This Porcupine Meatballs recipe will be a new favorite in your home. Delicious well seasoned meatballs with the added bonus of yummy rice inside, and a flavorful sauce, makes these meatballs not only tasty but a more complete meal too!
Porcupine Meatballs is an easy crowd pleasing dish. Whether you follow this recipe to a tee and cook them over the stove or make your own adaptations and do porcupine meatballs in the oven or instant pot porcupine meatballs, this meal rocks! And it requires very little chopping and prep, making this dish super easy and convenient.
I love Porcupine Meatballs because not only are they so tasty, the added element of rice allows your meatballs to stretch further without totally breaking the bank, making this dish more economical than a lot of meatball recipes. Yes!
Why Are They Called Porcupine Meatballs?
I know it’s an intriguing name, right?! It gives you the sense that these meatballs are different than your average meatball and you would be right in that thinking my friend.
Porcupine Meatballs are meatballs that have rice in them. Okay so that tidbit still isn’t helping you make the connection of how they got their name probably.
Here is the deal. After the meatballs get cooked the rice pokes out of the meatballs, looking like the quills of a porcupine.
Hence it would be a travesty to just call these special meatballs, meatballs. There is definitely a little something extra to them.
Porcupine Meatballs is a very fitting name and once you make them you will see for yourself why.
Porcupine Meatballs: Meatballs that contain rice in them and once they are cooked the rice pokes out, looking like the quills of a porcupine.
What Do You Need To Make Porcupine Meatballs
Okay now that you know what Porcupine Meatballs are it’s time to make these delicious balls of yumminess.
So, without wasting anymore time, it’s time to go to the store.
Don’t worry the list really isn’t too long and as always you may have most of the ingredients already in your kitchen. I sure love it when that happens.
Ingredients For Meatball Mixture:
- Uncooked Long Grain Rice
- Chopped Onion
- Celery Salt
- Garlic Powder
- Ground Beef
Ingredients For Everything Else:
- Canola Oil
- Tomato Sauce
- Dark Brown Sugar
- Worcestershire sauce
That’s it! I bet most of you have at least 5 of those ingredients already on hand. Am I right?
How To Make Porcupine Meatballs
If you have ever made regular meatballs you will probably notice some similarities with how to make them.
- Combine Meatball Mixture Ingredients: Combine everything on meatball ingredient list except the water.
- Add Water and Shape Into Meatballs: Add a little water at a time until mixture is easy to work with and then shape into meatballs.
- Brown Meatballs in Skillet: Add meatballs in batches in a large skillet with oil over medium high heat. Once one batch is browned, remove and add the next batch until browned.
- In the skillet, Drain Oil and Stir Meatballs and the Rest Of The Ingredients: Drain the oil, add meatballs back into the pan, and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Reduce Heat and Simmer: Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 1 hour until meatballs are cooked through.
Note: See recipe at the end for more specific instructions.
Tips For Great Meatballs
Meatballs are a pretty easy dish. However there can be some roadblocks at times.
Follow this recipe and look through these tips and you can avoid potential mishaps.
Add An Egg To Help With Binding.
When adding the liquid to the mixture sometimes you may find that you have added too much and the meatballs are falling apart.
To avoid this from happening, only add a little water at a time.
However, if you are past the point of no return, meaning you already have added too much liquid, one trick you can do is to add an egg to help with binding the ingredients together.
Use Oil To Prevent Meatballs From Flattening.
They are called meatballs not meat patties. We don’t want our Porcupine Meatballs to be flat of course.
Roll the meatballs in oil to help prevent the meatballs from flattening.
Add Hot Sauce For A Little Zip.
If you like a little spice, feel free to add a splash of hot sauce into the mix.
Make Sure All Meatballs Are The Same Size.
Not every meatball has to be exactly the same, but you do want them all to be pretty close in size.
Similar sized meatballs should cook at the same rate, allowing you to have an even cook on all you meatballs.
Avoid making meatballs all different sizes. This will result in either some meatballs being underdone or overcooked.
For these Porcupine Meatballs I recommend them to be around the size of a golf balls. A nice medium sized meatball is what you want.
Smaller than that and the meatballs are more geared toward appetizers.
Make Sure The Meatballs Have A Good Combination Of Spices.
Follow this recipe and you won’t need to worry about this. These meatballs have the perfect balance of flavor.
For more tips on how to make the best meatballs check out The Ultimate Guide To Meatballs.
What Is A Good Side Dish For Porcupine Meatballs?
We have a lot of great sides on Eazy Peazy Mealz, but which are best with this recipe?
A lot of times I will put meatballs over rice. However, since these Porcupine Meatballs already have rice in them that feels a little redundant.
However, if you want to serve these Porcupine Meatballs over something, I would suggest some buttered noodles.
Who says you have to serve them over anything though? These babies can sit confidently next to a number of delicious side dishes.
Don’t worry there are a number of great partnerships for these Porcupine Meatballs.
Sides For Porcupine Meatballs:
- Super Easy Mashed Potatoes
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
- Garlic Green Beans
- Kale, Edamame, Quinoa Super Salad
- Roasted Carrots
Any of these sides would go great with Porcupine Meatballs.
Can You Make These Ahead?
Looking to get ahead of the game? Want to turn Porcupine Meatballs into a fabulous freezer meal? Go for it!
These treasures can be made in advance and frozen for later.
Storing and Freezing Instructions:
There are 2 ways to do this. You can either cook and freeze the meatballs or freeze uncooked meatballs.
How To Freeze Porcupine Meatballs Without Cooking First:
- Follow the recipe up to the point where you cook the meatballs.
- Place uncooked meatballs on cookie sheet and cover them with plastic wrap.
- After freezing the meatballs for a few hours, transfer frozen meatballs into freezer bags. Push air out of freezer bags.
How To Freeze Pre-Cooked Meatballs:
- Follow all the steps of the recipe, including cooking the meatballs.
- Let meatballs cool completely.
- Place meatballs in a freezer bag. Push out the air in the freezer bag.
- Make sure meatballs are arranged in a single layer in the freezer bag.
Note: Whether you freeze pre-cooked meatballs or raw meatballs, allow for time for them to defrost in the fridge before you cook them. Then cook or technically reheat them, if they were cooked first before you froze them.
Porcupine Meatballs, Your New Favorite Meatball!
Wait no longer to make this delicious Porcupine Meatballs recipe. You will love them! Easy, delicious, freezer friendly, these Porcupine Meatballs are the perfect dish.
Other Great Meatball Dishes To Try:
- Homemade Meatballs – Great for making ahead and freezing.
- Swedish Meatballs
- Mongolian Beef Meatballs (Crockpot and Instant Pot)
- Keto Meatballs Skillet
- Old Fashioned Spaghetti and Meatballs
- BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Meatballs
- 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
- 1/2 cup water up to
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 can 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- In a large bowl, combine ground beef, garlic powder, pepper, paprika, salt, celery salt, onions, and uncooked rice.
- Mix well, and add water a little at a time until mixture is easy to work with, but not too lose.
- Shape into 1-1/2-in meatballs, and set aside.
- Over medium high heat, heat oil In a large skillet, once hot, add meatballs in batches, and brown them on all sides. Once browned, remove, and set aside, continuing to brown until all meatballs are browned.
- Drain oil from pan, add meatballs back in, and add tomato sauce, water, dark brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce to the pan, stirring gently to combine.
- Reduce heat to medium- low, cover and simmer for 1 hour, until meatballs are cooked through.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
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