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Spicy Pork Shotgun Shells

Smoked Spicy Pork Shotgun Shells are a unique and flavorful appetizer that combines smoky bacon, spicy pork filling, and tender pasta. This dish is perfect for gatherings and BBQs, offering a delicious combination of textures and flavors. The manicotti shells are stuffed with a spicy pork mixture, wrapped in bacon, and smoked to perfection.

Spicy Pork Shotgun Shells

Shotgun shells are a fun viral recipe that took over the BBQ groups the past couple of years, and for good reason. They are delicious, and you can serve them in many different ways.

The manicotti shells are lightly boiled to soften them, then filled with a seasoned pork mixture that includes chili powder, our signature OWYD Spicy Pork Rub, cilantro, and Salsa Fresca sauce. Shredded mozzarella and cheddar jack cheeses, along with diced jalapeños, add richness and heat to the filling.

Why you’ll love this dish…

  • Unique Flavor Combination: Smoky bacon, spicy pork, and cheesy filling create a deliciously complex taste.
  • Great for Gatherings: Perfect appetizer for BBQs, parties, and get-togethers.
  • Easy to Make: Simple steps and ingredients make this recipe accessible for all skill levels.
  • Customizable Heat: Adjust the spice level to suit your preference by varying the amount of jalapeños and spicy rub.
  • Visually Impressive: The bacon-wrapped shells are sure to catch everyone’s eye.

Get all of my Traeger Recipes here!

Spicy Pork Shotgun Shells

Spicy Pork Shotgun Shells shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Manicotti Shells
  • Ground Pork
  • Chili Powder
  • OWYD Spicy Pork Rub
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • El Pato Salsa Fresca Sauce
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese
  • Diced Jalapeño Peppers
  • Bacon

Our Spicy Cowboy Beans also use our Spicy Pork Rub!

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Spicy Pork Shotgun Shells

How to Make Shotgun Shells on the Smoker

Wondering what you’re getting yourself into when you make this dish? Here’s a quick overview of the process! Make sure you follow the instructions at the recipe card at the bottom of the post while you’re cooking.

  1. Boil Manicotti Shells: Boil the shells for 3-4 minutes to soften.
  2. Prepare Pork Mixture: Combine ground pork, chili powder, spicy pork rub, cilantro, and Salsa Fresca.
  3. Add Cheese and Peppers: Mix in shredded cheeses and diced jalapeños.
  4. Stuff and Wrap: Fill shells with the pork mixture and wrap each in bacon.
  5. Grill and Finish: Grill for 25 minutes until the filling reaches 160°F, then crisp the bacon in a pan if needed.

Try our Wild Hog Chili with our Spicy Pork Rub!

Spicy Pork Shotgun Shells


How should I store leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or on the stovetop until warmed through.

Can I prepare this dish in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the shotgun shells a day in advance. It is best to cook them immediately before serving, however.

What variations can I try?

You can substitute the ground pork with ground beef or turkey. Adjust the spices and cheeses to suit your taste preferences.

Try our Verde Chicken Enchiladas

Spicy Pork Shotgun Shells

Serve this with…

  • Coleslaw: A tangy coleslaw balances the smoky and spicy flavors.
  • Baked Beans: Sweet and savory baked beans complement the richness of the pork.
  • Smoked Pulled Pork: A classic recipe using pork shoulder that never fails to win over your friends and family!
  • 0-400 Wings: This no-fail method for cooking chicken wings works on any grill or pellet smoker.
  • Salmon on the Pellet Grill: We’re obsessed with this salmon recipe, and you will be too after you try it!

More great Traeger recipes to love!

Meaty Traeger Appetizers

Spicy Pork Shotgun Shells

Spicy Pork Shotgun Shells

These spicy appetizers are perfect to serve at your next BBQ! My kids like making a whole meal out of them. Dip in salsa and sour cream for the ultimate appetizer experience.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Traeger Recipes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: appetizer
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Author: Nicole Johnson


  • 1 package manicotti shells
  • 1 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon OWYD spicy pork rub
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 can 7.75 oz El Pato Salsa Fresca sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced jalapeño peppers
  • 2 pounds bacon


  • Start a pot of well-salted water on the stove over high heat to boil. Preheat your grill to 350°F.
  • Boil the manicotti shells for 3-4 minutes to soften them just a bit. Drain and set aside.
  • Mix together the pork, chili powder, Spicy Pork Rub, cilantro, and Salsa Fresca until well combined.
  • Gently mix in the mozzarella and cheddar jack along with the diced jalapeño peppers.
  • Fill the manicotti shells with the pork mixture. Wrap with bacon.
  • Cook on the grill for about 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the filling reaches at least 160°F.
  • Remove from the grill.
  • If the bacon isn’t quite as crisp as you prefer it, finish the shotgun shells in a non-stick pan on the stovetop for 2-3 minutes each, turning frequently, until the bacon is fully cooked.
  • Let cool for 10-15 minutes and then enjoy!

Tools & Equipment


Calories: 905kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 39gFat: 72gSaturated Fat: 26gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 30gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 161mgSodium: 997mgPotassium: 580mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 614IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 198mgIron: 2mg
Nicole Johnson
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Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.

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