Often times when I make food for my blog, it is just whatever dinner I am making for myself or for my family- I don’t always go out of my way to make something new. I like to tweak family favorites or come up with my own ideas from fresh ingredients and find solutions like making classic comfort dishes- usually made with canned condensed soup base- for scratch. I first came across porcupine meatballs in college- I had never had them, but all of my friends at a restaurant I worked at in Madison had.
I knew basically how to make the rice stuffed meatball dish(often smothered with a can of cream of mushroom soup), but hadn’t tried- or even come across them again- until I married my husband. Porcupine meatballs are a dish his family loves to make. I decided to give them my own twist (as a desire to make them cook faster) and made these Cous Cous Porcupine Meatballs – served with egg noodles and homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup. These cook faster, have a lighter texture, and can be made entirely in one casserole dish for a great one pot meal!
When making traditional porcupine meatballs, you either need to bake them for a long time- over an hour and a half- just to get the rice soft, or make them in a pressure cooker (which in itself is a pain in the butt). If the rice doesn’t soften enough, you get crunchy bits that also tend to stick together and make the meatball texture pretty funky. By using cous cous, we’re speeding up the cooking time and giving a lighter, airier texture that pairs perfectly with a rich mushroom gravy and bouncy egg noodles.
This is hands down, one of the most rich, delicious and insanely comforting meals I have ever made! Unfortunately it is not even remotely close to being on the new diet I am on, so just drooling over these pictures (from a few weeks ago) will have to do for me for now.
Next time you’re looking for a crowd pleasing, one pot meal, try out these insanely easy (and heavenly) quicker cooking porcupine meatballs with cous cous!
You could use a can of condensed soup, but my recipe for homemade cream of mushroom and onion soup is insanely easy and delicious- and worth the extra 15 minutes. It tastes SO much better, and you can make it in big batches and freeze it ahead of time.
This makes a VERY large portion- enough to feed 6 hungry adults. I typically don’t redduce the recipe and eat these as leftovers. The flavor becomes more nuanced over time, and you get more of the mushroom flavor after refrigeration for a day or two. These are truly one of the tastiest leftover dishes you can make!
Just don’t think about the calories!
- 1 1/2 lb beef, ground
- 1 white onion, diced very fine
- 1 egg, large
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 cup israeli cous cous, pearled cous cous
- 2 cups homemade condensed mushroom soup
- green onion, diced, to garnish
- 1 package egg noodles, thawed (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- In a large bowl, add meat, egg, diced onion, salt, pepper, and cous cous.
- Mix well with your hands until mixture is evenly combined.
- Roll into 2" tightly packed meatballs (I like mine larger, but make the size you prefer)
- Place in large casserole dish or large lasagne pan.
- Pour condensed soup mixture over meatballs.
- Bake uncovered for 25 minutes.
- If serving over egg noodles, add thawed noodles into casserole dish and mix.
- Continue baking for 15-20 minutes until noodles are soft and meatballs are cooked through.
- Plate and garnish with fresh green onions.
Amount Per Serving Calories 413 Saturated Fat 8g Cholesterol 107mg Sodium 477mg Carbohydrates 24g Fiber 1g Protein 24g