Simple Mexican Lasagna

Part of our time-saving #backtoschool recipe series. Tweet this Recipe

It’s time to get ready to set your clocks early, buy school supplies, and get ready for tons of homework. New friends will be made, and you will meet the new teachers. Sports are right around the corner, and you have a new schedule to follow. Yes, parents have it hard when school starts!

The beginning of a new school year is always exciting for the children, but it's a new year for the parents as well. Time management becomes crucial to keep things running smooth during the school week. Finding new ways to make life simpler becomes more important.

When it comes to dinner, I like to find quick and easy recipes that my whole family will enjoy. When Challenge introduced their new Salsa Cream Cheese, I knew this would make my life easier. There are so many possibilities in that little tub of yummy goodness. They did the hard part for me by adding the fresh peppers, onions, jalapeños, garlic, herbs, and seasonings to the cream cheese. This is a delicious way to save time and money! I came up with a savory pasta bake that is full of Mexican flavors and is so incredibly easy to make. In fact, you can make it in the morning and then pop it into the oven later while helping with homework.

Some things in life are hard, like math, homework, and carpooling. Dinner does not have to be. Keep it simple. Simplify your life and give Challenge Dairy’s new Salsa cream cheese a try and make dinner as fun as recess!




  • 16 ounces mini penne pasta
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1.3 ounce package taco seasoning
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 ounces Challenge Salsa Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese, divided
  • 1½cups sour cream
  • ⅛ cup diced fresh cilantro


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • 2
    Prepare pasta according to package directions, cooking four minutes less than directed.
  • 3
    Add ground beef to a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook until meat is cooked through. Drain off any extra liquid in pan, add taco seasoning.
  • 4
    Combine pasta, seasoned and cooked beef, canned tomatoes, salsa and water together in a large bowl or the pot you used to cook the pasta.
  • 5
    In a medium mixing bowl combine Salsa cream cheese with the sour cream.
  • 6
    To assemble, add half of the pasta mixture to a large 10x15 greased baking pan. Spoon the cream cheese mixture evenly on pasta, spread to make an even layer. Cover with 2 cups of shredded cheese. Add the remaining pasta, smoothing out to create the final layer. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
  • 7
    Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until pasta is bubbly. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro before serving.

Recipe By

Living a Creative Life

Suzanne Clark is a mother of five and enjoys living in Phoenix with her husband and her family. Every day is a creative endeavor for Suzanne. A self-taught artist and cook, she creates award winning recipes and decorates homes with her unique style and artwork. See more at Living a Creative Life.