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three cooks one kitchen: runzas

If you’re from Nebraska, you’re probably very familiar with runzas. The Runza restaurant chain originated in the Husker state and is a household staple for many families. My family has been making runzas for years, and let me tell you, the real deal is WAY better than any fast food chain.

three cooks one kitchen grilled potato planks
Hannah suggested I teach the art of runza making for our October Three Cooks One Kitchen. I love any excuse to make runzas, so I was totally on board! With multiple dietary considerations, we all ended up with different recipes. My post will tell you all about how to make a traditional meat and veggie runza.

traditional homemade runzas
A runza is basically baked dough around savory filling. The traditional contents are cabbage and beef, but feel free to get creative! It’s a great way to sneak some extra veggies into your kiddo’s diet ;)

Here’s everything you need to know:

Your bread machine and food processor will be your best friends for making runzas. It can be done without, but they are HUGE time savers! And since making runzas is easier shown than told, I’ll let the photos do the talking…

traditional homemade runzas

traditional homemade runzas

traditional homemade runzas

traditional homemade runzas

traditional homemade runzas

traditional homemade runzas

traditional homemade runzas

traditional homemade runzas
It was really fun spending the day making runzas with the girls. I showed them the basics, but they each developed their own technique and ended up with beautiful results!

And because no Three Cooks One Kitchen day would be complete without a funny “Erin-ism,” we had to stop for a short rolling pin tutorial. The girl was driving me mad with her rolling (or lack thereof), haha! She eventually got the hang of it though ;)

traditional homemade runzas
Traditional Homemade Runzas

1/2 Cup milk
1/2 Cup water
1 large egg
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 Cup bread flour
1/4 Cup flaxseed meal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons yeast

2 pounds hamburger
1/2 cup grated onion
1/2 cup grated carrot
2 cups grated cabbage
Fry with salt and pepper.

Put pinched side down on greased baking sheet, let rest 20 minutes, bake 20 minutes in 375 degree oven. Makes 12 runzas.

traditional homemade runzas
Since runza making can be a messy, labor intensive endeavor, I usually try to make it worth my while with a double batch and then freeze a good portion. They pack well in lunches and reheat nicely. And in our family, eating through 24 runzas can happen very quickly! :)

Check out what was cooking in the rest of the kitchen:

Hannah’s Vegetarian Lentil Runzas
Erin’s Chicken and Veggie Runzas

Your turn:

Have you ever made runzas?
What would you put in your filling?


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