Want to know why a Shipwreck Casserole is called a Shipwreck Casserole?

Because it looks like a shipwreck. Totally. It’s messy, it’s all over the place, there is no rhyme or reason to the layers ( they always fall apart) and it looks like a disaster, aka a shipwreck, but let me assure you of one thing. Shipwreck casserole is deeeeelicious!

Shipwreck Casserole
Shipwreck Casserole

How to Make Shipwreck Casserole

Really, this was probably one of the hardest meals that I have had to try to make look appetizing for you guys – and I’m not even sure that I succeeded.

If you have had shipwreck casserole as a kid, you will know how delicious this is and I don’t have to make it look pretty for you. It’s layers of onions, potatoes, ground beef and rice, and then you pour your favourite tomato soup over the top of it. It turns out absolutely delicious and it’s so easy!

Shipwreck Casserole! This quick and easy classic can also be done in your slow cooker! Recipe from @kitchen magpie. #recipe #crockpot #slowcooker #supper

If you watch the video, you can get a better idea of how delicious this really is. I have made it a few times – but always in the oven- and finally decided to try it in the slow cooker.

It worked like a charm! You DO have to have a slow cooker that seals well – mine is brand new so it does. If you have one that you know leaks heat and moisture, your rice won’t cook properly. Place a piece of tinfoil between the lid and the pot to seal it and keep all the moisture in to cook the rice.

Shipwreck Casserole! This quick and easy classic can also be done in your slow cooker! Recipe from @kitchen magpie. #recipe #crockpot #slowcooker #supper

Who ate this as a kid? Did you like it? You can also put cheese on top at the end if you like – and then it’s more like a campfire tinfoil dinner minus the rice. I eat onions, carrots, potatoes and cheese in tinfoil all the time when camping!

If you are looking for more delicious dinner ideas, try my:

Shrimp Fettucini Alfredo

Lazy Cabbage Casserole

Creamy Yellow Bean & Potato Soup

Happy cooking!



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Shipwreck Casserole! This quick and easy classic can also be done in your slow cooker! . #recipe #crockpot #slowcooker #supper

4.67 from 12 votes
Shipwreck Casserole (In the Slow Cooker)
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Ground beef Shipwreck Casserole! It's layers of onions, potatoes, ground beef and rice & your favourite tomato soup! It turns out absolutely delicious!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ground beef casserole, shipwreck casserole
Servings: 6
Calories: 458 kcal
Author: Karlynn Johnston
  • 2 white onions sliced
  • 4 medium potatoes sliced
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef uncooked
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/2 cup white rice uncooked
  • 2 cups of carrots sliced
  • 1 10 ounce can of tomato soup ( I use roasted red pepper for extra flavour! Use your favourite soup!)
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  1. This can be done in a casserole dish in the oven or in the slow cooker. For the crockpot, your vegetables can be sliced THICKER if you are going to cook all day!
Oven instructions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 °F.
  2. Place onions in the bottom of a well greased 9×13 baking dish. Add the potatoes, then the carrots.
  3. Mix the seasoning salt into the ground beef then spread the beef over top of the vegetables then sprinkle with rice.
  4. Mix together the tomato soup and the water then pour over top.
  5. Cover with tin foil.
  6. Cook for two hours, until the vegetables are soft and the rice has cooked.
Slow Cooker Instructions
  1. Place onions in the bottom of a well greased slow cooker. Add the potatoes, then the carrots.
  2. Mix the seasoning salt into the ground beef then spread the beef over top of the vegetables then sprinkle with rice.
  3. Mix together the tomato soup and the water then pour over top.
  4. Cover with tin foil. ( this is the best way to seal your crockpot) and place the crockpot lid on top.
  5. Cook on low 6-8 hours until the vegetables are soft and the rice has cooked.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Use your favourite tomato soup to make this recipe even more delicious! I use a roasted red pepper tomato soup to boost the flavour!

