is pressed into the pan like a crust, then casserole is broken up and
stirred mid-way in the cook time so you get nice, solid pieces of beef
unlike the usual “brown-then-mix” version of this dish. Don’t worry, the meat will be completely cooked at the end.
added is everyone’s favorite–BACON–as a tasty condiment, green and
red bell peppers for super flavor and some french-fried onion for some
more added YUM factor. And it’s all topped off with sharp cheddar
cheese. Nothing could be better on a cold, wintry night.
used the mini potato patties (crowns) in this since the shape is more
appealing to my eye and since they’re flatter than the standard
cylindrical-shaped tater tots, they’ll brown and crisp faster.
**Don’t forget to read all the great ideas for substitutions that readers have given in the comments! Some wonderful ideas and taste change-ups!!!**
- 1 lb very lean ground beef (at least 85% lean)
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup (low-fat preferred, but not necessary)
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
- 6 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
- 1/2 cup french fried onions (such as French’s)
- 2 cups potato “crowns” or regular tater tots
ground beef into a 11 x 7-inch deep baking dish. Spread the potato
crowns evenly on top of the ground beef. Pour the soup over the potato
crowns. Sprinkle the diced bell peppers, bacon and french fried onions
on top of the soup. Distribute one cup of the cheese on top.
at 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir the
casserole, breaking meat into chunks. Add the rest of the cheese and
cook for an additional 20-30 minutes.