These meatballs are stuffed with plenty of rice, which, as it cooks, pokes out of the meatballs, making them look like prickly little porcupines. The little meatballs are cooked in a mildly tangy tomato sauce that's a sure crowd-pleaser.

EatingWell Test Kitchen




Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Whisk tomato sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce in a Dutch oven.

  • Combine rice, onion, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add beef; gently mix to combine (do not overmix). Using 1 tablespoon each, make about 40 small meatballs. Add to the sauce, making sure all the meatballs are mostly submerged.

  • Cover and bake, gently stirring once or twice, until the rice is tender, 2 to 2 1/4 hours.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate cooked meatballs in sauce airtight for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating.

Nutrition Facts

126 calories; protein 3.8g 8% DV; carbohydrates 26.7g 9% DV; dietary fiber 3.7g 15% DV; sugars 5.6g; fat 1.1g 2% DV; saturated fat 0.2g 1% DV; cholesterolmg; vitamin a iu 587.3IU 12% DV; vitamin c 11.5mg 19% DV; folate 17.4mcg 4% DV; calcium 38.8mg 4% DV; iron 2mg 11% DV; magnesium 56.3mg 20% DV; potassium 471.4mg 13% DV; sodium 284.6mg 11% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 12% DV.

Reviews (2)

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2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 0
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 2 stars
I am a personal chef and have made porcupine meatballs in the past but have made up my own recipe. I typically prepare my rice in advance and make the meatballs with cooked rice. I was intrigued by this recipe and decided to give it a whirl. First I did change a few things. I used chicken broth instead of water in the sauce and instead of hot sauce I used maeploy probably about a half a cup or more of it. I sauteed my onions with fresh garlic before mixing them into the ground beef. I also added some ketchup to the meat. I wanted to ad an egg but wanted to stay with the basic makeup of this recipe to see if it worked. I put it in a crockpot. My problem was that the majority of the meatballs fell apart which I feel would have also happened if I had baked this in the oven for the recommended amount of time. In making it in the future I would prebake the meatballs on a sheet tray and then put them in the crock pot with the sauce. Also I will ad an egg to the meatballs and some breadcrumbs or extra rice. The sauce was very bland and needing much work done to it to make it edible. Basically I would continue making my own recipe and not use this one. I do like the use of uncooked rice though as it saves you a step. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Tasty and easy I followed the recipe 4 changes. I took the suggestions of the first reviewer and added a little egg white pre-cooked at 350 for 15 minutes just turning brown and used sodium free chicken broth instead of water. Lastly I used my favorite spaghetti sauce instead of tomato sauce. The meaqtballs were moist did not fall apart and were tasty. I cooked them in the crockpot for about 3 hours. Pros: easy tasty quick to fix crockpot fixable Read More