Easy Haystack Dinner

-This is by far my most popular recipe!
This little haystack doesn't look like much,
Don't be fooled. It is Delicious!-

This dinner is probably the one that my family ate the most when I was growing up. It's perfect for any family because it's quick, easy, filling, and affordable. And it tastes really good. These Haystacks are made by piling rice, meat, peas, and cheese on top of eachother forming a stack that resembles, well... a haystack!

This dinner is already fairly healthy, but to make it just a bit healthier I use ground turkey instead of beef. The meat is cooked and combined with cream of mushroom and cream of celery soup, which makes it super creamy and tastes fantastic. I also normally would have used brown rice, but all I had was white.

Really, you could put any kind of topping you'd like on this dish. I'd love to make it again using chicken and maybe toss a couple extra veggies in. Also, don't be afraid to try different soup flavors. Mix and match it up all you want!

Did I mention it tastes even better smothered in melted cheese? (what doesn't?) Oh Yeah! Peas + Cheese = One very tasty combination. :)


Easy Haystack Dinner-
Recipe from my mother, slightly adapted
Serves 6-7, if your family is small definitely cut in half
Printable Recipe

4 cups water
2 cups rice
2 lbs. ground turkey, or beef
1 - 10¾ oz. can cream of mushroom soup - I used mushroom with roasted garlic soup
1 - 10¾ oz. can cream of celery soup
2 Tbsp. milk
2 cups (16 oz) cooked peas
Shredded cheese for topping

In a large pot combine water and rice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until rice is tender.

Meanwhile, cook turkey in a large saucepan until thoroughly browned. Add both cans of soup and milk; stir until well combined and creamy. Cook until warm.

To serve Haystacks put some rice on a serving dish, top with meat mixture, then top with peas and finally top with shredded cheese. If your peas are warmed the cheese should melt over them, if not you can stick the plate in the microwave for about 30 seconds.



  1. Simple & wonderful for sure, yum

  2. What a great family meal. It really looks delicious. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  3. I could never cook white rice over direct heat. I'm so afraid it'll burn. Here, we are so used to the rice cooker, that most people will find it impossible to cook rice without that electrical appliance. But I don't own one, and steam my rice instead.

    I find that westerners cook rice better than us who eat rice daily, we just don't know how to do it over direct heat. Maybe that's the bad effect of using elecrical appliances, it makes us stupid, and ignorant of the basics. Don't wask me to wash clothes manually!!!! Hahahahaha.

    I'll try this one day, and I'll tell you if I ever did. My hubby wil love this, for sure!!!

  4. I love that you stacked it high, and added cheese too... yum ! That's a great meal.

  5. My favorite meals are always those I ate growing up. There are so many fond memories associated with them. This looks like a great one for sure!

  6. Oh man Jess I love mixing all my food together into one big mess. This is so my kinda food.


  7. This is my first visit to your site. I really want to try the chocolate ice milk!

  8. this is a fab meal..I could eat this everyday!

  9. you make simple home cooked food look stunning! I love peas and I love mixing my food up. I didn't know they were called haystacks!

  10. Thank you for this recipe,
    I did tweak it by using only mushroom soup and artichokes and parmesan cheese.

    1. Artichokes sound delicious! Great idea, I'll have to try your version.

  11. I used 2 cans of reduced sodium cream of mushroom (all I had) and I added diced onion in the turkey, sprinkled oregano/parsley/garlic salt . It was appetizing, plan to make it again. :) Thanks for sharing!

  12. Hi thanks for the recipe. One question, did you add a can of water for each can of the condensed soup, or just add the condensed soup without water? Thanks again!


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