A bed of rice is smothered with a creamy chicken gravy – and then you pile on the toppings! Learn how to make Hawaiian haystacks at home, which are completely customizable when you choose your favorite toppings.

Hawaiian Haystacks. Customizable comfort food at its best! Click through for recipe.

When I was in high school, my boyfriend’s family introduced me to Hawaiian haystacks. I immediately fell in love – with the food. Although our relationship didn’t last, my love for this fabulous dish did. I’m so happy they shared it with me.

When I made this for my own family, they also loved it – and it soon became a family favorite.

Because it is a little putzy, we have historically reserved it for special occasions (birthdays, around the holidays, etc.)

But here’s what I’ve been thinking recently: Why deprive yourself of one of your all-time favorite dishes just because it’s putzy (or time-consuming or unhealthy, etc.) Food is meant to be enjoyed. If a certain dish makes you happy – make it, share it, and savor it.

Now, happily, I make Hawaiian haystacks almost every time I go home to visit my parents.

How to make Hawaiian haystacks. The more toppings, the better! Click through for recipe.

What Are Hawaiian Haystacks?

Here’s how Hawaiian haystacks – also known as snow on the mountain – stack up:

  • Rice on the bottom
  • A creamy chicken gravy is smothered over the rice
  • Plentiful toppings (like chow mein noodles, mandarin oranges, green onions, chopped tomatoes and more) are piled on

It’s creamy, cheesy, crunchy, and fresh all at the same time. There are bites of sweetness thanks to the coconut and mandarin oranges. It’s customizable comfort food at its finest.

Hawaiian Haystacks. A creamy chicken sauce on rice, with TONS of toppings! Click through for recipe.

Hawaiian Haystack Toppings

If there’s one piece of advice that I would give you before making Hawaiian haystacks, it is this: Don’t skimp on the toppings. And unless you detest a particular topping – put it on, mix it all up and see if you like it.

You’ll want a variety of toppings, including sweet, savory, crunchy, and fresh. Here are some toppings that go great on Hawaiian haystacks:

  • Dried coconut
  • Mandarin oranges (canned or fresh)
  • Chopped oranges (fresh)
  • Pineapple tidbits
  • Chow mein noodles
  • Chopped almonds
  • Peas
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped celery
  • Chopped green onions
  • Black olives
  • Cheddar cheese

Now go ahead and try these for yourself. They may just become a family favorite!

Try this similar soup – it’s SO good: Creamy Hawaiian coconut chicken soup.

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Hawaiian Haystacks - Get the (easy) recipe here!

Hawaiian Haystacks. Customizable comfort food at its best! Click through for recipe.

Hawaiian Haystacks Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Chicken isn't the focal point of this dish, which is why I use canned chicken. You can also substitute one shredded chicken breast instead of canned.



For haystacks

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped celery
  • Chopped green onions
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped red bell peppers
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Shredded coconut
  • Sliced almonds
  • Chow mein noodles
  • 4 servings cooked rice

For sauce

  • 8 ounces block cream cheese
  • 4 ounce container sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste
  • 12.5 ounce can white chicken breast (undrained)


  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook on low heat and stir until cream cheese is melted and mixture is hot.
  2. To serve: Set up toppings so each person can choose their own. An assembly-line arrangement works well, starting with the rice, then the sauce, then the toppings.

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Creamy Hawaiian coconut chicken soup recipe.

Get the recipe: Hawaiian haystacks, the soup version