Runzas Recipe

Those of you from Nebraska will certainly recognize this as familiar comfort food, as this dish is popular in Nebraska (learn about more unique foods throughout the US here). The basic description is bread dough filled with ground meat, onions, and cabbage or sauerkraut with seasonings, baked and served hot.

Our family uses a bit of sausage to add flavor, and we opt for sauerkraut (sometimes homemade). We serve with a variety of mustards and horseradish cream.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. hamburger
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. sausage
  • 1 head cabbage head see* note #1 below
  • 2 boxes hot roll mix or 2 16 ounce loaves frozen bread dough

Instructions:

  1. Brown hamburger and sausage with onions.
  2. Shred or chop cabbage and cook in boiling salted water until tender.
  3. Drain; add cabbage or sauerkraut (drained) to hamburger mixture. Drain and cool.
  4. Make hot rolls as directed. Roll out into approximately 8- by 4-inch rectangles or shape as desired.
  5. Fill each piece with hamburger and cabbage mixture; roll edges together to encase the mixture in the dough cover. Pinch seal the edges.
  6. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 375-400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes:

  1. Substitute sauerkraut for cabbage. Two 16-oz cans–drained.
  2. The number made is dependent upon the size of the runzas.
  3. Finished baked size runs from 8-12 inches long by 3 – 4 inches wide.
  4. Cut a loaf into four segments corresponding to four runzas.

This recipe has been in our family since I was a kid. We had family friends from Nebraska (where runzas are a staple) who shared the recipe back then. The origin of runzas is likely Hungarian, according to our family friend.

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