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Homemade Runzas

straight on view of a homemade runza
20 min
35 min
6-8 servings
overhead view of a homemade runza
overhead view of a homemade runza

If you are from Nebraska then you know what a Runza is. It’s possibly the most famous food out of Nebraska behind beef and corn.  Today, I get to share my Grandma’s Homemade Runza Recipe with you. 

What is a Runza?

Runza is a fast food restaurant that has been around long before me and my parents. It started from an old German lady who started selling her bread pockets filled with ground beef, cabbage and peppery spices. I like cheese on mine too. My grandma made them from scratch, dough and all. (I may cheat now and use premade dough) It’s slightly like a Nebraska cult. They sell them at Husker football games, it’s a whole thing. Out of town family will literally get one on the way from the airport when they visit. 

So my recipe is from my Grandma (also an old German lady) and is pretty darn close to the fast food version. My cousin actually just texted me for the recipe. We didn’t have it at every family get together but it was more of a special occasion kind of recipe.

So, what's in a Runza?

A Runza is made up of super simple ingredients, nothing fancy.

  • dough
  • ground beef
  • cabbage
  • spices
  • cheese

What about the dough?

Well, if you are my Grandma then you make homemade dough from scratch. Because you’re a Grandma and that’s what you do. If you are me, then you really want to make homemade dough but you don’t have time and know that dough is not your strength. 

So, you can grab some premade dough and use that. I originally used some crescent roll dough but that didn’t work well. I ended up using the Rhodes rolls tat are frozen. I let them thaw and took 2 of the dough balls and rolled them out. 

Roll them out to about a 6 inch square and then you can fill them from there. You can always make your own dough if you are feeling your inner Grandma coming out. 

Check out the recipe and video below for this classic Nebraska meal. 

If you are looking for more Grandma recipes, then be sure to look up the ones below!


Rustic Mashed Potatoes

Grandma June’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

straight on view of a homemade runza

Homemade Runzas

A Nebraska classic, the Runza is peppery spiced ground beef, mixed with cabbage surrounded by a oft dough and melty cheese.

straight on view of a homemade runza

Prep time: 15 min  |  Cook time: 20 min  |  Total: 35 min

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Premade Rhodes Frozen Rolls, thawed


2 lbs ground beef

1 small head of cabbage (about 4 cups)

1 large onion, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Cheddar cheese slices

2 Tablespoons butter, melted



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large skillet over med/high heat, add the ground beef and onions. Once beef is cooked through and onions are soft, grain grease. Add chopped cabbage, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix together and cook on low heat until cabbage is soft and wilted.

  3. On a floured surface, take 2 of the Rhodes thawed bread roll dough and roll out into a square, about 6 inches. Place about ⅓ cup of the beef mixture in the middle and half a slice of cheese.

  4. Fold one side of the dough over to the other and pinch the edges together to close up.

  5. Place on a sheet pan. Brush melted butter over the tops of each Runza.

  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.



Tag @LOLOHomeKitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #lolohk


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