These Smoked Shotgun Shells are tender manicotti shells loaded with pulled pork, cream cheese, two types of cheese, and jalapeños, then wrapped in crispy and smoky bacon.
They’re rich, smoky, creamy, spicy, crispy, and so darn good!
Parboil the Shells
First, let’s pre-cook the manicotti shells. Now, we’re not cooking them long. Just enough to soften them up a bit so they can finish cooking in the smoker. Don’t skip this step! I know of people who have tried this recipe without pre-cooking the shells because they’re afraid of overcooking them. Instead, they end up with crunchy Smoked Shotgun Shells, which is not what we’re looking for.
So, bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add in the manicotti shells. Let the pasta cook for just 1-1.5 minutes, then pull them out and let them cool for 10 minutes.
Make the Filling
Okay, next up: the pork cream cheese filling! This mixture is rich, flavorful, and oh-so-creamy. Perfect for stuffing into tender shells to make Smoked Shotgun Shells!
To make your filling, mix together finely chopped pulled pork, plain cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, your favorite BBQ seasoning, and diced jalapeños. When it comes to the jalapeños, you can make them as spicy or not as you wish. The more seeds in the peppers, the spicier your Smoked Shotgun Shells will be. If you don’t love spice, remove all of the seeds. If you really don’t like spice, just skip the jalapeños altogether.
Assemble the Smoked Shotgun Shells
Transfer the cream cheese filling into a large plastic bag. Use a pair of scissors to snip off a small corner of the bag. This is our makeshift piping bag! If you actually have a piping bag on hand, feel free to use that.
Pipe the filling into the pre-cooked pasta shells. Make sure to distribute it so that all of the Smoked Shotgun Shells are equally full.
Next, lay two slices of bacon out so they resemble the number “7”. Place the filled pasta onto the top strip of bacon, then fold the sides over so they cover the side holes. Roll the pasta up with the other slice of bacon so that it covers the pasta completely, then repeat with the remaining pasta shells. Again, you’ll need two slices of bacon per shell!
Finish your Smoked Shotgun Shells assembly by sprinkling the outside of the shells with the BBQ seasoning of your choice. Place them into the refrigerator and let them chill for 2-4 hours. The longer the better!
Cook Your Smoked Shotgun Shells
Next up, it’s time to cook. First, preheat your smoker to a temperature of 250ºF for indirect cooking. Feel free to add in some wood chips or chunks to kick the smoky flavor of your shells up a notch.
Pull the shotgun shells out of the fridge and place them carefully onto the smoker. Let them cook for 1-1.5 hours or until the bacon is darker and crispy.
Lastly, glaze the outside of the shells with your favorite BBQ sauce, then continue to cook until the sauce is tacky, dry, and caramelized.
Pull the Smoked Shotgun Shells out of the smoker, allow them to cool for 10 minutes, then slice and dig in!
Smoked Shotgun Shells
These Smoked Shotgun Shells are manicotti shells loaded with a rich pulled pork cream cheese filling and wrapped in crispy bacon.
- 10-12 Manicotti Shells
- ¼ cup Favorite BBQ Seasoning
- ½ cup Spicy BBQ Sauce
- 20-24 Sliced Bacon thin
- ½ cup Finely Chopped Pulled Pork
- ¼ cup Plain Cream Cheese
- ⅛ cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- ⅛ cup Shredded Jack Cheese
- 1 tbsp Favorite BBQ Seasoning
- 2 Jalapeños diced
Begin by bringing a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add your manicotti shells to the water to cook for only 1-1.5 minutes (not fully cooked). They should retain most of their hardness and shape. When done, pull them out and let them cool for 10 minutes.
In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the filling then place it in a large plastic bag and cut off a small corner so that it is easier to pipe the filling into the pasta. Pipe the filling into the past shells and set them to the side once done.
Next, lay out two slices of bacon so that they resemble the shape of the number “7”. Add your filled pasta to the top strip of bacon and fold the sides over so they cover the side holes of the pasta. Then, roll the pasta with the other slice of the bacon so that it covers the pasta completely. Do this for all the pasta shells and place on a rack once done. Finally, season the outside of the shells with your favorite BBQ seasoning and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours but ideally 4 hours.
Preheat your smoker for 250F indirect cooking. Add some wood chips or wood chunks for added smoke flavor if you desire.
Pull the shells out of the fridge and place on the smoker to cook for 1-1.5 hours. When the bacon is looking crispy and darkened, glaze the outside of the shells with your favorite BBQ sauce and continue cooking until the sauce has become tacky and dried. Once the shells are done, pull off and let cool for 10 minutes.
Slice, serve and enjoy!
Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek’s fire cooking journey. He’s a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he’s cooking up, it’s guaranteed to be so freakin’ delicious!