This oven baked shotgun shells recipe is loaded with ground beef, sausage, cheese, seasoned perfectly, and more, stuffed into manicotti shells, wrapped in bacon, covered in barbecue sauce, and baked to crispy perfection. A delicious appetizer everyone will enjoy.
If you’ve never heard of shotgun shells as a food, then you’re so lucky you stopped by today. Because it’s sooooo good! I’ve been making shotgun shells for a little while now. They make the perfect appetizer for any occasion, and I’ve even been known to serve them as a fun meal for special days like birthdays or homecomings. It’s one of those recipes that has a name that leaves people scratching their heads and a flavor that always has them coming back fo more. It’s perfect for any party or get-together, and it’s so easy to make, you’ll be eager to churn out these tasty, bacon wrapped bites.
Oven Baked Shotgun Shells Recipes
This recipe starts with a mixture of ground beef and hot Italian sausage. Then, I combine it with diced jalapenos, zesty spices, Colby Jack cheese, and cream cheese. After that, it’s all stuffed into manicotti shells, wrapped in bacon, and baked to crispy, melty perfection. I love to serve them at any occasion possible. Whip up a batch of these for game days, potlucks, barbecues – anything you can think of, really.
Why You’ll Love This Oven Baked Shotgun Shells Recipe
- It’s a hearty, delicious appetizer recipe that everyone loves, and it goes quickly when served.
- It’s oven baked which is great for those who don’t own a smoker.
- It features noodles stuffed with ground beef, sausage, cheese, and more that are wrapped in bacon, basted with sauce, and baked to crispy perfection.
Shotgun Shells Recipe Ingredients
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this dish. Everything is readily available at your local grocery store. This recipe definitely doesn’t use anything fancy! The actual measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Manicotti noodles
- Ground beef
- Hot Italian sausage
- Colby jack cheddar cheese
- Cream cheese
- Slap Ya Mama seasoning
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Barbecue sauce
How to Make This Baked Shotgun Shells Recipe
This is an easy recipe that anyone can make. It’s just a simple matter of mixing and baking. You’ll be in and out in no time!
Step 1: Prep
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire rack on top of the baking sheet and set aside.
Step 2: Make the Filling
Combine all the ingredients except for the bacon and extra barbecue sauce.
Step 3: Stuff the Shells
Gently stuff the manicotti with the mixture from both ends, making sure the noodles are completely stuffed with no air pockets.
Step 4: Wrap
Wrap bacon around each stuffed shell, covering all parts of the shell, including the ends. You may need two slices of bacon.
Step 5: Bake
Brush extra barbecue sauce over both sides of the stuffed, bacon wrapped shells, place on the prepared baking rack, and bake for 60 minutes. Then, flip the shells, add more barbecue sauce, and bake for another 60-70 minutes.
Shotgun Shells Recipe Tips
- There is no need to boil the manicotti. The moisture from the meat filling and the fat from the bacon are enough to cook the noodles.
- It’s actually easier to stuff the manicotti if it hasn’t been cooked.
- Be gentle when stuffing the manicotti so you don’t crack the noodles.
- You can boil the shells for 2-3 minutes only, if desired, then stuff them.
- For a mild version, use mild Italian sausage and omit the diced jalapenos.
- Use your favorite brand and variety of bacon for this recipe.
- Use your favorite brand and variety of barbecue sauce for this recipe.
- Try using mild or hot breakfast sausage.
- Switch up the cheese and use sharp cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese or Monterey Jack cheese.
What to Serve with Oven Baked Shotgun Shells
These delicious appetizers are perfect with any of your favorite party foods. Serve them alongside other dishes and with sauces like:
- Pigs in a blanket
- Baked beans
- BBQ sauce
- Buffalo sauce
- Ranch dressing
These are just a few ideas. These shotgun shells are so good that you can literally serve them with anything. And I use the term literally in its truest sense.
Why are they called shotgun shells?
They’re called shotgun shells because they look like shotgun shells. The kind of shotgun shell that most people think of is a red tube, which is pretty much what these stuffed, bacon wrapped manicotti look like.
