Four Ingredient Porcupine Meatballs

Four Ingredient Porcupine Meatballs

The ease of this recipe is going to please you, my friends. Not only are they simple to make but are flavorfully fabulous AND the ingredient list is super short. There are only 4 ingredients needed to make this tasty treasure come to life. And one of them is water.

Water, ladies and gentlemen.

I think you just might have some on hand, am I right?

Serve these Porcupine Meatballs with Cheesy Au’ Gratin Potatoes or this delightful Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole. I also have a new potato recipe coming up for you on Wednesday that goes perfectly well with these. Hope you’ll join me. 🙂

Now, let me show you just how easy they are to make…


Four Ingredient Porcupine Meatballs

***This is a great freezer recipe. Assemble the meatballs and cook them according to recipe instructions. Place them in a deep 9×9 pan and cover with foil and freeze. When you are ready to use them thaw completely. Pour 1/2 cup beef broth over the meatballs and bake, covered at 350 for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Time: 15 minutes prep + 30 minutes cooking
Yield: 25 meatballs (about 5 servings)
Recipe from my dear friend Cindi Schut

1 pound ground beef
1 (6.8 ounce) box Beef Rice A Roni
1 egg
2 1/4 C water


1. Grab 1 pound of ground beef and toss it into a medium-sized mixing bowl.


2. Pour 1 box of Beef Rice A Roni into the bowl. Be sure to only use the rice and pasta that are inside the box. Save the seasoning packet for later on.


Sound good?


3. Add an egg to the bowl and mix everything together with your pretty little hands. Just mix it all in now, no need to be shy. Make sure everything gets well combined.


4. Shape the mixture into 25 golf ball sized meatballs.


5. Heat up a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Carefully place the meatballs in the pan. Allow them to get browned along the top and bottom.


6. Pour 2 1/4 cups of water into a large liquid measuring cup. Add the seasoning packet from the Rice A Roni box to the water and stir it in to combine.


7. Pour the liquid over the top of the browned meatballs. Reduce the heat to heat to medium low and allow the liquid to come to a simmer. Cover the pan and let the meatballs simmer away for 30-40 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice and pasta in the meatballs are cooked through.

Serve and enjoy!



“Pin-able” tutorial below…


Porcupine Meatballs  from Jamie Cooks It Up!

Post a comment!


  1. 1
    Kelly T
    February 18, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Hi, I a new member of your email updates and have tried several of your dishes already…delicious!!
    Used to make these all the time but for some reason forgotten about them till now, thank you.
    Another spin on this dish that my best friends mother used to do is instead of browning them she would wrap the meatballs in kraut, put them in a crockpot and pour tomato sauce or spagetti sauce over them. Makes a good gravy to serve with mashed potatoe’s on the side!!
    Thanks again for all the good stuff!!

    • 2
      September 1, 2020 at 10:29 am

      I first made this recipe about 45 years ago! I raised my family on it. My 53-year-old son recently asked me for the recipe so he could make it on his birthday! He had fond memories! It’s a great recipe!

  2. 3
    Karen Wolff
    February 18, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Love your recipes! Just curious what are you serving with yours?

  3. 4
    February 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    thanks Jamie for always posting great recipes..I don’t know how many I have downloaded and tried..I made your grandpas meat loaf and will cook it tonight..also made meatballs out of it..have a wonderful week ahead.;)

  4. 5
    February 18, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Oh boy – I have such a soft spot for rice-a-roni.

  5. 6
    sandi r
    February 18, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Jamie, I went to Cosco and bought the Ninja… Love it. Thanks for the advice.. Now just to get in gear and make some of the recipes I have downloaded.. SANDI.

  6. 7
    Sally C
    February 20, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I think these would be good with the spanish rice flavor of rice a roni!

  7. 8
    February 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I made the meatballs last night. My honey said “you can make these again” . My liquid didn’t cook all the way down so I added some Wondra flour and made some gravy. Yummy except my honey said next time make more gravy!! I used a nice meatloaf combo that my local gourmet market sells. 1/3 each of ground beef, veal and pork. This was so easy and very tasty.

    • 9
      February 7, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      Such cute guests! And a decnet view! I’ll have to visit your IKEA sometime soon. Seattle IKEA is too difficult to get to and makes me really cranky. Though driving home big flat pack furniture from PDX is maybe not the best idea I’ll ever have.

