Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs with Brown Rice

Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs is an easy meatball recipe with uncooked brown rice, ground turkey, eggs and chicken stock. Cooked in a crock pot for 4-8 hours. | ifoodreal.com

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.

Russian hedgehog = American porcupine. Just 10 times bigger.

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Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs is an easy meatball recipe with uncooked brown rice, ground turkey, eggs and chicken stock. Cooked in a crock pot for 4-8 hours. | ifoodreal.com

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Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs is an easy meatball recipe with uncooked brown rice, ground turkey, eggs and chicken stock. Cooked in a crock pot for 4-8 hours. | ifoodreal.com

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.

Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs is an easy meatball recipe with uncooked brown rice, ground turkey, eggs and chicken stock. Cooked in a crock pot for 4-8 hours. | ifoodreal.com

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!

Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs is an easy meatball recipe with uncooked brown rice, ground turkey, eggs and chicken stock. Cooked in a crock pot for 4-8 hours. | ifoodreal.com

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).

Enjoy!

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Recipe

Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs with Brown Rice

Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs with Brown Rice

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add turkey, rice, eggs, salt, Italian seasoning and pepper. Using your hands, mix very well.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
    Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely, and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in a refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a microwave or in the oven at 375 F for 10 minutes.

Notes

*Rice is not cooked or pre-cooked.

http://ifoodreal.com/slow-cooker-porcupine-meatballs/

Nutritional Info

Servings Per Recipe: 10

Amount Per Serving = 1 meatball:
Calories: 209.4
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

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14 comments on “Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs with Brown Rice

  1. I made these today and they were amazing! So flavorful! Thanks for sharing! I admit I always ate porcupine balls with tomato sauce and was unsure how I would like it it chicken stock. LOVED IT. My husband agrees! Thank you for the slow cooker recipe it’s going in with my collection!!

    1. You are welcome, Lauren. My mom never made them in a tomato sauce but now I want to try. I think she didn’t because simply we didn’t have it!

  2. Olena, I just discovered your blog and I love it! I’ve already made one of your recipes (last night,) and I’m going to make this one tonight. Love your writing, your photos, and everything you cook! Thank you so much!!!! xoxo

    1. Hi Sosae. Awe, you made my day! I have been feeling blah all day re: winter blues but now I’m excited to go wash my car, do homework and deal with a lost school pizza order lol.

  3. Haha, I got so excited when I read “Porcupine Meatballs” when I got to your page! My mom made them quite frequently as I was growing up (usually with beef or lamb), and I haven’t seen them around forever. Thanks for reminding me about them 😉 These look great.

    1. Hi Hannah. I have never heard anyone mentioning porcupine meatballs here in Canada that is why I was confused when they came up in the search haha. I mean I’m not dumb-dumb but I don’t hear of porcupine often and there are so many wild meats people cook with here so for a second I had a thought this is some delicacy meatballs LOL. It must be a very old recipe that is not super popular right now. In Ukraine it is an ancient recipe so I was super stoked to see someone might recognize my meatballs here. My mom always made meatballs with pork or beef. All we had. Ground chicken was expensive. No turkey.

  4. Considering I think ground turkey is delicious on its own with just salt and pepper, I have a hard time to believe these meatballs are flavourful. There is a category of people who think chicken and turkey have no flavour. We eat clean so to me poultry has a ton of flavour on its own.
    I have to say this but you haven’t been hungry enough in your life that is why calling this recipe a waste of turkey. If things are that bad on your end, go buy a jar of pasta sauce, mix with “a soggy mess” and serve with quinoa or pasta. What is a big freaking deal? Seriously.

  5. Hi Erin. You know, this is one of my first recipes I ever posted 3 years ago and it had ben on my re-test list. I you like the flavour you can just let the meatballs cook longer.

  6. You know, I have 2 different crock pots and in one of them it took me 3 – 4 hours. However, the new one I got would take longer. Believe it or not, I was surprised. I would say on High for 2.5 – 3 hours they should be fine. I would peek inside and see when rice is done and “prickly” sticking out, the meatballs are done. Ground meat cooks pretty fast too. Hope they turned out well for you!

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