Runza

Share this Article

This website may contain affiliate links and advertising so that we can provide recipes to you. Read my privacy policy.

Runza is a tasty, handheld pastry stuffed with a scrumptious mix of ground beef, onions, garlic, cabbage, and spices, all snug inside soft pizza dough. It’s golden brown, comfort-food goodness that’s totally worth digging into!

Need more meat-filled goodies? Some recipes similar to runza are empanadas, egg rolls, or calzones! I mean, you can’t go wrong with crispy on the outside, meaty on the inside, no matter the cuisine!

What is Runza?

Ever heard of Runza? It’s this awesome, handheld pastry filled with a killer combo of ground beef, onions, garlic, shredded cabbage, and some tasty seasoning, all wrapped up in a soft and cozy pizza dough. This heavenly creation hails from the Midwest, especially Nebraska, and let me tell you, it’s become a total sensation there! You can enjoy it as a main course or grab it as a super-satisfying appetizer. No matter how you choose to munch on it, this stuff is just pure comfort food bliss.

Trust me, you’ve gotta give it a shot if you haven’t already! The flavors are out of this world, and the way everything comes together is like a party in your mouth. Whether you’re in a hurry and need a quick and hearty lunch or you’re hosting a gathering and want to impress your friends, Runza is the answer. It’s got that perfect blend of savory goodness that’ll leave you craving more.

Runza Ingredients

One of the great things about runza is all of the simple ingredients it uses! This is everything you’ll need to whip up these hearty delights:

  • Pizza Dough: The soft and delicious outer layer that wraps around the flavorful fillings. You can make your own or buy premade pizza dough for easy prep!
  • Lean Ground Beef: Hearty and flavorful, providing the main meaty element. You can also use ground turkey or chicken for a lighter option, or plant-based meat crumbles for a vegetarian version.
  • Yellow Onion: Adds sweetness and great aromatics to the filling.
  • Garlic: Provides a lovely garlicky kick to enhance the taste. If you don’t have fresh garlic, garlic powder also works!
  • Shredded Cabbage: Adds texture and a touch of freshness. Want to switch things up? Try this red cabbage slaw! It’s so fresh and flavorful!
  • Salt and Pepper: Essential for seasoning the filling. Adjust to taste!
  • Old Bay Seasoning: Brings a unique blend of herbs and spices for added flavor. You can also use Cajun seasoning for a slightly different twist.
  • Egg White: Helps bind the dough and gives it a golden crust.
  • Water: Used to create the egg wash for brushing on the dough.

How to Make Runza

Bursting with savory flavors, these hand-held pastries filled with seasoned ground beef and cabbage will win hearts at any gathering or as a delicious meal. So, roll up your sleeves and let’s get baking!

  1. Prepare Dough: Roll out the pizza dough and cut it into 6 equal pieces, then cover and set aside.
  2. Cook Beef: In a large skillet over medium high heat cook the ground beef until it is nearly completely browned. Then drain and discard the grease.
  3. Sauté Veggies: To the skillet, add the onion, garlic, cabbage, salt and pepper and continue to cook with the beef until the cabbage is tender. About 10 more minutes.
  4. Cool: Remove the beef mixture from heat and allow it to cool.
  5. Preheat Oven: While the beef filling is cooling, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Assemble: Roll the pieces of dough out into rectangles and fill each one with a portion of meat filling. Then fold in the ends and roll the dough over the filling to create a cylinder of meat filled dough.
  7. Add to Baking Sheet: Pinch the dough seams together and place the runzas on a parchment lined baking sheet, so the seam side is down.
  8. Prepare Egg Wash: Mix the egg white and water together to make an egg wash.
  9. Bake: Brush the top of each runza with the egg wash and then bake them for 18-20 minutes. Or until they are all golden brown.
  10. Cool and Serve: Remove from the oven and then allow them to cool for a few minutes before enjoying!

Tips and Tricks

Master the art of homemade runza with these handy tips! Your taste buds will thank you!

  • Prep Ahead: To save some time, prepare the filling in advance and refrigerate it until you’re ready to assemble the runzas. This way, you can enjoy a quick and satisfying meal whenever the craving strikes.
  • Mix It Up: Feel free to play around with fillings! Swap meats, veggies, and seasonings to create your personalized runza delight. Sneak in some veggies for a guilt-free treat!
  • Seal the Deal: When you put them on the baking sheet, make sure those seams are facing down, so your runzas stay sealed and look stunning.
  • Cook With an Air Fryer: Once your runzas are assembled, place them seam-side down in your air fryer basket with plenty of space in between each one. Then cook for 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, fipping halfway through the cooking time.

Storing Leftovers

Got some leftover runzas, huh? No worries! Stick them in the fridge in an airtight container, and they’ll last for about 3 to 4 days. When you’re ready to munch on them again, just pop those bad boys in the microwave or oven at a low temperature like 300 degrees F. Reheat until they’re warmed through and then you have a delicious snack to enjoy all over again!


  • Roll out the pizza dough and cut it into 6 equal pieces, cover and set aside.

  • In a large skillet over medium high heat cook the ground beef until it is nearly completely browned. Drain and discard the grease.

  • To the skillet, add the onion, garlic, cabbage, salt and pepper and continue to cook with the beef until the cabbage is tender. About 10 more minutes.

  • Remove the beef mixture from heat and allow it to cool.

  • While the beef filling is cooling, preheat your oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.

  • Roll the pieces of dough out into rectangles and fill each one with a portion of meat filling. Fold in the ends and roll the dough over the filling to create a cylinder of meat filled dough.

  • Pinch the dough seams together and place the runzas on a parchment lined baking sheet, seam side down.

  • Mix the egg white and water together to make an egg wash.

  • Brush the top of each runza with the egg wash and bake them for 18-20 minutes. They should all be a golden brown.

  • Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes before enjoying!



Serves: 6

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.


Share this Article