This easy Hawaiian Haystacks recipe starts with a bed of rice, then a spoonful of chicken in gravy sauce, and add all of your favorite toppings. A quick weeknight meal using ingredients you have on hand!

Want more easy 30 minute meals? Check out my BBQ Chicken Tacos, Spring Roll Bowl, or Lox Bagel!

Hawaiian haystacks served over white rice, in a bowl with a spoon.

Why I love this recipe:

  • Quick – Only 20 minutes and dinner is on the table! This is a great meal to have kids help with too!
  • Picky Eaters Approved – What’s not to like about rice and chicken in a creamy gravy? Everyone gets to choose their own toppings and customize it the way they like.
  • Pantry Ingredients – Hawaiian Haystacks ingredients are very basic, and you probably already have everything on hand.

How to make Hawaiian Haystacks:

1. Make the Sauce: Whisk together milk, cornstarch, butter, chicken bouillon paste, spices, and water in a large saucepan on medium heat.  Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens.

Two process photos for making homemade sauce for Hawaiian haystacks.

2. Steam Rice and Prepare Toppings: Steam the rice, slice tomatoes and olives, grate cheese, and prepare all of your desired toppings for Hawaiian Haystacks.

The ingredients needed for Hawaiian haystacks.

3. Assemble: Add a layer of rice to your bowl. Top it with chicken and gravy, and your favorite toppings.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make Ahead: Steam the rice, cook the chicken, and make the sauce up to 1 day ahead of time. Store rice and gravy separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

To Freeze: This Hawaiian Haystacks sauce freezes well. Allow it to cool completely then store in a freezer safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat slowly on the stovetop.

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Recipe

Hawaiian haystacks served over white rice, in a bowl with a spoon.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 20 mins
Save Recipe

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 1/2 cups milk , cold
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoon chicken bouillon paste or cubes or powdered
  • Salt and pepper , to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups chicken uncooked, or cooked
  • Hot cooked rice , for serving

Topping Ideas:

  • Pineapple
  • Chow mein noodles
  • Green onion
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sliced olives
  • Tomatoes
  • Toasted Coconut
  • Peas
  • Celery
  • Bell peppers
  • Slivered almonds

Instructions
 

  • Prepare rice according to package instructions.
  • In a small saucepan whisk together milk, water and cornstarch. Add butter, bouillon, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
  • Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently. If using uncooked chicken, season it with salt and pepper and add to the pot, Reduce heat and cook until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened to gravy consistency. If using leftover cooked chicken, stir it in at the end.
  • To serve, add a spoonful of rice to a bowl. Pour chicken gravy on top. Add desired toppings.

Notes

To Make Ahead: Steam the rice, cook the chicken, and make the sauce up to 1 day ahead of time. Store rice and gravy separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
To Freeze: This Hawaiian Haystacks sauce freezes well. Allow it to cool completely then store in a freezer safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat slowly on the stovetop.

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 10gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 143mgPotassium: 238mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 376IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 150mgIron: 0.4mg

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This recipe was originally shared March 2020. Updated August 2022.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. Please tell me what is Hawaiian about this. I was born and raised in Hawaii and have never seen such a mess in my life.

  2. 5 stars
    Very good!! Boiled the chicken then diced & added to the sauce. No leftovers, everyone loved it! Thank you!!

  3. 5 stars
    Made this but with pork instead of the chicken. I used vegi stock instead. we added pineapple and cherries. very good recipe. Will keep in our monthly rotation.

  4. 4 stars
    Good homemade recipe for Hawaiian Haystacks. HOWEVER, I would recommend cutting the garlic powder by half or more. We love garlic, but that and onion powder were all we could taste and ended up having to add a can of cream of chicken to tone it down.. it helped only a little.
    If I make again I’ll probably just give a dash of garlic powder, or better yet, use real garlic.