Jun 5, 2011

Hawaiian Haystacks Two Ways - Tropical and Traditional

Raise your hand if you have heard of Hawaiian Haystacks. Anybody? Well, I bet a few of you have. It is more of a retro dinner and I need you to have an open mind going in to this, the recipe is a little quirky.

You start with the basics of chicken in a sauce over hot rice. Then you add your toppings. They range from run of the mill things like olives, tomatoes, shredded cheddar and bell peppers, all the way to the unexpected items like caramelized pineapple bits, cherries and coconut.

Before I totally lose you, no you aren't putting ALL of those ingredients over the same plate of chicken, sauce and rice. Rather, you pick and choose a few of them that sound the best to you.

A savory suggestion is to use the following toppings over the chicken and rice: cheddar, olives, bell peppers, pineapple, bugles chips or chow mein noodles and tomatoes.

For the Tropical Haystacks, a classic and very retro suggestion is to use the following toppings over the chicken and rice: Coconut, pineapple, and maraschino cherries (shown above). This happens to be my favorite way to eat this dish. It sounds crazy, I know, but it is so good!

Have I convinced you to give it a try? If you are a lover of trying out retro dishes you should give it a go. If you have tried this before please be sure to leave a comment letting us know what your favorite toppings for this are. I can always use new ideas for how to top this.

Many thanks to Real Mom Kitchen for posting this classic, albeit totally bonkers, recipe.

Hawaiian Chicken Haystacks Two Ways
Makes about 4 servings

  • 2 cans of cream of chicken
  • 1 can of milk or so
  • 2 cups of cooked chicken breasts, diced
  • Rice, cooked, seasoned with a little butter and salt
  • Toppings savory: diced tomatoes, chow mein noodles, bugles chips, sliced black olives,  diced celery, shredded cheddar, sliced almonds, diced mushrooms, diced green bell peppers
  • Toppings for Tropical (sweeter): pineapple tidbits*, coconut, maraschino cherries, mandarin oranges

*I went all out and I sauteed the pineapple with a tiny bit of butter and a fat pinch of brown sugar until it was getting a bit caramelized. It gave it a deeper flavor and it tasted great.

1. In a large saucepan, heat cream of chicken and one can of milk over medium-high heat until warmed through and cream of chicken is dissolved. Serve over hot prepared rice. Top with desired toppings.

Source: Real Mom Kitchen


  1. I've actually never heard of this, but it looks fun and delicious!

  2. this looks delicious.
    im your new follower from the blog hop

  3. yum!!! Come on over this week and link to my Tasty Tuesday party! http://nap-timecreations.blogspot.com/

  4. I've never seen a recipe like this. looks fun and will have to try it! Thanks for being a part of my link party!

  5. Never would have thought of some of those toppings! I found your blog through a link party and LOVE it! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would check out my blog and follow me too! Thanks!

  6. What a unique dish! Looks totally delicious and I like the coconut topping, the best! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thanks for linking to THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS, next week is Father's Day Favortie Recipes, hope to see you linking up again!


  8. The only place I'd ever heard of these is on Real Mom Kitchen, the same place you found them! They look so pretty. Although haystacks have always meant cookies to me (either coconut or chow mein mixed with chocolate), I have a friend in the south who defines "haystacks" as corn chips topped with chili, lettuce, cheese, olives, chips, etc--whatever you desire! I bet this idea and that one are related.

  9. Never seen this but how cool! Kids will think it is fun to make your own toppings. Thanks for linking up to Hunk of Meat Monday .

  10. man i love your blog....everytime i look at a post i want to try it....thanks for sharing all your amazing recipies

  11. I never had - but such a great idea!!

  12. Wonderful!
    My mouth is salivating.....

  13. this sounds so yummy I love recipes like this for the warmer months of the year thanks for sharing come see what I shared at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  14. Love your recipe YUM YUM cant wait to try it!! And love that you shared your creation with our readers this week too.

    Thanks for linking up at Nothing But Country Creative Creations Tuesday. You rock!!

  15. Thanks so much for linking this up to Made it on Monday!

  16. I've had this dish before and love it! I prefer the savory dish but with some pineapple, yum! I also love onions of any kind on mine. Cashews would be good too!

  17. Never heard of it before and it sounds and looks delicious! I love the combination of flavor! Thanks for sharing.


  18. Oh, how I miss Hawaiian Haystacks! -My daughter has a rice allergy, so we can't have rice in the house... even in lotions, it's a fiasco! So, know that I sit here and drool over your wonderful recipe!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!

  19. Found you over at Full Plate Thursday...I'm a new follower! This looks great! I would love to have you link up to my 2-in-1 Thursday hop.

    Around My Family Table

  20. Now, this has got to be the weirdest thing..NOT THE HAYSTACKS...I love them almost as much as I love Mr. Sweet...(not really, but nearly) What is weird is that I wanted to have this at my next home fellowship group dinner and had forgotten what all we put on it. I am just THRILLED TO PIECES to see your recipe and beautiful photos.Thanks so so much....:)
    Oh, and I am your newest follower..hope you will come eat a piece of my chicken today. :)
    Over from Miz Helen's.
    xo bj

  21. YUM! I'm saving this to make later!
    Would love to have you come by and link it at my summer long linky party!

    "Life's a Picnic!" party!

  22. Hi Ali,
    Your photo's are just awesome!! We would really enjoy this dish, it looks like a great summertime treat. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday, have a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  23. I'm not sure about this...the pictures are beautiful though. And you know, I'll just have to try it to see.

    I'm a new follower from Home is Where My Story Begins.

    Have a joy-filled day!

  24. Never heard of it either, but its got the sweet/salty thing going on which I love! Thanks for linking to Fat Camp Friday, see you next week! http://bit.ly/jHOrlN

  25. Never heard of them but they look great.

  26. I have got to try this! Chicken, rice, coconut, and pineapple? Yummm! Thanks for sharing!

    ~ Pia

  27. Thanks for linking to Tasty Tuesday @ Nap Time Creations! Come back and link again next week! http://nap-timecreations.blogspot.com/

  28. I love this meal, you are brave to try it with cherries! Thanks for sharing at Fantastic Friday!

  29. I want it with the the options! It all sounds very delish - definitely one for me to try

  30. That looks and sounds very interesting! Thanks for linking it up to this week's Catch a Glimpse party!

  31. I'm shocked people haven't heard of this!?! I LOVE Hawaiian Haystacks! Although...I've never had it with CHERRIES, so I'm excited to try it. My favorite combo is the chicken sauce over rice with cut up celery, cheese, chinese noodles, pineapple & coconut.

  32. These look so so yummy. Please email us this recipe so we can feature this on our cooking blog. envymycooking.blogspot.com. Thanks

    email us at envy.my.cooking@gmail.com

  33. Yum! My kids would love the chicken and rice and being able to add their own toppings!

  34. What a fun and different way to do chicken - great summer recipe! Thank you for linking up to WWWW!

  35. This looks wonderful! Thanks for linking up for Friday Favorites. I'm featuring you this week. Come grab my featured button if you'd like one!

  36. You know I love a good retro recipe and this looks delicious!