Traeger Smoked Shotgun Shells

Curious to try smoked shotgun shells? Let me introduce you to this delicious appetizer that is all the rage at the moment.

Traeger smoked shotgun shells are pasta tubes stuffed with a mixture of ground beef and cheese then wrapped in bacon and given a delicious sweet glaze.

They have to be one of my favorite appetizer cooked on the smoker! Below I have included my simple five method for producing the best smoked shotgun shells (or so my family tell me)

shotgun-shells-smoker-cooling-on-rack

What Are Smoked Shotgun Shells

Imagine pasta stuffed with meaty and cheesy goodness, along with garlic, jalapenos, onion and BBQ rub. Then the pasta shells are wrapped in bacon, because we all know everything tastes better wrapped in bacon! Then they are throw in the smoker to give that delicious smoky hit

What You Need for Traeger Smoked Shotgun Shells

  • Uncooked manicotti shells or cannelloni shells as a substitute
  • Beef Mince
  • Ground Sausage (we love Italian Sausage)
  • Bacon (we prefer smoked)
  • Pepper Jack or Cheddar Cheese
  • Brown Onion
  • Garlic (minced)
  • Jalapeno
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Dry Rub (store brought or use my recipe below)

Homemade Dry Rub Ingredients

Want to make your own seasoning rub? Mix the following ingredients in a bowl

  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chili pepper flakes

Why You’ll Love This Traeger Smoked Shotgun Shells Recipe

Who couldn’t love pasta stuffed with meat, wrapped in bacon, and covered with melting cheese… Hmm… let me think why your love it!

This appetizer covers all the key flavor components our brain loves!

– Sweetness from the bbq sauce and brown sugar.

– Umami savory goodness from the smoke.

– Salty heaven from the slices of bacon.

– Fat from the tons of cheese your mum never let you have!

Do I need to say more?

How to Make Smoked Shotgun Shells

Below are my five easy steps to making shotgun shells

Step 1: Make the Filling for the Shotgun Shells

Place the BBQ rub (leave aside 1/5 of the BBQ rub), beef, sausage meat, onion, garlic, jalapenos, cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese together in a bowl and mix well, you may need to use your hands.

Tip: For a healthier alternative use ground turkey meat.

bacon-shotgun-shells-on-a-traeger

Step 2: How to Assemble the Shotgun Shells

Stuff the Manicotti shells with your meat and cheese mixture, then carefully wrap the bacon around each one, covering completely and then place on a wire rack. Then sprinkle the remaining BBQ rub on the bacon.

Place on a wire rack on a pan and put it in the refrigerator for 4 -6 hours

Step 3: Smoke The Shotgun Shells

Preheat the smoker to 275°F, and wait until it comes up to temp. Place the wire rack in the smoker and smoke for 60 minutes or until the bacon is starting to crispy. Once the bacon is starting to crisp increase the temperature to 350°F, take the rack out of the smoker and brush the shells with BBQ sauce.

Place the rack back in the smoker and cook for another 15 minutes and allow the sauce to caramelize.

After 15 minutes remove the rack from the smoker and serve immediately.

smoked-shotgun-shells-traeger-appetizer

What Is the Temperature to Smoke the Shotgun Shells?

There are two stages of cooking, set your Traeger smoker to 275°F for the first stage of cooking, this stage of cooking takes about an hour.

We will then be ramping up the heat to 350°F for the last 15 mins. This is when we will be adding the sauce and getting those pieces of bacon crispy!

How Long to Smoke the Shotgun Shells on a Traeger?

  You are looking at roughly 90 minutes in total to prepare and smoke the shotgun shells.

What Woodchips to Use for Smoking Shotgun Shells?

You don’t need to be confined to particular pellets for light or heavy-flavored smoke. Want a stronger-tasting appetizer? Use the almighty hickory!

