Layered Shipwreck Casserole With Ground Beef

Browning Ground Beef for Layered Shipwreck Casserole
Colin Erricson/Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
633 Calories
27g Fat
50g Carbs
46g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 633
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 134mg 45%
Sodium 496mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 46g
Vitamin C 21mg 105%
Calcium 95mg 7%
Iron 7mg 37%
Potassium 1848mg 39%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This ground beef casserole has long been a popular family recipe, and it's a cinch to prepare and bake. It's called a shipwreck casserole because the layers of rice, potatoes, ground beef, and vegetables will most likely break down as it bakes. While the name makes it sound like a disastrous dish, this "dump" style casserole is absolutely delicious.

You will start this dish by browning the ground beef, which takes just a few minutes. There's no need to cook the rice because that's taken care of as it bakes between the potatoes and other veggies. The paprika, salt, and pepper seasoning are added with each layer to ensure even flavor, while the tomato soup and water mix gives it a perfect amount of moisture. The only drawback is that it takes a few hours to cook, but it's a good option for a weekend meal. You could also bake, cool, and refrigerate it in advance, then heat it back up for dinner.

The best part of any shipwreck casserole is that it's versatile and can handle whatever's in your pantry and fridge. Feel free to omit the potatoes and add more carrots or other vegetables, like green beans or corn. You can also up the tomato flavor by adding a can of diced tomatoes with juice along with the tomato soup, then cut the water to 3/4 cup.

No matter what you toss into your shipwreck, it's a thick and hearty casserole that's particularly nice on cold nights. Serve it with some bread and a side salad, fries, or onion rings, and a complete meal is ready for your family to enjoy.


  • Unsalted butter, for greasing pan

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef, at least 85 percent lean

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 3 medium potatoes, sliced

  • 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice

  • 1 cup chopped carrots

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed tomato soup

  • 1 cup boiling water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. ​Butter a 2 1/2-quart baking dish. Preheat the oven to 300 F (150 C, Gas 2).

  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the ground beef, stirring, until browned and no longer pink.

  4. Sprinkling each layer lightly with salt, pepper, and paprika, layer the onions and ground beef in the prepared baking dish. Then, layer the sliced potatoes, rice, carrots, and celery.

  5. Combine the tomato soup with the boiling water and pour it over the casserole.

  6. Cover and bake for 3 hours.

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