Porcupine Skillet Dinner

Porcupine Skillet - easy ground beef meal with rice. Fast & quick down home cooking

Ok, I love to cook. “Obs” as some of my young friends would say. Or I wouldn’t have a food blog. But sometimes you want something you can toss together with your eyes closed. Something simple and fast and easy – and maybe nostalgic? That’s where this Porcupine Skillet Dinner comes in.

Skillet Porcupine Dinner
Skillet Porcupine Dinner =so fast, so easy and fun to tinker with

This Porcupine Skillet Dinner has all the flavors of the old-fashioned Porcupine Balls (Meatballs with rice so named because when cooked the rice will swell & stick out of the meatballs like quills) and none of the hassle. It’s like five or six ingredients, super fast to make and a great “have to get dinner on the table” recipe.

It’s just good old-fashioned plain cooking in a way that so many people seem to forget about. In our quest for more flavors from far-flung lands, sometimes down-home simple can be overlooked.

Skillet Porcupine Dinner
Skillet Porcupine Dinner

I did doctor a bit, though, for the best flavor. First, I used my home-made Lipton Onion Soup Mix and then added a few dashes of Tabasco & a little Worcestershire. Change it up how you like. 🙂 This practically cries out for garlic, diced onions and bell peppers or mushrooms. I could even see dumping some corn in it if you go for that kind of thing. Just sayin…

Ground Beef goes on special all the time in big packs. Buy it at a low, and break down and freeze in quantities your family uses. I often buy large cans of tomatoes (29 ounce) and use half, then freeze the rest for later – it seems that the deals are often better on the big cans. And rice? Why not go large – and buy in bags (check the Asian or Mexican food aisles.)?

Skillet Porcupine Dinner
Super Simple Porcupine Skillet Dinner

Porcupine Skillet Dinner

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package of Lipton Onion Soup Mix or my home-made onion soup mix
  • 1 16 ounce can of tomatoes with juice (crush them)
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 3/4 cups raw rice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese, optional

In a large skillet with a lid, brown hamburger and drain. Add in the onion soup mix, tomatoes and juice, water, salt & pepper and stir. Add in the rice and gently stir an absolute minimum. (You want to be careful with any stirring once the rice is in so it doesn’t turn to mush.)

Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer very, very gently for 22-24 minutes, or until rice is just cooked. If possible, don’t lift the lid until ready to check for doneness.

When rice is cooked, very gently, with a spatula, working from the bottom turn the ground beef and rice over.

Remove from heat, add cheese if using, cover and let sit for five minutes.


  • Doctor up with some tabasco or Worcestershire.
  • Think about sautéing garlic, diced onion, bell peppers or mushrooms along with the ground beef or adding corn in to warm through before serving.

adapted from Aunt Bee’s Recipes.


I’ll be sharing this recipe at Fiesta Friday 190, hosted by Shinta @ Caramel Tinted Life and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens.