These vintage One-Pot Porcupine Meatballs are gently simmered in a simple tomato sauce. Also called Hedgehog Meatballs in some parts of the world, these ground beef and rice meatballs are a family-friendly meal. This versatile one-pot meal can be prepared in the oven, on the stove top, pressure cooker (like Instant Pot), or in a slow cooker.
This recipe is very easy to prepare and spends the majority of its cook time in the oven unattended. I also simmer cabbage in the pot in a layer just under the meatballs, which makes one of my side dishes at the same time. I like to serve this with either a side of steamed rice or mashed potatoes for sopping up the delicious sauce.
Top the meatballs with tomato sauce and water then cover and simmer in the oven for about 60 minutes.
See the cooked rice sticking out? That’s where these meatballs have gotten their name – Porcupine meatballs. These are called hedgehog meatballs in other parts of the world where porcupines do not exist.
These are another family dinner-time favorite.
Do you have a favorite retro recipe? Share it with me in the comments below. I’d love to hear about it!
One-Pot Porcupine Meatballs
Yield 6 servings (about 5 meatballs each)
These vintage One-Pot Porcupine Meatballs are gently simmered in a simple tomato sauce. Also called Hedgehog Meatballs in some parts of the world, these ground beef and rice meatballs are a family-friendly meal. This versatile meal can be prepared in the oven, on the stove top, or in a slow cooker.
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 2 tsp poultry seasoning [See Note 1]
- 1 tsp oregano, dried
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 cup long-grain rice, uncooked
- 1/2 cup milk or water [See Note 2]
For the Sauce:
- 1 (28-ounces) can tomato sauce
- 1 can (28-ounces) water
For the Cabbage: (optional)
- 1/2 head cabbage, sliced into thin shreds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl add the meatball ingredients, and mix well using your clean hands. The mixture will be soft, but they firm up while they cook.
Wet your hands and form the mixture into 1-ounce sized meatballs. You should end up with 32 meatballs. Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil in Dutch oven or similar deep roasting dish. If using, layer the shredded cabbage onto the bottom of the dish, then layer the meatballs on top.
Pour the tomato sauce over the top and then add the water. Gently stir to combine without disturbing the cabbage. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil.
Bake covered for 30 minutes then remove the foil and cook for another 30 minutes to reduce the sauce and the rice to become tender.
Serve with a side of steamed rice or mashed potatoes to sop up the sauce!
- Poultry seasoning is a blend of several herbs and spices perfect for meatballs and meatloaves, as well as, poultry.
- Adding milk or water to the lean beef keeps the meatballs juicy while the rice cooks.
- Recipe yields 32 (1-ounce) meatballs.
- These meatballs freeze well. Place meatballs and sauce in an airtight container or zip top bag. Freeze up to 90 days. Defrost overnight in the fridge, then reheat and serve.
Courses Dinner, supper, main meal, entree