Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs With Rice

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Who doesn’t like spaghetti and meatballs or an Italian meatball sandwich on a crusty roll?  But who has time for all the browning and cooking usually required?  Now, with Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs with rice, you can have delicious juicy meatballs swimming in savory sauce in only 15 minutes! Wow!

Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs

Kids clamoring for spaghetti  again?  Need a great dish for a potluck?  Don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking and then cleaning up?   Your Instant Pot and this recipe for Porcupine Meatballs delivers on all counts – and they as so good – and so easy!

Meatballs with rice

No, these meatballs are NOT made with porcupine meat, although the kids will probably joke about!  The instructions do not begin with, “first, catch a porcupine….”   Porcupine Meatballs with rice get their name from the rice mixed in with the meat. As the meat cooks, it shrinks a little, and the rice sticks out like  porcupine quills.   Your kids will ask for these again and again, and clean their plates every time! Besides being a hit with kids, I find adults love them too, and I often bring them to parties and potlucks instead of Swedish Meatballs.

Instapot Meatballs With Rice

These Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs with rice are true comfort food, warming  everyone up on a cold night, and  can be served in any number of ways – Italian meatball sandwiches, over any kind of pasta, or over gnocchi or even rice.

Easy Porcupine Meatballs Recipe

Another awesome feature of meatballs with rice is that they don’t include bread crumbs.  Yes, porcupine meatballs are gluten-free! Need more gluten-free meatballs recipes?  Check out gluten-free meatballs with oatmeal.

How To Make Porcupine Meatballs In Instant Pot

Looking for regular meatballs without rice? I have a recipe for that as well: Instant Pot Italian Meatballs.  Can’t eat grains? Check out my Keto Meatballs Recipe.  I got you covered in every way possible :)

Recipe tips: You can use either ground beef or ground turkey if you are watching calories. Either version is yummy.   You can use regular uncooked white rice, or minute rice.  Do not use brown rice as it takes longer to cook and might not be fully cooked through. The uncooked rice acts like breadcrumbs in a traditional meatball recipe, absorbing juices, and helping to hold the meatballs together – and they sure look a lot cuter!

Meatballs with rice

It‘s no wonder Porcupine Meatballs were so popular in the 60s and 70s and 80s.  Now, thanks to your Instant Pot, you can make them so quickly and easily!  You can have a filling and satisfying dinner on the table in just 20 minutes! I remember my Mom making them, and I loved them as a child.  Don’t you just love recipes that take you back to your childhood?  I’m happy to be able to make them again for my family, and friends, so effortlessly.   Mom would be proud – and envious!

Pressure Cooker Porcupine Meatballs

If you like Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs with rice, you will also love these other Instant Pot recipes:

Instant Pot Pasta – did you know that you can cook perfect pasta in the Instant Pot? Once you try it, you’ll never want to deal with a pot of boiling water!

How To Cook Pasta In Instant Pot

Instant Pot Chili – this is the easiest chili recipe ever! Just dump all ingredients in your Instant Pot and come back to steaming hot mouthwatering chili!

Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Casserole – another hearty “dump” dinner made in your Instant Pot! So easy and yummy!

Instant Pot Mushrooms – perfectly cooked mushrooms with no effort! Use them as a healthy side dish or a sauce/topping for meat!

Instant Pot Hamburgers – yes, perfectly cooked burgers in your Instant Pot! So juicy and no need to watch them and flip them!

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Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs With Rice

These Instant Pot porcupine meatballs are amazing! These simple meatballs are made with ground beef and rice, and Instant Pot cooks them in 15 minutes and makes them super juicy and tender! So easy and yummy!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Instant Pot, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: porcupine meatballs
Cooking Method: Instant Pot
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 417kcal


  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1/2 cup white rice uncooked
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 26 oz pasta sauce
  • 1 cup water

Recommended Kitchen Tools (click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe)


  • Pour water into the Instant Pot.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, rice, salt and pepper. Shape the meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs and put them in the Instant Pot. Pour the pasta sauce over the meatballs.
  • Close the lid of the Instant Pot and turn the valve to a Sealing position. Press the "Pressure Cook" or "Manual" button and set the time to 15 minutes.
  • When the Instant Pot finishes cooking, quick release (QR) the steam.
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Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 1627mg | Potassium: 944mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 799IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 4mg
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    1. 5 stars
      I love this recipe. I’ve made it many times. Easy and good. Sometimes I put it over Idahoan instant baby red mash potatoes and some times instant polenta.

  1. I made this tonight and it is delicious! If I doubled or maybe even tripled the recipe, how much more time would I have to set my Instant Pot for? I’m fairly new to this. Thanks!

  2. These are sooooooo delicious. I’ve taken all the seasonings that i would put into my other meatballs and added them to this recipe. It’s great because it is gluten free and yet tastes AMAZING. They are now a regular staple in my house. i just made a double batch so that I could share with friends and have plenty for me. Thanks so very much for the recipe.

  3. Hi Melanie!
    I got my Instant Pot for Christmas and this is my very first time using it. I know this might be basic stuff, but am I just setting the meatballs in the water and then adding the tomato sauce over top or do some pots have a separate area for the 1 cup of water?

    You have lots of amazing recipes that I’m excited to try ?


  4. Hollie, there are lots of accessories via amazon. I have a 3 quart, its a mini.So I am limited getting accessories. Most are made for 6 – 8 quarts.
    How did the meatballs turn out? I’ve only used mine for RICE. Now I am trying Pasta.(Just got it last night).
    Thank you Melanie for this FORUM!

  5. Tried these tonight and they were delicious! I think I will add an egg next time to make the meatballs a little lighter.


  6. Have made this recipe so many times in my Foodie and it is a hit every time, thank you for sharing. Can’t wait to try others you have.

  7. 5 stars
    Oh these are so good, I added some garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning. Hubby said I could make this again!!!

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