Porcupine meatballs and zoodles is the perfect dinner for when you are craving a dinner full of fresh veggies but also want comfort food. Tender ground beef meatballs are filled with rice then added on top of a bed of zucchini noodles. Top with spaghetti or marinara sauce and Parmesan.
You know….I love carbs. I L-O-V-E them. Bread! Pasta! YUM! But I honestly don’t love them as much as I love zucchini. Oh, zucchini! Such a diverse veggie whether I fry it, put it in some muffins, or make zoodles like these there are so many ways to make it delicious. How about adding one of my family’s favorites to it? Yes! So now we have a new recipe to add to our dinner routine, porcupine meatballs and zoodles.
Many recipes that I found for porcupine balls had them baked with tomato soup or tomato sauce, but I decided to make it without that and just use a jarred spaghetti sauce that I heated and poured over the noodles and meatballs before serving.
These porcupine meatballs and zucchini noodles made in the oven have-
- Cooked brown minute rice
- Ground beef, egg, and milk-soaked panko breadcrumbs
- Zucchini spiralized to make zucchini spaghetti baked with tomato, onion, and olive oil
- Serve with spaghetti or marinara sauce
How to make porcupine meatballs and zoodles step-by-step
Cook the rice according to package directions. Let it cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Once the rice has cooled, add it to a bowl with the ground beef and panko breadcrumbs.
Add the egg and pour the milk over the top of the panko breadcrumbs and let it sit to soak the breadcrumbs for about 3 minutes.
Hand mix the ingredients together then roll the mixture into 2-inch meatballs.
Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Making and cooking the zoodles for this recipe is so simple.
Follow your spiralizer instruction for making them, then add them to a bowl.
Add halved cherry tomatoes and diced onions.
Drizzle with olive oil and add to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake them right alongside the meatballs for 30 minutes.
In the last 5 minutes of the meatballs and zoodles cooking heat up the spaghetti sauce.
Assemble this beautiful pasta’ dish by adding the baked zucchini noodles to a serving dish. Spoon spaghetti sauce over the top.
Add the cooked oven-baked meatballs. Spoon over more sauce.
Sprinkle the top with Parmesan.
Tips & Variations
- Let the rice completely cool before adding it to the meatball mixture. Not only could you burn your hands when mixing the meatballs together you could end up cooking the eggs.
- I use brown rice but you could use beef-flavored for this recipe too.
- Serve with a homemade marinara sauce like this recipe from The Cozy Cook.
More meatball recipes
And here you are…
From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!
Porcupine Meatballs and Zoodles
- 2 9×13 baking sheet
- parchmet paper
- 1 package microwave brown minute rice cooked to package directions
- 1 pound ground beef I use 80/20
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce for serving
- Parmesan for serving
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- Cook the rice according to package directions then let it cool. (See notes)1 package microwave brown minute rice
- Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
- Once it’s cooled add it to the ground beef. Add the panko breadcrumbs and crack the egg and pour the milk directly over them. Let soak for 3 minutes.1 pound ground beef, 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup whole milk, 1 egg
- Form into meatballs and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Prepare zucchini 'zoodles' using a spiralizer.2 medium zucchini
- Add to a bowl with the diced onions and halved cherry tomatoes.1 small yellow onion, 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
- Pour olive oil over the top and stir to coat.1 tablespoon olive oil
- Bake both the meatballs and the zoodles together in the oven for 30 minutes.
- In the last 5 minutes heat up the spaghetti sauce.1 jar spaghetti sauce
- Serve the noodles and meatballs together. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Enjoy!Parmesan
Tips for making this recipe:
- You MUST let the rice cool completely before adding it to the ground beef. If you don’t the meatballs will not stay in ball form. I cook the rice then add it to the bowl and put it in the refrigerator while I make the other ingredients. Stir occasionally with a spoon to release the steam.
- If you don’t own a spiralizer to make the zoodles you can use a box grater to get a similar shape.
- To store: Add to a covered container and eat within 3 days.
Originally published in October of 2016. Updated post in April of 2022, with an adjustment made to the use of ground beef instead of ground turkey.
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Last Updated on June 4, 2022 by Erin@BottomLeftoftheMitten