What Food is Nebraska Best Known For? Runza!

runza, the sandwich in a bunza

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Of course, that would have to be Runza! The sandwich in a Bunza! Eating a Runza means you live in Nebraska, have friends and family there, or your vacation took you to that location. Many food lovers around the world have no idea what a Runza is, and we can’t be too hard on them because it is a dish not as popular with the broader society. This delicacy is a combination of history, quality taste, and fresh foods, made into the perfect snack. Runza got its name from the early immigrants of the European region who came to live in the US. The term Runza (runsa in German) translates to “bun shape” and is also called a bierock by many people. The travelers desired the need for a warm meal with substantial nutrients but one that had to be inexpensive. This need was where the whole idea came from to use what was available to make something unique and delicious. For others, a Runza is similar to a pierogi, which is a meat and cabbage filled sandwich.

How are Runzas Made

A Runza is a yeat-dough pocket that is filled with a combination of ground beef, cabbage, spices, and onions. Many persons have altered to the sandwich to add a touch of flair by using shredded cheese as a tasty side. Sure enough, when you consume a Runza, have it in mind that you just add a full meal as it gives a touch of every nutrient the body needs. It is perfect for a grab-and-go snack or even one to sit at the table and have with friends.

How to Make a Runza

Making a Runza is no rocket science and can be done by everyone who loves the kitchen. First, you need to get all the ingredients together so you can save on time when preparing. For the perfect Runza, you will need salt, pepper, ground beef, cabbage, butter, or olive oil (whichever you choose). Saute the onion in the olive oil or butter, then add beef and stir until it has a desirable feel for consumption. While that is being prepared, you can go ahead and knead your dough (it is recommended to soak your shortening and yeast to soften before kneading). Leave it to sit for a few minutes, then roll to your desired shape and size and add cooked beef and cabbage. You can also add the beef stew to the freshly-kneaded dough then let sit to rise for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees and add Runzas to a greased baking tray or sheet. Let it bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Once to your liking, let it cool, and you are free to enjoy it! Check out this detailed recipe we found HERE

Having Your Runzas Later?

You may have your Runza but not yet ready to eat. No need to worry, you can always freeze it and throw in the microwave or oven when ready. However, you should not just put your Runzas in the freezer as it is. Here’s how to best freeze your Runzas for later:

* Rest it on a baking sheet and leave on the freezer tray until it starts to harden. You can then add it to your freezer bag and put it away.

For fresh frozen Runzas, you will need to bake for a little longer (30-35 minutes) than the fresh ones.

Where Can I Get a Runza?

In earlier times, Runzas were only found in Nebraska or the European region. However, many restaurants around the world have added it to their menu, mostly under a different name. So, for those who believe Nebraska is the only place having this delicacy…think again! But still, Nebraska makes the best in the world!

Runza Franchises

There are a few Runza franchises located across the US and maybe other parts of the world. Just as you have Starbucks and KFC, so you have Runza. Many people have found the zeal to have a Runza once they visit a particular area and know it would be a good idea to launch a franchise. However, there is a process for applying as well as a fee is required. To own a Runza franchise, you must first be successful in the application process and pay a non-refundable fee of $5,000. This cost goes towards setting up your business and training. But the total cost for a franchise is $30,000 and the signing of a confidentiality agreement.

This meal, as we call it, is a delicacy and can never be replaced by anything close to it. For a Nebraskan local, it is history and a part of who they are. So, are you ready to try a bunza-style Runza? Let’s go! 

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