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Grandma's Cabbage Burgers (aka Runzas)

AzHusker

All Big 10
10 Year Member
Runzas
aka
Cabbage Burgers (or by my Grandma, rest her soul, Kraut Berok)

1 lg. head cabbage, chopped
2 lg. onions, chopped
Garlic powder to taste
2 lbs. hamburger
Salt, pepper to taste (we prefer LOTS of pepper)
Frozen loaves of bread dough from frozen section at grocery store or better yet, those round frozen dinner rolls from the frozen section.

The night before you want to make the runzas, thaw the frozen bread dough in the fridge. On game day, get up early and follow the directions on the bread package to get the dough to rise. Seems like we fired up the oven to it’s lowest temp, then turned it off, and left the dough in there in a huge bowl. You will be amazed how big the little frozen loaves get. Use three loaves the first time so you’ll have plenty. If memory serves, you might only need 2 for one batch of runzas.

OK, so dough is rising. Chop up your cabbage, place in steamer and cook until tender. You can just use a large covered pot – put an inch or two of water in the bottom and boil until cabbage is done. This smells up your house – sometimes I do it outside. Chop up onion, and brown hamburger with onions and garlic until the hamburger is cooked. Drain grease.

Place all ingredients in a large bowl, add salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly. Set aside. Get risen dough out of oven. Make sure you have a clean counter top, and sprinkle down with flour. Tear off a chunk of dough (golfball sized?) and roll into about a 6-8 inch square. You may have to trim the edges – use the trimmed pieces on the next piece. Once you have several squares, get a large spoon, and place a mound of cabbage/hamburger/filling mix in center of square. Fold up each corner and pinch in the middle. Make sure the seams are overlapping, then place seam-side down in a large casserole dish (9x11 or whatever you have). Fill up the dish with more runzas, then bake at 350 degrees until the tops turn lightly brown. Brush with butter as they cook to keep the tops from drying out too much. Let cool. Makes 12 to 15 runzas, if I recall correctly.

Open cold beverage, grab a couple of your superb runza’s, and watch the Huskers kick some rear end.
 

ChitownHusker

Husker Fan
10 Year Member
Thanks for posting. If you're in a hurry, you can buy frozen dough in sheets from the grocery store. I guarantee it will not be as good as the recipe above, but it is significantly easier to make the Runzas that way.
 

AzHusker

All Big 10
10 Year Member
Thanks for posting. If you're in a hurry, you can buy frozen dough in sheets from the grocery store. I guarantee it will not be as good as the recipe above, but it is significantly easier to make the Runzas that way.
If really in a hurry, take those frozen sheets, put one on the bottom of a 9x12, put in filling, cover top with dough, pinch all edges together - makes one humongous runza - call it Cabbage Burger Casserole. Same taste, less fuss.

I didn't know about the frozen sheets of dough - I bet they taste the same - I'll have to look for them because that would definitely save some time. OTH, for me, it's a good way to expend nervous energy while I'm listening to pregame.
 

ChitownHusker

Husker Fan
10 Year Member
If really in a hurry, take those frozen sheets, put one on the bottom of a 9x12, put in filling, cover top with dough, pinch all edges together - makes one humongous runza - call it Cabbage Burger Casserole. Same taste, less fuss.

I didn't know about the frozen sheets of dough - I bet they taste the same - I'll have to look for them because that would definitely save some time. OTH, for me, it's a good way to expend nervous energy while I'm listening to pregame.
I've made it both with the homemade dough and the stuff from the freezer section. The homemade dough is definitely better, but the frozen dough runzas are still extremely tasty.
 

ScarletVA

Vetted Asset
5 Year Member
Runzas
aka
Cabbage Burgers (or by my Grandma, rest her soul, Kraut Berok)

1 lg. head cabbage, chopped
2 lg. onions, chopped
Garlic powder to taste
2 lbs. hamburger
Salt, pepper to taste (we prefer LOTS of pepper)
Frozen loaves of bread dough from frozen section at grocery store or better yet, those round frozen dinner rolls from the frozen section.

