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Porcupine Meatballs

These porcupine meatballs are an easy dinner recipe, perfect for any night of the week. They’re also a great way to use up leftover rice!

6 porcupine meatballs on a plate

This post is sponsored by RAGÚ®. Thank you for supporting the brands that we love! All opinions are my own.

My mom was a supermom. She worked two jobs and still managed to make breakfast, lunch, and get dinner on the table almost every single night. I don’t know how she did it – I struggle sometimes with just one meal a day!

I think one of her secrets was her recipe box. She had a number of go-to easy recipes that she could whip up while helping us with homework or while picking up around the house. These braised porcupine meatballs were in that recipe box and were always one of my favorites.

Braised Porcupine Meatballs

The secret to this meatball recipe isn’t the meat or the rice. It’s the sauce and RAGÚ® Old World Style Traditional Sauce was always my mom’s favorite. A classic sauce for a family recipe; seems fitting to me!

Enjoy the taste of RAGÚ brand’s heritage with Old World Style Traditional Sauce. A classic sauce crafted with vine-ripened tomatoes and well-storied passion.

No artificial flavors, no artificial colors and no high-fructose corn syrup – sounds perfect! It also contains two servings of vegetables in every ½ cup of sauce.

Jar of RAGU Old World Style Traditional Sauce
meatballs with RAGU jar in background

How to make porcupine meatballs

First things first, you need to make your meatballs. Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until they are combined.

This recipe is a great way to use up leftover rice but if you’re making rice just for this recipe, let it cool first. Your hands will thank you when you’re forming those meatballs.

Form the meat mixture into meatballs, roughly 1-inch in diameter. You should be able to make around 24 meatballs, give or take.

Heat up a skillet with some olive oil so you can brown the meatballs before you braise them. I really like using cast iron because I think it adds a little extra flavor.

Once you have browned the meatballs on all sides, and a full jar of pasta sauce. This smooth, flavorful spaghetti sauce is the perfect braising liquid. Once the sauce starts boiling, reduce the heat so it’s just simmering and braise the meatballs for about 15 minutes (or until the meat is cooked all of the way through.)

When the meatballs are finished, the sauce will have evaporated just a little and thickened slightly. All of the flavors of the meatballs and the sauce will come together to create the perfect, easy meal!

What should I serve the porcupine meatballs with? 

There are so many items that you can serve with porcupine meatballs. Here are some options:

  • small side salad
  • steamed broccoli or brussel sprouts
  • mashed potatoes or mashed carrots 
meatballs on a plate with bowl of meatballs in background

Porcupine Meatballs

These porcupine meatballs are an easy dinner recipe, perfect for any night of the week. They’re also a great way to use up leftover rice!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dinner | Lunch
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 414.2kcal


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 24 ounce pasta sauce
  • black pepper to taste


  • In a medium bowl, combine ground beef, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, oregano and rice. Form into 1-inch meatballs, approximately 24.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add the meatballs to the skillet. Brown the meatballs on all sides.
  • Add entire jar of pasta sauce to the skillet, covering the meatballs. Bring sauce to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked all of the way through.
  • Sprinkle parsley on top of meatballs before serving.



You can substitute ground turkey.


Calories: 414.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.9g | Protein: 22.7g | Fat: 26.8g | Saturated Fat: 9.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12.6g | Trans Fat: 1.4g | Cholesterol: 80.5mg | Sodium: 1.173mg | Potassium: 837.7mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6.1g | Vitamin A: 749.3IU | Vitamin C: 12.2mg | Calcium: 61.7mg | Iron: 4.2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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