If you’re not from Nebraska, chances are you’ve never tasted a runza. Runza is a restaurant chain, and runzas are hamburger and cabbage wrapped in dough and baked. The original hot pocket of sorts. It even has an entry on wikipedia! You can learn more about Runza Restaurants by visiting their website. Runzas from the restaurant are oblong, sort of a rectangle shape. Yours will likely be spheres. Shape doesn’t matter because they all taste great!

This is the original runza recipe published long ago in the local newspaper. The fact that it contains margarine causes me to raise an eyebrow. However, I have neither the time nor the inclination to experiment with substitutions.

Dough Ingredients:

2 c. warm water
2 pkgs active dry yeast
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/4 c. margarine, melted and cooled
6 1/2 c. flour

Filling Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb hamburger
1/2 c. diced onion
3 c. shredded cabbage
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
dash of Tabasco

Dough Preparation:

in a large bowl, add water, sugar, salt, and yeast. Stir until dissolved.
In a small bowl, beat the egg, and then add it to the water.
Add margarine to the water.
Slowly stir in flour until evenly incorporated.
Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Filling Preparation:

Brown hamburger and onion in a skillet. Drain off excess grease.
Add cabbage, seasonings, and water, and simmer in the skillet for 15-20 min.
Cool completely.


Preheat oven to 350.
Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a rectangle (or as close to a big rectangle as you can get.)
Cut dough into 16 squares.
Place filling on each square.
Pull the 4 sides of the dough together and pinch/press until sealed.
Place on the baking sheet, seam side down, and bake for 20 minutes.

Note: This recipe is for the basic original runza. Feel free to add ingredients like mushroom/swiss, bacon/cheddar, pepperoni/mozzarella, the possibilities are endless.


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