Should I boil the noodles before filling them?
If you’re extremely worried that the noodles won’t get soft, you can. I suggest only boil the noodles for 2-3 minutes. However, I find that it’s unnecessary, and it actually makes it more difficult to stuff them.
Can you make shotgun shells in the air fryer?
You sure can! Prepare the shotgun shells recipe as normal until it’s time to cook them. Then, air fry them at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until the bacon is crispy and the internal temperature is 165 degrees making sure to flip them half way through.
How long will this oven baked shotgun shells recipe last in the fridge?
These will last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Can you freeze leftover shotgun shells?
Absolutely. These freeze very well and will last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
How to Store and Reheat this Shotgun Shells Recipe
Store these oven baked shotgun shells in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days. For longer storage, freeze them for up to 3 months in an airtight, freezer-safe container.
To reheat, place the shotgun shells in a baking dish, cover it with foil, and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
Try This Delicious Oven Baked Shotgun Shells Recipe Today
This shotgun shells recipe is so easy and so delicious. It’s a recipe that always has everyone coming back for more, and it doesn’t take much time to make! It doesn’t get better than that. Whether you want a special treat for a family game or movie night, or you need an amazing appetizer to bring to an upcoming potluck, these shotgun shells fit the bill. They’re perfect any time, anywhere. Give them a try, and I know you’re going to love them.
More Delicious Appetizer Recipes You’ll Enjoy
Jalapeno Cheese Bites – A delicious and cheesy appetizer recipe that is crunchy on the outside and super flavorful on the inside with cream cheese, two types of cheese, seasoned perfectly and fried to golden perfection.
Coconut Fried Shrimp – A restaurant style coconut shrimp recipe that is crispy, crunchy and delicious and always a favorite and one of the first to go when placed on the appetizer table.
Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sliders – These sliders are an easy and delicious chicken appetizer recipe made with tender shredded chicken, barbecue sauce, pineapple juice, honey and topped with a delicious pineapple slaw.
And here is a Smoked Shotgun Shells recipe for those of you who have a smoker, from our other blog, Great Grub, Delicious Treats.
Shotgun Shells Recipe (Oven Baked)
- (2) 8 ounce boxes manicotti shells
- 1½ pound ground beef
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 cups Colby jack cheddar cheese
- 6 ounce cream cheese
- 1 jalapeno, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons Slap Ya Mama seasoning
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- (3) 12 ounce packages bacon
- ⅓ cup barbecue sauce, plus more for coating
- Preheat the oven to 300° and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Place a wire rack on top of the baking sheet. Set aside.
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, except bacon and extra barbecue sauce.
- Gently stuff uncooked manicotti shells from both ends. No air pockets.
- Wrap bacon around each shell covering the ends (might need two pieces of bacon).
- Brush additional barbecue sauce over both sides and place on prepared baking.
- Bake for 60 minutes, then flip shells over, add more barbecue sauce, and bake for another 60-70 minutes or until the bacon is nice and crispy.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy.
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I didn’t have manicotti shells, and it was too far to go into town for just that. I parboiled lasagna noodles, rolled up the meat mixture inside, wrapped the bacon, and baked. Let cool for about three minutes after taking out of the oven. Spaced out three appetizer pics use a serrated knife and cut into three pieces. The bacon and the appetizer picks how cold the noodles together everyone thought it was a big hit and ask for the recipe when I get to town I will get the manicotti noodles to try it I think How fast they went it didn’t really matter what noodle it was. It was delicious.
Thank you so much for sharing. We are so glad everyone enjoyed them! Good idea on the lasagna noodles. AND, thank you for the 5-star rating. Truly appreciate it very much!
Linda Hamm says
These are FANTASTIC! DELICIOUS hot or cold. I didn’t want them too spicy so I used mild Italian sausage, only half a jalapeno without seeds, no cajon seasoning, but used pepper jack cheese. Try them! VERY TASTY 😋😋!
Hi Linda, We are so glad you enjoyed this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing and the 5-star rating! 🙂