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Hearty Hawaiian Haystacks

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Hawaiian Haystacks is a great, healthy meal for Sunday afternoons, because it can stretch out to feed lots of people with a variety of taste preferences. Since we are constantly inviting extended family and neighbors for Sunday dinner, this meal makes an appearance at our table at least quarterly. If our company wants to make it a potluck, it’s easy to ask them to bring one of the toppings. The creamy chicken sauce is made from scratch, and it has flavor 100 TIMES better than when made with canned cream of chicken soup. Enjoy!

Hearty Hawaiian Haystacks

A healthier version of a classic comfort food, Hawaiian haystacks is a meal that even the picky eaters love!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 people


Brown Rice

  • 2 Cups Brown Rice
  • 4 1/4 Cup Water

Homemade Creamy Chicken Sauce

  • 1/2 Cup Onion minced
  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 3 Cups 2 % Milk divided
  • 1 Tablespoon Better than Bouillon Chicken Soup Base
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley chopped fine
  • 2 1/2 Cups Cooked Chicken shredded


  • 2 Cups Cooked Ham chopped
  • 2 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • 15 oz. Black Beans or kidney
  • 2 Cups Celery Chopped
  • 1 large Bell Pepper chopped
  • 2 Cups Frozen peas thawed
  • 1 medium Jicama chopped
  • 15 oz. Pineapple fresh or canned
  • 2 Cups Fresh Tomatoes chopped
  • 1 large Avocado chopped
  • 1 Cup Salsa canned or fresh
  • 1 Cup Chow Mein noodles
  • 1 Cup Coconut Flakes
  • 1 Cup Green onions chopped fine
  • 1 Cup Almonds slivered or chopped
  • 1 Cup Salted cashews


Brown Rice

  • In a large pot, add brown rice to the water, cover with a lid, and bring to boil at medium high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for about 30 minutes.

Creamy Homemade Chicken Sauce

  • Sauté onions in butter in a medium saucepan until onions are soft and translucent. Mix in the flour to form a paste.
  • Pour in 1 cup of the milk and whisk continually until well-combined with a wire wisk. Slowly add remaining milk and the bouillon and continue whisking until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the Greek yogurt and the remaining 1/2 cup milk if the sauce needs thinning. Season with parsley and more salt and pepper if desired. Add cooked chicken.


  • Drain, chop, dice, and slice the toppings of your choice. Serve buffet style in separate bowls, and let everyone stack the chicken sauce and toppings on a bed of rice. Enjoy!


For the chicken, you can bake it in the oven or slow-cooker ahead of time. I sometimes use rotisserie chicken. Obviously, you don’t need to feel obligated to have every topping listed here. Just choose the ones that sound good to you and your family.

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