So amidst the last few days worth of sunny weather and super warm temps, we got a stormy crap day with a high of only 60-something (gasp! lol). Since I’d been wanting to try out my new meatball recipe I figured this was a good opportunity since it might be one of the last cooler days which are perfect for a good ‘ol spaghetti and meatball dinner. I came up with this recipe when I was thinking about how I could get rid of the rest of the brown rice I was going to have left over from a meal I had made earlier in the week. I figured that they would make a good substitute for the bread or breadcrumbs I usually use in my meatball recipe. All excited about having thought of the first ever meat and rice meatball, I hopped on the internet and found out, it already exists in the form of a “porcupine” which is apparently some sort of retro recipe staple which utilizes rice, meat and V8 or something like that. Regardless of my lack of originality I figured I would simply adapt my recipe for regular Italian meatballs to include brown rice and at the same time lighten them up into my own healthy little porcupine :).
CHEAP ‘N’ SKINNY PORCUPINE MEATBALLS
- Use ground turkey and add an 8 oz. box of frozen spinach, thawed.
- Feel free to cut the recipe in half for 10-12 meatballs or double/triple if you would like to freeze them and reheat them with sauce in the crockpot! This is an excellent money saver since you can usually purchase a family size pack of ground beef at a discount.
- 93% lean can be a little dry, so if you’d like a traditional meatball use a meat with higher fat content 🙂
- 2 lbs. 93% lean ground beef (feel free to use a combination of 80/20 and 93/7 if you like a more traditional meatball, turkey would also be great)
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 small onion, grated
- 1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/4 tsp. each, salt & pepper
- Make sure you have a squishy baby sous chef on hand, this is optional but how cute is baby P?! 🙂
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand to combine.
- Form 15-24 balls (depending on how large you’d like them) and arrange on a baking sheet or dish (I line mine with foil for easy clean up).
- Bake for about 30 mins or until browned on the top.
- Serve up with your favorite sauce and enjoy! I served mine with whole wheat spaghetti and homemade tomato sauce, but since they have rice as a filler they would also be great as a meal without pasta but I love to pile on the carbs 🙂