These Vegetarian Sweet & Sour Porcupine “Meatballs” are hands-down the best meatless appetizer I’ve ever brought to a party, and they were gone in a flash! With the help of Minute Rice, I was able to create a healthier dish that aims to please everyone, vegetarians and meat-lovers alike!
The holidays are 100% here. There’s no more “right around the corner.” There’s no more time to make sure you make Santa’s nice list. It’s here and now. Holiday parties will be this weekend. Last minute shopping next week. And then it’s Christmas, and a week later we’ll be ringing in the new year! Isn’t it such a whirlwind? Well, if you’re anything like me, you’ve got the main dishes planned, but you haven’t even begun to think about all the extras. The drinks. The appetizers. The munchies for when everyone has stayed until it’s time for the next meal.
But this time, I’ve got it covered with an appetizer that is out of this world amazing!
Most of the time, I think of appetizers as meat-heavy. Bacon-wrapped everything. Wings. Meat trays. Mini sausages and meatballs. All.the.meat! Definitely makes it hard as a vegetarian to try and eat something substantial at parties. It usually turns out to be veggies & dip or chips & salsa. This time, I’m going to make sure everyone gets to eat!
Using Minute Rice’s Multi-Grain Medley in my faux meatballs really gave me the opportunity to amp up the nutrition level on these babies. The Multi-Grain Medley is the newest product from Minute® Rice. It’s a blend of four gluten-free foods and made with 100% whole grains, including long grain brown rice, Thai red rice, wild rice and quinoa and it conveniently cooks in 10 minutes.
And the awesome part about these is that there’s nothing fake about these. No imitation/soy “meat”. Just all real food formed into meatballs, baked for half an hour, and then gently tossed into a hot bath of super easy homemade sweet and sour sauce.
Oh, and I don’t know if you’ve ever made porcupine meatballs before with regular rice, but I swear, the rice always ends up uncooked and crunchy in the end. Blegh. Thankfully, Minute Rice cooks in such a short amount of time that you don’t have to worry about your guests chewing on raw rice. Even the brown rice cooks perfectly!
I have to say there’s nothing better than these meatballs right now. I’ve been dreaming about these since I made them last weekend, and I have to say, I will probably be making them again this upcoming weekend. This Sunday is my family’s Annual Cookie Bake-off where we all gather in my sister’s kitchen to bake what we think is the winning cookie. Then we take our plates of cookies over to the neighbors’ houses for them to taste and judge. Based on their judging, we announce the top three winners. It’s definitely my favorite tradition of the season, and I can’t wait. Unfortunately, I have no clue what cookie I’m making or which one I think will be the best, but I’m determined to give it my best shot!
Regardless, I’ll be a winner with these amazing Vegetarian Meatballs that I think even my meat-lovin’ family will enjoy! Can’t wait to get their reactions to how freakin’ delicious they are!
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup lentils
- 1 cup Minute Brown Rice
- 1/2 small onion, , diced
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats
- 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 egg, , beaten
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For Sweet & Sour Sauce
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
- First, you will need to cook the lentils. You can do this earlier in the day to save on some prep time if you'd like, as they do need to cool slightly. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and salt to a boil. Add lentils and drop the temperature down to a very slight simmer. Cover and let simmer for about 25 minutes, checking about every 7-10 minutes to be sure there is still plenty of water and the lentils aren't burning. The lentils will be done when water has boiled out and the lentils are tender. Roughly mash with a fork while hot and set aside to cool down.
- Once the lentils are cooled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and start working on your mixture for the meatballs.
- Add the lentils to a large bowl along with the Minute Brown Rice, onion, oats, cheese, egg, tomato sauce, and seasonings. Mix really well until it's all combined. It may work best to use your hands to be sure everything gets worked together.
- Once mixed, begin forming into golf-ball-sized meatballs and placing in a baking sheet prepared with non-stick spray. The spray is important or your meatballs will stick to the pan!
- Place in the hot oven for 25 minutes, taking them out about half way through and gently turning them over to be sure they brown on both sides.
- During the second half of the baking, it's time to make the sauce. Combine all sauce ingredients in a large skillet. (You'll want to use one that is large enough to place all your meatballs in without crowding them or having to layer them on top of each other.) Whisk all ingredients together, bringing to a boil. Once it starts to boil and thicken up, it's likely your meatballs will be browned and ready to be placed in the sauce.
- Very gently add the meatballs to the sauce, spooning sauce over the tops. Cover and let boil for about 10 minutes. You'll want to gently stir the sauce and meatballs every so often just to ensure that they aren't sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the sauce has thickened, the meatballs are ready to serve. You can either serve plain with skewers for an appetizer or on top of a bed of rice or quinoa for a full meal.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Minute® Rice.
Looking for more appetizer recipes?
Fresh Homemade Salsa – Tone-and-Tighten
Healthy Greek Layer Dip – Happy Food Healthy Life
Cranberry Baked Brie Puff Pastry Bites – The Law Student’s Wife
Vegan Spinach & Artichoke Dip – Happy Food Healthy Life
Panko-Crusted Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms – Tried and Tasty