Saucy Porcupine Meatballs

Saucy Porcupine Meatballs

2 Reviews
From the EatingWell Kitchen

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.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • 1 28-ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • ¾ cup long-grain brown rice
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1½ pounds lean (90% or leaner) ground beef


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk tomato sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce in a Dutch oven.
  3. 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.
  4. Cover and bake, gently stirring once or twice, until the rice is tender, 2 to 2¼ hours.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate cooked meatballs in sauce airtight for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 126 calories; 1 g fat(0 g sat); 4 g fiber; 27 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 17 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 6 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 587 IU vitamin A; 11 mg vitamin C; 39 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 285 mg sodium; 471 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat

Reviews 2

November 11, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
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
April 23, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
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.
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