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Porcupine Meatballs Recipe

Porcupine meatballs were one of my favorite meals that my mother made when I was growing up.  Thankfully my own family loves this one too!  Today I am sharing my version of porcupine meatballs, which is adapted from the one my mother makes (our sauces are different).

You can substitute fresh minced onion for the dry minced onion that I use.

I have found that it is important to use lean ground beef for these.  If you don't, you'll find that the meatballs release a lot of oil while cooking, and you have to spend a good amount of time skimming the oil from the sauce.

The reason these are called porcupine meatballs is because the rice cooks up as the meatballs cook, and poke out of the meatballs, resembling porcupines!  The result is as fun as the meatballs are delicious.  I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Porcupine Meatballs

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Yield: 16 meatballs

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry minced onion
  • 3 8 oz. cans tomato sauce

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Mix ground beef, rice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and minced onion in a bowl until ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.
  • Roll the mixture into balls approximately 1.75" in diameter, and place into a 13"x13" square baking dish.  You should have about 16 meatballs.
  • Pour the cans of tomato sauce over the meatballs so that they are all covered in sauce.
  • Cover with foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and remove the foil.  The rice should be poking out of the meatballs, resembling a porcupine.  If there is any, skim off excess oil from the top of the sauce with a spoon.  Stir the sauce and spoon it over the meatballs. 
  • Place the pan back into the oven, and bake for another 10 minutes uncovered.  

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