Jalapeño Popper Shotgun Shells

A Texas twist on smoked shotgun shells. Pasta tubes stuffed with cream cheese, spicy sausage, and jalapenos then encased in salty bacon.
jalapeno popper shotgun shells

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With over 7M views on TikTok and over 2M views on Instagram, my Smoked Shotgun Shells recipe took the internet by storm. You guys loved them so much that I decided to re-create them with a little bit of a Texas twist.

Jalapeño poppers are a classic snack, and these Jalapeño Popper Shotgun Shells are sure to impress your guests at your next barbecue. Manicotti pasta stuffed with cream cheese, spicy breakfast sausage, and diced jalapeños – then wrapped in bacon (because bacon makes everything better).

How to make Jalapeño Popper Shotgun Shells

These are pretty simple to make and don’t take long to whip up. You don’t even need to boil the manicotti before you stuff them (I’ll explain why in a second).

1. The Filling

All you need to do is take a bowl and combine the breakfast sausage, cream cheese, diced jalapeños, and a little bit of your favorite BBQ seasoning.

I used PS Seasoning El Dinero Hatch Chile Verde seasoning for this recipe. I love the flavor of hatch chiles combined with jalapeños, so I knew it was a perfect choice. 

You can use any rub you have lying around, or whip one up yourself using one of these great rubs you can make right at home.

2. Stuff and wrap

Once your sausage and cream cheese mixture are well-incorporated, it’s time to grab some gloves and start stuffing your manicotti. The gloves are technically optional, but with the cream cheese and the breakfast sausage, you’ll be glad you wore them.

As I mentioned before, you don’t need to cook the manicotti prior to stuffing as long as you plan to follow step three. If you’re short on time and can’t wait around 8 hours to get them on the smoker, I recommend par-boiling the pasta before stuffing.

Once each manicotti shell is stuffed with the sausage and cream cheese mixture, wrap them in 1 to 2 slices of bacon – just enough to ensure the entire pasta shell is covered in bacon.

After they’re wrapped, sprinkle a little bit more of that barbecue rub over the top of each one.

raw jalapeno popper shotgun shells on a white plate
The rest period in the fridge is essential to ensure your manicotti is nice and soft when they’re done.

3. Let them sit

Store your shotgun shells in the fridge for 8 hours prior to cooking. This will allow the manicotti time to soften so don’t end up with crunchy manicotti in your shotgun shell.

You can prep these up to 3 days in advance, making them PERFECT when you’re planning a party and cooking for a crowd.

4. Fire Up the Smoker

When you’re ready to smoke your jalapeño popper shotgun shells, fire up your smoker to 250°F.

I smoked these on my Camp Chef Woodwind 24 with Bear Mountain Oak pellets. You could also do these on the grill; just make sure to keep the temperature low, so the sausage has plenty of time to cook without overcooking the bacon.

raw shotgun shells on the grill
Once your smoker is preheated, the shotgun shells are ready to hit the grill!

You’re going to let them smoke for about 90 minutes, then kick up the temperature in your smoker to 350°F to crisp up that bacon. Let them cook at 350°F for another 10 minutes, then grab your favorite barbecue sauce and a basting brush.

5. Hit them with a little sauce

For this recipe, I used the Blazing Star BBQ Spicy Sauce. It’s a really unique sauce that cannot be compared to other store-bought sauces. It’s got a nice, spicy kick and is packed full of flavor while not being overbearing. It’s definitely one of my favorites around!

If you prefer to make your own barbecue sauce, here are 13 BBQ Sauces You Can Make at Home.

cooked shotgun shells on the grill
You want to cook them until the sauce starts to get tacky and the bacon is crisped to your liking.

Once they are well-coated in that sauce, you’re going to let them cook for another 10 minutes or so. Then, these Jalapeño Popper Shotgun Shells are ready to enjoy!

Looking for some more spicy appetizers? Give these a go:

jalapeno popper shotgun shells

Jalapeño Popper Shotgun Shells

Tubes of pasta stuffed with cream cheese, spicy sausage, and jalapenos then encased in salty bacon.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Sitting time: 8 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Breanna Stark

Ingredients

  • 10 manicotti shells
  • 1 lb spicy breakfast sausage
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • ½ cup pickled jalapeños diced
  • 2 tbsp barbecue rub
  • 20 slices bacon
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce

Instructions

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the spicy breakfast sausage, cream cheese, diced pickled jalapeños, and 1½ tablespoons of the barbecue rub. Mix with your hands until well-incorporated.
  • Lay out your uncooked manicotti shells and stuff each one full of the sausage and cream cheese mixture.
  • Once they are stuffed, wrap each manicotti shell in 1 to 2 slices of bacon – just enough to ensure every portion of the pasta shell is covered.
  • Sprinkle the remaining barbecue rub over the top of each one.
  • Store in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
  • When ready to cook, preheat your smoker to 250°F.
  • Place your shotgun shells directly on the grates.
  • Let them smoke for 1½ hours, then increase the temperature on the smoker to 350°F.
  • Let them cook another 10 minutes, then brush each one with barbecue sauce and let them cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!
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