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!

More Ground Beef Recipes You’ll Love

Lifting a Porcupine Meatball off plate with a fork
4.99 from 57 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. 


  • 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


  • 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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  • 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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About the author


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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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Recipe Rating


  1. There’s enough sauce to support uncooked rice – you know how rice soaks up liquid as it cooks. I used 1/2 C uncooked regular white long grain rice and baked for one hour and 45 minutes. Perfect!

  2. The recipe says makes 20 meatballs, (no matter what number of servings you select) what size are the meatballs? size of a walnut, golfball or tennis ball?

    1. This recipe makes 4 servings. So we divide the meatball mixture made with 1lb of beef, ½ cup of rice, and more into 20 even-sized meatballs. They end up weighing around 1 ounce each.