Grandma's Porcupine Meatballs Recipe Is From the Great Depression Era by 30Seconds Food

Grandma's Porcupine Meatballs Recipe Is From the Great Depression Era

Why are they called porcupine meatballs? We're assuming it's because the rice can stick out of the meatball and look like a porcupine's quills. Some say this recipe originated during the Great Depression because rice was budget-friendly and could make the meat stretch further for dinner

Regardless of why they're called porcupine meatballs, they are a delicious family dinner any night of the week. The where and why aren't really important about this ground beef recipe. What is important is that this porcupine meatball recipe is yummy, easy on the wallet and kids love them.

All you need for these juicy, gluten-free beef meatballs is ground beef, rice, onion, seasoned salt, garlic powder, tomato sauce, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. The meatballs are formed and put into a casserole baking dish. The simple sauce is stirred together and poured over the meatballs. Bake for about 40 minutes and dinner is done. 

These moist vintage meatballs are a quick and easy dinner any night of the week. Serve the meatballs with your favorite side dishes.

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Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Servings: 4


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Recipe Notes

  • Try this recipe with ground turkey or ground chicken.
  • Store any leftover meatballs covered in the fridge for up to four days.
  • Spice things up with a bit of ground cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes.

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Combine the ground beef, uncooked rice, water, onion, seasoned salt and garlic powder. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well and shape into meatballs. Put the meatballs into a casserole dish that’s been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Mix together the tomato sauce, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Pour the sauce over the meatballs. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes more.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 393

Total Fat: 12g

Saturated Fat: 5.4g

Cholesterol: 137mg

Sodium: 884mg

Total Carbohydrate: 21.7g

Dietary Fiber: 2.6g

Total Sugars: 8.9g

Protein: 47.8g

Vitamin D: 0mcg

Calcium: 41mg

Iron: 7mg

Potassium: 1170mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Elisa Schmitz
Brings back delicious memories, thank you!
Randy Bohanon
Can't wait to try this!
Ann Marie Patitucci
These look delicious. And I love the Great Depression history!
I haven't had these in ages! Great memories.
Elisa Schmitz
I agree, MSKAY , wonderful memories. And so easy and delish, too! Hope you enjoy this recipe.
Peter Biantes
Thanks For Sharing....
Mark Bastorous
It's amazing. I'd definitely give this recipe a try and savor the taste of nostalgia. 💖🍽️
This was something my mom would make often growing up. I now make them for my family and we love them.
Elisa Schmitz
How wonderful, StellaStar ! I love how food brings back memories and carries forward traditions. Thank you for sharing with us!

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