Old-Fashioned Porcupine Meatballs in tomato sauce make a delicious and economical family meal. This recipe has been popular since the Great Depression when it was developed to make ground beef go further. Serve as is or over rice or mashed potatoes for a filling dinner.
Uncooked rice is mixed with ground beef to make Porcupine Meatballs. The rice kind of pops out of the cooked meatballs like porcupine quills, hence the name.
This particular recipe for Old-Fashioned Porcupine Meatballs is completely cooked in the oven. No need to do any cooking on the stove. The prep for these meatballs is super easy and the sauce only has 3 ingredients.
To make Porcupine Meatballs, one pound of ground beef is mixed with 1/2 cup of uncooked rice, water, onion, and seasonings. The mixture is shaped into large meatballs which are then placed in a baking dish. The tomato sauce is a simple mixture of canned tomato sauce, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce.
The sauce gets poured over the meatballs. The baking dish is covered with foil and baked for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes.
Tips for making Porcupine Meatballs
Don’t use ground beef that is too high in fat. I use 10%.
You can use uncooked long grain rice or Minute rice. The baking time is plenty long for uncooked rice to get fully cooked and the water added to the meatball mixture along with the tomato sauce is all the liquid the rice needs to get soft.
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- In a large bowl, combine ground beef, rice, water, onion, seasoned salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and celery salt. Mix well and shape into 9 meatballs.
- Place in a lightly greased baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a bowl, stir together tomato sauce, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over meatballs. Cover baking dish with foil.
- Bake covered for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes.
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