These meatballs have a secret and it’s in the sauce! Porcupine meatballs are great for sandwiches and sliders, they are perfect over pasta and right at home on a bed of rice.
These tasty meatballs have rice cooked right inside. That’s what gives them their porcupine name. They are delicious cooked in this simple homemade sauce. We love them for dinner, but you could easily make them in a slow cooker for a game day snack as well!
Can you keep a secret? I mean something that is just between you and me, nobody else can know?
Are you ready? These meatballs are cooked in a sauerkraut sauce.
SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Not so loud! My husband might hear you!
Why is it such a secret? Because he HATES sauerkraut.
I mean hates it. And these little gems are cooked right in it.
And he ate them!! No, really, he did!
And he has. Several times now!
Do you want to know the best part? A couple of nights later we were having a dinner with bean sprouts in it.
He quizzically poked at one before he took another bite. “What are these stringy things?” he asked.
“Bean sprouts?” (of course!) “Is that the same thing that was in the meatballs the other night?”
“No.” (Ahem, excuse me as I quickly change the subject.)
Yep, he really didn’t know! And you and I are certainly not going to be the ones to tell him, are we?
Why ruin a perfectly good thing?
My good friend Diane gave me this recipe a while back and I finally got around to giving it a try back in 2017. I thought now would be a great time to update the recipe card and share some new pictures with you.
Before I made them the first time I already knew they would be good. Everything she has ever shared with me has been, but to tell you the truth the kraut caught me a bit off guard too.
She says her son love the meatballs, but hates sauerkraut. So you know what she does?
She chops it real fine and throws it in anyway. He gobbles them up!
I don’t blame him, they are really good! She serves them on her soft Buttery Potato Rolls, so I do the same sometimes.
I highly recommend the combination! But if you aren’t in the mood for a sandwich, they are also great on pasta, rice or even mashed potatoes.
You really can’t taste the sauerkraut at all. It just gives the sauce that little something extra both in flavor and texture.
If you need to hide it a little better though, go ahead and chop it up! Whatever it takes to get the job done, you know how it is.
If you are really concerned about the kraut hater in your family detecting it, give it a quick rinse and drain it well. Otherwise make the meatballs and cook them in your favorite sauce.
Have you have tried any of those? You should!
- 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
- 1/2 cup dehydrated minced onion
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cups uncooked instant rice
- salt and pepper
- 16 oz canned tomato sauce
- 15 oz diced tomatoes
- 24 oz jar sauerkraut, drained (and rinsed if desired)
- 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Mix together onion, beef, garlic, eggs, rice, salt and pepper in a big mixing bowl until just combined. You don't want to overwork the meat.
- Gently roll into golf ball sized balls and place on a cooking sheet.
- In a large dutch oven, heat the cooking oil over medium heat. Working in batches, brown all sides of the meatballs then remove from the pan.
- Once all of the meatballs have been brown, drain the grease. Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in the drained sauerkraut and Italian seasoning. Gently nestle the meatballs in the sauce. It is ok if there doesn't seem to be enough sauce at this point, it will all come together.
- Cover and cook over medium low for about 25 minute or until the meatballs are cooked through.
If you are concerned about the sauerkraut flavor, you can rinse the kraut a bit and chop it up finer.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 858mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 28g
All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.