And from the depths of the Higgins household’s deep repertoire of quick-n-easy culinary creations comes a hearty, homey recipe that can be whipped together in about an hour with less than $20 and feed a crew of 8.

This is great for a cool spring or autumn evening or as the “I-forgot-to-cook-something-for-the-pitch-in” dish for church.

  • 1.5 lbs of ground chuck
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 10½oz cans of cream of mushroom condensed soup
  • 1 10½oz can of cream of chicken condensed soup
  • 1 14oz bag of frozen green beans (or 2 cans of green beans)
  • 1 bag frozen tater-tots
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven and cook the tater-tots according to the instructions on the package. Make certain they are extra-crispy. (I usually leave them in the oven about 5-10 minutes longer than the instructions.) When done cooking the tots, set oven to 350°.

While the tater-tots are cooking, place a large skillet on medium-high heat and add olive oil. When oil is hot, add the diced onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the ground beef and cook until brown. Drain the fat and place back in pan. Add the three cans of soup, chili powder, cumin, coriander and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place pan back on medium heat and mix until heated through, slightly bubbly.

Spray a 13×9 glass dish with cooking spray and line the bottom of the pan with the cooked tater-tots. Pour meat mixture over the tater-tots to cover and use a spoon to evenly spread the mix. Place dish, uncovered, in the over for 20-30 minutes until the casserole is bubbly. Turn the oven off, spread the cheese over the top of the casserole and place back in the oven until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

Serve with a side salad or other crispy green.