Nebraska Runza

Nebraska Runza

Ask any homesick Midwesterner what they miss about Nebraska, and they'll tell you about the beef and cabbage filled baked sandwiches known as runzas.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 1 dozen



  • 2 packets yeast (Or 5 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 cup warm water, divided
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Can sub for coconut oil for a similar texture, or use butter for the flavor)
  • 4 1/2 cups flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs


  • 1 lb lean ground beef (80% to 90%)
  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded (About 5 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Combine the yeast and 1/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Set aside to let rest about 5 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer, combine 1 3/4 cups flour, all the sugar, and the salt.
  • Warm the remaining water, milk, and shortening until they reach about 130 F, basically hot enough for the shortening to melt but the milk isn't simmering.
  • Pour the warmed liquids over the flour mix then add the eggs. Beat on low until everything is blended, then increase the speed to high and beat an additional 3 minutes. Work in the rest of the flour, kneading until smooth.
  • Lightly grease a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, then cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Cook the beef and onion until the meat is cooked through, then add the seasoning and the cabbage. Cook cabbage until wilted, then set aside until ready to fill.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F and prepare a baking sheet by lightly greasing or lining with parchment paper.
  • Punch the dough down, then divide into 12 equal portions. Form each portion into a square, then top with filling. Fold the square over to form a rectangle then press the edges to seal.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Serve warm, but leftovers can be refrigerated or even frozen.


Like all great regional recipes, there are many variations. Some skip the garlic, some use sauerkraut instead of cabbage, some even add cheese!