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Meatballs with Rice - one of my kids favorite dishes. Add this simple perfect winter comfort food recipe in your winter recipe collection and adults and kids will like it.

This was my family favorite when I was growing up and it is a favorite of my family now. These meatballs have rice mixed in them. This makes them very filling, so will need just add a salad or veggie on the side and the tasty family lunch or dinner will be ready in no time.

I have seen similar recipes like this referred to as porcupine meatballs because of the rice poking out of the meatballs.

Growing up in Belarus we called these meatballs "ezhiki," which in Russian means little hedgehogs. The grains of rice resembled the needles of the hedgehogs...or so I thought when I was little. So delish!


Meatballs with Rice “Hedgehogs”

In the recipe below I used chicken mince instead of beef, but you can use whichever you want.


1 cup long grained rice

0,5kg chicken mince (1 pound)

1 egg

1/3 cup finely chopped brown onion

1 glove of garlic crushed

400g tinned chopped tomatoes

olive oil for sautéing

salt, black pepper

dry oregano (or any other Italian herbs)

400mls stock (I prefer to use no salt chicken stock)

1 tbsp sugar


Makes about 40 balls


In a small saucepan combine rice, water and a bit of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and cool the rice. You want the rice to be undercooked because it will continue to cook inside the balls.

Fry the onion and garlic until soft.

In a bowl mix together mince, egg, onion and garlic, add the cooled rice and season with salt and pepper.

Form small meatballs. You can use a small cookie scoop to do this and keep them all uniform. Lightly fry these until browned all over.

Put all the meatballs in a large ovenproof baking dish. Pour the tomatoes and stock, season with some salt, pepper and herbs, add some sugar to break the acidity of tomatoes. Put the dish in preheated to 180C oven and cook for 30-40 mins.

P.s. You can also freeze the meatballs and cook them in a tomato sauce when needed.

This family dinner recipe is another inexpensive, simple recipe I hope your family will enjoy.

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