Happy 146th birthday, Nebraska! What better way to celebrate than making a homemade batch of runzas? Sunday afternoon.

For those who didn’t have the pleasure of growing up in the Cornhusker State, a runza is bread dough, filled with beef and cabbage. It’s essentially the German equivalent of a perogi or empanada.

I could say a lot more… but you’ll either love it or you won’t. :)


Homemade Runzas

Family recipe

Makes 15-20

4 1/2 – 5 cups flour, divided
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shortening
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 – 2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 small or medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 small cabbage, finely chopped (NOTE: the finer the cabbage is chopped, the better it will cook down)
1/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons dry beef-onion soup mix
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper

Measure 3 cups flour and put into a large bowl or stand mixer bowl. Create a well in the center. Heat milk, water, and shortening to 90-110 degrees. Pour into the well, and sprinkle with yeast. Let set for 10 minutes until yeast is bubbly. Stir together. Add sugar, salt, eggs, and beat together. Using either a electric stand mixer with a dough hook attachment or a bowl and hands, work in additional flour and then knead until dough until smooth and elastic. Place into a greased bowl; cover with plastic wrap and a clean towel. Let rest in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down; let rest 10 minutes.

Brown ground beef and onion. Add cabbage, water, and soup mix; cover and cook until cabbage has cooked down to desired liking.

Drain thoroughly. Pour meat mixture into a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss in cheese.

Roll dough onto a large lightly floured surface. Roll as thinly as possible. (To quote my Dad: “More filling, less bread!”) Cut into squares about 7×7″. Place about a 1/4-cup of meat mixture in center. Bring corners of dough to the center, pinching edges together tightly.

Pinch the dough edges together to seal. Make sure you drain the meat thoroughly. Extra liquid makes it difficult to seal the dough and keep the filling inside. Place smooth side up on lightly greased baking sheets. Let rise 30-45 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s