Pressure Cooker Porcupine Meatballs: Classic retro dinner, made in the pressure cooker. Ground beef and rice meatballs in a simple tomato sauce. (No porcupines!) 30 minute dinner.

Traditional porcupine meatballs recipe prepared in a pressure cooker

Pressure Cooker Porcupine Meatballs Recipe
Serves 4
My mum's pressure cooked porcupine meatballs were the ultimate special treat comfort food in my home growing up and the only time she broke out the pressure cooker.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
  1. 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  2. 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (reserve half)
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced (reserve half)
  4. 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  5. 1/2 cup water
  6. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  7. 1 pound ground beef (85% lean)
  8. 1/2 cup long grain rice
  9. 1 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Sauté the onion and garlic
  1. Select the “Sauté” program on your pressure cooker and add the oil to the pot. (If you are using a stovetop pressure cooker, heat the oil over medium heat.) Add half of the chopped onions and garlic. Sauté until the onions are softened and translucent, about five minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and water. Let this warm until it comes to a simmer.
Make the meatballs
  1. While tomato sauce is coming up to a simmer, make the meatballs. In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, rice, salt, pepper, and the rest of the chopped onions and garlic. Roll into ping-pong ball-sized meatballs (1 1/2 inches or so).
Cook the meatballs
  1. Gently place the meatballs in to the pot a single layer. Spoon a little bit of sauce over the top of each one.
  2. Place the lid on the pressure cooker. Make sure the pressure regulator is set to the “Sealing” position. Select the “Manual” program, then set the time to 15 minutes at high pressure. (For stovetop pressure cookers, cook at high pressure for 12 minutes.)
  3. It will take about 10 minutes for your pressure cooker to come up to pressure, and then the actual cooking will begin. Total time from the time you seal the pressure cooker to the finished dish is about 25 minutes.
To serve
  1. You can either perform a quick pressure release by moving the vent from “Sealing” to “Venting,” or you can let the pot depressurize naturally (this takes about 20 minutes), then open it when you’re ready to serve the meatballs. (For stovetop pressure cookers, perform a quick pressure release.)
Stovetop Instructions
  1. Sauté half of the onions and garlic in oil in a thick-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the tomato sauce, water, and Worcestershire sauce, increasing the water to one full cup. While the sauce is coming up to a simmer, make the meatballs. Drop the meatballs into the simmering sauce, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 45 minutes.
Adapted from Simply Recipes
Adapted from Simply Recipes
Happy belated mother’s day. It took me a couple days to write this porcupine meatball recipe but it isn’t any less sentimental or special to me. My mum’s pressure cooked porcupine meatballs were the ultimate special treat comfort food in my home growing up. They have such a unique smell and mouthfeel. While it was tomato-based, it was also very savory and the sauce looked a little more like a brown sauce than tomato sauce.

She owned the same pressure cooker I own now, pictured below. It’s pretty old. I have no clue what year it’s from. She’s an old stovetop model and I feel like I need to give her a go. The seals and the gaskets seem like they’re fine and without a nick.  Wish me luck. I think I’ll try making a batch this weekend in lieu of watching the royal festivities. 

Here’s a legit old school recipe for it–not pressure cooked–that I discovered online and thought I would share with you, too:

Original Hunt's tomato sauce traditional authentic recipe for original porcupine meatballs


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