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Porcupine Meatballs combine ground beef and rice into tender meatballs simmered in tomato sauce and served over mashed potatoes.
Porcupine Meatballs are a vintage recipe that became popular as a way for home cooks to stretch their grocery budget.
Ground beef and white rice are combined and formed into meatballs. The meatballs are then cooked in a rich tomato sauce that’s flavored with Worcestershire Sauce – then served over mashed potatoes.
Where did Porcupine Meatballs get their name?
As the rice cooks inside the meatballs, the ends of the rice poke outside the edges of the meat – like a porcupine – and that’s where the name Porcupine Meatballs comes from.
The original recipe was published decades ago in the Betty Crocker Cookbook – and it included packaged onion soup mix to flavor the meatballs, as well as canned tomato soup (among other ingredients) to create a sauce.
Our Porcupine Meatball recipe is 100% from scratch – but like the original – we do include Worcestershire sauce in both the meatballs and the tomato sauce. The Worcestershire sauce gives this dish a distinctive savory flavor in every bite and it is deliciously satisfying comfort food the entire family will love.
Do I add uncooked rice or precooked rice to Porcupine Meatballs?
You’ll use uncooked rice in this recipe – and as the meatballs cook, the rice will cook and absorb both the juices from the meat and the sauce. Using uncooked rice also help the meatballs to stay nice and tender in the finished dish. (Precooked rice will continue to expand as it absorbs the juices, making the meatballs more dense.)
How do I serve Porcupine Meatballs?
We decided to serve our Porcupine Meatballs over mashed potatoes. But you could also serve it over more rice or pasta.
Other great side dishes include green beans or a simple mixed greens salad with homemade vinaigrette.
You may enjoy these other Meatball recipes:
- Italian-Style Meatballs
- Keto Chicken Meatballs
- Pork Meatballs with Currants
- Tuna Meatball Sub
- Zucchini Quinoa Meatless Meatballs
We love seeing what you made! Tag us on Instagram at @afamilyfeast or hashtag #afamilyfeast so we can see your creations!
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 whole egg
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup onion, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 cups low sodium beef stock or beef stock or broth
1 teaspoon gravy browning and seasoning sauce (such as Kitchen Bouquet or Gravy Master)
1 14.5–ounce can pureed tomatoes
Mashed potatoes to serve with the meatballs (see recipe here)
Make meatballs by combining all meatball ingredients. Scoop out twenty balls, about 1 ¼ ounces each and roll. Refrigerate while you make the sauce.
In a large deep skillet or saute pan, melt butter and add onions and saute for three minutes over medium heat.
Add the tomato paste and cook for two minutes.
Add the flour, lower heat and cook two more minutes.
Add the Worcestershire sauce, stir then add the beef stock, gravy color and pureed tomatoes.
Bring the mixture up to a simmer then gently add all of the meatballs.
Cover the pan, lower to a slow simmer and cook 15 minutes. Turn meatballs over, cover again and cook 15 more minutes.
While meatballs are cooking prepare the mashed potatoes. Serve meatballs and sauce over the mashed potatoes.
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