Home 5 ingredients or less Easy Porcupine Meatballs

Easy Porcupine Meatballs

by Laura

Growing up, one of my favorite things to have for dinner was my mom’s rice meatballs. Once I was older and on my own, I found out that this dish is also called porcupine meatballs.

It may seem like a weird name for a meal, but it all comes from the look of the meatballs. Rice is mixed into the beef before it is formed into balls. After cooking, the rice gives the appearance of what a porcupine would look like with his poky quills.

I recently saw my friend Jamie from Jamie Cooks it up post a version of porcupine meatballs. I saw that it only took 3 ingredients to make and knew I’d have to give it a try.

This recipe is a beefy version where my mom’s is a version coated in a tomato sauce. However, it was a welcomed change. The family enjoyed it and it is quicker to make than my mom’s version. The rice and flavor for these meatballs comes from a box of beef Rice a Roni that is also mixed in the ground beef along with an egg and water.

Easy Porcupine Meatballs | realmomkitchen.com

Here is what you need to make the

Easy Porcupine Meatballs

  • EGG
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Easy Porcupine Meatballs


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 (6.8 oz) box beef flavored Rice A Roni
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups water


  1. In a mixing bowl, add the beef along with the rice/pasta from the box of Rice A Roni. Set a side the seasoning packet to use in a little bit.
  2. Add the egg into the mixing bowl also. Combine the beef, past/rice, and egg together.
  3. Shape into 25 gold ball shaped meatballs. Then cook in a skillet over medium heat to brown all sides.
  4. Now add the seasoning packet to 2 1/4 cups of water. Stir to combine and then pour over the meatballs.
  5. Allow to come to a simmer and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice/pasta is tender. Serves 4-5.
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Recipe adapted from Jamie Cooks It Up.

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Karen June 14, 2022 - 5:35 am

I love these meatballs. I haven’t made them yet but my mom used to. I wanted to know if you could tell me how to adapt it so i can make them in my instant pot. I just mainly need how much water it would be since instant pots usually use less and also the time for the cook. Would you happen to know this? I appreciate it!

Laura June 15, 2022 - 2:22 pm

I actually just posted an Instant Pot version. You can find the recipe here. https://www.realmomkitchen.com/instant-pot-porcupine-meatballs/?swcfpc=1

Karen October 3, 2022 - 3:49 am

I haven’t tried this yet but want to do it in my instant pot. The instant pot version doesn’t use the rice a roni. What would be the instant pot version using the rice a roni just like the above stove-top recipe?

Laura October 5, 2022 - 4:45 pm

You could try it the same as above and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.

Karen October 10, 2022 - 11:45 pm


Stephanie Jensen January 17, 2018 - 4:20 pm



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