Porcupine Meatballs Recipe
Porcupine Meatballs Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Porcupine Meatballs Recipe

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4.5 67 79
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These well-seasoned meatballs in a rich tomato sauce are one of my mom's best main dishes. I used to love this meal when I was growing up. I made it at home for our children, and now my daughters make it for their families. -Darlis Wilfer, Phelps, Wisconsin
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 1 hour
MAKES:4-6 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 1 hour
MAKES: 4-6 servings


  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 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 brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 284 calories, 14g fat (4g saturated fat), 50mg cholesterol, 900mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 1g fiber), 17g protein.


  1. In a bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Add beef and mix well. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. In a large skillet, brown meatballs in oil; drain. Combine tomato sauce, water, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce; pour over meatballs. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Yield: 4-6 servings.
Originally published as Porcupine Meatballs in Taste of Home October/November 1995, p35

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Andrea User ID: 8977203 257511
Reviewed Nov. 30, 2016

"This is a fantastic recipe. I'd been craving porcupine meatballs, a memory from childhood. I also babysit my great-grandson once a week and wanted something for lunch that might appeal to a 2 1/2 year old. I followed the instructions to the letter except for the celery salt. I had some, but I couldn't remember how old it was so I omitted that ingredient. The meatballs were perfect...the rice perfectly cooked and the sauce was thick and savory. I only meant to sample them as they are to be our lunch tomorrow. I put three on a saucer and ended up going back for three more. (I'm actually tempted to go back a 3rd time.) I've copied the recipe and added it to my notebook of favorites. Someone suggested that the ones who complained of undercooked rice might have made the meatballs too big. I simmered mine exactly an hour and the rice was just right."

KimWaite User ID: 7760349 257344
Reviewed Nov. 27, 2016

"This recipe is so good. I have finally found one from my childhood. My go to meatball recipe now. Thanks so much for sharing."

dsm User ID: 3208899 251984
Reviewed Jul. 28, 2016

"The sauce is thick and very tasty. The only negative I have is that, as others mentioned, the rice was not fully tender even after cooking longer than called for. Next time I make these (and we definitely liked them enough to make again), I will either try minute rice or else use precooked regular rice. I got 19 one and a half inch meatballs from a pound of ground beef."

[email protected] User ID: 3144492 248008
Reviewed May. 9, 2016

"Very good easy pleasy recipe. I'm thinking for the people that the rice didn't get done the meatballs were probably to big, Will make this again."

mwalters67 User ID: 8838290 247248
Reviewed Apr. 18, 2016

"I was so disappointed! The long grain rice did not get cooked inside of the meatballs even after an hour. My family tried to eat them but no one was able to finish or enjoy them since the texture was crunchy rice:( I did not see one other comment with the same problem. What did I do wrong?"

angela32 User ID: 3084463 243710
Reviewed Feb. 12, 2016

"My family loves these meatballs. We have them once a month, at least!"

oobs7765 User ID: 8763667 243408
Reviewed Feb. 7, 2016

"Fabulous!!! I followed your recipe exactly, except doubled and added a can of rotel and one can of tomato sauce. Soooo delicious, and easy! Thank you!!"

2newknees User ID: 49386 238145
Reviewed Nov. 26, 2015

"Good recipe. Followed it exactly. Mixture was not holding together like I wanted so I did add an egg and some bread crumbs. That did the trick."

Judahl User ID: 664700 238140
Reviewed Nov. 26, 2015

"I make these with milk instead of water, and omit the brown sugar. I brown them and put them in pressure cooker for 20 minutes. I got a pressure cooker 49 yrs ago so I could make these for my husband."

Gloria H User ID: 4846781 238093
Reviewed Nov. 25, 2015

"Very similar to recipe from WWII using the rice to stretch the scarce meat."

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