My Monday morning was unrolling so lovely. I was looking forward to working on these slow cooker porcupine meatballs post after posting my first ever What I Ate Weekend post. Kids were up early due to a time change. No rain. Laundry in. Lovely. Everything was going lovely. I even texted Alex how lovely our weekend was (we even started a 1000 piece puzzle which I think I’m the only one excited about, girls vs. boys) and how blessed we are. Amen.
A beeping noise from upstairs and our a year old washer has an error message. I hate technology of 2016 with all my heart! The door is locked with a dark load inside. Which means ALL my Lululemon pants. Um, yes. How lovely!
So, I’m trying really hard to just enjoy talking about my healthy turkey porcupine meatballs and not to think of a possible $300 part replacement and another $120 service call. But I still feel so sad. Alex will try to take it apart tonight and follow some Youtube repair suggestions (because we are Russians) but I have little hope and feel like China has won again. 🙁 Where can I get an appliance made in Canada?! Seriously?!
I never ever realized that America knows my childhood easy meatball recipe with rice. My mom made “hedgehog” meatballs all the time. When I first googled to see what comes up for “meatballs rice” I saw porcupine meatballs. Honestly, at first I thought they were made with porcupine meat until I saw images of a spiky animal at the top of the page. No judgement. I was working with little people back from school.
Hold on, Olena. Mommy’s brain alert. Russian hedgehog = American porcupine. Just 10 times bigger. Well, just like everything else in America. But same spikes and needles. OK, got it.
These turkey meatballs with brown rice are called “porcupine meatballs” because when rice is cooked it is sticking out from the meatballs like needles. My mom always made porcupine meatballs in a clear sauce made out of broth and spices. Where as I noticed all American recipes come up with tomato sauce. Also my mom and I made the meatballs large. Like you will eat 1-2 meatballs only. That is how we made them. This recipe yields 10 large porcupine balls.
I decided to make slow cooker porcupine meatballs because I thought they make a perfect candidate for a no pre-cooking crock pot recipe. Even brown rice is uncooked. The liquid and steam over 8-10 hours should be plenty to cook the rice. Plus while rice is slowly expanding it acts as a binder along with eggs to keep ground turkey shaped into meatballs.
For my mom’s version of porcupine meatballs I used vegetable stock made with organic bouillon cubes and a bit of cornstarch to thicken it. I love buying the cubes because then I can have as much stock as I want whenever I want. As opposed to homemade one that needs to be defrosted and takes a lot of room in the freezer. And store bought carton broth is so expensive plus has to be used up ASAP. Organic bouillon cubes are the best!
These slow cooker porcupine meatballs came out amazing! I promise! They held their shape. They were flavourful and tender. And so juicy and a bit saucy. Not to mention how filling these rice meatballs are on their own because of brown rice + turkey. They freeze well too! And here is more healthy meatball inspiration: Mexican turkey meatballs, turkey quinoa meatballs with sweet onion sauce, easy turkey meatballs and even meatless meatballs with Parmesan (no one will know).
I have to tell you that I posted this recipe about 3 years ago and this is an improved version. There were some concerns about my old recipe which I rectified. There were some upset readers mainly about cooking time. It is all fixed. All fixed. I promise!
- 2 lbs ground turkey
- 1 cup brown rice, rinsed & drained*
- 2 eggs, large
- 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning or 1/2 tsp dried basil + 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth, low sodium
- 4 tsp cornstarch
- Green onions, parsley or dill, finely chopped (for serving)
- In a large mixing bowl, add turkey, rice, eggs, salt, Italian seasoning and pepper. Using your hands, mix very well.
- Form 10 large meatballs a size just a bit shy of a tennis ball’s size. Place in a single layer on a bottom of a large slow cooker. Meatballs will fit snuggly. Just pack them gently and tight.
- In a medium bowl, whisk broth with cornstarch and pour gently over the meatballs. Cover and cook on Low for 7-8 hours or on High for 3-4 hours. Serve hot with a salad or a green smoothie.
*Rice is not cooked or pre-cooked.
Servings Per Recipe: 10
Amount Per Serving = 1 meatball:
Total Fat: 8.0 g
Cholesterol: 101.2 mg
Sodium: 314.7 mg
Total Carbs: 14.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Protein: 20.5 g
WW Points+: 5