Smoked Shotgun Shells is a delicious appetizer recipe. Bacon-wrapped shells are cooked in the smoker for a crowd pleasing recipe.

Close up image of Smoked Shotgun Shells
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This smoked shotgun shells recipe is always on our menu when we use our smoker. Manicotti shells are stuffed with a sausage, cream cheese mixture and cooked perfectly in the smoker for an easy smoker recipe.

We love that slices of bacon are wrapped around the shells for added flavor. This appetizer is perfect for game day parties or holiday dinners. You will love how simple they are to make and with easy ingredients.

You may also love these Smoked Jalapeno Poppers. If you are new to using your smoker, check our Smoker Recipes for Beginners.

What are Smoked Shot Gun Shells?

Smoked shotgun shells is the ultimate appetizer recipe. If you love cooking outdoors then you need to make this recipe. Fill uncooked noodles with a meat mixture and then wrap in bacon.

They come out smoky, crispy with a delicious filling on the inside. We love using our smoker and we always cook these along side our meats.

Ingredients 

Ingredients needed for Smoked Shotgun shells - manicotti shells, italian sausage, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, bacon, bbq sauce, cajun seasoning, garlic powder, black pepper, red pepper flakes
  • Box Manicotti Shells (8 ounces) 
  • Italian Sausage 
  • Cream Cheese 
  • Mozzarella Cheese (shredded) 
  • Piece of Bacon 
  • Barbecue Sauce 

For the Seasoning Mixture

  • Cajun Seasoning
  • Garlic Powder 
  • Black Pepper 
  • Red Pepper Flakes 

Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe and ingredients in the recipe card.

Variation Ideas

  • Change the Meat – Feel free to stuffed shells with different types of meat. You can use hot Italian Sausage, ground pork sausage, ground beef or ground turkey.
  • Bacon – You can use a variety of types of bacon to make this recipe. We like using thick-cut bacon but there are different flavors to choose from.
  • Cheese – We used mozzarella cheese but feel free to use Monterey Jack Cheese, Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Pepper Jack, or Gouda cheese. All delicious addition to this recipe.
  • Pasta Shells – Manicotti Noodles work great for this recipe, but any pasta tubes will work great.
  • Jalapenos – Jalapenos is also a great addition to this recipe. They add an extra kick to the mixture.

Step by Step Instructions 

Combining the dry seasoning mixture in a bowl

Step 1 – Combine Seasoning – Mix the seasoning mixture together in a small bowl and set aside. 

Combining the sauce with cream cheese and cheese

Step 2 – Mix the Sausage Filling – In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sausage, and cream cheese. Add in mozzarella shredded cheese and half of the seasoning mixture.  This mixture will be thick and you’ll have to use your hands to thoroughly combine the ingredients.  

Stuffing the shells with the sausage mixture

Step 3 – Stuff the Shells – Stuff the Manicotti shells with the sausage mixture.  You can do this with a small spoon. Use a piping bag with a large tip to pipe the mixture into the shells. 

Bacon wrapped shotgun shells on a baking sheet

Step 4 – Wrap Bacon – Wrap each of the shells completely with bacon.  You want the bacon to completely cover up the entire sheet. Place the wrapped shells on a wire rack over a large sheet pan.  Season the outside of the wrapped shells with the remaining seasoning mixture.

  • Step 6 – Chill – Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight. 
  • Step 7 – Preheat Smoker – When you are ready to cook the shells, preheat the smoker 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Smoke with your favorite type of chips. 
  • Step 8 – Place in Smoker – Remove the wire rack from the baking sheet. Then place the rack in the smoker with the shells on them. 
  • Step 9 – Smoke – Smoke them for 1 hour and flip the shells half way through the cooking time. 
  • Step 10 – Cook on High Temperature – Then turn the smoker temperature up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cook at 350 the shells at the higher temperature for 10-15 minutes to brown the bacon. 
  • Step 11 – Baste Shells – Once the bacon is crispy, baste the barbecue sauce onto the shells with a basting brush. Then smoke the shells for 10-15 more minutes to caramelize the BBQ sauce.  
  • Step 12 – Serve and enjoy – Remove the shells from the smoker.  Let the rest for 5 minutes and then they are ready to serve and enjoy. 
Close up image of Smoked Shotgun Shells

