A Slow Cooker Recipe For Porcupine Meatballs

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Porcupine Meatballs are a creative take on typical beef meatballs; they’re packed with rice, herbs, and onion before being slow-cooked in a rich tomato sauce and served over rice.

These meatballs are not made with porcupines, despite their name.

Rice is stuffed inside the meatballs, therefore their name is derived from that.

As the meatballs are boiling, the rice expands and pokes out of them like porcupine quills.

Porcupine meatballs, despite their quirky name; are just beef meatballs prepared with white rice and slowly cooked in a simple tomato sauce.

The meatballs that result are soft and tasty, and they’re great served with mashed potatoes, noodles, or, honestly, more rice.

They’re filling and comfortable, and- they’re ideal for a weekday meal. 

Recipe to Make Porcupine meatballs:

These meatballs are easy to make, and you won’t believe how tasty and tender they are after slow simmering for most of the day!

Ingredients of Porcupine Meatballs

White rice with a long grain: One of the best things about this recipe is that the rice doesn’t have to be cooked ahead of time!

In the slow cooker, it becomes delightfully tender.

Long grain white rice is best for even cooking.

Onion, yellow: While grinding the yellow onion using- a box grater is a laborious chore.

This ensures that the onion bits are evenly distributed throughout the porcupine meatballs and that there are no crunchy (uncooked) onion chunks.

Garlic, minced Using a microplate, finely dice or grate the garlic.

Use pre-minced garlic to save time!

Egg: This is the crucial ingredient.

Flavorings: In these, a few seasonings are all that’s required for flavor.

Salt, pepper, dried basil, and Italian seasoning for porcupine meatballs

Ingredients for the Sauce

Because there are so few ingredients, the ones you use are crucial!

Stock made from beef.

Water also helps in a pinch.

Tomato Sauce:- To make sure you use the best tomato sauce, adjust the sugar and salt to your taste.

Also, check whether the tomato sauce is salted or unsalted, and adjust the salt and pepper accordingly.

Brown Sugar:- You can use light brown sugar that has been gently packed.

If you’re concerned about the overall sweetness of Porcupine Meatballs, you’ll need to add more sugar.

To help balance out the acidity of the tomato sauce, you should add more sugar.

Worcestershire sauce:- A quarter cup seems like a lot!

However, it works well in this recipe.

Tips for Porcupine Meatballs

Don’t overwork the beef mixture; stop mixing once all of the ingredients have been incorporated.

Overworking the meat will result in less soft Porcupine Meatballs.

If you want your Porcupine Meatballs to cook evenly and on time, roll them into even-sized balls.

This recipe yields approximately 22-25 meatballs (each weighing approximately 1 1/2 teaspoons).

When you broil the meatballs before you put them in the slow cooker, they won’t be properly cooked, but they’ll get a crispy crust that will help them stay together during cooking.

Here are a few pointers to help you roll meatballs more easily:

Keep the ingredients cool; the colder the ingredients, the easier they are- to roll and shape into Porcupine Meatballs.

Make rolling easier by spraying cooking spray on your hands or rubbing some cooking oil into them.

A cookie scoop is useful- for this.

As opposed to rolling meat portions one at a time, scoop all of the meat into pieces and roll them at the- same time.

Step By Step Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to broil on high (550 degrees F).
  2. Line a large tray with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Meatballs:- Toss the ground beef, uncooked white rice, grated white onion, minced garlic, big egg, salt, Italian seasoning, pepper, and dried basil together in a large mixing basin.
  4. Avoid overmixing the mixture and knead it until just incorporated (which will result in dense meatballs).
  5. Forming meatballs:- To make meatballs, measure and squeeze 1 1/2 tablespoons of mixture per meatball until it is formed into a solid ball.
  6. Repeat until all of the mixtures have been used.
  7. Broil:- Arrange all of the formed meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, generously spritz with cooking spray, and broil for 3 minutes per side in the oven (6 minutes total).
  8. In this way, they will not disintegrate in the slow cooker.
  9. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set it aside.
  10. To make tomato sauce in a slow cooker:- spray the inside of the slow cooker with nonstick spray first.
  11. Then, combine the beef stock/broth, tomato sauce cans, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce in a large mixing bowl.
  12. Stir well.
  13. Add meatballs to the tomato mixture:- Arrange the meatballs on top of the tomato mixture.
  14. Gently pour over the sauce.
  15. Cook: Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours or high for 3-5 hours, or until rice is soft and meat is thoroughly cooked (165 degrees F.)
  16. Cooking on low is recommended; my slow cooker takes exactly 6 hours.
  17. When the cover is removed from a slow cooker, it takes a while for everything to come back to temperature.

Recipe Variations

  1. You can add an egg to the meatball mixture and use milk instead of water if you like.
  2. Replace the tomato sauce and water with a 14 1/2-ounce can of chopped tomatoes and a 10- 3/4-ounce container of condensed tomato soup for a richer, chunkier sauce.
  3. If the mixture becomes too thick, thin it with a little- water.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 367 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 44g
  • Protein: 29g
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 117 mg
  • Sodium: 364 mg
  • Potassium: 720mg
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 17g
  • Vitamin A: 68IU
  • Vitamin C: 4mg
  • Calcium: 66 mg
  • Iron: 4mg

Ideas for Variations

You don’t have to make this dish the same way every time.

