Venison Porcupine Meatballs Recipe

You might be disappointed to know that this recipe doesn’t actually involve porcupine meat. It could, but the name actually refers to the way the rice cooks and extrudes from the meatballs, reminiscent of the quills on a quill pig.

This traditional Midwest meal has been around since the Great Depression and originally used beef and white rice, but it’s great with wild rice and any ground wild game. The tomato sauce is tangy, slightly creamy, and very comforting.

Serving size


Time to make

1 hour


1 lb. ground venison
1 cup of cooked wild rice
1 egg, whisked
⅓ cup yellow onion, minced
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. ground black pepper
¼ tsp. celery seeds

14 oz. tomato sauce
½ cup wild game broth (or beef broth)
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. melted butter
Minced parsley for garnish

Also works with

Any ground meat

Special equipment

Oven, aluminum foil


  1. Heat your oven to 350°F. As it warms, combine the ground venison, wild rice, egg, garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika, black pepper, and celery seeds in a large mixing bowl. Mix well then form mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs.
  2. Oil a baking dish or cast iron pan. Place the meatballs in the pan and set aside.
  3. In another mixing bowl, combine the tomato sauce, broth, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and melted butter. Mix until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the tomato sauce mixture around the meatballs in the baking dish or pan.
  4. Cover the pan with foil or a lid and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Uncover the pan and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 145°F. Garnish with minced parsley and serve.