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Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge Day 18

**A Recipe You Love**

One of my very favorite meals is called a runza.  We have "Runza Restaurants" in Nebraska, but I don't think it is a widely known dish outside the Midwest.  I usually make runzas on Nebraska football Saturdays.  It just screams fall to me, but I went ahead and put a batch together so I could share it with you. 

I've never actually followed the "filling" recipe exactly because I am usually making 4 or 5 batches of dough--so that there are enough runzas for the neighborhood.  I followed it exactly this time so I could see if it makes what it says.  The recipe said it would make 18-20 runzas, but I found it only made 14 runzas (with 1/3 cup filling per runza.)  Whenever I leftover dough, I make a few cinnamon rolls.  If there is just a little bit of dough...then Trevor fries it and dips it in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.



4 ½ - 5 cups flour
½ cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 pkg yeast (or 4 ½ tsp of yeast)
¾ cup milk
½ cup water
½ cup butter
2 eggs (at room temperature)

1) In a large mixing bowl, stir together 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast.

2) Heat milk, water, and margarine until warm (110 – 120 degrees F). Pour into the flour mixture.

3) Add eggs. Beat with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Then beat with electric mixer on high speed for 3 minutes.

4) Stir in remainder of flour. The dough will be soft and sticky.

5) Knead until smooth. Cover and let rest for 20 min. Punch down the dough, and then allow to rise for about 1 hour before filling.

This is the dough before it has risen.


1 ½ lb hamburger (browned & drained – seasoned to taste)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 small head of cabbage (shredded -- I used a little over a pound of finely shredded cabbage)
Velveeta Cheese (sliced)

1) Mix together hamburger, onion, and cabbage and saut√© until the vegetables are soft. [I do this in a large skillet on the stove top; The mixture doesn’t need a lot of stirring—just cover and let heat. The original recipe says to do this in an oven set to 350 F. Original recipe also states to top the mixture with sliced Velveeta…return to oven 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese…cool. I do it a little differently. But this is certainly one way to accomplish cheesy runzas.]

2) Allow the mixture to cool enough to be handled.

3) Roll out the dough (I divide the dough in two to make it easier to work with) and cut into 6 inch squares (approximate…not scientific). The dough will probably shrink up after you cut it from the big rolled out piece, so I usually roll it again when I have a square cut out.

4) IF you didn’t add the Velveeta to the meat mixture, put down a piece of Velveeta.

I cut a slice of Velveeta and then cut the slice in's plenty of cheese.  When I put the finished runza on the cookie sheet, I put the cheese side on top so the cheese filters down through the filling as the runza cooks.
      a. Fill with meat mixture (I use 1/3 cup per runza), fold over and pinch sides/bottoms together working dough to completely enclose the hamburger mixture.

5) Bake on a greased cooking sheet for 15-20 minutes at 350F. (Cook until the dough is the color you like…I like them pretty light, but my hubby & in-laws like the bread to be dark brown.)

6) When you pull the runzas out of the oven, brush the top of the bread with butter.

You can serve with ketchup, mustard, etc. I eat them plain. Trev always wants ketchup.

The variations for this recipe are endless. I’ve sauteed mushrooms and onions with garlic and butter—added hamburger and cheese and filled the runza dough that way. As long as there isn’t too much moisture (aka…sauce) you can use this dough to make pizza pockets or taco burgers.  Also, some people just put the filling in a casserole pan and place a layer of rolled dough over the top.

This is also the dough I use to make cinnamon rolls. The only difference is that I add an egg or two. This makes the dough even softer and yummier.

Let me know if you try it...Let me know if you like it.

Have a fun Monday, and take care of you!


  1. Mmm mmm, that looks good. I would probably modify the filling, but that's bc I'm picky! I wonder if fruit would work in there, like an apple crisp or soemthing?

    1. I think a fruit filling would might want to line your pan with foil or parchment as the gooier the filling, the more likely a little will leak out. Sounds like a good idea to me!

    2. ...and Stephanie, thanks for reading!

  2. Ohmygod, that looks like heaven!

    I wonder what I could replace the beef with...Artist Child is allergic. Hmmm....

    1. Any ground meat would work (chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, etc.) I don't use cubed meat because it has a tendency to break through the bread dough.

      Thank you for reading...I'm glad you liked it!