Simple Nebraska Runza

Savor the Flavor of the Heartland: Simple Nebraska Runza Recipe

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Dive into the heartland of America with a taste of Nebraska’s culinary pride – the beloved Simple Nebraska Runza. Originating from the Cornhusker State, this savory pastry filled with seasoned ground beef, onions, and cabbage offers a comforting and satisfying meal experience that is sure to delight your taste buds. Whether you’re craving a taste of home or eager to explore regional cuisines, this recipe promises to bring a piece of Nebraska to your table. Let’s embark on a culinary journey and discover the delicious simplicity of the Nebraska Runza!

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


  1. Prepare the Filling:
    • In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat.
    • Add the diced onion and cook until translucent.
    • Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until browned, breaking it up into crumbles as it cooks.
    • Once the beef is cooked through, add the shredded cabbage to the skillet and cook until wilted.
    • Season the filling with salt, pepper, and caraway seeds (if using), adjusting to taste.
  2. Preheat the Oven:
    • Preheat your oven according to the package instructions for the frozen unbaked roll dough.
  3. Assemble the Runzas:
    • On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of frozen dough into a thin oval shape.
    • Spoon a generous portion of the beef and cabbage filling onto one half of each dough oval, leaving a border around the edges.
    • If desired, sprinkle shredded Cheddar cheese over the filling.
  4. Fold and Seal:
    • Fold the other half of the dough over the filling to enclose it completely.
    • Use a fork to crimp the edges of the dough together, sealing the filling inside.
  5. Bake:
    • Place the assembled runzas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    • Bake in the preheated oven according to the package instructions for the dough, or until the runzas are golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Serve:
    • Once baked, remove the runzas from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving.
    • Serve warm and enjoy the delicious flavors of the Nebraska Runza!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Vegetarian Twist: Substitute the ground beef with plant-based ground meat or lentils for a vegetarian version of the runzas.
  • Spice it Up: Add a dash of hot sauce or red pepper flakes to the filling for an extra kick of heat.
  • Cheese Lover’s Dream: Experiment with different cheese varieties such as Swiss or pepper jack for a flavorful cheesy filling.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto-Friendly Option: Replace the frozen unbaked roll dough with a keto-friendly dough made from almond flour, mozzarella cheese, and cream cheese. Fill the dough with a mixture of seasoned ground beef, onions, and cabbage, and bake until golden brown.
  • Low-Carb Adaptation: Skip the dough altogether and serve the beef and cabbage filling as a hearty skillet meal. Top with shredded cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use fresh cabbage instead of shredded cabbage? A: Absolutely! You can use fresh cabbage in this recipe. Simply shred it finely using a sharp knife or a food processor before adding it to the skillet.

Q: Can I freeze the assembled runzas before baking? A: Yes, you can freeze the assembled runzas on a baking sheet until firm, then transfer them to a freezer-safe container for storage. When ready to bake, simply place them on a baking sheet and bake from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.

Q: What can I serve with Nebraska Runzas? A: Nebraska Runzas pair well with a variety of side dishes such as coleslaw, potato salad, or a simple green salad. They also make a satisfying meal on their own!

Q: Can I make smaller or larger runzas? A: Yes, feel free to adjust the size of the runzas to your preference. You can make smaller runzas for appetizers or larger ones for a hearty meal.

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Experience the warmth and comfort of the Midwest with the Simple Nebraska Runza. With its flavorful filling wrapped in golden-brown dough, this iconic dish captures the essence of Nebraska’s culinary heritage in every bite. Whether enjoyed as a snack, a meal, or a nostalgic taste of home, the Nebraska Runza is sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you longing for more. So gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and treat yourself to the wholesome goodness of this timeless classic!

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