Porcupine Meatballs

Porcupine meatballs are a family-friendly favorite that combines your protein and starch in one easy dish.

Porcupine meatballs are a family-friendly favorite that combines your protein and starch in one easy dish.

As you can see with all these delicious meatball recipes, they are a go-to dish for party apps, feeding a crowd and for family dinners on busy weeknights. You may even have a favorite meatball dish you remember from growing up – like my memories of these Porcupine Meatballs my mom used to make.

If you’ve never had them, they get their name from the way they look. Mixing the meatball ingredients with uncooked rice means that once they’ve cooked, they look similar to the cute, pokey animals they’re named after.

The silly name and rice poking out all over the meatball just might be what makes them a favorite for kids, but even as an adult, I still love to eat them. Memories of how much I used to enjoy them makes creating them in my own kitchen even more special.

Since I don’t have my mom’s recipe, I set out to find the best way to cook porcupine meatballs. There are various methods from pan frying to baking, but the most common one I found was baking them straight in the sauce. This is the easiest method and ensures a moist and perfectly cooked meatball. I also add milk to the meatball mixture because that extra bit of moisture helps the rice cook through even better and makes the meatball more tender.

The actual baking time takes a while, but the prep time is relatively short. You just mix the meatball ingredients together, form them and put them in the baking dish, then whisk up the sauce and pour it over the meatballs before baking.

Whether you are making porcupine meatballs to impress family and friends at a party or just to indulge in some good old fashioned comfort food, your family is sure to be satisfied and warmed from the inside out.

Porcupine Meatballs

Yield: 20 meatballs

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes


For the meatballs:
  • 1 and 1/4 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk
For the sauce:
  • 2 cans (10.75 oz) condensed tomato soup
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • Optional: Parmesan or mozzarella cheese
  • Optional: Chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl using your hands. Don't over mix. Form into 20 meatballs and place in prepared baking dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients. Pour over the meatballs in the baking dish. Cover with tin foil and place in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the tin foil and continue baking an additional 15 minutes or until the meatballs are fully cooked (reach an internal temperature of 165°F) and the rice inside is tender. Remove from oven.
  4. If desired, sprinkle with cheese and garnish with chopped parsley.

Brittany Poulson

As a self-proclaimed foodie, Brittany loves to cook, bake and of course, eat! This love of food led her to become a registered dietitian and food blogger at Your Choice Nutrition, where she encourages you to live a healthy life in your unique way. For Brittany, this often includes her favorite foods, such as fresh strawberries or a square of dark chocolate!