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meatball on wooden spoon

Porcupine Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Big, juicy Italian-style meatballs in a rich tomato sauce, made with rice that sticks out a bit like porcupine quills when cooked. Porcupine Meatballs are a hearty and flavorful dish that's been passed down for generations!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Resting Time 20 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people


Tomato Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 28 ounce can
  • 1 can tomato sauce 14 ounce can
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch sugar

Meatball Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ¼ pound mild Italian sausage
  • ½ cup rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt IF your Italian seasoning does not have salt in it
  • ¼ cup onion chopped
  • ¼ cup green pepper chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning


How to Make the Sauce

  • In large pot or Dutch oven, combine tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and water. Add a teaspoon of Italian seasoning and a pinch of sugar.
  • Warm sauce over low heat while you make the meatballs.

How to Make the Meatballs

  • Mix together meatball ingredients in a large bowl, then form into large balls, about 2 inches in diameter.
  • Gently add the meatballs to the warm tomato sauce. Use a spoon to cover all of the meatballs with sauce.
  • Cook at a low simmer for 1 1/2 to two hours - do not allow the sauce to boil.
  • Remove from heat and let rest for about 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
Keyword beef, meatballs, rice, tomato
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