This website may contain affiliate links and advertising so that we can provide recipes to you. Read my disclosure policy.

Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs are hearty and delicious meatballs filled with rice and served with a rich tomato sauce. This is a classic meal that the family will love!! 

Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballson rice in a gray plate.

Hey everyone! Chelsea back from Chelsea’s Messy Apron! I’ve got a childhood favorite recipe to share with you all and I’ve simplified it even more making these meatballs IN the crockpot!

First off, if you aren’t familiar with porcupine meatballs, there aren’t actual porcupines in them 🙂 They are basically just meatballs with rice IN the meat mixture and as they cook they get a little spikey and look like little porcupines :).

My mom used to make these all the time growing up and they are one of my favorites. Think typical meatballs but with rice and served with a tomato sauce over even more rice!

Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs on white rice and a gray bowl.

Perfect comfort food that won’t even heat up your kitchen! Which I think is especially important as it heats up this summer! The crockpot also ensures the meat is super tender and delicious which you can’t get by cooking these meatballs in the oven!

Thank you slow cookers! ??

Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs on rice in a gray bowl.

Pin this now to find it later

Pin It

Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs

5 from 1 vote
By: Chelsea Lords
Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs are hearty and delicious meatballs filled with rice and served with a rich tomato sauce. This is a classic meal that the family will love!!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Servings: 6 Servings



  • Preheat the oven to broil (550 degrees F.) Line a large tray with tin foil and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, white rice, grated white onion, minced garlic, large egg, seasoned salt, pepper, and dried basil. Knead the mixture until just combined avoiding over-mixing (makes the meatloaves denser)
  • Form meatballs by tightly squishing the mixture together until a tightly condensed meatball is formed (I like to use a cookie scoop for size consistency and ease). Repeat until all of the mixture is used up. The mixture should make around 20 meatballs.
  • Place all of the formed meatballs on the tray, generously spritz with cooking spray, and then broil in the oven for 3 minutes per side (6 minutes total). This helps ensure they don't break apart in the crockpot. Remove.
  • Spray your slow cooker with nonstick spray. Add in the water, both cans of tomato sauce, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir.
  • Layer the meatballs on top (I used a 6 quart slow cooker) of the tomato mixture. Spoon the sauce over.
  • Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours (watch carefully if you have a slow cooker that cooks a lot hotter than most).
  • Remove from the slow cooker and serve over a bed of white rice.
  • Garnish with salt and pepper if desired and freshly chopped parsley to taste.


Calories: 223kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 18gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 566mgPotassium: 406mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 49IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

 More delicious slow cooker recipes from Chelsea’s Messy Apron:

Honey BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Crockpot Italian Meatballs

About Chelsea Lords

Chelsea is the blogger behind Chelsea's Messy Apron. She is always experimenting in the kitchen and making new things to eat. "Or I am in the kitchen eating. Both are good." She tries to eat a balanced diet of healthful foods, but she loves desserts. You will find most of her recipes are healthy and easy, but still taste great! She has found that eating is all about balance and she hopes that that is the case on her site!

More Ideas

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. I’d like to make this. I’m in Australia and I don’t know what the recipe means when it comes to cans of tomato sauce.
    Do you mean canned crushed tomatoes? Or actual tomato sauce that you’d put on hot chips? Thank you!

    1. Hi! Tomato Sauce is something here that is similar to ketchup. I would replace it with some crushed tomatoes or tomato soup! The can size is about 8 ounces.

  2. I am so happy to find a recipe for porcupine meatballs that doesn’t require canned tomato soup. I am horrified by the calories per serving 1273? Is that right? How many servings does the recipe make? I can’t find that anywhere. Thanks!

  3. Can I form the meatballs with the rice and onion the night before and broil and put in the slow cooker the next day?

    If so, how would you recommend I store the formed meatballs in the fridge overnight?

    1. Yes, that sounds great! I would recommend storing the meatballs either on a cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap or in a Tupperware. Let me know how it turns out! XOXO

      1. I can’t rate yet because I am not sure it calls for uncooked rice. please help!

      2. Uncooked Rice is perfect! I will add it to the ingredients for everyone to see.

    1. There is a similar recipe on that uses uncooked rice in the meatballs. So, I’m guessing uncooked!