them with a very small amount of oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cover tightly. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 25-30 minutes (maybe longer if your chicken is particularly thick). Allow the meat to cool slightly, then just shred, slice, or chop.
  • Serve the chicken gravy over any cooked rice of your choice. You can use brown rice, white rice, or wild rice.
  • As an alternative, try serving your chicken gravy over mashed potatoes!
  • Lighten up the dish by using cauliflower rice or mashed cauliflower instead of regular rice or potatoes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the chicken gravyCalories: 259kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 34gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 868mgPotassium: 1006mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 325IUVitamin C: 4.1mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1.2mg
Keyword: chicken and rice, chicken breast recipes, hawaiian haystacks
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in May, 2015. It was updated in February, 2019.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. This is such a great idea, Blair! I’ve never thought to lay out different kinds of toppings, so I’m loving this. What a fun way to jazz up chicken, especially for kids!

  2. I love this idea! I’m such a fan of comfort food meals like chicken and rice anyway, and the idea of the various toppers is so clever. That gravy also looks divine! Your family pictures are always so beautiful! I need to get better about taking photos!!! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday, I just pinned this recipe it looks so good! Hope you are having a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. I can’t believe I almost missed sharing this this week….my apologies, Blair. It’s up on my Facebook page now! I love your family recipes!

  5. I really want to make this but I was wondering what other toppings you could put on it besides the nuts my son is allergic to nuts? I need paleo nut free recipes i can make that are easy because I’m unable to stand up for to long.

    1. Hi, Nona! I’m not super familiar with paleo recipes, but here are some other nut-free toppings you could try:

      Additional grated cheese
      Chopped sweet bell peppers
      Chopped green bell peppers
      Chow mein noodles
      Drained mandarin oranges
      Crushed pineapple or freshly chopped pineapple
      Thinly sliced green onions
      Golden raisins
      Shredded coconut
      Chopped spinach
      Sliced olives
      Grape tomatoes
      Chopped broccoli
      Sliced celery
      Sliced or diced avocado
      Fresh cilantro
      Diced ham
      Diced bacon
      Bean sprouts