Porcupine Meatballs

Porcupine Meatballs are hearty and well seasoned meatballs with rice that simmer in a rich tomato sauce. This is a family recipe passed down from my grandma and I know that your family will love it too! 

Porcupine Meatballs

Porcupine Meatballs

Oh porcupine meatballs. How I love you.

This was a recipe that my grandmother used to cook for my mom. My mom would make it for us all of the time and now I make it for my family! These kind of “tried and true” recipes that are passed down are the very best. So many memories come back to me when I make these for my family. I remember how excited we would all get when my mom was making porcupine meatballs for dinner. I loved to help her in the kitchen and make the little meatballs. As soon as they were done, they were devoured by our family in a matter of minutes.

I love using McCormick spices because they are such high quality and add such amazing flavor to your dish. McCormick has been around since 1889. I remember looking in my grandmothers cabinets and seeing the red caps in her cupboards. My mom uses them in her cooking and now I use them in mine. It is a company that I can stand behind and know and love.

Porcupine Meatballs 2

Now is the time to keep your cupboards stocked with all of your favorite McCormick spices. We are entering in the cozy comfort food season full of casseroles, soups, and slow cooker meals.

I am always using garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and tons of cinnamon throughout the year. And McCormick has so many other amazing quality spices that I love to use as well.

Porcupine Meatballs 3

These porcupine meatballs are well seasoned with McCormick spices to bring out amazing flavor. The rice in the meatball which give it the porcupine name add such a delicious texture. They simmer in a rich tomato sauce and cook to perfection.

These are some of the best little meatballs that you are going to eat. They are a family favorite of ours and I know that they will become a family favorite at your house as well!


This post was sponsored by McCormick®. I love working with brands that I am passionate about and use in the kitchen for myself. All opinions expressed are my own.

Porcupine Meatballs

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings 6 Servings

Hearty and well seasoned meatballs with rice that simmer in a rich tomato sauce.  This is a family recipe passed down from my grandma and I know that your family will love it too! 

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword meatball recipe, meatballs, porcupine meatballs


  • 1 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1/4 cup long grain rice uncooked
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon McCormick® Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup 10 3/4 oz, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


  1. In a medium sized bowl combine meat, rice, egg, parsley, onion, garlic powder, paprika, pepper, salt and 1/4 cup tomato soup. Mix thoroughly and shape into about 20 meatballs and place in a skillet.
  2. Mix remaining soup, water and worchestershire sauce. Pour over meatballs. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for about 35-40 minutes stirring often.
Nutrition Facts
Porcupine Meatballs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 269 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 461mg19%
Potassium 524mg15%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 329IU7%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Calcium 28mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. My mother used to make porcupine balls as well. Such a comfort food on a cold Fall or winter day. She has been gone for many years now, but when I do make them, it brings back such comforting memories for me. She actually did hers in her pressure cooker and would add potatoes in among the porcupine balls and dumplings on the top! Thanks for th memory and the recipe!

  2. I have been making Porcupine meatballs since the late 1970’s! Little bit of a variation, instead of tomato soup, I use tomato sauce (definitely Worcestershire sauce).

    The difference is that I put it all in a casserole dish, cover it with aluminum foil for 45 minutes, then 15 minutes with the foil off. I usually bake potatoes at the same time since the oven is going.

    Now, since hubby and I are retired, and kids are gone. I make up a batch, separate into smaller portions and Vaccuum Seal them and store in freezer until I need them.

  3. I’ve made these many times in the past. I don’t use canned soup, so I’m gonna put a little ketchup in the meatballs and I have a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes that I’ll use for the sauce. I’ll jazz it up a bit with some olive oil and apple cider vinegar, and dried basil. Making these in a little while. Gonna be soooo good! My mom used to make these when I was a kid.

  4. This recipe looks good. Can’t wait to make this.

    Can I use brown rice instead? If so, do you know how many more minutes should I cook the meatballs for?

  5. I would like to freeze these but I’m wondering if I would do that before or after cooking? My mother used to make these years ago and I thought I would make them for her as a surprise. It’s been years since I’ve had porcupines. Thank you for the memory 🙂

    1. Oh that is so sweet of you! She will love that! I would recommend cooking them first then reheating them but you are welcome to freeze it before cooking them too. It is usually easy to reheat frozen meals. Hope she enjoys this special surprise! XOXO

  6. What are some good sides that go well with these?? My mom also used to make these when I was young and im trying your recipe out for the first time making them myself!

  7. My mom made this recipe in the 50’s…without the Worcestershire sauce, garlic power and paprika. She also didn’t add any soup to the balls but rather saved it all for the sauce. To keep her meatballs together, she rolled them in flour before putting them in the pot. Will try your recipe tonight…adding the spices but not the soup. I also add extra soup to the sauce, because my family likes the “gravy” for the mashed potatoes.

  8. I use tomato sauce and make the oblong balls. I have mashed potatoes and corn for the sides. I love this dish. It’s great for the fall.

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