Creamy Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs

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Delicious porcupine meatballs filled with rice and full of flavor, topped with a rich creamy white sauce and cooked to perfection in an Instant Pot!

picture of creamy porcupine meatballs on a slice of sourdough bread
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picture of creamy porcupine meatballs on a slice of sourdough bread

Creamy Pressure Cooker Porcupine Meatballs

These easy creamy meatballs aren’t actually made from procupines. The name comes from the pieces of rice cooked into the meatballs. They make a quick, delicious dinner in less that 30 minutes. 

The original recipe came from the Great Depression-era, and required only a few basic ingredients: ground beef, rice, and canned soup. It could easily be augmented with other ingredients as the fortunes or your pantry dictated. 

This dish was a favorite of my husband’s grandpa who grew up during the Depression-era in Kansas. His family subsititutied canned cream of mushroom soup for the more traditional for the time canned tomato soup. 

He used to love to mop up the last of the “gravy” from the mushroom soup with a piece of fresh bread. 

This is a really easy recipe that can be increased to feed more people, or cooked ahead to provide an easily reheated hearty lunch or dinner. 

picture of creamy porcupine meatballs on a slice of sourdough bread

How to Make Porcupine Meatballs

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Ground Beef – Use 80/20 ground beef. That number indicates the meat-to-fat ratio of that particular blend of ground beef. The first number is the percentage of beef, the second number is the percentage of fat included in the blend. 80/20 ground beef is the classic burger blend, because it includes enough fat to provide extra flavor and 
  • White rice – Uncooked white rice can last for decades if properly stored in airtight containers. Brown rice is only shelf stable for three to six months, after which the brown fibrous outer husk begins to oxidize. 
  • Cream of mushroom soup – Cream of mushroom soup is an American staple. The first commercially available cans were sold in 1934. It’s been called ‘America’s bechamel’ as the base for the soup is the same milk and whit roux of butter and flour as the classic French “white” sauce.
  • Water – Canned soup like cream of mushroom soup is condensed, which means it is reduced to remove much of the water to take up less packaging. The water will reconstitute the soup to a proper consistency, as well as adding the needed liquid to properly operate the pressure future of your pressure cooker. 
  • Salt and pepper – use a high-quality sea salt and freshly cracked pepper for the best flavor.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, use the following method: 

  • Prepare the meatball mixture. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, rice and salt and pepper.
  • Form your meatballs. Once the meat and rice and mixed together, roll the meat into balls, approximately the size of a golf ball.
  • Combine the wet ingredients. In your Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi pressure cooker, add the can of cream of mushroom soup and half a can of water. Mix the two together thoroughly. 
  • Add your meatballs to the Instant Pot. Add your meatballs to the liquid in your Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi pressure cooker. Follow the directions on your cooker to prepare it for pressure cooking mode. 
  • Cook the meatballs. On the Instant Pot or Ninja Foodie, switch the cooking selector to “Pressure” mode, and set the time for 20 minutes. Put on the Ninja pressure cooker lid and hit the start button. Let the pressure cooker come to pressure and cook for 20 minutes. Once the pressure cooker cycle has completed, allow the machine to remain warm, under pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Release the pressure. Once the 5 minute cycle is complete, flip the pressure release valve on the lid from “Pressure” to “Release” and allow the pressure to dissipate. This will probably take a couple of minutes. Be careful to keep your hand clear of the steam as it is very hot!
  • Enjoy your delicious meatballs. Once the pressure is released, open the lid and remove the meatballs and sauce to enjoy! Add to rice, egg noodles or crusty bread and dig in!
picture of creamy porcupine meatballs on a slice of sourdough bread

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Porcupine Meatballs

Make sure you have enough liquid.  As with all pressure cooker recipes, it’s important to make sure you have enough liquid in your cooker to create the correct amount of pressure to cook your meatballs. 

Be careful when you release the pressure. The steam coming out of the pressure cooker is very hot, in excess of 200oF. Keep the your fingers and arms clear of the vent when you begin to release the pressure. 

FAQ’s

Can I use ground turkey instead of beef?

Yes! You can use ground turkey but remember that turkey is a lot leaner than beef. I recommend adding a few tablespoons of bacon fat or butter if you opt for turkey. If you don’t add additional fat just remember that the meatballs will be drier and not as rich.

Can I make this without a pressure cooker?

Yes! A pressure cooker is ideal for this recipe, but you can recreate the effect of a pressure cooker using a slow cooker or with a pan on the stovetop. If you use a pan on the stovetop add about 1/8 cup of water to keep a moister environment and keep the lid on to let them steam. Both of these alternatives will take longer to cook the meatballs.

picture of creamy porcupine meatballs on a slice of sourdough bread

What to Serve With Porcupine Meatballs

These meatballs are great served with rice or egg noodles on the side. 

Garlic Butter Roast Potatoes are a great “meat-and-potatoes” pairing that goes really well with these creamy meatballs – so do our The Best Easy Air Fryer French Fries Recipe.

Salads pair really well with these meatballs too. Great choices are my Easy Wedge Salad or our roasted sweet potato and goat cheese salad.

You can also browse our best easy side dishes:

picture of creamy porcupine meatballs on a slice of sourdough bread

Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs Recipe

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picture of porcupine meatballs on a slice of sourdough bread in a white sauce

Creamy Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Delicious porcupine meatballs filled with rice and full of flavor, topped with a rich creamy white sauce and cooked to perfection in an Instant Pot!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ cup of rice
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ can water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sliced bread

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, rice and salt and pepper.
  2. Once the meat and rice and mixed together, roll the meat into balls, approximately the size of a golf ball.
  3. In your Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi pressure cooker, add the can of cream of mushroom soup and half a can of water.  Mix the two together thoroughly. 
  4. Add your meatballs to the liquid in your Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi pressure cooker. Follow the directions on your cooker to prepare it for pressure cooking mode. 
  5. On the Instant Pot or Ninja Foodie, switch the cooking selector to “Pressure” mode, and set the time for 20 minutes. Put on the Ninja pressure cooker lid and hit the start button. Let the pressure cooker come to pressure and cook for 20 minutes.  Once the pressure cooker cycle has completed, allow the machine to remain warm, under pressure for 5 minutes.
  6. Once the 5 minute cycle is complete, flip the pressure release valve on the lid from “Pressure” to “Release” and allow the pressure to dissipate.  This will probably take a couple of minutes.  Be careful to keep your hand clear of the steam as it is very hot!
  7. Once the pressure is released, open the lid and remove the meatballs and sauce to enjoy!  Add to rice, egg noodles or crusty bread and dig in!
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 307Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 71mgSodium 524mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 1gSugar 3gProtein 24g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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