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  • Gluten free
  • Nut free
  • Peanut free
  • Sesame free
  • Soy free
  • Wheat free
  • Shellfish free
  • Seafood free
  • No added sugar
  • High in dietary fibre
  • High in protein
  • 1 serve veg or fruit

A fun family favourite, these classic porcupine meatballs will keep big kids and little kids happy and satisfied.

  • Serves4
  • Cook time40 minutes
  • Prep time20 minutes, + 15 mins chilling time
Porcupine meatballs


  • 500g Coles Australian No Added Hormones 3 Star Beef Mince
  • 1/4 cup (50g) basmati rice
  • 1 carrot, peeled, coarsely grated
  • 2 tbs finely chopped basil
  • 1 Coles Australian Free Range Egg, lightly whisked
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, seeded, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 x 425g tubs Coles Pasta Sauce Tomato & Basil
  • Basil leaves, to serve
  • Steamed basmati rice, to serve
  • Steamed broccoli, to serve
  • Grated parmesan, to serve

Nutritional information

Per serve: Energy: 2097kJ/502 Cals (24%), Protein: 33g (66%), Fat: 28g (40%), Sat Fat: 10g (42%), Sodium: 592mg (30%), Carb: 34g (11%), Sugar: 22g (24%), Dietary Fibre: 7g (23%).

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.

Percentage Daily Intake information on our recipes is calculated using the nutrition reference values for an average Australian adult.


  1. Step 1

    Combine the mince, rice, carrot, basil and egg in a large bowl. Season. Roll tablespoonfuls of the mince mixture into balls. Place on a plate and cover. Place in the fridge for 15 mins to firm.

  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a large deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and capsicum. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 mins or until onion softens. Add the garlic and tomato and basil sauce. Cover and cook for 2 mins or until mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat.

  3. Step 3

    Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, for 10 mins or until browned all over. Add to the sauce mixture and return to heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 mins or until meatballs are cooked through.

  4. Step 4

    Garnish meatballs and sauce with basil. Serve with rice, broccoli and grated parmesan.

Recipe tip

The meatballs can be made ahead of time and uncooked meatballs can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days before using. It’s also worth making a double batch and freezing half for another time. Cooked meatballs also make a great next-day lunch idea.

Porcupine meatballs recipe

A classic old-fashioned favourite, porcupine meatballs are fun, simple and family-friendly – these are the meatballs you will want to put on weekly rotation in your household. Originating in the Depression, the recipe includes rice to make the mincemeat stretch even further, so they are a super affordable option and a perfect day-before-payday meal, too.

Why are they called porcupine meatballs?

Porcupine meatballs were named because the rice in the meatballs tends to stick out like porcupine quills after they are cooked. It’s a fun name and helps to make them popular with kids. The rice also makes the dish filling, so it’s an ideal recipe to keep small tummies satisfied.

Tips for making porcupine meatballs

The great thing about old fashioned porcupine meatballs is that there’s no need to pre-cook the rice in this easy dish, as it slowly cooks inside the meatballs and sauce, absorbing the flavours at the same time. We recommend you use wet hands to roll the mince mixture into balls, as it helps to keep the meatballs together.

Now get cooking

Meatballs are always a winner with the family (and the family budget!). If you love our recipe for porcupine meatballs, Try this beef and fetta meatballs with spaghetti or these easy chilli con carne nachos for more ways to use mince. Looking for a salad to serve on the side instead of the veggies? This roasted pumpkin salad with orange and goat’s cheese is substantial enough for a dinner and provides a great contrast to the meatballs.