Porcupine Meatballs With Chunky Tomato Sauce

Porcupine Meatballs

Diana Rattray

  • Total: 90 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 70 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4

Porcupine meatballs have long been a popular family recipe, and the most popular version is probably the Campbell's soup version made with tomato soup. 

I add diced tomatoes and chili powder to the sauce in my recipe which gives them chunky texture and extra flavor. I use long-grain rice, but partially cooked brown rice may be used as well. Or use packaged partially cooked rice (like Uncle Ben's Ready Rice) or minute rice if you're pressed for time. 

The meatballs are cooked in the sauce, so use a good, lean ground beef in the recipe.

Serve the meatballs with boiled or mashed potatoes and corn, peas, or broccoli.


  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, around 90% lean
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2/3 cup water, divided
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons burger or steak seasoning mixture
  • 1 can (approx. 10 1/2 ounces) condensed tomato soup
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Combine the ground beef, onion, parsley, 1/3 cup of water, the rice, and the burger or steak seasoning mixture.

  3. Form the meat mixture into large meatballs, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

  4. Arrange the meatballs in a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

  5. In a bowl, combine remaining 1/3 cup of water with the tomato soup, diced tomatoes, and chili powder; pour the sauce over the meatballs.

  6. Cover tightly with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

  7. Uncover and bake for 25 minutes longer.


  • If you don't have a steak seasoning mixture, use a mix of 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • To make meatballs of uniform size, use a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop, depending on the size you want your meatballs. Or shape the meat mixture into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter (or larger) and slice it into 1 1/2-inch rounds. Shape into balls with your hands. If the meat mixture sticks, moisten your hands with water occasionally.

Recipe Variation

  • In a skillet over medium heat, sauté 1/4 cup of chopped onion, 1/4 cup of chopped celery, and 1/4 cup of green bell pepper until the onions are translucent and the celery is tender. Add the sautéed vegetables to the tomato sauce mixture.