  8. 10
    February 21, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    I made these meatballs tonight and served them with mashed potatoes and English peas. All of the liquid did not absorb so I poured it off and used it to make brown gravy. Love, love, love these porcupine meatballs. Comfort food at it’s finest! Thanks Jamie!

  9. 11
    February 22, 2013 at 9:08 am

    This are comfort food in my book!

  10. 12
    February 22, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    have used rice a roni in eons and usually try not to use packaged products; but will have to give this a try. Hubby is extremely easy to please.

  11. 13
    February 22, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    meant ‘haven’t’ used

  12. 14
    February 22, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    This is a follow up to my post on 2/21. I heated these up tonight in the toaster oven and I believe they are even better than last night. So good!

  13. 15
    February 25, 2013 at 10:31 am

    So glad you are back online. I was worried that you might have a family tragedy or something. Your recipes brighten up my day . . . .Thanks so much!

  14. 16
    March 4, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I’m make these yummy sounding meatballs tonight and serving them with wide egg noodles and mixed vegetables. We can’t wait to give them a try:) Your recipes are great – lots of work for you but certainly appreciated by your readers. Thanks for all the great ideas:):)

  15. 17
    March 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Hi Jaime…these sound amazing…do you think they would hold up okay with ground turkey? I vary rarely cook with beef anymore as my husband and I are dieting. Just wondering if they would turn out good with turkey instead.

    • 18
      March 11, 2013 at 7:17 am

      I haven’t ever tried them with ground turkey, but my thoughts are it would work really well. Sounds like a great idea to me. Good luck!

  16. 19
    September 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    I have made these three times–my family & I love them. Thanks for a great recipe, Jamie.

  17. 20
    October 22, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! I made a few modifications. First, I used Herb and Butter Rice-Roni. Also, I added 32 oz of Daisy sour cream to the gravy, as well as 2 cloves of garlic (pressed) and salt/pepper to taste. Yummy meatballs and amazing gravy! I served over mashed potatoes. My family wiped those plates clean! 🙂

  18. 21
    Renee Swartzbaugh
    March 27, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    I’ve been making these for about 20 years, a favorite of my boys when they were little and now their wives make them.

  19. 22
    August 4, 2014 at 10:34 am

    These Porcupine Meatballs are ‘THE BEST”. Super easy to prepare and always superior. Serve them alone or we like them with egg noodles and mixed vegetables. A MUST DO RECIPE deffinatly a “DO OVER”

  20. 23
    Megan B
    September 20, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    This is the third recipe that I’ve tried from your blog and the third Jamie success at our table. I’ve made a LOT of meatballs over the years, but my husband says these are the best he’s had. Also loved the Bourbon Chicken and Coconut Chicken strips. Thanks for getting us out of or mealtime rut!

  21. 24
    Bonnie, from Ohio
    November 24, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    I made these tonight for dinner and the family loved them! I made a double batch as I have two teenage boys that are eating machines! I WILL be making these again and since I just started working I made sure to let the Hugs and 14 year old how easy these are to make!

  22. 25
    Tasha Crosby
    August 26, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    My family has been making ours like this from before I was born. Huge favorite! So juicy and flavorful.

  23. 26
    October 8, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Sounds really good

  24. 27
    Carol frederick
    June 15, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Last year my 53-year-old son asked me to make for his birthday, those beef and rice things you used to make when I was a kid. So I made rice a Roni porcupines for a very happy birthday Guy!

  25. 28
    July 8, 2019 at 1:08 am

    Can not wait to try it out! It looks so good to try..Thanks

  26. 29
    Ginger Booker
    November 9, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    I have made this recipe almost For 40 years. A favorite.

  27. 30
    February 1, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    These were easy and delicious. Made them for a birthday party and they disappeared long before any of the other crockpots.

    Doubled the recipe with a 2.5
    Lb tray of ground Chuck and kept them to ping pong sized balls and topped out at 37. 25 per pound would have been great but it just wasn’t happening.

  28. 31
    August 31, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    Super good and easy! My kids are so picky.
    But everyone ate them! That’s a win for me!??

  29. 32
    September 24, 2020 at 6:07 am

    I’ve made these for 30 years except I use a cornstarch slurry and make gravy out of the broth they were cooked in.

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