Porcupines Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Porcupines Recipe
23 Photos
Porcupine Meatballs
Your kids will love helping you make, and eat, these spiky delights. See more
  • READY IN hrs


Recipe by  

"These are great to make ahead of time and then freeze. We freeze them with mashed potatoes and corn as part of a homemade TV dinner."

+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 5 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr

    1 hr 30 mins


  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, rice, 1/2 cup of water and onion. Blend in salt, celery salt, garlic powder and pepper. Mix well. Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the meatballs; drain fat.
  3. In an 11x7 inch baking dish, combine the tomato sauce and 1 cup of water. Place the browned meatballs into the tomato sauce, turning to coat well.
  4. Cover and bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes. Uncover, and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
May 28, 2008

One important ingredient left out of this recipe is eggs, by adding an egg or two the meatballs will be less likely to fall apart. Also you don't have to use the oven to cook them. We'd just simmer ours (covered) on low heat for around 40 minutes in the same skillet that they were browned in, adding more liquid as needed. You can also transfer them to a crockpot after browning them. As far as seasoning, it was always what was on hand. On day they might be cooked with canned tomatoes, the next with a mushroom sauce or brown gravy. My Dad used to cook us porcupine meatballs often when I was growing up, and I had all but forgot about them until I came across this recipe. Grandpa used to tell my Dad that this recipe was "good home cooking" when they were children, and that still holds true today.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Aug 21, 2003

My daughter usually loves porcupine balls. I didn't have any tomato soup like I normally use though, so I decided to try this recipe. I prefer the soup, I think it has a better taste. I know several complained about the rice. I have found after several tries you have to use either pre-cooked rice or instant rice. I prefer the pre-cooked, but either will work. I left the water out so I didn't have the issue of my meatballs falling apart, but they were also a little dry. I would recommend Zesty Porcupine Balls also from this site instead of this recipe. So far, I think they are the best. The sauce on this one tasted too much like plain tomato sauce, it really needs some spice.

May 28, 2008

Have used this recipe for years and love it. I always use canned mushroom soup instead of tomato. I never brown the meatballs just put them in dish and cover with sauce. Then cook 45 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered. Yummy!

May 28, 2008

Porcupines was one of the first recipes I learned as a new bride, over 35 years ago. I believe the original recipe was like this one, but I have modified it to give it more flavor and "zing." The first modification I made was to use instant rice. It seems to "glue" the porcupines together better, so no eggs or bread is needed. I also add diced green pepper to the meatball mixture. After placing the porcupines in the baking dish, I top with 2 can of Rotel with juice, eliminating the need for water. Just before removing from the oven, I sprinkle on cheese (sharp cheddar is our favorite, but use whatever suits your tastebuds) and return to the oven just until cheese melts. I make these for company all the time and everyone always asks for the recipe.

May 29, 2008

This recipe originally came from the Betty Crocker recipe library, but the worcestershire sauce is left out. That is why is sauce is so bland. You must add 2 teaspoons full to the water/tomatoe sauce mixture. Also, these do not have to be browned first. Just bake, covered until the rice is done, then uncover for the remainder of the cooking time. These really are good when made right.

May 28, 2008

Love this recipe with mashed potatoes and green beans!! I use leftover rice for this dish, because it just didn't get done if cooked in the lean meatballs. And you have to cover the dish with foil or the rice that's sticking out will get crispy !! I don't brown the meatballs before baking them, they will fully cook in the oven, and not fall apart. I pour the tomato sauce over it during the last part of baking. Just season these like you would a meatloaf or hamburgers. Really good !!

Sep 07, 2006

I have to tell you, I giggled all during dinner last night, my family gobbled this up!!! They only do that when I make spaghetti and meatballs. As for the recipe, it was fantastic! I doubled it and I did make a couple of modifications, I used 1 lb gr beef and 1 lb Italian sausage, omitted the celery seed - instead used 1 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes. I also used a red onion. Awesome recipe and a huge hit with my family!

Dec 23, 2006

We LOVED these. I did add an extra can of tomato sauce to cover the meatballs and added about a TBS or so of worcheshire sauce to that. I did find out the bigger meatballs that did not get all the way covered the rice did not get soft. These heat up very well the next day for meatball sandwiches. We used the Peppridge Farm soft hoagie rolls and they were excellant with the leftovers!!!!


Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:


  • Calories
  • 275 kcal
  • 14%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 21.1 g
  • 7%
  • Cholesterol
  • 55 mg
  • 18%
  • Fat
  • 12.8 g
  • 20%
  • Fiber
  • 1.7 g
  • 7%
  • Protein
  • 18.5 g
  • 37%
  • Sodium
  • 1107 mg
  • 44%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More
Subscribe Today!

In Season

Not The Same Old Chicken
Not The Same Old Chicken

We have so many top-rated chicken recipes, you'll never run out of dinner ideas again.

Slow Cooker Time Savers
Slow Cooker Time Savers

Imagine dinner making itself in the slow cooker while you relax or do other things.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

Beef and Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers

This simple technique makes stuffed peppers even more delicious.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

These stuffed cabbage rolls make a great dinner for a crowd.

Coco's Meatloaf

See how to make a comfort food classic, Nashville-style.

Recently Viewed Recipes

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States