I've got an updated, blast from the past (my past anyway) recipe for you today: Healthy Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs.
Do you remember "porcupines" - ground beef, raw rice and seasonings formed into balls and then cooked in tomato sauce, or soup, in a skillet or baked in the oven?
My old Betty Crocker Cookbook (affiliate link) (1978) has a good recipe for this old-fashioned family-friendly favorite.
But the inspiration for these skinny slow cooker gluten-free porcupine meatballs came from another source: 4 Ingredients: More Than 400 Quick, Easy, and Delicious Recipes Using 4 or Fewer Ingredients (affiliate link), a basic little paperback of easy everyday recipes by a pair of Australian moms, that I discovered in a London bookshop a few years back.
The original 4-ingredient recipe called for just ground beef, cooked rice, egg and canned condensed tomato soup.
I added a little dried onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the mix.
And instead of plain condensed tomato soup, I opted for a can of Amy's Organic Chunky Tomato Bisque (affiliate link) which is slightly sweet, a little creamy, and full of fresh tomato flavor.
I carefully placed the uncooked meatballs in my 4-Quart oval slow cooker (affiliate link), poured the soup on top and let them cook on LOW for about 4-½ hours.
If you prefer, you could bake them in a 350F degree oven for about one hour instead.
Served with mashed potatoes and broccoli, these slow cooker porcupine meatballs received an enthusiastic thumbs up from both of us.
Which just goes to show dinner doesn't have to be complicated to be satisfying, especially when you like old-fashioned comfort food the way we do.
How Many Calories and WW Points in these Slow Cooker Meatballs?
According to my calculations, each generous serving has about 278 calories and
6 *SmartPoints (Green plan)
6 *SmartPoints (Blue plan)
6 *SmartPoints (Purple plan)
7 *PointsPlus (Old plan)
To see your WW PersonalPoints for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site, Click here!
If you like these old-fashioned slow cooker porcupine meatballs, be sure to check out my other easy healthy Weight Watchers friendly meatball recipes including Easy Slow Cooker French Onion Meatballs, Weight Watchers Spaghetti & Chicken Meatballs, Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs, Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs and Easy Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour BBQ Meatballs
Are You Ready To Slow Cook Yourself Slim?
If you've made this Crock Pot Porcupine Meatballs, please give the recipe a star rating below and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. And stay in touch on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.
Weight Watchers Friendly Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs Recipe
- 1 pound 95% lean ground beef
- ½ cup cooked rice
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 can tomato soup (I used Amy's Organic Chunky Tomato Bisque)
- Ideal slow cooker size: 4-Quart.
- In a bowl, combine the ground beef, rice, egg and seasonings in a bowl and mix well.
- Roll mixture into 16 balls (aka "porcupines").
- Place meatballs in the slow cooker, trying to keep them in a single layer if you can.
- Pour on the soup. (If you are using a condensed soup you'll want to thin it with ½ can of water before pouring on.)
- Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Alternatively, you can place the meatballs in a single layer in a casserole dish, pour on the soup and bake in a 350F degree oven for about 1 hour, until the meatballs are cooked through and soup/sauce is bubbly.
Source: inspired by 4 Ingredients: More Than 400 Quick, Easy, and Delicious Recipes Using 4 or Fewer Ingredients (affiliate link) by Kim McCosker and Rachael Bermingham
*Points® calculated by WW. *PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan's ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.This video shows how easy it is to make your own crock pot porcupine meatballs at home:
More Weight Watchers Recipes for Meatballs:
- Easy Low Calorie Sriracha Meatballs
- Easy Slow Cooker French Onion Meatballs
- 5-Ingredient Low Calorie Lemon Pepper Meatballs
- Low Calorie Thai Green Curry Turkey Meatballs
- Turkey Meatball Stroganoff (SkinnyTaste)
- Light Italian Meatballs (LaaLoosh)
- Buffalo Chicken & Quinoa Meatballs (SlenderKitchen)
- Skinny Greek-Style Meatballs (SkinnyKitchen)
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs
Martha is the founder and main content writer for Simple-Nourished-Living.
A longtime lifetime WW at goal, she is committed to balancing her love of food and desire to stay slim while savoring life and helping others do the same.
She is the author of the Smart Start 28-Day Weight Loss Challenge.
A huge fan of the slow cooker and confessed cookbook addict, when she's not experimenting in the kitchen, you're likely to find Martha on her yoga mat.
This post contains affiliate links to products I like. When you buy something through one of my Amazon links or other (affiliate links), I receive a small commission that helps support this site. Thank you for your purchase!
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These look excellent! Pinning them to try sometime soon 🙂 Since I'm trying to use up half a jar of marinara in my fridge, any thoughts on whether a tomato sauce would work for this too? Or perhaps half tomato sauce half milk, to get that bisque sort of quality?
Hi Tori, This is a very flexible recipe. I think marinara sauce would be delicious and agree that 1/2 milk, 1/2 marinara would create more of the bisque quality. I might use evaporated milk instead of regular as milk can sometimes be prone to curdling in the slow cooker. Hope this helps.
I've made porcupine meatballs for 45 years. Always a delicious dish. For added flavor, add beef a Knorr's beef boullion cube and approximately 1 tbsp of worcestershire sauce to the soup. I cook mine in a pressure cooker - once the thing starts rocking, set the timer for 12 - 14 minutes.
can you tell me the complete recipe. I used to make them years and years ago but lost the recipe.
Martha, can you post the old style recipe please ?
Hi Judy, I used this one from an Old Betty Crocker Cookbook which I found on AllRecipes: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/218493/melindas-porcupine-meatballs/
I have made these recipe more times that I can count! Easy and delicious!
Quick question. Recipe calls for cooked rice but the allrecipe video says use uncooked rice. Which is it?
follow the recipe 🙂
I made this for my family and they loved it! Thank you!