Porcupine Meatballs

Jenn Fowler of Frugal Upstate asked for guest bloggers while she is away next week and I knew this recipe would be a natural for her site. It is easy first of all – perfect for beginner cooks and great fun to do with kids. And it is definitely frugal. We had this growing up, when Mom was feeding a bunch of hungry kids for as little money as possible, and I made it often when our girls were growing up. All you need to do is add a vegetable and you have a whole meal, because the meat and starch are already there. The recipe will appear on Jenn’s site in a few days. You should check out her blog if haven’t already – it is full of great ideas for living within your means.

Here are most of the ingredients, except for the worchestershire sauce, which eluded capture at photography time. The gargantuan bottle of ketchup is the result of Larry doing a little grocery shopping – I’m just glad I didn’t send him to Sam’s Club because he’d have come home with a 55 gallon drum of it. Anyway, there is nothing difficult to prep here and nothing hard to find. We will get into it all in more detail as we go along.1In a largish bowl combine:
1 lb of ground round
1/2 lb ground chuck
3/4 cup white long grain rice
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1 medium onion, cut in small dice
1 tablespoon dry parsley flakes [2 tablespoons chopped fresh]
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder/granules
2I mix this together with my hands, but you can use a spoon if you prefer – just make sure it is all really well combined. Form into 2 inch meatballs and arrange evenly in a large saute pan for which you have a lid.3Evenly spread a can of condensed tomato soup – about 1 & 1/2 teaspoon per meatball will do it.4Give each one a good healthy sized squirt of ketchup5Followed by a tablespoon or two of Durkee’s Red Hot [optional] and an equal amount of worchestershire sauce, sprinkled around. Then about 1 cup of plain tomato sauce and 1/2 cup water. Shake the pan gently and cover.6Simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes, remove lid and cook 5 minutes more to thicken sauce a little.7Looking pretty good91
It is total comfort food, with a lot of flavors that kids usually love. And it doesn’t do any good to be frugal if it’s not delicious, is there?10

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25 Responses to Porcupine Meatballs

  1. Cam says:

    Good recipe.

  2. Daryl says:

    I thought ‘wow, dyln is getting really creative .. porcupine meat balls! ..’ and then I clicked and saw .. never mind …

  3. Charlane says:

    it does remind me of my childhood….and of pear salads for some reason.


  4. C-lee says:

    Love the new site! of course the recipes are always great.. i think i cooked last week :-)

  5. Janis says:

    My dad has a recipe very similar. He adds onions and a little chili powder to his and serves them over mashed patooties. Then I come along and douse my helping in cayenne pepper! Yum! We love it! It’s a great, easy dish.

  6. CM says:

    Stop torturing me! …. although at least today while I am reading this I am eating a Crown Touch Creation – Steak filet sandwich w/ watercress, kalamata olives, maytag bleu cheese & black peppercorn dijon mayo on garlic rosemary bread ….. so I guess I should not complain!

    I always can’t help but wonder who is holding the fork of food when you’re taking the picture? You don’t make Larry do that do you? Of course he shouldn’t complain either …. he gets to eat the delicious creations!

  7. Deb says:

    You don’t have to cook the rice? For years, I’ve been cooking it. Now thanks to you, I have just shortened my recipe!
    Thanks a million

  8. Kayola says:

    Those look sooooo yummy! I have a son who adores meatballs…I should go be a good mom and make him some…these really look and probably taste a whole lot better than the peanut butter and honey sandwich I’m about to eat…

  9. Kate says:

    You know what? This looks pretty good! We have giant ketchup, too.

  10. ellyn says:

    I thought everyone bought their ketchup in gigantic bottles.

  11. Lori says:

    WOW! FB has made me blog-lazy and I didn’t even realize you had a new place! I likes!
    What a recipe! I can’t believe you put uncooked rice in them. My kiddo has yet to meet a meatball he doesn’t like, so I will have to remember this one. Thanks!

  12. Shirley says:

    I just bought some ground beef for meatballs. Think I’ll use your recipe. Thanks!!

  13. Ashley says:

    Ha, when I first heard of porcupine meatballs, I had a similar “wha?” moment… but it’s one of the fiancee’s favorite meals and comfort foods. I was skeptical about the uncooked rice at first, but then I realized that I just needed to plan for a good, long cooking time so I didn’t bite into anything hard. Oh, and our recipe also calls for canned tomato soup — some of it even goes into the meatball mixture.

    How do yours stay together so nicely, though? I don’t see any egg or bread crumbs… mine fall apart half the time :(

  14. dre says:

    I LOVE this, my mom makes it and it’s a great treat, it is a comfort food- who doesn’t need that every once in awhile?

    (chill Daryl)

  15. Charisse says:

    I ABSOLUTELY love porcupine balls. My great grandmother used to make them for me. With a side of mashed potatoes. And toast. Very starchy. But delicious. And I always wanted it with green beans, which I have learned is another starch!! SHEESH! But so good.

  16. Aggie says:

    oh man…these look great!! Great recipe!

  17. Philomena says:

    I saw these on tastespotting and had to come over – I grew up eating these! And I think that was quite unusual in Australia. My parents lived in the US before they had kids and that’s where my mother came across the recipe. They were one of my favourite meals, and I’d forgotten all about them. Now I know I’ll have to make myself some. Thank you!

  18. heather says:

    just stumbled onto your blog and found these… which so very much remind me of my grandma’s house growing up!! i adore porcupine meatballs and haven’t though much of them since. thanks for the memory.



  19. Adora says:

    Hi! Well I found this site by accident but I am going to make these meatballs for my hubby and I know he will love them. I am going to surprise him one night for supper. Thank You

  20. Lisa says:

    I got a craving for these one day…I googled “porcupine meatballs” and came up with this. I make them alllll the time now. My family loves them! I used the recipe to teach some high-schoolers how to cook. My company has requested the recipe. What can I say?! Thank you!!

  21. Donalyn says:

    Thanks for coming back to tell me Lisa & I’m so glad that the recipe has proven to be such a favorite.

  22. Samantha says:

    I thought this would be a great recipe but I didn’t follow my instincts to cook the rice first and the rice was raw so now i’m throwing the dish out since I can’t get the rice to cook =(

  23. Donalyn says:

    Samantha, I am sorry that you had a problem with the recipe. I am not sure why that would have happened, as I have been making it exactly this way for 40 years, and my Mom and Grandma for many years before that. I will email you separately to see if I can help.

  24. jaimee says:

    Pinned this particular recipe awhile ago. I have never heard of this before, but ill tell you what, Ive made them 3 times now and my whole family, including my inlaws, are hooked. Delicious!!

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