Hawaiian Haystacks

Did you know that January 18, 1778 was the day that James Cook became the 1st known European explorer to discover the Hawaiian islands? In honor of that great discovery, today we’re making Hawaiian haystacks. Unfortunately, during my research I learned that there’s nothing officially Hawaiian about this meal, but that’s okay, because we’re getting into the spirit of the celebration…besides, poi isn’t that easy to find at my grocery store! I’ll have you know to up the authenticity factor, I took a Polynesian dance class when I was in college. You’re impressed now, right?

Coincidentally, the first time I tried Hawaiian haystacks was also during college. This is a great meal for kids because they can add what they want. It’s also great for a casual pot luck because you can have people bring a can of whatever they think will go. Basically you need cooked chicken (this is a great use for leftovers), rice, gravy, and of course pineapple. I’ll list some of the things we like, but really, you’re only limited by your imagination. So, go light your tiki torch, and enjoy.

Hawaiian Hay Stacks


  • cooked chicken
  • gravy
  • rice
  • sliced mushrooms
  • canned pineapple bits
  • green onion, sliced
  • shredded coconut
  • water chestnuts
  • olives
  • celery
  • shredded cheese


  1. Put chicken, rice and gravy on a plate.
  2. Let each person stack what the want of the optional items


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  1. yum. haven’t had this since my utah days. it seemed a very popular church gathering meal. i like all of your cute serving dishes.

  2. We just had this at a Relief Society luncheon last week. In addition to some of the things you mentioned, they also offered broccoli, dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, and those little crunchy noodle things!

  3. I have never had nor heard of this. Or maybe I blocked it out. However, I would like to see you teach a Hawaiian dance class. Perhaps I should mention this to the right people… 🙂

  4. We had this recently in Minnesota when Anita made it for all of us. It was very tasty…I think her version varied just a tad, but it was VERY good. I will give this a go!

  5. OMG…all your foods have such amazing flavors! Great post!

  6. Kind of like “Canadian bacon. ” It’s ham, people. 🙂

    Last February, we did this for a Zone Conference Lunch and the Elders LOVED it! The perfect please everyone meal.

  7. We made this for dinner tonight. Thanks for the idea! It was a hit with everyone 🙂