Save on Pinterest

Haystack Supper

Served as the main dish at our family reunion buffet, this flavorful layered taco-style dish was a true crowd-pleaser. Folks were pleasantly surprised to find a rice layer, and everyone enjoys the creamy cheese sauce. —Jill Steiner, Hancock, Minnesota
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
  • Makes
    2 casseroles (6 servings each)


  • 1-3/4 cups crushed saltines (about 40 crackers)
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato juice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • Seasoned salt, salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 pound process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
  • 4 cups shredded lettuce
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jar (10 ounces) pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 1 package (14-1/2 ounces) tortilla chips


  • Divide crackers between 2 ungreased 13x9-in. baking dishes. Top each with rice.
  • In a large skillet, cook beef and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the tomato juice, water and seasonings; simmer for 15-20 minutes. Spoon over rice.
  • In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  • Reduce heat; stir in Velveeta cheese until melted. Pour over beef mixture. Top with lettuce, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and olives. Serve with chips. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 888 calories, 55g fat (24g saturated fat), 164mg cholesterol, 1746mg sodium, 57g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 3g fiber), 41g protein.

Recommended Video


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • Karyn
    Aug 10, 2020

    Holy cow! 1746 mg sodium and 888 calories in a single cup? I'm all for the occasional indulgence, but this is ridiculous. Considering that this amount of sodium is close to what a person should consume in an entire day, I'll take my calorie indulgence in the form of a hot fudge sundae and skip this one. If this is what people eat for dinner on a regular basis, no wonder America is obese!

  • lgteddybear
    Aug 12, 2019

    Reading nutrition facts makes me run in the opposite direction - horribly unhealthy and would not eat this!

  • Krstos3
    Oct 30, 2018

    Good with tortilla chips. This is more of a side dish or appetizer than a main dish

  • Cindy
    Feb 23, 2018

    I wasn’t sure about this recipe especially the part pouring the cheese sauce over the lettuce and tomatoes.This was really good but more like an appetizer.I will definitely be taking this to our next potluck. I used tomato soup instead of tomato juice simply because I had tomato soup on hand.

  • sd20
    Aug 29, 2016

    Thanks Jill Steiner and taste of home for an easy and tasty recipe.

  • 4800
    Mar 9, 2016

    This is a great way to serve Tex-Mex and the addition of rice makes it perfect!

  • lottieda
    Nov 21, 2012

    No comment left

  • dozer1025
    Mar 8, 2012

    this is great dish very easy to make.taste so good use the olives makes it so much the better

  • stwasdin
    Jan 11, 2011

    Excellent dish! I would use as an appetizer maybe. Delicious!

  • freel
    Sep 26, 2010

    The guys in our family really, really love this!