No Cream of Soup Hawaiian Haystacks


One of my go to meals and all time family favorite dinners is Hawaiian Haystacks.   I have shared my recipe before which includes several different ways to make it – stove top, crock pot, meatless.  They do, however, all involve cream of chicken soup.  I saw a recipe with a made from scratch sauce over at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and decided to give it a try.

It was a yummy variation on a family staple.  I did adapt the recipe to suit my family’s tastes.  Now I have a version that I can make from scratch. It is a great recipe to use up leftover chicken or turkey.

No Cream of Soup Hawaiian Haystacks

  • 2 cups of cooked  and cubed chicken (or shredded chicken)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ onion (about ½ cup), finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp flour, optional
  • 2 Tbsp water, optional
  1. In a large sauce pan, saute the onion in the butter until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about one minute, stirring, until fragrant.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for one minute.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk and chicken broth. Cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, and bring the sauce to a simmer over medium. Add the salt and pepper.
  4. Add the chicken and simmering, stirring the sauce frequently, until the sauce has thickened, about 5-8 minutes.
  5. At this point if you want the sauce to thicken more, in a small bowl whisk together the 2 Tbsp flour and 2 Tbsp water until smooth, you don’t want lumps.  It should look like a paste.  Drizzle a little of the flour mixture at a time while whisking into to sauce mixture until desired thickness is reached.  I like it to be like a thick gravy.
  6. Serve the sauce over steamed rice with desired toppings from the list below.  Serves 4-6.

Toppings: (items with a star are our favorites)

shredded cheddar cheese*
pineapple tidbits*
sliced olives*
diced green onion*
chopped celery*
shredded coconut*
slice almonds*
diced fresh mushroom
Chow mien noodles*
diced tomatoes
peas
mandarin oranges
raisins
diced green pepper
water chestnuts
cashews
soy sauce
or anything else that you think would be good
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15 comments on “No Cream of Soup Hawaiian Haystacks

  • The closest place to me where I can buy chicken/mushroom soup is and hour and a half away (not in USA) so I really appreciated this recipe. I made this tonight and it was delicious and satisfying. Thank you!

  • had this tonight! SO yummy and easy! Thanks!!!

  • The one thing I objected to about Hawaiian Haystacks was the taste of the cream of chicken soup gravy! I also don’t like using the canned soup gravy on Chicken Cordon Bleu. I’m anxious to try this version….and maybe it will taste good on Chicken Cordon Bleu as well!

  • I love the idea of not using cream of mushroom soup. Excited to give it a try.

  • Curried chicken sounds like a really yummy twist on this meal! My kids love it too. I think they like it so much because they can pick what to put on their haystack. Funny thing is my favorite toppings are all the ones that you did NOT star! I am a savory girl, but my family likes the sweeter toppings like the pineapple and dried cranberries.

  • That looks really tasty. I make a very similar dish called Snow on the mountain that is curried chicken instead of plain sauce.
    I’ll have to try this recipe because my family isn’t very fond of the curry.

  • Too funny – I just made this last night for the first time (also got the recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)! We loved it! :)

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