Getting a quick and nutritious dinner on the table is not an easy task when you’re trying to decipher complicated recipes while simultaneously making sure the little ones have done their homework. With the right recipe, though, prep time can be a breeze. Assemble this dish in 10 minutes, then you’re free to spend time with the kiddos. Pop it out of the oven an hour later and you’ve got a complete and nutritious meal that your kids are sure to love.

Ingredients
4 cups marinara sauce
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon garlic
1 1/2 lbs. (about 14 tenders) raw chicken breast tenders, strips, or chopped
14 uncooked manicotti shells (8 oz.)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt to taste

Method
1. Heat oven to 375°F.  Spread about one third of the sauce into a 13×9 inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray.

2. Sprinkle garlic and salt on chicken and mix with hands until thoroughly combined. Insert chicken into uncooked manicotti shells, stuffing from end to end (use end of wooden spoon). Place stuffed shells on sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining sauce evenly over shells, covering completely. Sprinkle cheese over the top.

3. Cover with foil and bake about 1 hour or until shells are tender.

4. Take the foil off and bake for 15 more minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with basil leaves.

Makes 14 shells

This is a recipe from our friend Chef Scott Davis, The Culinary Dude, who teaches awesome cooking classes to families, parents and kids in Los Altos, Sacramento, Napa, Healdsburg, Los Angeles, Sausalito and San Francisco. For more information email Scott Davis or visit theculinarydudeontour.com for more details.

Photo courtesy of alanagkelly on Flickr.