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Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs

  • Author: 365 Days of Slow and Pressure Cooking
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


A fun twist on a traditional meatball recipe. Uncooked rice is mixed with ground beef to make a meatball that looks like it has porcupine quills. My version is made quickly in the Instant Pot and served with an amazingly easy homemade marinara sauce.  



For the sauce:

  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 Tbsp butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

For the meatballs:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup long grain white rice, uncooked
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp bread crumbs



  1. Make the sauce: Add tomatoes, butter, onion powder, garlic powder and salt into an oven safe pan that fits inside your Instant Pot. 
  2. Make the meatballs: In a mixing bowl combine the beef, egg, rice, worcestershire, salt, pepper, garlic powder and breadcrumbs. Use clean or gloved hands to mix. Form into 8 meatballs. Place them into the pan on top of the sauce. 
  3. Pour 1 ½ cups water into the Instant Pot liner. Place the pan on top of a trivet and lower the pan into the bottom of the Instant Pot liner. 
  4. Cover the pot and secure the lid. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 25 minutes. When the time is up let the pot sit for 5-10 minutes and then move the valve to venting. Remove the lid.
  5. Serve the meatballs with the sauce and enjoy!


I have made these porcupine meatballs both in the bottom of my Instant Pot and using the pot-in-pot method. I didn’t get the burn message when I made them in the bottom of the pot but I fear that many of you would. There is no thin liquid…just the crushed tomatoes. So if you want to be on the safe side then make this recipe using the pot-in-pot method. If you choose to put the sauce and meatballs directly into the Instant Pot then I would cut the pressure cooking time to 10 minutes instead of 25.

  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Instant Pot