I first learned about haystacks a few years ago and I was instantly smitten. First of all, I love do-it-yourself meals like that where I can just set out several different bowls and let everyone build their perfect meal. Secondly, the meal is so versatile! I’ve seen haystacks written about at least a dozen times and every time, each meal is a little different. So when you combine both those points, how can you go wrong?
Since anything covered in barbecue sauce is always a huge hit at our house, I think these BBQ haystacks are my favorite version. Each step comes together quickly and can be made in stolen moments. I like to prepare everything as I have time, with the exception of the rice. Then, while the rice cooks just before we eat, I warm up everything and get it out on the table. It just couldn’t get easier.
The day I made this meal pictured here, I was out of corn, which is one of my favorite ingredients to serve as a topping option. So I made a quick substitution and used sliced carrots instead. It turned out to be a great addition, although I personally still prefer corn. Feel free to use whichever you want.
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 bottle barbecue sauce (or 1 1/2 c. homemade barbeuce sauce)
- 1/2 lb. bacon, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 c. frozen corn (or sliced carrots)
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 c. shredded cheese
- 2 c. rice
1. Place the chicken breasts in a casserole dish and pour the barbecue sauce on top. Cover dish and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked. Shred or dice chicken. Set aside or keep warm until serving.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add bacon and onions. Cook until bacon is desired crispiness and onions are tender. Remove with a slotted spoon.
3. Add corn (or carrots) to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes, until crisp tender.
4. Cook rice according to directions on the package.
5. Serve individual toppings and rice so that each person can build their own haystack to their liking. Enjoy!