Nutrition Facts
Shipwreck Casserole (In the Slow Cooker)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 458 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 35%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 80mg 27%
Sodium 125mg 5%
Potassium 1100mg 31%
Total Carbohydrates 37g 12%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 3g
Protein 25g 50%
Vitamin A 142.6%
Vitamin C 26%
Calcium 9.2%
Iron 39.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Hey guys, I'm Karlynn! Welcome to The Kitchen Magpie, my website full of family friendly recipes, cocktails & homesteading tales of chickens & cows from the family farm! Make sure to check out my bestselling cookbook, Flapper Pie & a Blue Prairie Sky ,stay tuned for info on my second cookbook!


  1. George Shank Reply

    I’ve always thought of recipes as guides not laws.
    It never hurts to add a little bit of your own ideas and taste to the mix.

  2. Just wondering if it’s greasy since you don’t pre-cook and drain the meat? Also it seems like 2 hours wouldn’t be enough cooking time. Really want to try this recipe! Thanks!

  3. I always make a new recipe exactly as written the first time, which is what I did here. I followed the directions to the letter, and I still ended up with some raw rice. I wondered why the rice was placed on top instead of on the bottom, but I gave the creator the benefit of the doubt. However, next time, I’m layering in this order: onions, rice, carrots, potatoes, beef. I will also add the salt to the soup/water so it will mix better. I think it will turn out better that way.

  4. Pat Meierhenry Reply

    well, our family has made Shipwreck with pork & beans for years, no rice, and we all love it!! not saying we would not like this, but had to defend Calee’s dad!!! I fed it to my cousin/hired hand & he called for the recipe after he was married, & his mom claimed he did not do casseroles!!

  5. So I made this tonight….and I’m sorry but it’s not good. It’s so bland and flavourless. I looked at the recipe again because I though maybe I missed something and I didn’t. My husband ended adding a bunch of stuff just so it was edible

    • Hi
      I think this recipe needs something else too. So I added a can of Mexican tomatoes, a can of Rotella, a tsp of sugar, 1 tbps chili powder, 1 tbs paprika, 1/4 cup chives” 1 /2 bell pepper, a hillashire link sausage cut up. Forget the tomato soup and use celery or creme of chicken soup and 1 c chicken broth instead of water. Add 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. And yes, it will be spicy good but not too much.
      I loved this added to the rest of the recipe but I just couldn’t help myself. I just had to spice it up.
      Thbank you for the recipes. Turned out great..
      Kristen Roberds

  6. erin sikink Reply

    OhEmGeeee!! i LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe. nothing could be easier than whipping this up before leaving the house for today. as a busy business professional i dont have a lot of time before rushing out the door in the morning. and sometimes when i get home i just dont have the time or energy to get a hot home cooked meal together. it feels like quite a few days of the week i just plop down on the couch with a microwave dinner and a box of wine LOZ!
    i made this last night and it was fantastic. i even let my cat eat a little and she loved it, and she NEVER loves sweedz meatz (what i call microwave swedish meatballs), so this meal fed us both hahah <3 <3 <3 this recipe, il be following your site closely! thanks!

  7. Lori Smith Reply

    I have a question. When you say a can of tomato soup, do you mean a can of condensed tomato soup (ex: Campbell’s) or do you mean more like a can of “heat and serve” (ex: Progresso Tomato Basil)?

  8. Casseroles are great when you have a busy week but to make it in the slow cooker! Amazing!

  9. Jacque Hastert Reply

    I have never made this, but seeing how easy it is to make it will be on my list.

  10. I’ve never even heard of this before but it sounds like a dinner I can’t mess up, lol!

  11. How well do you think this would work with other soups? Like maybe a French onion, or mushroom?

  12. Lucille Machia Reply

    The recipes all look great. If you have a news letter or website please add me to it. ☺

  13. Oh man, I about died laughing when I saw the title of this post! I couldn’t believe anybody would blog about (what I know as “shipwreck”). We had a casserole called “shipwreck” that my dad made all the time when I was a kid. My high school boyfriend still jokes about how many times he ate it and how bad it was. Our recipe used a can of baked beans instead of soup (there was ketchup in there, too), and no rice. I don’t remember vegetables other than the potatoes. It was hella gross! This, on the other hand, looks pretty darn good.

    • LOL! Yes, your version sounds…..um… not that appetizing with the beans. This one is reaaaally good – especially if you top it with cheese at the end!

      • I’m pretty sure my dad saw the original recipe and was like, “um, we don’t have tomato soup, but we do have beans. Close enough.”

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