My dad created this recipe in college. And has been a family favorite ever since! For added flavor, add seasoning salt to beef, or use bison.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
35 mins
total:
45 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 meatballs
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Mix ground beef, rice, onion, and egg together in a bowl with your hands; shape into tennis-ball sized balls.

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  • Stir tomato sauce and water together in a large pot; bring too a boil. Gently lie meatballs into the sauce, place cover on the pot, and reduce heat to medium-low.

  • Cook until meatballs are no longer pink in the center, about 35 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

  • Put meatballs on a plate, cut each into halves, and ladle sauce over the meatballs to serve.

Editor's Note:

Sodium content varies across brands of tomato sauce, so if you use a no-salt-added sauce, you may want to add salt to the meatballs. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt to the ground beef in step 1.

Nutrition Facts

246 calories; protein 16.8g 34% DV; carbohydrates 21.8g 7% DV; fat 10.2g 16% DV; cholesterol 74.6mg 25% DV; sodium 745mg 30% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (9)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
09/17/2014
The end result in my house as it was delish. I found that you need to use good judgment on the size of the onion. Use too much chopped onion results in a not so formed or held together meatball. That's just a heads up with some advice. If you have to much, just throw it in the tomato sauce and let it cook with it. However, recipe simple, easy and fast to whip together. I was worried about no spice or proper seasoning in the beginning but when it was all said and done, reminded me of the filling to cabbage rolls without the cabbage. I served over cheesy garlic mashed potatoes and called it a day. Will make again as my family said it was worthy as a repeat offender. TY Read More
(14)
11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
09/17/2014
The end result in my house as it was delish. I found that you need to use good judgment on the size of the onion. Use too much chopped onion results in a not so formed or held together meatball. That's just a heads up with some advice. If you have to much, just throw it in the tomato sauce and let it cook with it. However, recipe simple, easy and fast to whip together. I was worried about no spice or proper seasoning in the beginning but when it was all said and done, reminded me of the filling to cabbage rolls without the cabbage. I served over cheesy garlic mashed potatoes and called it a day. Will make again as my family said it was worthy as a repeat offender. TY Read More
(14)
Rating: 4 stars
11/27/2014
Updated review: I've made these meatballs several more times (with the pineapple sauce still) and so far, my favorite version is with 2 tsp salt and a few shakes of worcestire mixed in the meat mix before cooking. Original review: Tomato sauce hasn't been agreeing with me lately, so I'm rating the recipe even though I altered it (I know, I should be burned at the stake for my crime). I added 1 tsp seasoning salt (as suggested by submitter) to the meat mix, and cooked the meatballs in plain water without the tomato sauce. Then I used the Spicy Pineapple Sauce recipe from this site as the sauce. The dish came out really good. The meatballs needed some more seasoning salt, but the meatballs were surprisingly tasty for such bland ingredients. The pineapple sauce was delicious, and they really paired together nicely. I'll make the pineapple meatball dish again and again since it was easy. Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
12/28/2019
I put an Italian twist to it. Used (to the sauce) Worcestershire diced onion 4 cloves of garlic basil and oregano. Oh and I used tomato soup (Campbell s). Read More
(5)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2016
My mom always made this for us... they're even better the next day with a little squirt of ketchup lol. I'm glad I'm not the only one who loves this simple yummy meatball. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
05/20/2020
Fantastic as is. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
07/01/2019
This is a long time favorite for several generations. Chief differences are long grain rice instead of instant and tomato soup instead of sauce. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
04/29/2020
I loved it! My changes were using leftover wild rice instead of white and a jar of spaghetti sauce in place of tomato sauce. Also, I added a teaspoon of kosher salt to the hamburger. Delicious! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
08/25/2020
I use to make this when my kids were little. It was published in Better Homes and Gardens step by step Kids cookbook in 1985. The kids would make it and loved it. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
05/13/2020
It was pretty taste. Added a little cyanine pepper for some heat. Used regular rice and just precooked it. Results in them cooking faster and fell apart on the plate easily when cut. Placed on top of extra rice. Finished with cheese. Read More