Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blast from my past, PORCUPINE BALLS! School Lunch Series

Is my memory serving me when I say we had these for school lunches in elementary school?  I think we always had them with mashed potatoes, which is why I always still serve them with mashed potatoes.  I had forgotten about them for years, and then my sister made them a few years ago and it sparked my porcupine ball love back up and I had to redo them, MY way!!  

Isn't it funny how food can take us to a place, way back when in our minds?  Certain foods (and songs) remind me of certain times in my life,  different experiences or situations and sometimes I let the memory play out in my head and sometimes I shut it off, it wasn't good the first time, and it sure as heck wasn't going to come out any different or better the second time!  

These do use a convenience item of canned tomato soup, but I don't care who ya' are, it is just good sometimes!!  This is a great make ahead and put it in the fridge so it just needs popped in the oven type of meal!  Chefwannabe fans with families, this is a must try for you!  So pay attention and eat ALL of your lunch!!  

 Now lets get started on what we need for 6-8 big balls.

2 lbs ground beef
1 1/2 cups raw minute rice
3 tbsp dry Italian seasoning
1/4 cup dehydrated onion or 2 tbsp fresh grated onion
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cans of tomato soup

In a bowl combine ground beef, rice, onion, seasoning, salt, pepper, red pepper and 1/2 can of tomato soup.  Use your hands people!  Clean em' up and get em' in there!  Form into balls.  Size is up to you.  Place in 9x13 pan and cover meatballs in remaining tomato soup.  I sprinkle a wee sprinkle of parsley on top or course salt.  Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes depending on meatball size!  Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans! 

Hope you enjoy my recreated school lunch and take the time to think about your own favorite school lunches and post them, I will try to recreate them as well!!!  Share with me one of your favorite school lunch memories!  

Your "Ord Elementary Alumni" Chefwannabe


  1. We never had these at school; I never heard of them at all until ~4th grade from a friends grandmother. She was going to make them for a time when I was supposed to be at her house, but I got sick and couldn't go. I still have never had them.

    My favorite (besides grilled cheese & tomato soup, which I make frequently) was Salisbury Steaks with mashed potatoes. I've never known anyone to make this homemade, usually it's heat and eat of some brand. I would love to make it myself with better ingredients.

    Looking forward to seeing your results :o)

  2. If you refer to my FB fan page, we have a thread going about school lunch favorites! I am actually going to be doing the salisbury steak, which I have done for years. Hang on a few days and I will get you a great salisbury steak from scratch recipe WITH mashed potatoes!

  3. This looks great. It is a blast from the past. Delicious. Come and visit us and check out the Well Daily Post to get your free flip flops.

  4. I had never had these until I married my husband and they were a staple in his family. Now I love them and am happy to continue the tradition. Thanks for sharing at Church Supper. Have a blessed week & come back soon ~EMM

  5. sounds good enough to try real soon! my recipe for porcupine meatballs is: raw rice in hamburger, season with salt and pepper-- roll into balls--brown them--place in baking dish, make gravy from skillet where they were browned--add water to cover meatballs--this will cook the rice as well as meatballs. check to make sure everything is cooked--about 35 to 45 minutes usually-@-350(scrum-tilli-om-shus)TASTES GREAT!!

  6. There are no porcupines where I live :)

  7. I've been trying to find a recipe for the sauce for these meatballs which I use for my cabbage rolls. The sauce i used was a sweet and sort of tangy one with tomato soup,brown sugar, cider vinegar, lemon juice, and worsheshire I think. If anyone can help thank you in advance.

    1. I would say you could use a can of tomato sauce, 1/4 brown sugar, 1 tbsp vinegar, just a squeeze of lemon juice and splash of worchestershire! I would start there!