Instant Pot Runzas—a Nebraska favorite, runzas are a cross between a hot pocket and a burger. Ground beef, onions and cabbage are wrapped in a yeast dough and baked, resulting in a savory pastry. This Instant Pot version quickly pressure cooks the meat and cabbage in your electric pressure cooker. In addition if you have a yogurt button on your Instant Pot you can quickly proof the yeast bun dough.
For the SLOW COOKER instructions see the note section of the recipe card below.
Instant Pot Runzas
Each week in 2020 I’m sharing a recipe inspired by one of the 50 states. So far I’ve covered…
- South Carolina
- New Mexico
- West Virginia
- South Dakota
- North Dakota
Today’s recipe come from the Cornhusker State, Nebraska. When I think of Nebraska I think of that song by the Counting Crows, “Omaha…
Somewhere in middle America.” I also think about the University of Nebraska and football. On Saturdays when the University of Nebraska football team plays at home, the stadium itself becomes the third-largest city in Nebraska. I also think of the pioneers crossing the plains. It must have been a long haul to get across that state. I also think about Colleen one of my favorite internet blog/facebook friends…she lives in Nebraska (hi Colleen!!!). Join the 365 Days of Instant Pot recipes FB group to make super cool IP friends too 😊
Today’s recipe doesn’t involve corn but it does involve a popular Nebraska sandwich called a runza. You can learn more about this tasty sandwich by watching this Youtube video:
If you’re not able to get a runza in Nebraska then you can make your own at home. Basically it’s a mixture of ground beef, seasonings and cabbage cooked inside the middle of a yeast dough. This is what they look like when they come out of the oven…
It looks just like a roll or a hoagie bun. But when you open it up there is a delicious filling inside! You can get creative with the filling by adding cheese or other items. The original runza is just the ground beef, onions and cabbage though.
This sandwich reminds me of a Hot Pocket, except, of course, it tastes much better. Bread on the outside and a delicious filling on the inside. Just like Hot Pockets they freeze great and then can be warmed up in a toaster oven, oven or microwave. This recipe makes 12 runzas so perhaps you will want to freeze the leftovers. What a great option for a kids lunch this summer. Grab and go!
Some tips to making Instant Pot Runzas:
- The dough is FAST and easy. There is just a bit of mixing that occurs and no real kneading. Plus the dough only needs to raise one time. With the help of your Instant Pot yogurt function you can raise the dough in less than 30 minutes. If you don’t have the yogurt button the dough will raise in about an hour. This dough is super tasty and I’ll be using it for rolls and buns in the future!
- Cool the filling a bit before rolling it up into the dough. It doesn’t need to be cold, room temperature is fine. This will help the dough stay together better.
- Strain off liquid from the meat mixture before adding it to the dough. When I didn’t do this the liquid came seeping out the sides.
- Stuff the dough with enough but not too much filling. You want a good meat to bread ratio but not so much that the dough bursts open. I weighed my dough into 3.75 ounce portions so that they were all equal and then I used ½ cup of filling.
- I used ground beef but another type of ground meat like turkey or pork could certainly be used.
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A Nebraska favorite, runzas are a cross between a hot pocket and a burger. Ground beef, onions and cabbage are wrapped in a yeast dough and baked resulting in a savory pastry.
For the filling:
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 cup diced onion
- 5 cups chopped cabbage
- 2 tsp seasoned salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup water or beef broth
- Optional: slices of medium cheddar cheese
For the dough:
- 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 4 1/2 tsp instant yeast (also called quick rise yeast)
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- Turn Instant Pot to saute setting. When the display says HOT add in the ground beef and break it up*. Add in the onion. Brown the beef for about 5 minutes. Drain off excess grease (if there is any). Turn off Instant Pot.
- Stir in the cabbage, seasoned salt, black pepper and water. Cover the Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 5 minutes. When the time is up let the pot sit for 5 minutes and then move the valve to venting. Remove the lid. Pour mixture into a bowl and let it cool while you make the dough.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or in a large mixing bowl) add 1 ½ cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Set aside.
- In the microwave or on the stove heat the milk, water and butter to 120°-130° F (this isn’t that hot, I use a digital thermometer*)
- Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Stir a few strokes. Then add in the eggs.
- Mix on low speed adding in 1 cup of flour at a time until it starts to clear the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic (just a minute or two).
- Place dough in a greased bowl and let raise for 1 hour OR place in greased Instant Pot liner and set Instant Pot to yogurt function LESS (use adjust button to get it to less, it should say 24 hours) and let it raise for 25-30 minutes. Dough will double in size.
- Punch the dough down. Then divide it into 12 equal portions (mine was 3.75 ounces each). Work with one portion of dough at a time. With a rolling pin, roll a portion of dough into 6 inch x 8 inch rectangle/oblong shape. Scoop a heaping ½ cup of filling (use slotted spoon, make sure there is no liquid) into the middle of the dough. If desired, place a couple slices of cheese on top of meat. Bring two sides of dough up to each other and pinch to close, pinch the ends to close as well.
- Place each filled dough (seam side down) onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (you might need 2 pans to fit all of them). Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes and then serve. (We liked a bit of mustard with ours!)
I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. This can also be made in your 3 or 8 quart pot with no changes.
Slow Cooker Instructions: You can use your slow cooker to make the filling. Add extra lean ground beef, onions, seasoned salt, pepper, cabbage and water to your slow cooker. Break up the meat with a spoon. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours. Then remove the lid and break up the meat again. I like to use this tool*. Cover and cook on high for 2 more hours, or until meat and onions and cabbage are cooked through. Let the meat cool a bit before adding into the dough.
- Category: Beef
- Method: Instant Pot
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.