Porcupine Meatballs


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Porcupine Meatballs are a fun twist on a traditional meatball recipe. These tasty meatballs are made with ground beef, rice, onion and seasonings then baked in a rich tomato sauce. So zesty and delicious, and ready in only an hour!

Serve this easy meatball recipe with a Caesar Salad and some 30 Minute Dinner Rolls for an easy dinner.

Lifting a Porcupine Meatball off plate with a fork

Meals baked in the oven are so fantastic if you have a busy schedule (and who doesn’t)? These porcupine meatballs are perfect because they can be prepared ahead of time and while they bake, you can fix a classic wedge salad and pot of rice or some Mashed Potatoes for a complete, delicious and easy meal!

Porcupine Meatballs are similar to a classic meatball recipe, only with rice added to the meat mixture before cooking. When the rice sticks out, these meatballs resemble a little ‘porcupine’. I personally love the texture that the rice gives these meatballs. It makes them so soft, tender and juicy all the way through!

Porcupine Meatball being lifted out of baking dish

How to Make Porcupine Meatballs

These meatballs are so easy to make, even your kids will love to help! A great way to encourage your kids to try new foods is to have them help in the preparation of the meal.

Not only is it help to you, your littles will feel a sense of satisfaction contributing to the work of feeding the family!

  1. Combine meatball ingredients together and form into balls. Place meatballs in a casserole dish.
  2. Combine sauce ingredients together and pour over meatballs.
  3. Bake for 1 hour at 350˚F

Many recipes use raw rice, I prefer cooked and use leftovers or even purchase pre-cooked rice. Any rice will work in this recipe.

Precooked Porcupine Meatballs in baking dish

What do you Serve with Porcupine Meatballs?

My personal preference is to serve these meatballs over rice, but they are delicious served over mashed potatoes or with a side of Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes as well.

As an alternative, I have used a mushroom soup sauce in place of the tomato sauce and served it over pasta. Equally as delicious and a great way to utilize the same recipe, slightly altering it for something different or to satisfy your family’s preference.

  • Mushroom Soup Sauce: Combine 1 can mushroom soup, 1 cup beef broth, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Mix together until smooth and pour over meatballs. Bake as directed.

Can you Freeze Porcupine Meatballs?

Yes! Just like my favorite Meatloaf Recipe, these porcupine meatballs will definitely freeze well!

You can prepare the meatballs and freeze before baking (make sure your rice is cold before combining). Simply roll the meatballs on a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen you can put them into a ziploc bag or container until ready to use and place the sauce in a second bag or container.

Alternately you can bake them first, and then freeze them or freeze the leftovers.

Porcupine Meatballs in clear baking dish

Uber easy and super savory, these porcupine meatballs are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to taste! For the perfect weeknight meal that will satisfy even your hungriest guest, this porcupine meatball recipe will become a regular in your rotation!

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Lifting a Porcupine Meatball off plate with a fork
4.98 from 49 votes
Review Recipe

Porcupine Meatballs

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Tender rice-meatballs baked in a zesty tomato sauce. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup cooked long grain rice
  • ¼ cup onion diced
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons parsley fresh
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
Sauce:
  • 1 can (10 oz) condensed tomato soup undiluted
  • 1 cup vegetable juice such as V8
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley, for garnish

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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • In a large bowl, mix ground beef, rice, onion, garlic powder, parsley, worcestershire, egg, salt, and pepper until just combined. 
  • Shape the mixture into approximately 20 balls. Place in a baking dish, approximately 2qt.
  • Combine all ingredients for the sauce and pour over meatballs. 
  • Bake for uncovered 1 hour. Garnish with parsley, salt, and pepper. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.      

Nutrition Information

Serving: 5meatballs, Calories: 294, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 111mg, Sodium: 561mg, Potassium: 813mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 990IU, Vitamin C: 26.2mg, Calcium: 52mg, Iron: 4.3mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword porcupine meatballs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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Porcupine Meatballs over rice on a white plate with a title

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Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

  1. Holly~

    You are my new best friend! Love your recipes. I’ve been making porcupine meatballs for years from a recipe from here in Maine. It calls for soaking the rice in one cup of cold water for an hour before draining and adding it to the other ingredients. Makes sure the rice plumps up and is tender.

    Thanks, Holly;

    Joy Lagasse

  2. Easy and wonderful tasting. I made a half recipe for the two of us and every one of them got eaten. Next time I will do the full recipe so we will have another meal. The only item I changed is not adding any salt.5 stars

  3. Porcupine meatballs are easy to make and a hearty meal. I served them with baby reds from the garden. I’m not a huge tomato person, so, I added a teaspoon or so of worcestershire sauce to deepen the flavor. It was a nice addition.4 stars

  4. Thanks for sharing this porcupine meatballs recipe. I really like this meatballs recipe. One of the best ever porcupine meatballls recipe i have ever tried. 5 stars

  5. Family loves this recipe. It has great taste balance and it’s easy to make. My go to for family gatherings.5 stars

  6. I made this recipe for my husband today, as it is his favorite. I have been making porcupine balls for him for 51 years and this knocks my old recipe out of the “ball” park! I have never been a big fan of them, but this recipe was delicious. The best part is not having to pre fry them before putting them in the sauce. Just put them in the casserole dish and pour the sauce over. Cooked perfectly in one hour and they were really tender. I used minute rice in mine and the only thing I added was a table spoon of brown sugar to the sauce. Thanks for a great recipe, will make it often!5 stars

  7. This recipe reminds me so much of what my Mom made for us when I was a little kid. The meatballs were tender and delicious. The sauce was thick and rich, though I substituted tomato paste for tomato soup since we were out and added a little more juice. Very tasty and I will make it again.5 stars

    1. I love when recipes bring back such sweet childhood memories Dawn! Thanks for sharing :)

      1. This was a favorite from my grade school cafeteria. Back then they actually cooked real food.

  8. Easy and delicious! If I were to prepare and freeze the meatballs ahead of time, would I take them out to thaw and then proceed or could I do them from frozen and cook longer? If so, how long?5 stars

    1. Hi Deanne, if cooking ahead of time you just need to reheat until heated through. If freezing uncooked, you can bake from frozen, until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.

    1. Now wouldn’t that be something Martin! We prefer these delicious rice “quills” to real ones any day!

  9. Just cooked your porcupine meatball recipe for supper and am so pleased with the outcome. They taste even better than I imagined they would and are so easy to prepare. I’m especially
    Impressed by the simplicity of your creative baking sauce.5 stars

  10. Such a simple and delicious meal! I remember porcupine meatballs from my elementary school lunch days and this far exceeded my memories! It was a hit with the whole family! I used my cookie scoop to keep the size and shape uniform.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  11. This is our favorite recipe for porcupine meatballs!! Sometimes I substitute 2 cups of pasta sauce for the tomato sauce and V-8 juice. I then adjust the seasonings. Love the ease of baking them! Thank you!

  12. I made tonight came out wonderful. Next time I will double the sauce for it. I also used raw rice instead of cooked. I will put this into my monthly food rotation.5 stars