Mom's Meatballs and Rice
Main Dishes

Mom’s Meatballs and Rice with Mushroom Gravy — An Updated Childhood Favorite


Like many people, I learned most of my early cooking skills and menus from my mom.  As I mentioned in last year’s Mother’s Day post on her Bran Muffins, she was a pretty classic 70’s mom in her cooking style, with lots of potatoes, lots of rice, quite a few casseroles, and a heavy reliance on Campbell’s Condensed Soups and Franco-American Gravies (now owned by Campbell’s) as an ingredient.  Some of that wasn’t really my mom’s fault, as my dad and my brother were far from adventurous eaters (my brother got better with age, my dad really hasn’t).  I think the first meal I learned from her was my Mom’s Super Easy Crock Pot Roast, which featured both a Campbell’s Soup and a Franco-American Gravy–always a sure sign of a winner.

The other earliest recipe I recall learning by heart was her meatballs and rice with mushroom gravy.  This was a favorite of my dad and I, and my brother tolerated it as long as there was no “touching” of the meatballs and the rice.  I later would make it for my room-mates and quasi-roommates in college, and then for my family.  It is probably Hunter’s favorite meal from my old pre-Colleen repertoire, and both kids still regularly request it when they actually get a say in the menu.

I did modify it a bit in the old days to make it a little quicker.  My mom always used Pepperidge Farm Stuffing and added fresh diced onions and bell peppers to the mix, and I replaced all three ingredients with an equivalent measure of Stove Top Stuffing (yes, a major sell-out and shortcut).  I then modified it again more recently to make it at least a little healthier, by using extra lean ground beef, the 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup (rather than traditional), Fat Free Beef Gravy (they don’t appear to make a fat free mushroom gravy), and (sometimes) brown rice.  The kids haven’t complained about the recent modifications, so I guess they work!

Betty's Meatballs and Rice
Ingredient array–nothing too exotic here…
Betty's Meatballs and Rice
Beef, worcestershire, seasoned salt and egg.
Betty's Meatballs and Rice
Stuffing added to top of meat mixture.
Betty's Meatballs and Rice
Hunter’s hands mixing the meat.
Betty's Meatballs and Rice
Forming the balls. We usually do them about an inch in diameter, for ease of cooking through without making the outside too tough.
Betty's Meatballs and Rice
Meatballs in frying pan (I cover it when cooking to help it cook through).
Betty's Meatballs and Rice
One side of the meatballs has been browned, and they’ve been rotated to another side.
Betty's Meatballs and Rice
Gravies and meatballs partially mixed while heating.
Betty's Meatballs and Rice
Meatballs and gravy ready to serve!
Mom's Meatballs and Rice with Mushroom Gravy
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Serves: 5
  • 1 lb Ground beef (historically used 85/15, recently using 93/7)–will make 15-18 1″ meatballs
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ Tbsp Seasoned Salt
  • 1½ cup Stove Top Stuffing
  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup (98% Fat Free or Traditional)
  • 1 Can Franco-American/Campbell’s Mushroom Gravy–or Beef Gravy (Fat Free only exists for the Beef Gravy)
  • Rice (I like 2 cups uncooked white rice and 3 cups liquid to ensure enough for 4 people and possible leftovers)
  1. Start rice in rice cooker or covered pot
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine ground beef, egg, worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, and stuffing
  3. Mix. Add more stuffing if it is too wet, but don’t make it too dry to stick together, because there isn’t really a good way to re-moisten it.
  4. Loosely roll into approximately 1″ round meatballs and place into 12″ non-stick frying pan (I’ve never needed to use oil or Pam)
  5. Cover pan and heat on medium high
  6. When bottom of the meatballs are browned (3-5 minutes), turn them all over to an uncooked side, and continue to cook covered for another 3-5 minutes until that side is browned. Turn them to the least cooked side that remains for another 3-5 minutes (three sides altogether).
  7. Pour/scoop the can of mushroom soup and the can of mushroom (or beef) gravy into the pan. You can mix the gravies in a bit, but it won’t blend or really look like gravy until it heats up, so cover it again for another five minutes or so.
  8. Stir meatballs in gravy until it is evenly blended and distributed.
  9. Serve over (or adjacent to–as my brother would do) rice, with a suitable salad or veggie (we always did corn or peas).
If you wish it slightly more authentic, substitute a ⅓ cup of diced onions and ⅓ cup of diced peppers and 1 or 1½ cups of stuffing (Pepperidge Farm is what my mom always used) for the Stove Top Stuffing.


  1. Vickibadrov

    Found your blog and reallyw as interested in this recipe. Did you ever figure out the ww points?

  2. Another yum to try. Would love to have an these recipes to”save”them I.e. to my kindle, maybe in the future?

  3. Nicole Williams

    Very good! I added an extra can of mushroom soup, some milk, and a dash of Cajun seasoning for some extra gravy.

  4. LOL This is the exact kind I make and everyone has been saying maybe you should make them like some other people do, so I looked up the exact way I make them ( and always have because I love them) and I found this. LOL so if anyone say that tonight I am going to show them this LOL>

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