Easy Runza Casserole

A Culinary Classic Reimagined: Easy Runza Casserole Extravaganza

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Embark on a culinary journey that marries simplicity and flavor with our Easy Runza Casserole – a modern twist on the timeless classic. Bursting with the savory goodness of seasoned ground beef, cabbage, and perfectly baked dough, this casserole is a testament to comfort food at its finest. In this extensive guide, we’ll explore the finest ingredients, provide meticulous step-by-step instructions, share indispensable cook’s notes, delve into delightful variations, and unveil keto and low-carb adaptations. Join us as we reimagine the beloved Runza into a convenient and delicious casserole that’s perfect for family dinners or potluck gatherings.

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For Easy Runza Casserole:

For the Filling:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small head cabbage, shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

For the Dough:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Crafting Easy Runza Casserole Brilliance:

Preparing the Filling:

  1. Sizzling Start:
    • In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat. Add chopped onions, shredded cabbage, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, dried oregano, and dried thyme. Cook until the cabbage is wilted and the beef is fully cooked.

Creating the Dough:

  1. Yeast Awakening:
    • In a small bowl, combine active dry yeast, warm milk, and a pinch of sugar. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. Mixing Magic:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the frothy yeast mixture, melted butter, remaining sugar, all-purpose flour, and salt. Knead until a smooth dough forms.
  3. Dough Rising:
    • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

Casserole Assembly:

  1. Preheat and Prep:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a baking dish.
  2. Divide and Conquer:
    • Divide the risen dough in half. Roll out one half to fit the bottom of the baking dish.
  3. Filling Layers:
    • Spread the beef and cabbage filling over the rolled-out dough. Roll out the second half of the dough to create the top layer.
  4. Sealing Success:
    • Pinch the edges to seal the casserole, creating a doughy envelope for the flavorful filling.
  5. Bake to Perfection:
    • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the dough is cooked through.

Cook’s Notes

  • Make-Ahead Magic: Prepare the filling and dough in advance, assembling the casserole just before baking for a time-saving option.
  • Cabbage Consistency: Shred the cabbage finely for a more even distribution throughout the filling.


Cheese Lover’s Delight:

  • Sprinkle shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese over the filling before sealing the casserole for a Cheese Lover’s Delight, adding gooey goodness to every bite.

Spicy Kick:

  • Incorporate diced jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce to the filling for a Spicy Kick, elevating the flavor profile with a hint of heat.

Keto Versions

Almond Flour Alchemy:

  • Replace all-purpose flour with almond flour for the dough to create an Almond Flour Alchemy, transforming the casserole into a keto-friendly delight.

Cauliflower Substitution:

  • Swap out the cabbage with finely chopped cauliflower for a Cauliflower Substitution, offering a low-carb alternative.

Low-Carb Versions

Zucchini Medley:

  • Mix shredded zucchini into the filling for a Zucchini Medley, introducing a low-carb, nutrient-packed twist.

Coconut Flour Creation:

  • Experiment with coconut flour for the dough to craft a Coconut Flour Creation, ensuring a low-carb alternative with a subtle coconut flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I freeze the Easy Runza Casserole?

A: Absolutely! Once baked, let it cool completely, then wrap it securely in plastic wrap and foil before freezing. Thaw and reheat when ready to enjoy.

Q: Can I use ground turkey instead of beef?

A: Certainly! Ground turkey is a great lean alternative. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Q: Can I make individual-sized runzas?

A: Yes! Divide the dough into smaller portions and create individual-sized runza pockets for a fun twist.

Q: What’s the best way to reheat leftovers?

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A: For the best results, reheat individual slices in the oven to maintain the crispiness of the dough.

The Easy Runza Casserole is a celebration of simplicity and flavor, transforming the traditional Runza into a convenient and delicious casserole. Whether you follow the classic recipe, explore enticing variations, or opt for keto and low-carb adaptations, this dish is a testament to the versatility of home-cooked meals. Share it with loved ones, savoring the moments of warmth and satisfaction that each bite brings. Let Easy Runza Casserole become a staple in your kitchen, a dish that effortlessly combines familiar flavors in an exciting new way. Embrace the hearty comfort of this culinary creation, where each forkful promises a journey through layers of savory bliss.

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