Friday, October 1, 2010

The Gluten Free "Unza", or Un-Runza

Before I begin, I'm not affiliated with Runza nor do I want to get sued by them. However, when trying to eat gluten-free, you often have to take your favorite foods and modify them in order to ever get to have them again. So, I love you Runza restaurant and I still think your food is soooo AWESOME! :) If you ever have a gluten-free Runza sandwich and other gluten-free offerings, I'd be there in a heartbeat!

That being said, for those of you who aren't aware of what a Runza is, here is their website: . It's basically like a bierock, except better. I have no other way to describe it! lol. I grew up on these and miss them tremendously, along with Runza fries and onion rings because they are better than any other fast food restaurant... but sadly, I really can't order anything from Runza because they don't have gluten free options. Maybe someday. So, if you don't have a Gluten allergy and live in an area that has a Runza, go buy theirs first!! Even if you don't live in the area but have family or friends that do, you can actually order Runzas in bulk, frozen, and then have them bring the sandwiches out to you or figure out how to ship them to you.

Otherwise, if you have a gluten allergy or aren't able to go get a real Runza, then this is for you. I did a little research on various recipes for Runzas on the internet, and combined them along with my own ideas as to what would work to create an AWESOME gluten free runza-like sandwich!

My Gluten Free "Un"za:

1 bag of cole slaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
2 lbs of ground beef
1 onion, diced
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 tsp Olive oil
Pamela's Gluten Free Bread Mix and Flour Blend
6 packages of Chebe Gluten Free Pizza Crusts, thawed
Cooking Spray
Butter (if desired)

Brown the hamburger over medium heat in a large saucepan with the diced onion until no longer pink, seasoned lightly with some salt and pepper. Drain the grease and return the pan to the heat. Add the bagged cabbage mix and 1 tsp olive oil and cook until the cabbage is soft and slightly translucent. Set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare a surface (I use a cutting board, but you could use wax paper or a cookie sheet) with a medium pile of Pamela's mix. Also preheat the oven to 350 degrees and put out a large baking pan/cookie sheet, 12X14 or larger if possible so you only have to do one batch, and sprinkle it with some Pamela's and spray with a cooking spray. Flour your hands with the Pamela's, then remove the Chebe crusts from their packages *Note: they will be extremely sticky, so you may need to re-flour your hands often to get all of the dough out*. Place the dough onto the pile of Pamelas, then roll into a large ball. Flour your hands, then remove a fist-sized amount from the large ball. Flatten that smaller ball on the floured surface to desired thickness *Note: if you go too thin, it will just break when you try to wrap it around the filling, so you have to keep it fairly thick*.
Place desired amount of filling into the center of your flattened circle of dough, then carefully bring up the edges to form a pocket and pinch them to seal *think hot pocket, or Runza if you have seen one before)*. Take this filled sandwich and place it seal-side down on the baking pan/sheet. Repeat until you have used all the dough and filling.
If desired, brush some melted butter over the top of each sandwich. Place the filled pan in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or so, depending on the size of your sandwiches.

Enjoy! :)

This recipe makes a whole lot of filling, so if you want to make smaller amount of servings just use fewer Chebe crusts and freeze any leftover filling. You can then thaw it and reheat it later for other batches!!
I like the pizza crust taste, but it's not as similar to original Runzas as the Chebe sandwich buns would be, so feel free to switch it up and see what you like best. You can also add a slice of cheese inside each circle before adding the filling to make the Runza with cheese variety. Or, you can top them with cheese when they come up, which is what my husband does!


  1. Thank you!!!! I am going to try this recipe this week. I can't wait! I'll let you know how the fam. likes it.

  2. This is awesome!!! I haven't made it yet, but you've inspired me!