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Runza (Hot Pocket) Recipes

Category Sandwiches
These stuffed bread dough sandwiches originated in Russia, and are baked in a variety of shapes. A fast food restaurant chain in Nebraska features them. This page contains runza (hot pocket) recipes.


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By 1 found this helpful
July 1, 2008


  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar (or less for a less sweet dough)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour , plus extra for rolling out dough
  • 2 packages instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
Or use frozen bread dough, thawed or any bread dough you like.


  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter , 2 tablespoons melted
  • 1 1/2 lbs. 90-percent lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 lbs. onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs. cabbage, chopped (you can use slaw cabbage from the store but it will cook faster)
  • Salt and pepper
This can be adjusted just keep the ratio 1-1-1 for the filling.

Dough Directions

Lightly grease large bowl with cooking spray. Mix water, sweetened condensed milk, oil, sugar, and egg in bowl. Mix flour, yeast, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with dough hook.

With mixer on low, add water mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until shiny and smooth, 4 to 6 minutes.

Turn dough out onto heavily floured work surface, shape into ball, and place in greased bowl.

To make dough by hand: Combine dry ingredients in large bowl, make well in center of dry ingredients, add wet ingredients, and mix with wooden spoon until shaggy dough forms. Turn dough out onto heavily floured work surface and knead until shiny and smooth, about 10 minutes.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Filling Directions

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook until to brown, breaking up any large clumps. As the meat cooks, add ground pepper (1-2 tsp.). The browner the meat, the more beef flavor it will have.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pan. Add onion and cabbage, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 -3/4 cup of water and cover (I'm a beer drinker so I add beer, apple juice works if the cabbage is bitter or old).


Cook 15 -20 minutes or longer, if needed. Stir every few minutes. Sometimes, the cabbage is older and drier. Add some more liquid. Onions should be soft and cabbage a bit crunchy. I like my cabbage a little more cooked. Taste for seasoning. It should have a little pepper bite. There should be a little juice in the bottom of the pan. If not, add some liquid, stir, cover and cook a minute or so.

Assemble and Bake

The meat mixture needs to be close to room temperature. If you want cheese runzas, place it on the dough before the meat.

Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

The original runza roll is oblong. Roll a piece of dough to 7-8 by 3 inches, 1/4-1/3 inch thick, or thicker if you like. Place some meat mixture down the center and bring the sides over the mixture and pinch the dough to seal. Place seam side down on parchment. Repeat with the rest of dough and meat.


Or round - divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Working on lightly floured work surface, roll each piece of dough into 7-8 inch circle. Place one dough round in deep cereal bowl. Spoon 1 cup filling over cheese, if using and pinch edges of dough together to form bun. Transfer bun, seam side down, to prepared baking sheet leaving room for the runza to rise. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Cover buns with plastic wrap and let rise until puffed, about 20-30 minutes, more or less depending on temp. If you have extra filling it is good on hamburger buns the next day.

Bake buns until golden brown at 350 degrees F, about 20 minutes, switching and rotating position of baking sheets halfway through baking time. Brush buns with melted butter and serve.

They reheat well in the microwave or in the oven. They freeze well. Once frozen, wrap tight in tinfoil. I normally double the batch and freeze meat mixture and dough.


I have used different fillings: BBQ beef, corned beef and kraut (pressed dry) and Swiss cheese, pulled pork, shredded chicken with some bbq, ham and cheese, leftover roast beef or pigs in a blanket with bratwurst. Let your imagination be your guide.

By Scott E. from Chicago

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By 2 found this helpful
February 10, 2011

I love these. They are very versatile. As long as you can make the dough, you can fill it with almost any thing.


Dough: Traditional Filling:


Mix 1 1/2 cups flour with the rest of the dry ingredients.

Heat milk, water, and butter till butter or shortening is melted completely. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. Then add eggs and mix, adding flour gradually, until dough is elastic and workable. Cover with damp kitchen towel and put in warm place for about an hour, or until dough has doubled in size.


While dough is rising prepare filling. You can use the traditional filling or get creative. One of my favorites is ham and cheddar.

Brown meat in skillet until half-way cooked; saute onions and mix in with meat. Stir in cabbage and finish cooking, cabbage should be soft by then. Add a little water and cover to steam if needed. Once done, take off heat and set aside. When dough is ready, punch down and let set for another 15 to 20 minutes. Then roll out and cut into squares. Put filling in the middle and put a few pinches of cheese on top of the filling. Pull up the corners of the dough and pinch shut.

Place on a greased cookie sheet and put in the oven at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, or until top in golden brown.

Servings: about 8
Time:1 1/2 Hours Preparation Time
20-25 Minutes Cooking Time

Source: Learned from some German Mennonite women in Western KS

By MaLynn from Centralia, MO

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By 2 found this helpful
January 21, 2010

This recipe was given to me by my husband's best friend from when we were in high school. Anybody that lives in Nebraska is familiar with Runza fast food restaurants. They are our absolute favorite and every time we are there we go!

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March 31, 2014

This was featured on the Food Network, Guy's Diners, Drive ins and Dives. Lauer-Krauts is a restaurant in my home town, Brighton, CO!

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

December 16, 20130 found this helpful

I'd love to have the original Runza recipe, like the ones served at the Runza Hut restaurants in Nebraska.

By Theresa


December 18, 20130 found this helpful

http://www.thri  7284006.tip.html

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