Grandmother’s Porcupine Meatballs

These simple, whole grain meatballs are great for a tasty, bite-sized appetizer, cheesy sub sandwich or simply served with a green salad for dinner.

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Grandmother’s Porcupine Meatballs

Cooking time
PREP TIME 15 mins
Cooking time
COOK TIME 25 mins
Ready in
TOTAL TIME 40 mins


  • 1 bag Success® Brown Rice
  • 1 1/4 lb ground beef
  • 1 can (10.75 oz) condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


Meatballs 101

This meatball recipe couldn’t be easier! One of the first steps to getting meatballs to retain their shape, is to make sure you use a binder in your recipe. Cooked rice works as a great binder, and with Success® Boil-in-Bag Rice, that cooks up in 10 minutes, you can add whole grains to your meal in a lot less time.

It’s important to let the rice cool a bit before adding it to the meat so that it does not release any excess moisture and make the meatballs fall apart. Another important element to getting the right texture is to not overwork the meat when mixing. We suggest using clean hands to mix, but you can also use a spatula or spoon. Then comes the fun part, shaping your mixture! Remember, the smaller the meatballs, the quicker they will cook thoroughly in the sauce.

Letting them simmer in the tomato sauce is a great way to get the meatballs to soak up all of the great flavor of the sauce. You’ll want to keep the lid on so that there’s enough heat to cook the meatballs all the way through. To test and see if your meat is fully cooked, make sure to cut into one to check it before turning off the heat.

Get ‘Em While They’re Hot!

These meatballs are great because they can be served in a variety of ways. If you make them small, they make a cute appetizer. Larger meatballs are perfect to serve with pasta or a rice salad or as a meatball sub. And some roasted vegetables on the side to make it well-balanced meal.

You can also use this recipe to meal prep for the week, varying between pasta, meatball sandwiches or simply meatballs and vegetables.

Looking for a seafood idea? Try our: rice and shrimp recipe.

  • These simple but tasty Grandmother’s Porcupine Meatballs are an all-time family favorite! Make them with Success® Brown Rice to add whole grain goodness to your meal.

    Step 1

  • Prepare rice according to package directions. Allow to cool.

    Step 2

  • Combine ground beef and cooked rice in a large bowl and mix well. Shape mixture into small meatballs and set aside.

    Step 3

  • Combine tomato soup, water, onion powder, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

    Step 4

  • Gently drop meatballs into sauce and cover pan. Simmer on low to medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

    Recipe Tips

    Feel free to sub in ground turkey or meatless ground for ground beef. For authentic, Italian flavor, you could even use a mixture of ground beef and ground pork.

  • For added flavor, add 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese to the rice and meat mixture before shaping the meatballs.