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Nebraskan Runzas

A native dish of Nebraska, these wonderful meat pies will become a family favorite. Stuffed with ground beef, cabbage, and onions, and baked in a delicious bread, these are perfect for lunch or dinner. This runza recipe is a delicious handheld treat.


  • 1 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 head cabbage, chopped
  • 4 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 packages of yeast
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 6 tablespoons oil
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 5 1/2 cups flour or more as needed


  1. Brown beef and remove from pan, saute onions in hamburger grease until transparent.
  2. Add cabbage and cooked beef to onions and cook until tender, adding a little water if it gets too dry if necessary). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. For dough, soften the 2 pkg yeast in 1/4 cup water. Add 2 cups warm water, the oil, sugar, and salt.
  4. Add flour until the dough consistency is no longer sticky (but not too stiff). Let rise until double, punch down and let re-rise (about another hour). These can truly be made in about any size or shape (appetizer vs. sandwich, round vs. rectangular), so use your own judgment.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Take a piece of dough and roll into a rectangular or round shape, about 1/4-inch thick.
  7. Add filling, and pinch the edges firmly to seal making sure the filling is totally enclosed.
  8. Flatten slightly, and place on greased cookie sheet or pan, seam-side down. Let rise again until about double (about 1/2 hour or so).
  9. Bake for 30 minutes. If desired, brush with 1 beaten egg mixed with a little water about 15 minutes into baking for a nice golden color.

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I did not know what a Nebraska Runza really was until I met my husband in Nebraska. He loves Runzas and every time we visit Nebraska he has to have one! I have tried making them before and they were just OK. I am going to try this recipe and hope they turn out better. I like the idea of using frozen bread dough.

This is a great recipe! I've eaten these ("Runzas" as they are called in Nebraska) ever since I was a little girl and my grandma would spend all day making these for our family. The only difference is she would mix together some shredded mozzarella and shredded cheddar and add a little bit inside each one making them cheese Runzas. Delicious!! Getting older I always look for shortcuts, and I found using thawed out frozen bread dough (the kind you find in the freezer at most grocery stores) in place of the homemade dough listed above, it saves me so much time. It went from a meal I could only make on weekends, to a meal I can make on weeknights when getting home from work.


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