Porcupine Meatballs

Porcupine Meatballs: A Culinary Adventure in Comfort – Crafting Perfectly Tender Bites Bursting with Flavor

In the realm of comfort food, Porcupine Meatballs stand as a beacon of nostalgic joy, conjuring memories of family dinners and the aroma of a kitchen filled with warmth. Today, let’s embark on a culinary adventure, exploring the art of crafting these delectable orbs of goodness. From the carefully chosen ingredients to step-by-step instructions, cooking notes, and a spectrum of variations, we’ll leave no meatball unturned. Plus, for those embracing a keto or low-carb lifestyle, fear not – we have tailored versions for you. Join me in unraveling the secrets behind the perfect Porcupine Meatballs, a dish that transcends generations and brings a taste of home to every bite.


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the Sauce:

  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preparing the Meatballs:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine ground beef, uncooked rice, chopped onion, minced garlic, salt, pepper, dried oregano, dried thyme, and the beaten egg. Mix thoroughly.

2. Forming the Meatballs:

  • Shape the mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs, ensuring they are compact and hold their form.

3. Creating the Sauce:

  • In a separate bowl, mix together tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beef broth, sugar, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. This forms the flavorful bath for our meatballs.

4. Nestling the Meatballs:

  • Gently place the meatballs in a single layer in a large, oven-safe skillet or baking dish.

5. Bathing in Flavor:

  • Pour the sauce over the meatballs, ensuring they are generously coated.

6. The Bake:

  • Cover the skillet or dish and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 45-50 minutes, or until the rice in the meatballs is tender.

7. Serve with Love:

  • Allow the Porcupine Meatballs to cool slightly before serving. Spoon some of the savory sauce over each meatball for an extra burst of flavor.

Cooking Notes:

  • To prevent the rice from sticking, it’s crucial to form compact meatballs.
  • Feel free to customize the seasoning according to your taste preferences.


Cheese-Stuffed Marvels:

  • For a gooey surprise, insert a cube of your favorite cheese into the center of each meatball before baking.

Mediterranean Twist:

  • Infuse the meatball mixture with Mediterranean flavors by adding chopped olives, feta cheese, and a dash of lemon zest.

Keto Version:

For those following a keto lifestyle, consider these modifications.

  • Substitute cauliflower rice for traditional rice in the meatball mixture.
  • Replace sugar in the sauce with a keto-friendly sweetener.

Low-Carb Version:

If you’re mindful of your carb intake, try these adjustments.

  • Utilize a low-carb rice alternative.
  • Opt for a low-carb tomato sauce in the recipe.

A Culinary Hug in Every Bite:

As we conclude our exploration into the world of Porcupine Meatballs, let the savory aroma and flavorful memories linger. This dish isn’t just a recipe; it’s a culinary journey that transcends generations. From the heartwarming process of shaping each meatball to the aromatic embrace of the tomato-based sauce, Porcupine Meatballs bring a sense of comfort and nostalgia to every table.

Whether shared with loved ones during cozy family dinners or savored as a solo treat after a long day, these meatballs are a reminder that comfort food goes beyond taste – it’s a feeling, a connection to the past, and a moment of pure culinary joy. So, embrace the simplicity, revel in the flavors, and let each bite of Porcupine Meatballs be a reminder that the most cherished recipes are the ones that bring us together, one delicious meatball at a time.

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