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Runza Casserole

Runza Casserole recipe

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Transport your taste buds to the heart of the Midwest with this comforting and flavorful Runza Casserole. Inspired by the iconic Nebraska Runza sandwich, this casserole version combines all the delicious flavors of ground beef, cabbage, and cheese, wrapped in a flaky crescent roll crust. Whether you’re craving a taste of nostalgia or simply looking for a satisfying meal to feed a crowd, this easy-to-make casserole is sure to become a family favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls (do not separate rolls)
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat until cooked through. Drain any excess grease and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and shredded cabbage to the skillet and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Return the cooked ground beef to the skillet with the cabbage and onion mixture. Stir well to combine and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together. Remove from heat.
  5. Unroll one package of crescent rolls and press it into the bottom of the prepared baking dish, covering the bottom evenly.
  6. Spread the beef and cabbage mixture evenly over the crescent roll layer.
  7. Sprinkle the grated Mozzarella cheese evenly over the beef and cabbage mixture.
  8. Unroll the second package of crescent rolls and place it on top of the cheese layer, covering the filling completely.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the crescent rolls are golden brown and cooked through.
  10. Remove from the oven and let the casserole cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Feel free to customize the filling by adding your favorite seasonings or spices such as garlic powder, paprika, or Italian seasoning.
  • Substitute ground pork, turkey, or chicken for the ground beef for a different flavor profile.
  • For a vegetarian version, omit the ground meat and double the amount of cabbage and onion. You can also add cooked lentils or beans for extra protein.

Keto and Low-Carb Variations: To make this Runza Casserole keto or low-carb friendly, consider the following substitutions:

  • Replace the crescent rolls with a homemade or store-bought keto-friendly dough made with almond flour or coconut flour.
  • Use ground beef with a higher fat content or add additional butter or olive oil to increase the fat content.
  • Substitute the Mozzarella cheese with shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a blend of your favorite keto-friendly cheeses.

In conclusion, this Runza Casserole is a delicious twist on the classic Nebraska sandwich, perfect for satisfying cravings and feeding a hungry crowd. With its flavorful beef and cabbage filling, melty cheese, and flaky crescent roll crust, it’s sure to become a new family favorite. Whether served as a comforting weeknight dinner or a crowd-pleasing party dish, this casserole is guaranteed to impress. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to enjoy a taste of Midwest comfort with this flavorful Runza Casserole

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. Can I prepare this casserole ahead of time? Yes, you can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Simply cover the unbaked casserole tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before baking as directed.
  2. Can I freeze this casserole for later? Absolutely! This casserole is freezer-friendly and can be prepared in advance for future meals. After assembling the casserole, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil or transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Label the container with the date and contents, then freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw the casserole overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed.
  3. What can I serve with this Runza Casserole? This casserole pairs well with a variety of sides, including steamed vegetables, roasted potatoes, a crisp green salad, or even a side of coleslaw. You can also serve it with condiments such as ketchup, mustard, or hot sauce for added flavor.
  4. Can I use other types of cheese in this casserole? Yes, feel free to experiment with different types of cheese to suit your taste preferences. Gruyere, Swiss, Colby Jack, or Pepper Jack would all be delicious options to use instead of or in addition to Mozzarella cheese.
  5. How long will leftovers keep in the refrigerator? Leftover casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave or oven until heated through before serving.
  6. Can I make this casserole vegetarian? Yes, you can easily make a vegetarian version of this casserole by omitting the ground beef and increasing the amount of cabbage and onion. You can also add other vegetables such as bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach for added flavor and nutrients.

More Tips and Suggestions:

  • For added flavor, consider brushing the top of the crescent roll crust with melted butter and sprinkling with garlic powder or Parmesan cheese before baking.
  • If you’re short on time, you can use pre-shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix instead of shredding the cabbage yourself.
  • Customize the filling by adding your favorite herbs and spices such as thyme, rosemary, or cayenne pepper for an extra kick of flavor.

With these additional tips and FAQs, you’re well-equipped to create a delicious and satisfying Runza Casserole that will have everyone coming back for seconds!

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