Amish Haystacks

This recipe for hay stacks is similar to taco salad but with rice and a smooth cheese sauce we call “shmeah kaes.” Taco style haystacks is the one we grew up with in our community of old order Amish, but Amish haystacks can also be made with a base of pasta, fried potatoes or even dessert, like a smore’s haystack with marshmallows and chocolate. This self serve dinner is a favorite among the Amish ladies, because it is easy to make and each person can customize their own dish, making a real crowd pleaser!

Fun Fact: The Amish like to call this meal Haystacks because when a hungry Amish man loads up his plate it ends up looking like a stack of hay!

You may also enjoy Amish potato salad or homemade Amish honey bread with this meal.

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Amish haystacks dinner

Amish hay stack dinner

marilynpeight
This crowd pleasing dinner is similar to taco salad, yet tweaked to become an Amish family favorite by using cup cheese sauce on top!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Amish
Servings 5

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups cooked rice (1 cup dry rice in 3 cups water)

Beef mixture:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 tablespoon taco seasoning or to taste
  • 1/3 teaspoon season all
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Additional toppings (optional):

  • Tortilla chips
  • shredded lettuce
  • diced tomato
  • diced onion
  • Shredded taco or cheddar cheese

For the cheese sauce:

  • 1 pound American cheese slices white or yellow
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions
 

  • Brown the ground beef in olive oil and season with taco seasoning, salt and pepper and the taco seasoning (seasonings can be added to taste).
  • To make the cheese sauce, place the American cheese in a small saucepan then add water, baking soda and salt. Melt on medium heat, stirring frequently to keep the bottom from burning. Once the cheese has fully dissolved and no lumps remain, remove from heat and allow to cool. If a skin forms on top remove it to prevent lumps. This cheese sauce thickens as it cools, if the sauce is too thick to pour when you are ready to serve it, reheat over the stovetop or in the microwave until pourable.
  • Assemble remaining ingredients and serve each one in separate dishes. Layer the Haystack onto your plate with whatever you wish! My favorite haystack starts with crushed tortilla chips, then rice, beef, and veggies layered on top. I like to top it all with shredded cheese, then cheese sauce and Mary’s Sweet and Tangy Onion Dressing. Enjoy!

Notes

If the cheese sauce is too thin, allow it to cool or add additional American cheese and then melt the additional cheese into the sauce. 
Additional notes and step by step photos below. 
Keyword Amish, Haystacks, Amish taco salad, Amish haystack dinner
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Ingredients needed for these Amish haystacks (taco style). American cheese, shredded lettuce, diced onions, shredded cheese, rice, ground beef, salt, season all, taco seasoning, baking soda, diced tomatoes and tortilla chips.

More optional toppings.

Step 1: Brown the ground beef in olive oil and season with taco seasoning, salt and pepper and the taco seasoning (seasonings can be added to taste).

Step 2: To make the cheese sauce, place the American cheese in a small saucepan then add water, baking soda and salt. Melt on medium heat, stirring frequently to keep the bottom from burning. Once the cheese has fully dissolved and no lumps remain, remove from heat and allow to cool. If a skin forms on top remove it to prevent lumps. This cheese sauce thickens as it cools, if the sauce is too thick to pour when you are ready to serve it, reheat over the stovetop or in the microwave until pourable.

Note on cheese sauce* If using skim or great value brand American cheese the sauce gets a lot thinner. Use a cup of water and allow the cheese to melt then test it, the cheese should be thinner than the desired result (it will thicken as it cools) but not so thin that it looks like milk. If you end up with a sauce that is too thick you can add a little more water or reheat it in the microwave if it has cooled already.

Step 3: Assemble remaining ingredients and serve each one in separate dishes. Layer the Haystack onto your plate with whatever you wish! My favorite haystack starts with crushed tortilla chips, then rice, beef, and veggies layered on top. I like to top it all with shredded cheese, then cheese sauce and Mary’s Sweet and Tangy Onion Dressing. Enjoy

The Basic Ingredients for Haystacks include cheese sauce, cooked rice, browned beef, onions, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and tortilla chips. You can add so many more if you want!

Feel free to pin this recipe for later and be sure to tag me on Instagram with a photo of your own creation of this recipe. Thank you for your support!

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