1. Preheat oven to 350°. Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 6 to 8 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink; drain.
2. Stir in tomatoes and next 3 ingredients, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Transfer sausage mixture to a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.
3. Stir together mashed potatoes, cheese, and Italian seasoning in a large bowl. (Mixture will be dry.) Spread potato mixture over sausage mixture in baking dish.
4. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until bubbly. Top with fried onions, and bake 5 more minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
*1 (1 1/4-lb.) package ground chicken sausage may be substituted.
**1/2 tsp. dried basil may be substituted.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Bob Evans Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning Blend.