Hawaiian Haystacks with an easy homemade chicken gravy to go with it! No creamed soups in this haystacks recipe. Layer your plate with rice, a scoop of gravy, and all the toppings. This is a fun dinner because everyone can make their own and customize it how they want.
Be sure and try my slow cooker Chicken Mexican Haystacks for a fun twist to classic Hawaiian haystacks. Served with rice, Fritos, and all the taco toppings you love!
Hawaiian Haystacks Recipe
Have you ever heard of Hawaiian haystacks? I grew up eating them and they've been a favorite dinner recipe ever since. It's basically a layer of white rice, topped with a scoop of chicken gravy, and then topped with toppings. My family has our favorite toppings but the options are endless. Read below for all my tips and ideas when making this recipe.
I love making these for dinner because everyone can make their own and put whatever toppings they want on it. It's also really helpful for picky eaters because they can control what goes on their plate with the toppings they choose.
What You'll Need
Most Hawaiian haystacks recipes call for a cream of chicken of soup for the gravy. I love creamed soups but sometimes you just want to feel good about making it from scratch. I also love the taste of homemade gravy so much more than using the canned soup. Even with the easy homemade gravy, this recipe is so simple to make with easy ingredients.
- Chicken Gravy
- Butter - I use salted butter in this recipe but unsalted can be used as well. You may want to add just a pinch more salt if using unsalted butter.
- Chicken Broth - Reduced-sodium chicken broth can be used if wanted. I have used both (reduced sodium and regular broth) and the taste is only slightly different between them.
- Salt & Pepper
- Garlic Salt
- Sour Cream - For the best creamy texture and taste use real, full-fat sour cream. I love the Daisy brand of sour cream.
- Cooked Chicken - Make sure the chicken is cooked and it can either be shredded or chopped. You can also use a Rotisserie chicken in this recipe to make prep work a breeze.
- White Rice - White rice is what I suggest using. You can use brown rice, or any other rice you prefer, like cauliflower rice or some chicken flavored rice, etc.
- Toppings - The options are endless. Our favorites are shredded cheese, crispy chow mien noodles, green onions, pineapple tidbits, almonds, and green peas. Read below for all my topping ideas and suggestions.
How to Make Hawaiian Haystacks with Homemade Chicken Gravy (No Creamed Soups)
There are a few different parts to making these Hawaiian Haystacks. But the homemade chicken gravy comes together really quickly with minimal ingredients. Continue to scroll down to get the entire recipe and detailed instructions below.
Rice : Since the rice takes the longest be sure and start the rice first thing. I use white rice and cook it in a rice cooker, then when it's ready everything else is to, and a rice cooker is hands off so I can make the gravy and get the toppings together.
Chicken Gravy : Melt butter in a saucepan. Once melted add in the flour and stir with a whisk for about 1 minute. This helps to cook out the flour flavor. Add the chicken broth and seasonings and let it thicken for about 2-3 minutes. Once thickened, add the sour cream and cooked shredded chicken. Stir and let it heat through.
Prepare Toppings : Put all the toppings into bowls so everyone can make their own. I like to serve this meal buffet style and lay everything out on the counter.
Serve : Place a scoop of white rice on the plate, followed by a scoop of chicken gravy, and then top with all your favorites.
Tips For Success
There are a few tips I have that will hopefully make this recipe a success in your own kitchen.
- Rotisserie Chicken : I love using a rotisserie chicken in this recipe because it's easy & it's already perfectly flavored.
- Sour Cream : You can use lite sour cream or regular, but I think it tastes much better with the full-fat, real sour cream.
- Switch Out Meats : If you don't like chicken or maybe you have some leftover ham to use up, go ahead and use diced ham instead of chicken.
- Chicken Broth : Reduced-sodium chicken broth may be used if wanted. I prefer the flavor of the gravy with regular chicken broth.
Serving Suggestions For Hawaiian Haystacks
Hawaiian Haystacks are a "stacked" dinner that starts with a base of white rice, topped with a scoop of chicken gravy, and then topped with all your favorite toppings.
My family's favorite toppings, and what I always serve this with are, shredded cheese, crispy chow mien noodles, peas, shredded carrots, sliced almonds, and pineapple tidbits.
There are so many more toppings you could add to yours or try something new. Here is a list of all the toppings that would work well on top of these Hawaiian Haystacks.
- diced ham
- mandarin oranges
- halved cherry tomatoes
- diced bell pepper
- golden raisins
- green onion
- coconut flakes
If you do any toppings at all I would strongly suggest doing shredded cheese, pineapple tidbits, and crispy chow mien noodles. Those are like the favorite and best toppings for these.
Hawaiian Haystacks FAQ's
- Can I Freeze The Chicken Gravy?
- Yes, you can freeze it with some changes. Prepare as directed but skip the sour cream portion of the gravy. Place the gravy in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to use, thaw in the fridge overnight. Heat up the gravy in a saucepan and add the sour cream. Stir until melted and combined, and everything is heated through.
- How To Store Leftovers
- Store leftovers, of the chicken gravy, in an air-tight container with a lid in the fridge for 4-5 days. Sometimes it's also easy to mix the leftover rice and chicken gravy together and store it that way.
- Can I Make Hawaiian Haystacks Ahead of Time?
- Yes you can and I have a tip for doing that! Prepare the gravy as directed and then transfer it to a slow cooker and keep it on the 'warm' setting. This is especially useful if you are all eating dinner at different times or you have guests over. It keeps the gravy nice and hot. If the warm setting is not hot enough then change it to the 'low' setting on the slow cooker.
- You can also prepare all the toppings ahead of time in separate bowls. Store the toppings that need to be refrigerated in the fridge and then leave the others out at room temperature.
You'll Love These Other Chicken Dinner Recipes that are Served Over Rice
Slow Cooker Creamy Fiesta Chicken : Creamy chicken with beans, corn, salsa, and cream cheese. Serve over rice and top with all your favorite taco toppings.
Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls : Ground chicken cooks up in one pan with a homemade teriyaki sauce and fresh veggies. Serve over rice for an easy and yummy dinner!
Instant Pot Cashew Chicken : Easy cashew chicken made with chunks of chicken breasts, broccoli, red pepper, and a homemade cashew sauce.
Instant Pot Santa Fe Chicken Burrito Bowls : Santa Fe chicken that cooks in minutes in the Instant Pot. Serve over rice with all the taco toppings you love.
Hawaiian Haystacks (Homemade Chicken Gravy)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1½ cups cooked shredded chicken
- assorted toppings see note below
- fresh cooked white rice
- Because the rice will take the longest, start preparing it first thing. I use a rice cooker because it's hands-off and really easy.
Make Chicken Gravy
- In a sauce pan, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add in flour and stir with a whisk for 30 seconds. Slowly pour in the chicken broth, while whisking, and the spices. Whisk until mixture has thickened a bit (this takes about 2-3 minutes). Once thickened, add in the sour cream and cooked chicken. Stir until smooth and heat through.
- Start with a scoop of rice, topped with a scoop of chicken gravy, and then topped with the toppings you prefer. My family loves shredded cheese, shredded carrots, peas, pineapple tidbits, slivered or sliced almonds, and crispy chow mein noodles. Other Topping Ideas : cashews, peanuts, golden raisins, shredded coconut, green onions, halved cherry tomatoes, olives, chopped bell pepper, mandarin oranges, diced ham, etc.