Shipwreck Casserole (In the Slow Cooker)

top down view of Shipwreck Casserole in crockpot

Site Index Casserole Ground beef Ground beef casserole Rice Slow cooker

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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!

close up ground beef Casserole in a crockpot
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!

top down view of Shipwreck Casserole

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.

cooking the rice on a crockpot with lid on top

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

close up Shrimp Fettucini Alfredo on a plate with blue line design

Lazy Cabbage Casserole

Lazy Cabbage Casserole in a transparent bowl on white background

Creamy Yellow Bean & Potato Soup

Creamy Yellow Bean & Potato Soup in a white bowl over a vintage white plate

Happy cooking!



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Shipwreck Casserole (In the Slow Cooker)

Ground beef Shipwreck Casserole! It's layers of onions, potatoes, ground beef and rice & your favourite tomato soup! It turns out absolutely delicious!
4.99 from 99 votes
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Slow Cooker / Crockpot
Karlynn Johnston


  • 2 white onions sliced
  • 4 medium potatoes sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef uncooked
  • 1/2 – ¾ tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/2 cup white rice uncooked
  • 2 cups of carrots sliced
  • one 10 ounces can of condensed tomato soup ( I use roasted red pepper for extra flavour! Use your favourite soup!)
  • 1 1/2 cups of water


  • 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:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 °F.
  • Place onions in the bottom of a well greased 9×13 baking dish. Add the potatoes, then the carrots.
  • Mix the seasoning salt into the ground beef then spread the beef over top of the vegetables then sprinkle with rice.
  • Mix together the tomato soup and the water then pour over top.
  • Cover with tin foil.
  • Cook for two hours, until the vegetables are soft and the rice has cooked.

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Place onions in the bottom of a well greased slow cooker. Add the potatoes, then the carrots.
  • Mix the seasoning salt into the ground beef then spread the beef over top of the vegetables then sprinkle with rice.
  • Mix together the tomato soup and the water then pour over top.
  • Cover with tin foil. ( this is the best way to seal your crockpot) and place the crockpot lid on top.
  • 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!
  • If you have trouble cooking the rice, put the rice UNDER the ground beef to cook.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 458kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 80mg, Sodium: 125mg, Potassium: 1100mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 7130IU, Vitamin C: 21.5mg, Calcium: 92mg, Iron: 7.1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Site Index Casserole Ground beef Ground beef casserole Rice Slow cooker

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Sharron Biccum says

    Best to put the rice on the veggies then add the meat. Also add Worcestershire sauce to the meat with garlic powder and salt and pepper This will boast the flavor which is needed4 stars

  2. Amy says

    We love a crockpot shipwreck around here. Here are the small changes we’ve made over time to perfect it to our families liking that others might enjoy. First I always use instant rice. If using instant, it cooks down and disappears into the mixture and acts as a thickener. The end result is just like a beef stew. We omit the onions, nobody but me eats them and its one less ingredient to buy and prep. I use chicken or beef broth in place of the water that is mixed with the tomato soup for extra flavor. And I generously season each layer (potatoes, carrots, hamburger) with garlic salt, black pepper, and onion powder. The whole family enjoys it and we keep it on regular rotation!5 stars

  3. dave says

    OK: just served this. I am a cook and a baker. For some unknown reason; this intriqed me. My bad. Just served this rendition of food; ……again…my bad. Move on! don’t waste your time on this poor thought out recipe. It is cooking at it’s basest form. I may be able to be talked into serving this to my dog…poor dog!

  4. Dave says

    OK, followed the directions. Sprinkling the rice on top….bad idea. I was disappointed because the rice is left on top to be cooked crispy. Not cool. I would not put the rice on ” at all”

  5. STEVEN says

    I didn’t like it at all…… needs cheese or something. Have made better Hamburger Helper. I tossed it over the fence for the woods wildlife

  6. Rand says

    I grew up with this as a kid. My mom and dad always used a can of crushed tomatoes and added Worcestershire sauce,either a little cider or maybe white vinegar,salt pepper and garlic to can of crushed tomatoes and old bay seasoning. Yo the hamburger they added salt,pepper,Worcestershire sauce and garlic(I think) I was a kid,but you have the basics of this recipe and play with spices and veggies you enjoy. Thank you for posting it! I’m going to attempt tomorrow for my family!

    • Rand says

      Karylyn,this was a great find for me even though I know it’s a bit different forms yours. As I said,I was a kid,and didn’t really know how to assemble it all,or veggies needed to be partially par boiled,or if rice needed to be cooked first. My Dad never really cooked with recipes,so a few ingredients I may not have right,and sorry I don’t have any measurements,but I’m so excited to make this! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  7. Laureen says

    You have two different cooking times; 1 hour at the beginning of the recipe and two hours in step 6. My mom’s recipe is very similar, no potatoes and add Parmesan cheese 10 minutes before the end of cooking time

    • Rand says

      I think the first version is done in the oven and second one in crock pot. Or maybe you’re seeing something I’m not seeing. What I saw was the oven version cooks for 2 hours and slow cooker on low for 6-8.

    • Katie Wilson says

      Your right, it does say 1hour at the beginning of the recipe and then 2 hours in step 6.

  8. Jackie says

    I halved the recipe but kept the meat and the tomato soup the same. It definitely needed more salt and more sauce. The overall flavour Was ok and will be great with the extra salt and moisture. I think I will like it better if I up the rice and meat and use less potatoes too.

  9. Louisette says

    Never heard of this recipe before but after reading the ingredients I thought it looked good so I made it for supper tonight. We all loved it. The only thing I changed was that I added about 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes. Next time, because there will be one, I will add some red sweet peppers and a bit of Sambal oelek or Tabasco for some heat.

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