Ever had a Runza?  Ever been to Nebraska?  I had never been to Nebraska, nor had I heard of a Runza.  While visiting there recently, I had a Runza.  Similar sandwiches/dishes are called different names but if you’re in Nebraska, it’s a Runza.

Since I only had one, I wasn’t totally sure how to make them but I was totally sure that I liked them . . a lot!  My cooking enthusiast friend, Kim, lived many years in Nebraska (and may even be from there . . do they have construction cones in Nebraska?)  I’ll never let Kim forget that she ran over those construction cones in my car.

Anyway, she said she makes Runzas so I did a little search on the Internet and made some of my own.


The dough recipe I used is Norm’s (or is it George?  I always forget) Onion Rolls but I rolled them out and put the meat mixture in, folded them over, sealed them, let them rise a bit and baked them.


This batch I just partially baked, then froze in packages of two so we’ll have Runzas in the coming weeks.  They’re so good!  Thanks Elaine for introducing me to them.



  1. 1


    Oh Judy, you found our secret! We all love Runza’s. So easy to make, groundbeef, cabbage and onions, a little salt, and lots of pepper! Wrap it some dough, bake it, and mmmmmmm….so good in the fall!

    Glad you like our German food!

  2. 2

    Julia says

    Hey Judy, yes, we have construction cones in NE … plenty of them! So Kim can come back and run over them any time … seem we have street construction in Lincoln all year long! As for Runza’s … just down the street from me! Runza resturatants orginated in Lincoln!! So you and Kim can plan a road trip … enjoy those Runza’s and some traget practice with the cones!—Julia, NE

  3. 3

    Linda says

    My daughter worked at the Runza restaurant in Norfolk, NE for 2-3 yrs. Even working there, she loves runzas. I never developed a taste for them. Jay says they are German food, and I’m of pure German heritage……so what’s wrong with me??? I don’t like beer either. LOLOL

  4. 5


    I just made some last month. I think of them as Czech. Leave out the meat and make them with just the cabbage and onion and they are called Zelnicky. But with the beef are best. Almost as good as having a Maid-Rite.

  5. 8

    Darlene S says

    Yes, Judy now that you have tempted us, you must provide the recipe for the rolls and filling of these cute little Runzas.

  6. 10


    I usually add a package of Lipton’s dried onion soup to the filling. Yum. I just ordered a side of beef from a ranch in Nebraska. I’ll have to drive from Colorado to Nebraska to pick it up but it is sooooo good.

  7. 11

    Lynn says

    Oooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Paaaaaaasties!! English dish! The miners carried them in their lunchbuckets & ate them cold. I put potatoes, onions, rutabagas, carrots, parsely, kidney suet, salt, pepper, butter, round steak in mine. Some of us use catsup on them & have cole slaw, that’s dinner! These are BIG in Mich.; although I live in Calif.; but am from Pa.

    • 11.1

      Rose in MN says

      Never did hear of Runzas when we lived for a year on Offutt AFB NE before my husband was shipped to Viet Nam but they do sound delish. Love all the stuffing ingredients. Lynn is correct about Pasties’ origin. The American Legion posts, etc. make them up to sell as money-makers, usually in spring and fall. Michigan miners I believe originated the recipe. Northern MN miners are said to also have carried them in their lunch buckets to work. Never heard about adding kidney suet, but I know my Dad said when he was a kid they ate everything but the “squeal” on the pigs they raised. Nothing was wasted.

  8. 12


    Judy, those sandwiches are the best. In my neck of the woods they are called pirouskis, but all the same. When I make them, I make 36 at a time. And they are gone within a day!!!

  9. 13


    I’m from nebraska but i’m living “away” now cause dh is military. When we go back to visit that is the first and last stop-Runza! I make my own but they are not ever quite the same. But we love them wether they are homemade or from the actual Runza joint.

  10. 14


    My HS boyfriend’s mom made something like that and called them “Kraut Burgers”. They are Yummy and with Onion rolls, they sound even better. You’re making me hungry, wonder if I can talk hubby into kneading me some Bread… Kinda hard with this Brace…

  11. 17

    June Piper-Brandon says

    Empanadas, yummy, ground beef, hard cooked egg, onions, sometimes peas, carrots, potatoes and spanish spices. And, my next door neighbor in Canada used to make something similar, she was from Ceylon/Sri Lanka and they called them something totally different but they were amazing.

  12. 18

    Karen says

    Sounds wonderful. I would love to have the recipe for the runza and the onion rolls. I love to follow your blog.

  13. 19

    Nancy in Nebraska says

    Oh how I love Runza. Each month we have a UFO sewing day at a neighboring town. I don’t know if I go for the sewing or because they have a Runza. We don’t have one in my town.