Simple Nebraska Runza Recipe

Homey Comfort: Discover the Delightful Nebraska Runza Recipe

Embark on a culinary journey to the heartland of America with our Simple Nebraska Runza Recipe. Originating from the Cornhusker State, the Runza is a beloved comfort food that combines flavorful ground beef, onions, and cabbage encased in a warm, doughy pocket. Whether you’re a Nebraskan longing for a taste of home or simply curious about this Midwest classic, our easy-to-follow recipe will guide you through the steps of creating your own homemade Runzas. Get ready to experience the warmth and nostalgia of Nebraska with each delicious bite!


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional, for a traditional flavor)
  • 12 frozen unbaked roll dough pieces
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil for sautéing
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional, for added flavor)


  1. Prepare the Filling: In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until browned, breaking it apart with a spoon as it cooks.
  2. Add the Cabbage: Once the ground beef is browned, add the shredded cabbage to the skillet. Season with salt, pepper, and caraway seeds (if using). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is wilted and tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven according to the package instructions for the frozen roll dough.
  4. Prepare the Dough: On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of frozen roll dough into a 6-inch oval shape.
  5. Assemble the Runzas: Spoon a generous portion of the beef and cabbage filling onto one half of each dough oval. Sprinkle shredded Cheddar cheese on top of the filling, if desired. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling to create a pocket, then press the edges together to seal.
  6. Bake the Runzas: Place the assembled Runzas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven according to the package instructions for the frozen roll dough, or until the dough is golden brown and cooked through.
  7. Serve and Enjoy: Remove the baked Runzas from the oven and allow them to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy these warm, hearty pockets of goodness on their own or with your favorite condiments.

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Customize the Filling: Get creative with the filling by adding your favorite ingredients such as bell peppers, mushrooms, or shredded carrots. You can also experiment with different seasonings and spices to tailor the flavor to your taste preferences.
  • Make-Ahead Option: Prepare the filling in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to assemble the Runzas, simply reheat the filling in a skillet and proceed with the recipe as directed.
  • Vegetarian Variation: For a meatless version of the Runza, substitute the ground beef with plant-based ground meat or cooked lentils. You can also add extra vegetables such as diced potatoes or peas to bulk up the filling.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Q: Can I use fresh dough instead of frozen dough? A: Yes, you can use homemade or store-bought fresh dough instead of frozen dough. Simply divide the dough into portions and roll it out as directed in the recipe.

Q: Can I freeze the assembled Runzas for later? A: Yes, you can freeze the assembled Runzas before baking. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer them to a resealable plastic bag or airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, simply place the frozen Runzas on a baking sheet and bake as directed, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.

Keto and Low Carb Versions:

  • Keto-Friendly Substitutions: Replace the roll dough with a homemade or store-bought keto-friendly dough made with almond flour or coconut flour. Use ground beef or turkey for the filling and add low-carb vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, and spinach. Skip the caraway seeds and reduce the amount of onion to keep the carb count low.
  • Low Carb Hack: Instead of using dough, try wrapping the filling in large lettuce leaves or cabbage leaves for a low-carb alternative. You can also serve the beef and cabbage filling over cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles for a satisfying, low-carb meal.

In conclusion, our Simple Nebraska Runza Recipe offers a delicious taste of Midwestern comfort that’s perfect for cozy family dinners or casual gatherings with friends. With its hearty filling, tender dough, and customizable flavor options, the Runza is sure to become a favorite in your recipe repertoire. Whether you’re craving a taste of Nebraska nostalgia or simply looking for a satisfying meal to warm you up on a chilly day, these homemade Runzas are sure to hit the spot. So gather your ingredients and get ready to enjoy a taste of the Heartland with this classic comfort food favorite!

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