Meatballs and Rice

5 from 1 vote
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Juicy, insanely good venison meatballs and rice. You can also use beef for this recipe. Nourishing, filling dinner the family will crave.

spotted plate with rice and meatballs on top, and a silver fork.
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Why Make Venison Meatballs and Rice

These meatballs are to die for. They are made with venison, but are also wonderful with ground beef. Either meat will work beautifully and come out super flavorful. They are pretty easy to whip up, the meal is hearty and satisfying. My husband loves this meal over most, it’s perfect for that meat eater of the family.

Venison meatballs are great for meal prep as well, this dish lasts in the fridge and remains tasty for up to 5 days, you can also freeze it if needed. The rice is cooked with beef broth and fresh aromatics, giving it a wonderful unmatched flavor.

Ingredients Needed

All ingredients needed on a counter with small bowls and measuring cups.

Meatballs

Ground Venison or Ground Beef. Either will work, I prefer venison meatballs if you can get your hands on it, it’s a bit leaner than beef but still has a rich flavor to it. It is usually found in specialty grocery store. Otherwise, grab a nice, good quality, lean ground beef.

Worcestershire Sauce. This adds a deep depth of flavor to the meatballs and rice.

Egg. You will need one egg to combine into the meat, this helps keep the ground meat together through the cooking process.

Breadcrumbs. This is to keep the meatballs moist, and stick together. You can use panko or gluten free crumbs as well.

Feta. This is to be incorporated into the meatballs for ultimate flavor. you can also use some to top the dish with, it adds a nice creamy salty flavor.

Seasoning. You will need garlic powder, onion, thyme, cinnamon, salt, pepper, paprika.

Neutral Oil. This is for browning the meatballs before adding them to the rice bake. Use canola or a light olive oil.

For The Rice

Rice. White, long grain rice is what I use. Any rice of choice will work, but keep in mind, liquid and cook times will vary.

Onion. This is for aromatics and baking in flavor.

Garlic. Another aromatic to give a depth of flavor to the dish.

Beef Broth. Use a low sodium broth, you can also use chicken or veggie broth, beef broth adds the most depth of flavor.

Bell Pepper. This add veggies, and color to the dish.

Butter. This helps the rice absorb the flavor and gives it a buttery texture.

Fresh Parsley. This is optional for a nice garnish to the dish.

Recipe Variations

Venison. You can use ground beef, ground turkey or ground bison for this recipe.

Feta. This recipe is great with the feta, but please feel free to skip the feta or sub it for grated Parmesan.

Rice. Because this recipe’s main ingredient is rice, there isn’t much for a sub that would work perfectly but please use any rice of choice. Just note that liquid measurements and cooking times will vary a bit.

Breadcrumbs. Use panko, gluten free bread crumbs, crushed cracker or oatmeal in place of the breadcrumbs.

Steps To Make This Recipe

White baking dish with veggies and butter.

Step One. Preheat oven to 350º. Rinse the uncooked rice well in a colander, this is so the grains don’t get sticky and mush while baking. Add the water and broth to a large sauce pan and heat on the stove. Meanwhile, finely chop the onion (keep 1/4 cup for the meatballs to the side!), bell peppers and mince the garlic. Place them in a casserole dish 12×8 inch or similar in size baking dish. Add the butter, a pinch of salt, pepper, uncooked rinsed rice, hot beef stock with water. Mix well until the butter is melted.

Step Two. Cover the baking dish with tin foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. While rice is cooking, prepare the venison meatballs.

Glass bowl with ingredients for meatballs in it.

Meatball Steps

Step Three. In a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef or venison. Add in the leftover chopped onion, all the seasoning, egg, Worcestershire Sauce, breadcrumbs, crumbled feta. Mix well with hands, ensure the feta is evenly spread throughout.

Step Four. Heat oil in a skillet or heavy bottomed pan. Form meatballs into 1-1.5 inch balls and add to a plate. once the oil is hot add the meatballs into the hot skillet, you may need to cook two batches.

Skillet with meatballs in it cooking and a white plate with cooked meat.

Step Five. Turn the meatballs around the skillet to ensure all the sides are browned, about 4 minutes. Set the browned meatballs on a cleaned plate. Once they are all browned, add them to the casserole (after 30 minutes of the casserole cooking).

