Gluten Free Porcupine Meatballs Without Tomatoes

My mother-in-law used to make porcupine meatballs in a red sauce. All her kids miss it so much, especially my husband. Because of my tomato allergies I decided to see if a similar recipe would work with a brown gravy. This is naturally gluten free, but you need to be careful to use gluten-free ingredients in the sauce, which I explain below. Mom used to use instant white rice, many people use uncooked long grain white rice. I used cooked brown rice, as I had some left over already in the frig. Brown gravy just does not have any flavor unless you make it from some sort of meat base or fat. I didn’t have any meat fat on hand and decided to spice up the roux (flour and butter mixture) with a little sauteed onion. It worked pretty good! Blending it in the food processor made a flavorful, creamy brown gravy. Enjoy!


Gluten Free Porcupine Meatballs Without Tomatoes


Yield: Serves 3-4

Gluten Free Porcupine Meatballs Without Tomatoes

The same great porcupines you've grown to love without the tomatoes and gluten.


    For the Meatballs
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 - 5 Tablespoons grated parmesan or parmesan and romano cheese (Kraft)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled (for frying pan)
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for frying
  • For the Gravy
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup finely yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons gluten free all-purpose flour (I used Namaste)
  • 1 cup or more chicken broth, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon or more of Kitchen Bouquet Brown & Seasoning Sauce


    For the Meatballs
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, as you would meatloaf.
  2. Form into balls.
  3. Preheat a large skillet on medium-high heat; brown meatballs on all sides.
  4. While the meatballs are browning, make the gravy below.
  5. For the Gravy
  6. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan on medium heat.
  7. Add onion and saute until translucent.
  8. Make a roux by quickly whisking in the flour a little bit at a time.
  9. Turn heat to medium-high to high; pour in about a cup of warmed chicken broth, slowly, while whisking. Cook on high until thickened; continuously stirring. If you desire a thinner gravy add more chicken broth or 1 Tablespoon less flour.
  10. Either pour gravy over the porcupines or serve atop a bed of gravy. You can also simmer the meatballs in the gravy.


If you do not have any gluten-free all-purpose flour on hand, you can use potato starch, corn starch or tapioca starch, but use about half the amount of flour. Starches by themselves tend to thin upon rewarming.

One Reply to “Gluten Free Porcupine Meatballs Without Tomatoes”

  1. Man, my grandmomma was Italian and she made the most amazing meatballs I ever tasted, like you had died and gone to meatball heaven. Sadly, she didnt leave a recipe for us so I’ve been trying to work it out by myself… slowly working my through the meatball recipes here [link no longer works], I still cant figure out what her secret ingredient was though!!!

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