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I live only a few blocks away from a Runza restaurant, and I actually prefer to make these at home. They are easy to personalize for my family with swiss cheese & mushrooms, pizza sauce & mozzerella, or my favorite, Velveeta cheese. I have used Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix in the past, but decided to try Rhodes brand frozen dough. I got the dough that was separated already to make rolls (not the frozen loaf). I thawed and raised the dough like I was making rolls, but then used it for the runza filling instead. Two rolls is the perfect amount for one runza, and you can shape it with your hand (similar to throwing a pizza crust, just not as large). I would shape one, put the filling on it, then shape another to seal on the top to make the pouch. It works much better for a kitchen with limited counter space because you don't have to roll out any dough. If I ever leave Nebraska, these are one thing I won't have to miss.
Sensational! Because of time, I substituted Crescent roll dough (2 cans) for the frozen bread dough. I separated each can of dough into 4 rectangles, pressing perforations together and stretching the dough out thinly. Then I sealed and baked according to directions on can. I also added some grated sharp cheddar to some of the Runzas. You can also use Swiss cheese for a change of taste. Some people add sausage to the hamburger to make a spicier Runza. Whatever you decide, try these! The recipe made 8 large Runzas.
Mmmm!! As a Runza fan, I can tell you this tastes just like we're at Runza (although somehow it feels a little healthier, knowing we made it ourselves). At first we thought there was too much cabbage, but once it cooked down, it was perfect (but it did take a very long time to cook down, so prepare accordingly). Also, we used 2 cans of pizza dough (due to time constraints), and after we spread out the dough, we cut it into 3 sections for each can. It was perfect dough for the runzas. Thanks Jen. I have a feeling we'll be making these often :)
I was stationed at Lincoln AFB home of the B47 bombers in the 1960s, and was transferred out when the base was closed at end of 1966.<br/><br/>It was the first time I ever had Runzas and I loved them. I tried making them myself after I left Nebraska, but didn't have a recipe and they weren't very good.<br/><br/>To all those making substitutions and additions to the recipe; you may be making something you like, but I wouldn't consider it a Runza. Especially with cheese and pizza sauce. Some things are just so naturally good that "improvements" only change it into something else.<br/><br/>The older I get the more I appreciate the plain old fashioned recipes of my youth. In a lot of cases more is not better. I'm looking at you pepper freaks!
Grew up in Nebraska, 1940-1957 eating runza's (we knew them as kraut Runza's) recipe was passed down from my Germam great grandmother to grandmother, mother,etc. After I joined the navy in 1957, only had runza's when home on leave, after I was married, Mom passed the recipe on to my wife. Retired from the Navy in 1989 and have made them a few times myself.
I sometimes add carrot shavings, or thin strips of banana peppers, or even small chunks of celery to give it more flavor. Some use canned sauerkraut rather than cooking cabbage, but I prefer fresh cabbage. Live in Zephyrhills, FL now, so don't use the oven a lot, but next time we get a cool spell, may mix up a large batch & put some in the freezer.
I was that Nebraskan who gave the recipe to my Minnesota brother. The runzas are even better when you make your own bread dough. It's really the bread (and lots of pepper) that we think make the runzas great. We make them twice a year - once in the summer when the family is all home in Nebraska and then again for New Years (hopefully when we are playing in a bowl game). GO BIG RED!!!
These are great comfort food. Remind of the ones we used to get whenever we went to Lincoln. Thanks for posting.
This was WONDERFUL! Thanks so much for sharing! As a Nebraskan no longer living close to a Runza I didn't realize how much I missed them until I found your recipe. I did add a little worchestershire sauce to the mix and used 2 lbs of hamburger. DELISH! Thanks again!
If you've never had runza you have to try this recipe!!! I just discovered them a few years ago and they are wonderful! This was passed down from my boyfriends grandmother to his mother and now I make them. They were always the #1 request in their family for birthday dinners. This is the same recipe I use (lately I've been using pillsbury hot roll mix for the bread). ENJOY!!!
great recipe! just like mom made!i was raised on these in Nebraska. Moved to PA and miss them dearly. A little piece of home in my tummy!