Chili-Spiced Porcupine Meatballs

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5 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour

These Chili-Spiced Porcupine Meatballs are a great kid-approved dish that the whole family will love.

Chili-spiced porcupine meatballs

Hi, I’m Alyssa from the “Good. Simple.” blog. I will be coming here once a month to bring you some family-favorite recipes that are both delicious and simple. Today I’m sharing my recipe for Chili-spiced Porcupine Meatballs.

I don’t know about you, but I loved eating porcupine meatballs as a kid. As a mom, I love making them because they are quick to prepare, guaranteed to be eaten, and easy enough that my kids can even help me out in the kitchen. My daughters like to stir the ingredients and form the meatballs, but their favorite part is peeking through the oven door to watch as the rice cooks and pokes out of the meatballs, giving them their “porcupine” appearance.

porcupine meatballs

Mongolian pork on plate
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Porcupine meatballs are traditionally cooked in a sweet tomato sauce, but I’ve tweaked the recipe to give the meatballs a hint of smoky, chili flavor that the adults enjoy just as much as the kids. I don’t think these meatballs are spicy at all, but if you aren’t a fan of chili seasoning, you can just omit the chili powder and cumin, and the meatballs will still be delicious!

These meatballs can be served these alongside any sort of vegetable, extra rice, and/or mashed potatoes.

It’s hard to find a dinner recipe that satisfies everyone, but I promise this one is definitely a keeper!

Be sure to visit me over at Good. Simple. for more of my family-friendly recipes.

For more recipe inspiration, be sure to check out these pages on It is a Keeper:

Chili-spiced Porcupine Meatballs

5 from 2 votes

Chili-spiced Porcupine Meatballs

Yield: 18 meatballs
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
These Chili-Spiced Porcupine Meatballs are a great kid-approved dish that the whole family will love.
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  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder, divided
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce


  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • In a bowl, combine the rice, water, onion, salt, celery salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and 1/2 tsp chili powder. Add the beef and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the tomato sauce, beef broth, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/2 tsp chili powder.
  • Pour a thin layer of sauce into the bottom of an 8x8 or 9x9 inch baking dish. Form the meat mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs and place in a single layer into the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over top. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  • Bake at 350 for approximately 45 minutes or until rice is fully cooked.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Serving: 4g | Calories: 91kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 270mg | Potassium: 93mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.6mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to
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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef, meatballs, rice

1 thought on “Chili-Spiced Porcupine Meatballs”

  1. 5 stars
    This is definitely a keeper, and I’ve pinned it already! Can’t wait to make it, I know it’s just delicious. Thanks, Christina!


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