Recipe Tips

  • Stuffing the Shells – When adding the mixture to the uncooked manicotti shells be very gently. The shells to could break easily while stuffing.
  • Completely Stuff Shells – For best results, we recommend adding the sausage mixture completely in the shells. You may need to use the end of a wooden spoon to push the mixture through.
  • Chill Shells – After stuffing the shells, make sure to allow the shells mixture to chill in the fridge. We like to prepare the night before cooking to allow time to chill in the fridge.

Can I Make in the Oven?

Yes, you can make these in the oven or the air fryer. We love the smoky flavor the smoker gives these stuffed cheese wrapped in bacon. But they cook great in the oven.

You can bake in a preheated oven of 400 degrees for 15 minutes. We recommend to broil them for about 2 minutes to get the bacon crispy.

Close up image of Smoked Shotgun Shells on a serving platter

How to Store Leftovers

These are best served fresh while the bacon is crispy. But you can refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 week.  

We recommend reheating the shells in the air fryer to make the bacon crispy again.

More Easy Smoked Recipes

We love to hear from you. If you make this smoked shot gun shells recipe, please leave us a comment or star review.

Smoked Shot Gun Shells

5 from 2 votes
Smoked Shotgun Shells is a delicious appetizer recipe. Bacon-wrapped shells are cooked in the smoker for a crowd pleasing recipe.
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Let Sit 5 minutes
Total Time 7 hours 35 minutes
Servings 12
Cuisine Italian
Course Main Course
Calories 373

Ingredients

  • 1 Box Manicotti Shells 8 ounces
  • 1 Pound Italian Sausage
  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese
  • 4 ounces Mozzarella Cheese shredded
  • 1 pound Bacon
  • 1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce

For the Seasoning Mixture:

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Instructions

  • Mix the seasoning mixture together in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sausage, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese and half of the seasoning mixture.  This mixture will be thick and you’ll have to use your hands to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
  • Stuff the Manicotti shells with the sausage mixture.  You can do this with a small spoon or use a piping bag with a large tip to pipe the mixture into the shells.
  • Wrap each of the shells completely with bacon.  You want the bacon to completely cover up the entire sheet.
  • Place the wrapped shells on a wire rack over a large sheet pan.  Season the outside of the wrapped shells with the remaining seasoning mixture.
  • Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight.
  • When you are ready to cook the shells, preheat the smoker 250 degrees Fahrenheit with your favorite type of chips.
  • Remove the wire rack from the baking sheet and place the rack in the smoker with the shells on them.
  • Smoke them for 1 hour and flip the shells half way through the cooking time.
  • Then turn the smoker temperature up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cook the shells at the higher temperature for 10-15 minutes to brown the bacon.
  • Once the bacon is crispy, baste the barbecue sauce onto the shells with a basting brush and smoke the shells for 10-15 more minutes to caramelize the barbecue sauce.
  • Remove the shells from the smoker.  Let the rest for 5 minutes and then they are ready to serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

These are best served fresh while the bacon is crispy but you can refrigerate the leftovers i

Nutrition Facts

Calories 373kcal, Carbohydrates 23g, Protein 16g, Fat 24g, Saturated Fat 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat 3g, Monounsaturated Fat 9g, Trans Fat 0.05g, Cholesterol 62mg, Sodium 817mg, Potassium 258mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 6g, Vitamin A 500IU, Vitamin C 12mg, Calcium 77mg, Iron 4mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Grill on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. From the Best Blackstone recipes, to grilling, and easy smoker recipes, together we are going to cook real food, with easy ingredients… for real families!

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