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The original recipe is from Deep South Dish.com. I use a 9x13 casserole dish and add about 2 cups diced ham, a whole pound of smoked sausage (chopped) and a whole cup of cheese (separated).
- 1 (10 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup or 1 (10 ounce) can chicken soup
- 1 cup milk
- 1⁄2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup of chopped vidalia onions or 1⁄2 cup other sweet onion
- 1⁄4 cup of chopped green bell pepper
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
- 1⁄2 lb smoked sausage, chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon cajun seasoning
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 lb frozen tater tots
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray a 9 x 9 inch casserole dish with non-stick spray; set aside. Whisk together the cream soup and milk until well blended; set aside.
- Add olive oil to a large skillet and saute the onion and bell pepper until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ground beef and brown; drain if needed and return to the skillet. Add the minced garlic, cook and stir another minute. Add in the chopped smoked sausage and cook about 3 minutes. Stir in the basil, thyme, Cajun seasoning; taste and add salt and pepper only as needed. Transfer meat mixture to the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese. Evenly pour the soup mixture over the top. Arrange the tater tots on top and bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until potatoes are nicely browned and crisp. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of shredded cheese on top and return to the oven just until cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately with a green vegetable or a mixed garden salad.