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Grilled Shotgun Shells

Grilled Shotgun Shells

Be careful to not over-grill the shells as they'll get very crispy.
Course Appetizer or Main
Cuisine American
Keyword grilled, Shotgun shells, stuffed pasta shells
Prep Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 704kcal
Author Mike


For the stuffing

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage casings removed
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 16 ounces Ricotta cheese
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach thawed completely
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded or grated
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs unseasoned
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the shells

  • kosher salt
  • 12 ounces manicotti shells usually 14 to a package
  • 14 slices bacon thin-cut
  • favorite BBQ seasoning

For serving


For the stuffing

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onion and cook until just starting to soften.
  • Crumble in the sausage and cook until done. Break up the sausage more as it cooks.
  • Add the garlic and cook, stirring, another minute.
  • Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Break the egg into a large bowl and beat with a whisk or fork.
  • Stir in the Ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, basil, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
  • Add the cooked sausage mixture and stir until well combined.

For the shells

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to taste.
  • Add the shells and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. You don't want to fully cook the shells.
  • Remove the shells to a strainer to drain the water then transfer to a baking sheet to cool slightly.
  • Carefully stuff each shell with the sausage mixture. Don't press too hard or you'll tear the shells. You want to fill them right up to the ends.
  • Wrap each shell in a piece of bacon then return to the baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle the bacon all around with the BBQ seasoning.
  • Place baking sheet in the fridge for 4-6 hours for everything to set before cooking.

Cooking the shells

  • Fire up your grill for indirect cooking at 350 F.
  • Transfer the shells to the grill and cook for 45 minutes or until the bacon is done and just starting to crisp. I start checking them every 5 minutes after 30 minutes to make sure the shells don't get too crispy and the bacon isn't over-cooked.

For serving

  • Serve shells garnished with parsley along with warm marinara for dipping or drizzling.


Calories: 704kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 1482mg | Potassium: 676mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 6102IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 362mg | Iron: 3mg