Porcupine Meatballs Recipe: Easy-to-Make Dinner Dish

Porcupine Meatballs

If you’re looking for a new and exciting dinner recipe to try, look no further than porcupine meatballs. These tasty meatballs get their name from the rice grains mixed into the meat mixture, which give them a unique, prickly texture when cooked. In this article, we’ll walk you through step-by-step instructions on how to make this delicious and filling dish.


Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make porcupine meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


Before you start making your porcupine meatballs, you’ll need to do some prep work:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Rinse the rice in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear.
  4. Finely chop the onion.

Making the Meatballs

Now that your prep work is done, it’s time to start making the meatballs:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, rice, onion, milk, egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
  2. Mix everything together until well combined.
  3. Form the mixture into meatballs that are about 1 inch in diameter.

Cooking the Meatballs

Once your meatballs are formed, it’s time to cook them:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the diced tomatoes, water, sugar, basil, and garlic powder.
  2. Pour the tomato mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Place the meatballs on top of the tomato mixture.
  4. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
  6. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through and the rice is tender.

Serving Suggestions

Porcupine meatballs are a versatile dish that can be served in a variety of ways. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Serve over cooked rice or pasta.
  • Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve with a side of roasted vegetables, such as carrots or Brussels sprouts.

Tips for Success

Here are some tips to help ensure your porcupine meatballs turn out perfectly:

  • Be sure to rinse the rice before using it to remove excess starch.
  • Use a light hand when forming the meatballs to prevent them from becoming tough.
  • Don’t overmix the meatball mixture, as this can also lead to tough meatballs.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil to prevent the meatballs from drying out while they cook.


There are many ways you can customize this recipe to suit your tastes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef.
  • Add grated cheese to the meatball mixture for extra flavor.
  • Use different herbs and spices, such as oregano or cumin.
  • Substitute the canned tomatoes
  • Substitute the canned tomatoes with tomato sauce for a smoother texture.
  • Add diced bell peppers or shredded carrots to the meatball mixture for added nutrition.

Feel free to experiment with different ingredients to create your own unique variation of this recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these meatballs ahead of time?

  1. Yes, you can make the meatballs ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to cook.

Can I use instant rice instead of regular rice?

  1. Yes, you can use instant rice in this recipe, but you may need to adjust the cooking time.

Can I use a different type of meat in this recipe?

  1. Yes, you can use ground turkey, chicken, or pork instead of beef.

Can I freeze leftover meatballs?

  1. Yes, you can freeze leftover meatballs in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Can I use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs?

  1. Yes, you can use fresh herbs, but you may need to adjust the amount used to account for the difference in potency.


Porcupine meatballs are a delicious and easy-to-make dinner dish that is sure to be a hit with the whole family. With a prickly texture and a flavorful tomato sauce, these meatballs are a satisfying and filling meal. Follow our step-by-step instructions and use our tips and variations to create your own unique version of this classic dish.

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