Everything Newfoundland & Labrador with its Culture, Cuisine and Traditions

Seven Layer Dinner (Ship Wreck)

The origin of the Seven Layer Dinner or sometimes called Ship Wreck is questionable. However, some years ago, Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans who lived in isolated communities were at times faced with the scarcity of food due to harsh winters and the unavailability of supermarkets in their area. As the old saying goes “we’re shipwrecked” was used when cupboards and larders were pretty-well empty.

Speaking with some of the older folks, they do remember the Seven Layer Dinner dish on occasion was referred to “Shipwrecked.” Anyone I spoke with regarding this recipe had a different version, yet, all had the basics; potato, onion and carrots or parsnips. As far as meats go, when and if they had any, used chicken, beef, lamb, pork or any type of wild game, some used salt cod.

The modern version of this recipe is rather simple and delicious; potatoes, rice, onions, carrot, canned green peas, canned tomato soup, breakfast sausages or ground pork/beef and salt/pepper for seasoning. If you have any information or stories regarding this dish, please contact me at kjp@saltjunk.com

Newfoundland Recipes-Seven Layer Dinner4-www.saltjunk.comMakes 6 servings


  • 2 tbsp butter (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 lg onions (thinly sliced)
  • 6 breakfast pork sausage
  • 4 lg potatoes (thinly sliced)
  • 4 carrots (thinly sliced)
  • ½ cup uncooked rice
  • 1 lg can (16 oz) green peas with liquid
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 can water
  • Salt & pepper


In a skillet, med-heat, sauté onion and sausage in butter until golden brown. In a deep well-greased casserole dish, evenly layer potatoes, cooked onions and carrots (complete until 2 or 3 layers are done). Season to taste each layer. Sprinkle uncooked rice over vegetables. Add green peas (including liquid) and arrange pork sausage on top. Dilute tomato soup with water and pour over entire mixture.

Bake covered at 350F for 1 hour. Remove cover and continue baking for 30 minutes or until vegetables are cooked and tender. Let set for 10  minutes prior to serving. Garnish with pickled beets, mustard pickles and onions. Excellent with fresh home-made bread and a good cup of steeped tea.

 lord love a duck – alternate to swearing



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