Porcupine Meatballs

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This week #SundaySupper is going retro!  That’s right, this week the theme is retro recipe then and now.  At first I had no idea what to make.  I make mostly modern recipes and don’t often cook retro because of the fat and calories in many older recipes.

While searching for recipes I can across Porcupine Balls.  Do you know the recipe I mean?  I used to eat these fairly often as a child but I bet I haven’t had them in over 20 years.  I was talking about them at work the other day and only about half the people there knew what I was talking about.  They aren’t anything fancy, simply meatballs made with rice.  That’s it!

Porcupine Meatballs (meatballs made with rice)

I did a little research to see when these were most popular and it looks like they first came about in the 70’s but were popular into the 80’s when I was a child.  The meatballs are supposed to be formed into extra large meatballs.  I made them large but not nearly as big as I remember them because I wanted to be able to eat them.  Because they have rice in them there’s no need for a side dish.  I served mine with a side salad.  It really brought me back to my childhood.

What dish makes you think of your childhood?  Would you try to recreate it nowadays?

Porcupine Meatballs (adapted from Everyday Mom’s Meals)
1 lb. lean ground beef
1-2 T. olive oil
1/2 c.instant rice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg, beaten
1 t. oregano
1/2 t. black pepper
3 c. marinara sauce

1.  In a large bowl combine the ground beef, rice, garlic, egg, oregano, and black pepper.  Mix well using your hands.

2.  Form into 10-12 large meatballs.

3.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Brown the meatballs on all sides.

4.   Pour the marinara sauce into the pan and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.

Porcupine Meatballs-a childhood favorite!





  1. I’ve eaten my share of meatballs over the years but I haven’t heard of porcupine ones. Interesting with the rice. Nice that it makes a meal with a salad.

  2. I haven’t had these in forever! I used to make them all the time for my family, but somehow they fell off of my menu planning and haven’t been on it in probably 15+ years. Thank you for sharing them…I’m gonna have to plan these in the coming weeks.

  3. I make Porcupine Meatballs often, my family loves them! We do ours with Beef Rice A Roni and have a beefy sauce served over mashed potatoes. Delish! I’ve had so much fun looking over your retro recipes!

  4. What fun, Heather! Porcupine Meatballs may be the best solution for a cold winter snap….Of course, anything that has rice gets my vote. Good for you for serving salad as a side dish instead of more rice =)

  5. I feel a little deprived, I always here people talking about eating these growing up and I have never had them. I think that needs to change, because I love meatballs.

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