Runza Casserole, a beloved comfort food originating from the heart of the Midwest, is more than just a dish; it’s a culinary tradition that has captured the taste buds and hearts of generations. This flavorful and hearty casserole pays homage to the iconic handheld delight known as the Runza, a staple of Nebraska cuisine.
The Runza, pronounced “roon-za,” is often described as a cross between a handheld meat pie and a sandwich. It features a savory filling, typically a blend of ground beef, onions, and cabbage, all encased in a warm, tender bread pocket. This delightful treat has found its way into the homes and hearts of Nebraskans and beyond, serving as a reminder of simple yet satisfying comfort food.
The essence of the Runza, with its warm and flavorful interior, inspired the creation of Runza Casserole, a dish that encapsulates the charm of the original while offering a convenient and shareable alternative. It transforms the same mouthwatering filling into a hearty casserole, making it an ideal choice for gatherings, potlucks, or simply a cozy family meal. The history of Runza Casserole is a testament to the enduring power of regional cuisine. It showcases how local flavors can transcend geographical boundaries, becoming a cherished part of the culinary tapestry in homes far and wide. Beyond the ingredients, Runza Casserole embodies a sense of community, connection, and the joy of sharing a good meal with loved ones.
As we dive into the world of Runza Casserole, we’ll explore its rich history and the evolution of this dish from a beloved regional favorite to a versatile, crowd-pleasing recipe. We’ll uncover the key ingredients, cooking techniques, and the variations that cater to different tastes. Whether you’re a Midwesterner or a newcomer to the world of Runza, this journey invites you to savor the warmth and flavor of a dish that carries the heart and soul of the Midwest. So, join us as we embark on an exploration of Runza Casserole, a comfort food that transcends borders and brings people together through the joy of sharing a hearty and satisfying meal.
– 2 pounds ground beef
– 2 diced onions
– 4 cups freshly chopped cabbage
– 2 packages of refrigerated crescent roll dough
– 1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
– Salt and pepper to taste
**Step 1: Preheating the Oven**
1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C).
**Step 2: Browning the Beef**
2. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat. Once done, drain any excess fat.
**Step 3: Adding Onions and Cabbage**
3. Add the finely diced onions to the skillet and cook them until they become translucent.
- Stir in the chopped cabbage and continue cooking until it wilts and becomes tender. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to suit your taste.
**Step 5: Preparing the Baking Dish**
5. While the beef, onions, and cabbage are cooking, lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
**Step 6: Bottom Crust**
6. Unroll one package of crescent roll dough and press it into the bottom of the greased baking dish to form a bottom crust.
**Step 7: Adding the Filling**
7. Spread the cooked beef, onion, and cabbage mixture evenly over the bottom crust.
**Step 8: Cheese Layer**
8. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the beef mixture.
**Step 9: Top Crust**
9. Unroll the second package of crescent roll dough and place it on top of the cheese to form a top crust.
**Step 10: Baking**
10. Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until it’s beautifully golden. Then, cover the casserole with foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
This Runza Casserole is a delightful twist on the classic Runza, bringing the same comforting flavors in a convenient and shareable casserole format. It’s a crowd-pleaser that captures the essence of the Midwest and the joy of homemade, heartwarming meals. Enjoy!