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Saturday, February 12, 2011

What is a Runza? Recipe for Runza Casserole

What is a Runza?

You'll be familiar with them if you're from the Midwest. If you drive through Nebraska, you'll run across some Runza Restaurants. This is their logo.
According to the official Runza website:
It all started in 1949 with the Original Runza® Sandwich. Homemade dough made from scratch everyday — stuffed full of ground beef, onions, cabbage, and secret spices—and then baked fresh and served hot.

I do have a recipe to make something that looks very similar to the one above, however individually stuffing bread can be very time consuming for the home cook. So I have simplified things. I tweaked a recipe given to my mother by a close family friend. The original recipe called for a head of chopped cabbage but they had substituted a 15oz bag of angel hair coleslaw instead so they didn't have to chop the head of cabbage. Although this works, I found using actual cabbage produced a better casserole. If you have a food processor, shredding your own head of cabbage is easy enough. This casserole recipe is different in that instead of individual stuffed rolls, it's a 9x13 inch casserole with a top and bottom crust that you cut into squares. I found the Pillsbury Big & Buttery crescent rolls worked really well as they are slightly larger and fit the pan better. It's still delicious, easier to serve and simpler by far to make.

Runza Casserole

2 packages Crescent rolls (preferably Big & Buttery)
1 onion, chopped
1 med head of cabbage, shredded
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 ½ lbs ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can mushroom soup

Brown beef with onion, drain. Add cabbage and cover with lid to simmer to get cabbage halfway done. Then add soup to meat mixture and mix well. Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with non-stick spray. Put one package of crescent rolls across the bottom of the entire dish. Add your beef mixture and cover with shredded cheese. Put second package of crescent rolls across the top and seal to the edges of the dish leaving no large gaps. Bake at 350ºF for about 30 minutes, until nice and brown.


  1. ooh sounds good! Thanks for sharing this recipe with me.

  2. Your welcome. It tastes great and the leftovers are good too. And thanks for leaving my first comment!

  3. another idea is to make similar to shepard's pie and top the runza meat mixture with mashed potatoes and shredded cheese then bake.

  4. I know it sounds silly but do you add milk to the soup before mixing it in or do you just use the can of soup by itself? I don't want it to get too runny!
    We made individual runzas at home. The recipe called for carroway seeds but some people don't care for the flavor of them. I'm going to make this for a pot luck luncheon at work. Sounds great!

  5. Just use the condensed soup directly out of the can. If you added milk, it would be too soupy.