Nebraska Meat Pies

Nebraska Meat Pies: A Comforting Taste of the Heartland

Welcome to a slice of Midwestern comfort! Nebraska Meat Pies are a beloved dish that captures the essence of heartwarming home cooking. These hand pies, with their flaky crusts and savory fillings, offer a taste of tradition and a touch of nostalgia. Whether you’re from Nebraska or just seeking a cozy meal, this recipe is sure to satisfy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I freeze these meat pies? A: Absolutely! Once assembled, these meat pies can be frozen before baking. Just wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container for up to three months.

Q: Can I use a different type of meat for the filling? A: While traditional Nebraska Meat Pies use ground beef, feel free to experiment with ground pork, chicken, or turkey for a different flavor profile.

Q: Can I make the dough ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the dough in advance and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before using. Just make sure to let it come to room temperature before rolling it out.


For the Dough:

  • 1/2 cup warm (not hot) water
  • 1 packet (0.25 oz) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

For the Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups chopped green cabbage (about 1/2 large head)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for brushing


Making the Dough:

  1. In a small bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until foamy.
  2. In a saucepan, warm the milk and melted butter over low heat until just combined.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and milk mixture, stirring until a dough forms.
  4. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5-7 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Making the Filling:

  1. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cook until browned, breaking it into small pieces. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the chopped cabbage and diced onion. Cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Return the cooked ground beef to the skillet. Add Worcestershire sauce, remaining salt, and white pepper. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool.

Assembling the Meat Pies:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Punch down the risen dough and divide it into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and flatten into a circle about 6 inches in diameter.
  3. Place a spoonful of the filling onto one half of each dough circle, leaving a border around the edges. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape. Press the edges firmly to seal, then crimp with a fork.
  4. Transfer the assembled pies to the prepared baking sheets. Brush the tops with melted butter.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • For added flavor, you can incorporate herbs such as thyme or rosemary into the filling.
  • Experiment with different fillings like shredded chicken or a vegetarian mixture of mushrooms and spinach.

Keto and Low Carb Versions:

  • To make a keto-friendly version, substitute almond flour for all-purpose flour in the dough and use a low-carb sweetener instead of sugar.
  • For a low-carb option, skip the dough altogether and use large cabbage leaves as wraps for the filling.

Nebraska Meat Pies are more than just a dish—they’re a symbol of tradition, warmth, and homemade goodness. Whether you’re enjoying them at a family gathering or savoring them on a chilly evening, these savory hand pies are sure to bring smiles to the faces of all who taste them. So roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a culinary journey to the heartland with this timeless recipe.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get baking and indulge in a taste of Nebraska’s finest comfort food!

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