Porcupine Meatballs

Rich and flavorsome porcupines meatballs made with ground beef, rice, and onion. Simmered in tomato sauce until cooked perfectly!

Whether you are serving them for dinner or as an appetizer, these meatballs are perfect! Having so much flavor and being so easy to customize, everyone loves this recipe. Be sure to check out all our meatball recipes!

Porcupine Meatballs served with white rice

What are Porcupine Meatballs?

Have you ever had porcupine meatballs?

They’re beef meatballs filled with uncooked rice and chopped onion giving it a pokey or “bump” shape! That’s why they call them porcupine meatballs.

We love these meatballs, because the rice gives the meatballs a nice hearty texture.

The meatballs are simmered in tomato sauce, which makes them perfect for serving over cooked white rice. Believe it or not, my kids always ask for second helpings of this dinner. It’s a hit all around the table! Which makes it worth the extra cooking time (only 45 minutes—not bad!).

How to make porcupine meatballs process pics


MEATBALLS. Grab a medium sized bowl and mix together the rice, water, onion, salt, celery salt, pepper, garlic powder, and egg. Add the ground beef and mix everything together really well. Shape the beef into 1 ½ inch balls.

COOK. Heat up a skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. When the meatballs are browned, drain the oil or soak it up with paper towels.

SAUCE. In a bowl, add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, water, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix it all together and then pour over the meatballs in the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.

Different sauce options

If you’re wanting to change up the sauce to something other than tomato sauce, you have a couple options…

You can even add a little cream to this sauce tomato sauce to change it up.

Porcupine meatballs simmered in tomato sauce


What to serve Porcupine Meatballs with? We usually serve our meatballs over cooked white rice. It’s simple, classic, and tasty. You can also serve them with flavored rices like Rice A Roni. Another healthy option is spaghetti squash or even cauliflower rice.

How to store leftover meatballs? Keep the leftover porcupine meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-6 days. This dish is great for lunch leftovers! It tastes really good just warmed up in the microwave or over the stove.

Freezing uncooked meatballs If you’d rather freeze these meatballs to make for another day, put the prepared meatballs on a cookie sheet or a plate and cover with plastic wrap.

Put them in the freezer for a couple of hours until frozen solid. Then you can transfer them to a freezer plastic bag. Keep in the freezer until you want to cook and serve them!

Porcupine meatball recipe served over white rice

For more meatball recipes, check out:

Porcupine Meatball Recipe

5 from 8 votes
Rich and flavorsome porcupines meatballs made with ground beef, rice, and onion. Simmered in tomato sauce until cooked perfectly!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 436 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


  • 1/2 cup minute rice uncooked
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup onion chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce


  • Combine rice, water, onion, salt, celery salt, pepper, garlic powder and egg in a medium bowl.
  • Add beef and mix well. Shape into 1 ½ inch balls.
  • Brown the meatballs in a skillet with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Drain oil when meatballs are browned.
  • Add tomato sauce, water, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce to a bowl - mix and then pour over meatballs. Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.


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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Yummy little meatballs in a tomato based sauce. What can be wrong with this? We like ours mashed potatoes.

  2. 5 stars
    What a great way to make thEse more filling! I love the flavor, too! They were super easy to make & such a crowd pleaser!

  3. 5 stars
    I like having meatballs in the freezer to pull out for spaghetti. These meatballs are perfect and i love all the tips you add to your pOsts.