The night before you want to make the runzas, thaw the frozen bread dough in the fridge. On game day, get up early and follow the directions on the bread package to get the dough to rise. Seems like we fired up the oven to it’s lowest temp, then turned it off, and left the dough in there in a huge bowl. You will be amazed how big the little frozen loaves get. Use three loaves the first time so you’ll have plenty. If memory serves, you might only need 2 for one batch of runzas.

OK, so dough is rising. Chop up your cabbage, place in steamer and cook until tender. You can just use a large covered pot – put an inch or two of water in the bottom and boil until cabbage is done. This smells up your house – sometimes I do it outside. Chop up onion, and brown hamburger with onions and garlic until the hamburger is cooked. Drain grease.

Place all ingredients in a large bowl, add salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly. Set aside. Get risen dough out of oven. Make sure you have a clean counter top, and sprinkle down with flour. Tear off a chunk of dough (golfball sized?) and roll into about a 6-8 inch square. You may have to trim the edges – use the trimmed pieces on the next piece. Once you have several squares, get a large spoon, and place a mound of cabbage/hamburger/filling mix in center of square. Fold up each corner and pinch in the middle. Make sure the seams are overlapping, then place seam-side down in a large casserole dish (9x11 or whatever you have). Fill up the dish with more runzas, then bake at 350 degrees until the tops turn lightly brown. Brush with butter as they cook to keep the tops from drying out too much. Let cool. Makes 12 to 15 runzas, if I recall correctly.

Open cold beverage, grab a couple of your superb runza’s, and watch the Huskers kick some rear end.
Thanks, AZ. What a flashback. I could smell my Oma's Saturday kitchen while reading your post! Amazing how similar the two grand ladies were in the process, all the way down to the quantity of pepper, and the brushing on of butter.
 

schuskerfan

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
Runzas
aka
Cabbage Burgers (or by my Grandma, rest her soul, Kraut Berok)

1 lg. head cabbage, chopped
2 lg. onions, chopped
Garlic powder to taste
2 lbs. hamburger
Salt, pepper to taste (we prefer LOTS of pepper)
Frozen loaves of bread dough from frozen section at grocery store or better yet, those round frozen dinner rolls from the frozen section.

The night before you want to make the runzas, thaw the frozen bread dough in the fridge. On game day, get up early and follow the directions on the bread package to get the dough to rise. Seems like we fired up the oven to it’s lowest temp, then turned it off, and left the dough in there in a huge bowl. You will be amazed how big the little frozen loaves get. Use three loaves the first time so you’ll have plenty. If memory serves, you might only need 2 for one batch of runzas.

OK, so dough is rising. Chop up your cabbage, place in steamer and cook until tender. You can just use a large covered pot – put an inch or two of water in the bottom and boil until cabbage is done. This smells up your house – sometimes I do it outside. Chop up onion, and brown hamburger with onions and garlic until the hamburger is cooked. Drain grease.

Place all ingredients in a large bowl, add salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly. Set aside. Get risen dough out of oven. Make sure you have a clean counter top, and sprinkle down with flour. Tear off a chunk of dough (golfball sized?) and roll into about a 6-8 inch square. You may have to trim the edges – use the trimmed pieces on the next piece. Once you have several squares, get a large spoon, and place a mound of cabbage/hamburger/filling mix in center of square. Fold up each corner and pinch in the middle. Make sure the seams are overlapping, then place seam-side down in a large casserole dish (9x11 or whatever you have). Fill up the dish with more runzas, then bake at 350 degrees until the tops turn lightly brown. Brush with butter as they cook to keep the tops from drying out too much. Let cool. Makes 12 to 15 runzas, if I recall correctly.

Open cold beverage, grab a couple of your superb runza’s, and watch the Huskers kick some rear end.
Do you need my address.
 

