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Porcupine Balls

Porcupine Balls

Porcupine balls have been a favorite of Dave’s since he was a kid. His mother  allowed her kids to choose their birthday supper and it was always his pick. Porcupine balls are easy to throw together as well as make a double batch and put some in the freezer for a later time.

The recipe doesn’t call for Ketchup on the top, but Dave likes to have some on the top.  Guess what this gal does when she makes this recipe!

The key to this recipe is to make sure you bake them long enough so the rice is completely done. It’s not fun to put a bite of porcupine balls in your mouth when the rice is not completely baked.

When I make these, I do a double batch and put half the balls into zip-lock bags in the freezer. When I’m in a bind for supper, I grab one of those bags, toss them into a casserole dish, and pour the tomato juice on top.  Half-way through baking, I baste the balls with the juice and then put some ketchup on the top.

Since this recipe has rice and bread in it, I usually serve non-starchy vegetables with it.  However, it goes well with mashed or fried potatoes.

I got this recipe from Dave’s mother, and it’s also in the Mennonite Community Cookbook. Here’s the link.


The recipe

Porcupine Balls

My Windowsill
A mini-form of meatloaf with rice mixed in - hence the name "porcupine" balls. Simple to mix up and make. Double easy when you double the batch and store some in the freezer for another meal.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 4 slices bread
  • 2 sticks celery chopped
  • 1/4 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 medium-sized onions
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 cups milk


  • Crumble bread and soak in milk
  • Add beaten egg
  • Combine other dry ingredients
  • Then add dry ingredients to the milk/bread/egg mixture
  • Shape into 8 balls and put into a greased casserole dish
  • Pour tomato juice over the balls
  • Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours
  • Baste during baking, and you can add ketchup on top if desired

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