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!

    1. Just the soup, otherwise it won't be as creamy

  13. mm what an easy dinner, that is healthy too! thanks for sharing

  14. This was delicious and a big hit with my husband as well!!! I took ground turkey out yesterday not knowing what to do with it and made this for dinner last night after Googling recipes. I didn't have white or brown rice but a box of Yellow rice so I made that and we loved it! It gave it more flavor! I will definitely be making this again!

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  16. this looks so good I have to try this..... Im hungry all ready.....

  17. This was a very tasty dish! I needed it to be gluten-free, so I used gluten-free cream of chicken soup and it was wonderful! My son who's quite selective with food, ate two plates of it. I'll cook this again for sure. Thanks for sharing!

  18. My kids LOVED this. I served it deconstructed. Everything was set out on the table, including multiple veggies from which to choose and the kids built their own. My 8 year old son is one of the pickiest eaters I know (oftentimes refusing meat) and not only did he finish a large helping of all ingredients, but tried a veggie he normally won't go near. Thanks!

  19. Calories? It was delish!!!! Added celery, squash & parmesan cheese instead; love it and so does my picky daughter! :)

  20. Had it for supper it was great.

  21. I made this tonight except I took your recipe and tweaked it more to my liking and I had to replace the peas with corn since I'm allergic to peas. I don't usually measure when I cook dinner items either unless its truly necessary so everything is eyeballed except the rice.

    2 cups water
    1 cup rice
    onion, diced
    green bell pepper, diced
    1 can sliced mushrooms, drained and chopped
    1 lbs. ground turkey, or beef
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 Tbsp. half & half
    1 can cooked corn (or peas)
    Shredded mozzarella cheese for topping

    Seasonings to taste

    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. I added a little bit of salt and 1 tbsp butter

    Meanwhile, preheat skillet to medium. Add onions & peppers cook about 3 minutes then add turkey. Half way through cooking the turkey & veggies add in your seasonings; cook until thoroughly browned.
    Add mushrooms, soup and half and half. Keep on low heat until thoroughly combined and warm.
    Cook corn (or peas) until hot

    Layer rice, turkey mixture, corn (or peas), top with cheese.

    I served it with some apple stuffing. It was awesome!

  22. mine came out looking like dogfood.... taste was pretty good though.

  23. We called this hamburger gravy growing up...and we stacked it on mashed potatoes. I can't wait to try it on rice. Thanks for a great meal reminder.

  24. Made it tonight. Added cloves of garlic to the rice and it really accentuated the mushroom soup quite well. I wonder if this couldn't make an awesome casserole.

  25. I didn't have cream of celery, but did have a can of cheddar cheese soup, so I used this with a can of cream of mushroom and it was super thick and creamy (and good) My 12 yr old son went back for seconds! I also topped it with broccoli (cause my kids will eat broccoli but not peas) and added some spices to the meat when I browned it. yummy, fast and easy.

  26. We have something similar. Rice, can of mushroom soup, mix with can of TUNA, then peas=YUMMY!!

  27. Hello! We made your haystacks this week and loved them! Thank you for such a great and easy and affordable recipe! We shared your blog with our YouTube subscribers and featured you in our weekly dinner vlog! Come say Hi!


  28. My husband and I both love it. Quick, simple and delicious! Than you!

  29. this was really good!! i don't like turkey and i really enjoyed this meal


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