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Porcupine Meatballs

These easy porcupine meatballs are made with a delicious mixture of ground beef and rice cooked in a creamy tomato sauce. Tender, moist and super flavorful!

Porcupine meatballs are one of my favorite skillet meals to make for dinner. They’re simple, delicious and ready in less than an hour. Some other stove top favorites are classic spaghetti and meat sauce, goulash, one pot burrito bowls, sloppy joes and chicken marsala.

porcupine meatballs with rice in white bowl

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Porcupine meatballs are a fun twist on the traditional meatball recipe, as they have rice cooked inside of them. They simmer in a creamy tomato soup sauce and are very easy to make. They’re tender, moist and super flavorful.

This recipe is passed down from my mom and reminds me of my childhood. She would usually make them once a month and we all loved them. Now they’re one of my family’s favorites and my kids eat them right up!

I love that these easy porcupine meatballs are ready in under an hour. They’re simple to prepare and taste so delicious served over a bed of rice, noodles or mashed potatoes. Yum!

step by step shots on how to make porcupine meatballs

How to make porcupine meatballs

Scroll down for the printable recipe.

  1. Combine meat mixture. In a bowl, combine meat, rice, egg, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir just until combined, don’t over mix. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of water as needed to keep the mixture wet.
  2. Scoop and form meatballs. Use a medium cookie scoop or spoon to scoop the meat. Then form into 1 1/2″ balls.
  3. Add meatballs and sauce in skillet. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-heat. Cook the meatballs about 2 minutes per side to lightly brown the outsides. Then pour in tomato soup, Worcestershire sauce and water.
  4. Simmer and cook. Bring to a simmer and then cover with a lid. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 35-45 minutes, or until rice is tender.

porcupine meatballs in pan with tomato sauce and parsley

What to serve with

Cooking tips

  • For moister meatballs, use half ground beef and half ground pork.
  • Don’t over mix the meat mixture! Over mixing causes the meat to toughen up.
  • To keep the mixture wet and easy to form, add 1-2 Tablespoons of water.
  • Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop out meatballs so that they all are evenly sized.
  • Feel free to switch up the sauce. You can use a gravy (similar to Swedish meatballs) or a roasted tomato sauce.

porcupine meatballs served over rice with tomato sauce and parsley

Freezing instructions

Another plus about this recipe is that it makes a great freezer meal! I’d recommend freezing the meatballs uncooked because the rice isn’t cooked when added to the meatball mixture, so it needs to simmer in the sauce in order to get tender.

To freeze: 

Form meat mixture into meatballs, then place on a baking sheet. Freeze for about 1 hour, or until meatballs have hardened. Transfer to a freezer bag or container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat: 

To thaw, place the bag or container in the fridge overnight. Then cook the meatballs in a large skillet over medium-heat, about 2 minutes per side to lightly brown the outsides. Pour in the tomato soup, Worcestershire sauce and water and bring to a simmer. Cover with lid and cook on medium-low heat for 35-45 minutes, until rice is tender.

More meatball recipes:

porcupine meatballs in pan with tomato sauce and parsley

Porcupine Meatballs

5 from 7 votes
These easy porcupine meatballs are made with a delicious mixture of ground beef and rice cooked in a creamy tomato sauce. Tender, moist and super flavorful!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef (could sub with half ground pork)
  • 1/3 cup long grain rice
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion , or 1 Tablespoon minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic , or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped fresh Italian Flat leaf parsley (optional)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 ounce can tomato soup
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup water

For serving: Fresh parsley, rice, mashed potatoes or cooked noodles

    Instructions

    • Combine the meat, rice, egg, onion, garlic, salt and black pepper in a bowl. Stir just until combined, do not over mix. Add a Tablespoon or two of water as needed to keep a wet mixture. 
    • Use a medium cookie scoop or spoon to scoop the meat. Then form into 1 1/2"  balls. 
    • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-heat. Lightly brown the meatballs, cooking about 2 minutes per side. Then pour in the tomato soup, Worcestershire sauce and water. Bring to a simmer and then cover with a lid. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 35-45 minutes, or until rice is tender.

    Notes

    • To make them super moist, use half ground beef and half ground pork.
    • To keep the mixture wet and easy to form, add 1-2 Tablespoons of water.
    • Use a medium cookie scoop so that they all are evenly sized.

    Serving: 4meatballs | Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 488mg | Potassium: 478mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 225IU | Vitamin C: 7.1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 3.1mg
    Course: Main Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Author: Jamielyn Nye

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