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Whenever I think about porcupines, I always think of years ago when my mom would make them with ground beef and serve them with homemade French fries and the entire plate drenched with her homemade sweet and sour sauce.  I remember well coming home from school and instantly smelling the sweet aroma as soon as I opened the front door.  It would have been most likely a dish that was prepared in the fall or winter months and it was the perfect dish to serve after a long day of winter activity in Newfoundland.

Vegetarian Porcupines

It’s odd that I’ve been experiencing quite a bit of nostalgia in the food department lately.  It seems that I can’t get enough of the tastes I grew up on, but, of course, I have to recreate them using only vegetarian-friendly products.  Thanks be to Baby Jesus for Yves Veggie products!  🙂

Porcupines (as weird as that name might be!) is a rather large meatball which uses rice rather than breadcrumbs, and is baked in a sweet and sour sauce.  I’m assuming they get their name because of the numerous ends of rice sticking out of the meatball when they are finished cooking.  They are by no means pretty!!!!

Vegetarian Porcupines

These are fantastic on their own, but can easily be stuffed into a sandwich or served with a nice salad to make things a little lighter.  You really don’t need to serve them with carbs, but they are better that way!  😉

Just in case you’re wondering, you can make these non-vegetarian by simply switching out the textured vegetable protein and adding in your favourite ground beef product.

Vegetarian Porcupines

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3.75 from 4 votes

Vegetarian Porcupines

Course Main Course
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12
Author Lord Byron's Kitchen


For the Porcupines:

  • 2 cups vegetarian beef crumbles
  • 1/2 cup white rice, uncooked
  • 1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

For the Sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 cups water


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Add the following ingredients to a large bowl and using your hands, mix all of the ingredients together so that a large ball forms - veggie ground crumbles, rice, onion, egg, ketchup, mustard, salt, celery salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  • Using an ice cream scoop, scoop portions of the mixture and form into balls using the palms of your hands
  • Place them (tightly packed) in a deep roasting pan
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, white vinegar, and water.
  • Poor the mixture evenly over the meatballs
  • Bake, covered, for 30 minutes
  • Remove the cover and return to the oven for an additional 20 minutes
  • Serve immediately


There are two ingredients lists for this recipe, both separated by the asterisks.


Vegetarian Porcupines


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This Post Has 24 Comments

    1. Aren't they just the best thing!? I can't believe I'm going to say this, but the only thing I was missing from the vegetarian version was the lack of grease from the ground beef. Hahaha! So bad, I know!
  1. Ah, I do not know anyone in this world who wouldn't marry you after seeing this Vegetarian Porcupines!!! I wish I could find some of them today at Herzing! I promise, I won't propose! John doesn't need to be jealous of me, yet you said that sharing is sexy. :-)
  2. I was desperate for an easy dinner tonight after a busy day, and couldn't figure out what to make. Bubba wanted Sheppard Pie and I was so tired at the thought of the prep that I could have cried lol that is when I realized the container of leftover porcupines ( I had made a double batch yesterday). I searched through the spice cupboard and lucked out on a ClubHouse package of Sheppard Pie seasoning and crossed my fingers... Bubba has declared it the best Sheppard pie EVER lol just a thought for your next batch of leftovers ;)
  3. Just wondering if the Yves crumbles you mention are the same as the ground round? And what size is the package to be used for the recipe? Thank you.
      1. Hmmm...not sure what I did wrong but my mixture would not stay I put the mixture in a loaf pan and will see if it makes a yummy "meat"loaf! :)
        1. Oh no! Stephanie, I'm sorry to hear that! I've made the recipe myself several times and it's always formed into balls quite well. Did it work as a "meat loaf" for you?
          1. Unfortunately, no, it did not. I ended up transferring it from the loaf pan to a square pan because it wasn't cooking through. Once it did cook then I just served it "hash" style. The taste was definitely there, just not the pretty presentation. This being said, I will certainly try this recipe again! Thanks for your follow up and thanks for all of the wonderful vegetarian recipes you have available. I was just recently introduced to your website and must have printed 20 recipes! Always looking for new ways to feed my family (my son and I are vegetarian and husband is not). Can't wait to try them all :)
            1. Well, thank you Stephanie for your kind words. I'm so sorry that you're porcupines did not hold. I'm wondering if it was the veggie crumbles that you used. Did you use Yves? Were they dry or wet?
  4. Just came across this and looks yummy!! Wondering if the veggie crumbles are frozen and cooked before adding to mixture? I only know of (and have....) the frozen kind but kind of assume they should be cooked first? Thx!
    1. Hi Sue - I would recommend using tomato jam if you want the thick and sweet version of ketchup. Or, if you're looking to reduce the sugar or sodium, use low sodium tomato sauce.

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