Casseroles might as well be the official meal of the Midwest, and growing up there, I definitely ate a whole lot of hearty hotdishes for dinner. One of my favorites is the Kickin' Cowboy Casserole, which has just the right amount of heat, topped with plenty of cheese. It's easy and quick to make, and great for leftovers too. Maybe not the best meal for calorie counters, but sometimes you just need some good comfort food in your life.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 14.5 ounce can of corn - drained
  • Can of black or red beans - drained
  • 10 ounce can of tomato soup
  • 1 or 2 diced jalapenos
  • Sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella or Colby jack cheese
  • 3 teaspoons of dried mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) of Cajun seasoning (I used Tony Chachere's)
  • 1 package of frozen tater tots
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley and oregano to taste
Kelsey Nistel/TSM
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Start by browning the beef over medium heat, drain
  3. Add beef back to pan and also pour in soup, a sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce, the beans (drained), corn (drained), diced jalapenos, mustard powder, salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning, letting them all simmer for 10 minutes -- You can add extra soup or tomato sauce if you want
  4. Grease a deeper-style baking dish and spread the tater tots in a layer across the bottom
  5. Cover the tater tots with 2 cups of cheese, pour beef mixture over cheese, and then put the remaining 2 cups of cheese on top of the meat mix
  6. Heat in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is golden brown
  7. Top with fresh parsley and oregano