AzHusker

All Big 10
10 Year Member
Thanks, AZ. What a flashback. I could smell my Oma's Saturday kitchen while reading your post! Amazing how similar the two grand ladies were in the process, all the way down to the quantity of pepper, and the brushing on of butter.
That's awesome. I'd be surprised if they didn't make lots of other good things similarly as well. Do you remember "dina kugen" (may be misspelled - it was a dessert bread with crumblies on top). Also chicken noodle soup with butterballs. yum.
 

ScarletVA

Vetted Asset
5 Year Member
That's awesome. I'd be surprised if they didn't make lots of other good things similarly as well. Do you remember "dina kugen" (may be misspelled - it was a dessert bread with crumblies on top). Also chicken noodle soup with butterballs. yum.
Yes, I remember "kuchen" from Oma as a dessert pastry, kind of like a pie with a thick, bread-like crust, filled with a custard and apple (or, if the garden yielded and we were lucky, rhubarb) filling. ...and oh man, her dumplings and noodles.

My favorite at supper was a potato, noodle and sausage dish she called (I think), "strudla". Phonetic spelling, not sure if that's correct.

Funny how you can still conjure up those long ago smells. What great memories.

I could kick myself for not expressing an interest in capturing her recipes (most all of it was stored in her head, nothing written down) before she left us. Back then (I was in college when she passed), I didn't see the intrinsic value of things like that.

That's why this is such a great addition to HuskerMax, in my humble opinion. Thanks again for the Runza contribution, AZ. Priceless.
 

AzHusker

All Big 10
10 Year Member
Yes, I remember "kuchen" from Oma as a dessert pastry, kind of like a pie with a thick, bread-like crust, filled with a custard and apple (or, if the garden yielded and we were lucky, rhubarb) filling. ...and oh man, her dumplings and noodles.

My favorite at supper was a potato, noodle and sausage dish she called (I think), "strudla". Phonetic spelling, not sure if that's correct.

Funny how you can still conjure up those long ago smells. What great memories.

I could kick myself for not expressing an interest in capturing her recipes (most all of it was stored in her head, nothing written down) before she left us. Back then (I was in college when she passed), I didn't see the intrinsic value of things like that.

That's why this is such a great addition to HuskerMax, in my humble opinion. Thanks again for the Runza contribution, AZ. Priceless.
Wow, I have similar memories and the identical regrets. One thing that the family did several years ago was collaborate on a family cookbook which was then printed called "Good Cooking with the Cousins." It's a spiral bound book, about 150 pages with table of contents and index. Has a two page "family story" section in the front with pictures circa around 1900 of an old couple in the family, family tree printed, it's pretty cool. Actually, looking at it, it's copyright 1993 by Morris Press, P.O. Box 1681, Kearney, NE 68848. There is a phone # 1-800-445-6621. I just called the # and it's still good. I remember at the time it was published, someone in our family sent out solicitations for favorite recipes and we sent one in along with everyone else. Others did the same, and whomever submitted the recipe would have their name printed next to it in the cookbook (several are "In memory of ...grandma, etc.) The first chapter is German Foods (22 pages) and the rest is just favorite family recipes. It's a pretty cool little book - not that expensive. Chances are pretty good that you have some aunts and uncles with pretty good memories of grandma's cooking and how she did it.

Once this Hmax section blossoms a bit more, who knows, maybe we could drum up a 'Cookin' with the Huskers' or some such. Stranger things have happened......it's all good stuff!!
 
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lincoln84

Travel Squad
5 Year Member
Does anyone have the home made dough recipe? My grandmother made these as well and her dough was killer. It was a teeny bit sweet.
 

Weinosker

Starter
2 Year Member
This is almost identical to my grandma's recipe AZ. Can tell we both grew up in Western Nebraska! I'll see if I can dig up the recipe for the dough.

I keep meaning to post the recipe for homemade noodles, butter balls, and chicken noodle soup.
 

KleinTxHusker

Blackshirt
10 Year Member
Will Max have the Intellectual Property from HuskerPedia and Calla's recipe?

Hey, most don't vary much...

My answer is how much salt and pepper do you want? I think it is better to put a lot of both - especially pepper - in your Runza filling...
 
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