You can change up the meat, add-ins, and so forth.

Here are a few interesting options to try:

Use a Different Type of Meat: Ground turkey, pig, or even chicken would make wonderful porcupine meatballs.

Add Shredded Cheese:- Shredded cheese, such as mozzarella, would be a fantastic addition to these meatballs.

Chopped carrots or peppers are delicious additions to the meatballs, and it’s a fun way to convince your finicky- children to eat vegetables.

Porcupine Meatballs Serving Suggestions

Porcupine meatballs go well with almost everything.

Is there any more rice?

Done. What about other carbs?

Yes, absolutely!

Here are a couple of go-to sides that you might enjoy:

Rice:- You may serve these meatballs with white, brown, or cauliflower rice.

It’s entirely up to you!

Noodles:- If you don’t feel like eating rice, try a plate of noodles instead!

It preferred to keep things simple by serving spaghetti or penne.

Mashed Potatoes:- You read that correctly!

Even creamy mashed potatoes go well with these meatballs.

Salad: Serve these meatballs with a mild salad if you’re trying to keep it healthy.

Tips for Success

Yes, these meatballs are ready to eat in only three simple steps.

It doesn’t get much easier than that when it comes to dinnertime!

However, there are a few other suggestions that you might find useful:

Use leaner cuts of beef: You’ll still get juicy, flavorful meatballs, but there will be a lot less oil in the sauce and pan.

If you don’t mind the extra grease, use beef that has a higher fat content.

Meatballs:- Make 1-inch meatballs with an ice cream scoop since it assures that they are all around the same size.

Alternatively, a tablespoon could be used.

Prepare the meatballs ahead of time:- These meatballs are a terrific dinner to prepare ahead of time!

Complete step 1 and place uncooked meatballs on a baking sheet to freeze until solid.

Then, until you’re ready to create the sauce and finish the dinner, store them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long should pre-cooked meatballs be cooked in the slow cooker?

In a slow cooker or at a low temperature, meatballs only need to cook for 2-3 hours on high or 4-6 hours on low.

This is not to say that they can’t be cooked for longer.

Meatballs may readily be cooked for a lengthy period due to their hardness.

What’s the deal with the collapsing porcupine meatballs?

Meatballs that fall apart are usually due to a problem with the binder.

In most meatball recipes, bread crumbs and eggs are used.

They will become too loose if there are too many bread crumbs or if there are- too few bread crumbs.

How to Freeze and Store

Porcupine meatballs can be stored- in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Wrap them in aluminum foil or plastic wrap to keep them fresh, or store them in an airtight container.

Freeze them if you want.

Raw or cooked porcupine meatballs can be frozen.

Place the pre-cooked meatballs on a cookie sheet, wrap them in plastic wrap, and freeze for a few hours.

Remove them from the freezer and place them in a freezer-safe plastic bag, then return them to the freezer to store.

In the freezer, precooked meatballs will last 3 to 4 months.

Allow cooked meatballs to cool before placing them in a freezer-safe bag.

Meatballs that have been cooked can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Conclusion

Porcupine Meatballs are quick and easy to make, and then slow-cooked until they’re fall-apart tender!

These meatballs are made with only four ingredients and a four-ingredient sauce.

Only a few minutes of prep time yields stunning results!

Serve these delicious meatballs with roasted veggies and a huge garden salad like this Olive Garden salad on top of a bed of cooked rice.

That’s a filling and well-rounded supper, right there.

Porcupine Meatballs

A Slow Cooker Recipe For Porcupine Meatballs

The meatballs that result are soft and tasty, and they’re great served with mashed potatoes, noodles, or, honestly, more rice.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 9 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to broil on high (550 degrees F).
  • Line a large tray with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Meatballs:- Toss the ground beef, uncooked white rice, grated white onion, minced garlic, big egg, salt, Italian seasoning, pepper, and dried basil together in a large mixing basin.
  • Avoid overmixing the mixture and knead it until just incorporated (which will result in dense meatballs).
  • Forming meatballs:- To make meatballs, measure and squeeze 1 1/2 tablespoons of mixture per meatball until it is formed into a solid ball.
  • Repeat until all of the mixtures have been used.
  • Broil:- Arrange all of the formed meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, generously spritz with cooking spray, and broil for 3 minutes per side in the oven (6 minutes total).
  • In this way, they will not disintegrate in the slow cooker.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set it aside.
  • To make tomato sauce in a slow cooker:- spray the inside of the slow cooker with nonstick spray first.
  • Then, combine the beef stock/broth, tomato sauce cans, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce in a large mixing bowl.
  • Stir well.
  • Add meatballs to the tomato mixture:- Arrange the meatballs on top of the tomato mixture.
  • Gently pour over the sauce.
  • Cook: Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours or high for 3-5 hours, or until rice is soft and meat is thoroughly cooked (165 degrees F.)
  • Cooking on low is recommended; my slow cooker takes exactly 6 hours.
  • When the cover is removed from a slow cooker, it takes a while for everything to come back to temperature.
Keyword A Slow Cooker Recipe For Porcupine Meatballs
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