Porcupine Meatballs

A post from Kelli–

Last weekend, I picked up a shift at the nursing home.  I was planning to work from 8 to 12, but ended up going in early to cover a call-in.  I usually work in our Alzheimer’s unit, which often involves helping some residents eat.  When I was helping them, I noticed that the meatballs they were having for lunch looked very good.  I didn’t know that they had a certain name and the menu just said meatballs with sauce.  When I looked a bit closer, it looked like there was rice in them.  I was kind of puzzled, but ended up busy and kind of forgot about it.  There were quite a few things going on that morning, so I ended up staying until our break time (12:30) but was ready to go as I was coming back the next day for a 12 hour shift.

When I got home, I started investigating “meatballs with rice” and quickly realized that they were called porcupine meatballs.  After a bit more searching, I found many recipes, but found that many called for minute rice, which I didn’t have any of.  I eventually ended up finding a recipe that just said rice–And decided to try it!

One of the reviews that I read talked about how the woman had gotten the recipe from a cookbook that her mother had gotten years ago from a Betty Crocker cookbook she received as a wedding gift.  On a crazy whim, I ran to the cupboard and pulled out my trusty Betty Crocker $3.00 find from the Depot–

meatballs 2 (300x400)I flipped to the hamburger section and guess what!??!–Word for word, there was the recipe!

meatballs (300x400)I whipped it up, threw it in the oven, and walaaa!!!  Supper was served!

I thought they were great, however Jason wasn’t too impressed–No worries though, he’s a picky eater and eats only what 8 year old children would eat, so his opinion on food doesn’t always count, especially if things are mixed together–Hamburger and rice–in this case.

meatballs 3 (300x400)

The next day, I ended up going home and because I wasn’t planning on eating all of the meatballs by myself, I brought them with to share with the kids.  Both mom and the kids loved them!  They are definitely something I’ll consider making and freezing for myself when Jason is in the field or when he’s working late!  They tasted even better when I brought them home to share with mom and the kids–likely because they have a tomato sauce to them!

It seems like all the best recipes are in that Betty Crocker cookbook!  Does anyone else have a good recipe in there to share?  There are some strange ones…like the molded salads (party cheese-lime salad or pineapple carrot salad), but some awesome biscuits and pancakes!

Puppycat Update–She’s doing good and back to her normal self.  Test results came back and she just had a fatty lump.  Kalissa and I are now calling her Fatty Lumpless!




22 thoughts on “Porcupine Meatballs”

  1. I have that same cookbook and my favorite is the sloppy Joes. They are not very sloppy and your hubby may not care for them but we love them.

  2. That’s my go to book for the simple things like white gravy, Choc chips cookies, banana bread, pie crust. It was a shower gift from my bridesmaid 42 years ago.

  3. I love porcupine meatballs. I think they are wonderful. And yes, I love the old cookbooks too. My favorite recipe comes from my mother in law, and I really don’t know where she got it. It sounds a little strange, so have an open mind… it’s called Yogurt Chicken. Here’s the recipe for those brave enough to try…
    1 – 8oz cup plain yogurt
    ½ C. Miracle Whip
    3 TBSP Grey Poupon
    1 tsp Thyme
    2 TBSP Worcestichire Sauce
    3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or chicken tenders–if I use breasts, I like to cut them up into 3-4 pieces per breast)
    Red (Cayenne) Pepper
    Parmesean Cheese
    Mix together first 5 ingredients. Grease glass baking dish. Lay chicken in dish and sprinkle with Cayenne pepper. Pour sauce over chicken. Bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes. When chicken is just beginning to brown, sprinkle with cheese and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes (so cheese gets lightly browned). Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Goes great with steamed broccoli and rice.

  4. I’ve used that cookbook for almost 40 years! Our family favorite is the fudge brownies, and I also like the beef stew recipe. Oh, and the pie crust recipe is my go-to – very flaky and tender, not heavy.

  5. I got this cookbook for a wedding shower gift in 1971. It’s still a great stand by for many recipes. Try the Spanish Rice, it’s pretty good too.

  6. My meatballs and rice recipe uses 1 can of tomatoe soup and 1 can of water, instead of the tomato sauce and water (no Worcestershire). I also find that the longer it cooks, the better it tastes – I bake it at 350 degrees for close to 2 hours. It’s been a regular in our house for probably 35 years. Yum, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

  7. Thanks for the update on Puppycat! Glad it was just the fatty tumor and nothing more serious. Sounds like I need to get my old cookbook out!

  8. Porcupine Meatballs were a staple at our house growing up. Mom made them often and they were always a big hit. I have that same cookbook and it’s pretty tattered, but it’s helped me through many years of trying to cook for the family. Enjoy!!!

  9. Some of my family favorites from that cookbook are: Hamburger Stroganoff, Snickerdoodles, Russian Tea cakes cookies, Waffles (made every Sunday morning before church), the Pineapple Glaze for ham, Apple pie (for the seasoning ratio), Oriental Cornish Game Hen seasonings, and Sweet ‘n Sour Pork. Enjoy!

  10. I so remember having those as a kid. And my vote would have been with Jason. It’s vaguely possible my opinion would have changed by now, but that memory of “ick” is pretty strong. Glad your pooch is doing well.

  11. Gosh, I remember making these when my husband and I were first married, and had two little ones. Believe it or not, I was just thinking about these the other day. Might have to make them soon. So glad about Puppycat!

  12. I love Porcupines and have made them since I was a teenager. I always use tomato soup not sauce. They are excellent also with mushroom soup instead of the tomato.

  13. Susan the Farm Quilter

    I had an old Betty Crocker cookbook that I lost in a divorce and I keep looking in all of them for a recipe for barbecue meatloaf that has the recipe for the BBQ sauce that goes on top. It was the best meatloaf! Have fun cooking up more yuck for Jason!!! (You need to educate his palette)!

  14. Kelli, Thank you SO much for reminding me of Porcupine Meatballs, I’m going to make them again!. Somehow I had lost the recipe. I have Betty Crocker’s First Edition cookbook, 6th printing (much-loved and covered in cocoa stains from my 2 girls who loved to make the no-bake cookies! I could not find the Porcupine Meatballs in that cookbook, but now have a copy in my recipe box, thanks to you. My favorite recipe in the cookbook I have is Hamburger Stroganoff; it is so much better than regular Beef Stroganoff and it is very rich.. As a young housewife in 1965, I loved this cookbook and used it often and it appears from other comments that it may also be in your cookbook too.. So glad Puppycat’s better now and that the lump results were good. For Susan the Farm Quilter: My cookbook has a recipe for Fluffy Meatloaf and also Barbecued Beefies; (same recipe as Fluffy Meatloaf, and has a recipe for Texas BBQ Sauce which was poured over the top.) This may be what she is looking for; if she wants it, I will gladly forward it on to you, Kelli, so you can give it to her; it’s a bit long to post here. Just let me know.

  15. My mother has made porcupine meatballs for at least 50 years. She always used a pressure pan (10 minutes) and served them on mashed potatoes. My sister simmers them on the stovetop and I used to bake them until I bought a good pressure pan. We all use tomato soup. This was “everyone coming home and what do I fix” for Mom. No kidding, she would fill a canning pressure pan and there would be very few left over.

  16. Kelli, thank you for sharing this recipe……I made them yesterday for the family and they were a hit. Since this was my first time making them I didn’t expect them to come out looking like they did, I see why they are called Porcupine meatballs. I have the Betty Crocker cookbook, my mom bought it for me when I was a newly wed. I love this recipe book, it contains so many long, forgotten recipes from back in the day.

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