The bacon you used is already heavily smoked? Pick a mild and sweet wood like cherry or apple! Play around with what you enjoy and even use your favorite pellets for other dishes.

Equipment You Need for Making Smoked Shotgun Shells

  • Traeger Pellet grill or charcoal smoker
  • Favorite wood pellets (We used Traeger applewood pellets)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Sharp knife
  • Wire rack
  • Airtight container
  • Thermometer probe
  • Basting brush
traeger-shotgun-shells-bbq-under-smoked-pie

What Else Can You Put in Your Shotgun Shell?

I thought you would never ask! Prefer sharp cheddar cheese to pepper jack? Do it! Don’t eat beef? Use ground pork…Below are more ideas of what to add into your shells mix

Diced Mushrooms

Olives

Blue Cheese

Pine Nuts

Ricotta

What to Serve With Our Traeger Shotgun Shells?

You can either serve these as an appetizer or as a side. Below are some some other appetizers you can serve them with as well as some mains

Smoked Carrots

Smoked Asparagus

Grilled Brussel Sprouts

Smoked Brisket

Smoked Tomahawks

Looking for More Delicious Appetizers with Bacon?

Smoked Jalapeno Poppers

Smoked Mashed Potatoes Topped With Bacon

Smoked Bacon Mac and Cheese

Smoked Meatloaf Stuffed with Bacon and Cheese

Smoked-Shotgun-Shells
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Traeger Smoked Shotgun Shells

What could be better than meat and cheese stuffed in pasta tubes, wrapped in bacon and then brushed with BBQ sauce and smoked for just an hour for a tasty appitzer, snack or side,
Prep Time1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Dinner, lunch, main, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, bbq, dinner, grill, lunch
Servings: 10 serves
Calories: 278kcal
Author: Charlie
Cost: 12

Equipment

  • Traeger Smoker
  • Favorite wood pellets (We used Traeger applewood pellets)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Sharp knife
  • Wire rack
  • Airtight container
  • Thermometer probe
  • Basting brush

Ingredients

  • 1 box uncooked manicotti shells or cannelloni shells as a substitute
  • 1 lb beef mince or meat mixture of your choice
  • 10 ounces sausage meat we love Italian sausages
  • 10 slices bacon we prefer smoked
  • 1 cup Pepper jack cheese
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese
  • 1 whole brown onion diced
  • 1 clove fresh garlic minced
  • 1 whole jalapeno sliced
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp of your favorite Traeger dry rub seasoning

Homemade Spice Rub Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chili pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Place the BBQ rub (leave aside 1/5 of the BBQ rub), beef, sausage meat, onion, garlic, jalapenos, cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese together in a bowl and mix well, you may need to use your hands.
  • Stuff the Manicotti shells with your meat and cheese mixture, then carefully wrap the bacon around each one, covering completely and then place on a wire rack. Then sprinkle the remaining BBQ rub on the bacon.
  • Place on a wire rack on a pan and put it in the refrigerator for 4 -6 hours
  • Preheat the smoker to 275°F, and wait until it comes up to temp. Place the wire rack in the smoker and smoke for 60 minutes or until the bacon is starting to crispy.
  • Once the bacon is starting to crisp increase the temperature to 350°F, take the rack out of the smoker and brush the shells with BBQ sauce.
  • Place the rack back in the smoker and cook for another 15 minutes and allow the sauce to caramelize.
  • After 15 minutes remove the rack from the smoker and serve immediately.

Smoke On!

Charlie

Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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2 thoughts on “Traeger Smoked Shotgun Shells”

  1. 5 stars
    Hi,

    I followed your recipe but I added blue and mushrooms to the shotgun shells and it was so delicious!! Do you think its ok to let them cook for 25 minutes with the bbq sauce on? I like the sauce to be really caramlised

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Diesel,
      so glad your enjoyed them!! I will be trying them with blue cheese soon too! I think it would be fine to cook for the 25 minutes I would just keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t burn.

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