Step Six. Pull the casserole out, uncover and nestle all the meatballs into the rice. Add in the extra water and continue to cook for another 10-20 minutes or until rice is al dente. Oven temps will vary so please check on the meatballs and rice after 10 minutes. Once it’s finished garnish with parsley, extra feta if you’d like and serve.

Meatballs up close in rice and in a casserole dish.

Tips & FAQ’s

Can I use any ground meat?

Yes! Ground beef, venison or turkey will work wonderfully.

Is this meal good for prepping?

Yes! This is a great meal to meal prep for the week or make ahead. To reheat, add 1/4 liquid and pop in the oven on 350º for 20 minutes.

Recipe Pairings

This recipe is great on it’s own, but it pairs great with my Kale Caesar Salad, Garlic Rolls or Air Fryer Garlic Bread.

Other Easy Dinners To Enjoy

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

White plate with a silver fork and rice and meatballs.
5 from 1 vote

Meatballs and Rice

Juicy, insanely good venison meatballs and rice. You can also use beef for this recipe. Nourishing, filling dinner the family will crave. 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • skillet or heavy bottomed pan
  • 12×8 baking dish or similar in size

Ingredients 

  • 1⅓ cup long grain rice, uncooked
  • cup beef stock , *see notes
  • cup water, *see notes
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped, for garnish

Meatballs

  • 2 Tbsp oil for frying
  • 1 lb ground venison or beef, *see notes
  • ¼ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon , *see notes
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • ¼-⅓ cup feta, crumbled well , *extra for garnish if needed

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350º. Rinse the uncooked rice well in a colander, this is so the grains don't get sticky and mush while baking. Add the water and broth to a large sauce pan and heat on the stove. Meanwhile, finely chop the onion (keep 1/4 cup for the meatballs to the side!), bell peppers and mince the garlic. Place them in a casserole dish 12×8 inch or similar in size baking dish. Add the butter, a pinch of salt, pepper, uncooked rinsed rice, hot beef stock with water. Mix well until the butter is melted.
  • Cover the baking dish with tin foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. While rice is cooking, prepare the venison meatballs. 

Meatballs

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef or venison. Add in the leftover chopped onion, all the seasoning, egg, Worcestershire Sauce, breadcrumbs, crumbled feta. Mix well with hands, ensure the feta is evenly spread throughout.
  • Heat oil in a skillet or heavy bottomed pan. Form meatballs into 1-1.5 inch balls and add to a plate. once the oil is hot add the meatballs into the hot skillet, you may need to cook two batches. 
  • Turn the meatballs around the skillet to ensure all the sides are browned, about 4 minutes. Set the browned meatballs on a cleaned plate. Once they are all browned, add them to the casserole (after 30 minutes of the casserole cooking).
  • Pull the casserole out, uncover and nestle all the meatballs into the rice. Add in the extra water ( 1/4 -1/3 cup only if all the liquid is absorbed and rice is still hard) continue to cook for another 10-20 minutes or until rice is al dente. Oven temps will vary so please check on the meatballs and rice after 10 minutes. Once it's finished garnish with parsley, extra feta if you'd like and serve.

Notes

*any broth will work, chicken, veggie or beef will work. 
*you will most likely need 1/4 cup more water later in the cooking process.
*any ground meat will work if you don’t have access to venison. It’s typically sold at specialty stores or natural food stores. Beef would be the best alternative.
*just trust me… but if you hate cinnamon skip it 🙂 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 506kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 1048mg | Potassium: 764mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 164IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 506
Keyword: dinner, easy dinner
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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! These were so flavorful and satisfying! I was missing parsley so I had to omit it this time, but will add it next time! Highly recommend.

    1. Hi Savannah! I am thrilled to hear this, these meatballs are my favorite comfort meal. Thanks for letting me know!

  2. I so want to make dish, but the cooking of the rice is totally unclear to me. Is the rice cooked in the very first step? That is not stated at all in any of the steps. Rinsing the rice is directed in the first step, but nothing said about combining it with broth or water. Can you clarify this for me? Thanks

    1. Hi Evelyn! Thank you for bringing this to my attentions, I have updated things a bit to make it much more clear. Enjoy 😊