Thanksgiving is right around the corner. The time for giving thanks, family get-togethers and watching football.  Which got me to thinking, just like every family has their traditions they do every year, each football stadium has traditions of its own.  So, in the spirit of holiday giving, I’d like to share with you a tradition from my favorite stadium, Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska-Home of the Huskers.


Introducing The Runza.  The Original Runza consists of homemade dough made from scratch everyday.  It’s stuffed full of ground beef, onions, cabbage, and secret spices-then baked fresh and served hot.


Husker fans love their Runza tradition almost as much as they love their Husker football (I said almost).  It all began in 1945 when the first Runza Drive Inn opened in Lincoln. Fans loved to stop into Runza and get this treat before and after games.  In 2000, Runza signed an agreement with the University of Nebraska making it even easier for fans to get their hands on this goodness. It would now be served in the stadium and delivered right to their seats.

Originally, you could only get Runzas in Nebraska.  In 2008, Runza expanded and you can now find them in Colorado, Kansas and Iowa. People are so crazy for these that in 2009 Runzatic became an officially trademarked word.

There are five different flavors of Runzas. There is the Original, Swiss Mushroom, Cheeseburger, BBQ Bacon and my favorite, the Cheese Runza.  If you need a break from turkey leftovers and want to order some for yourself to enjoy during your holiday football watching, Runza will deliver frozen Runzas to your door. Just order them online at their website  Or if you want to try your hand at making them yourself, here is a recipe passed down from my best friend’s mom:

Milta’s Famous Runzas

  • 1 Frozen Rhodes (or whatever brand you choose) bread dough – let it rise overnight
  • Flatten and roll out with flour over and under the dough
  • Cut six even squares
  • Brown 1 pound of hamburger with 1/2 chopped onion (if desired) and a dash or salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 16-ounce jar of Bavarian (or whatever brand you like) sauerkraut
  • Mix the hamburger mixture and sauerkraut together
  • Scoop even servings of hamburger/sauerkraut mixture into each cutout dough
  • Fold the bottom of the dough around the hamburger/sauerkraut mixture
  • Put on baking sheet and brush with butter
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown on top

You may add canned mushrooms to the hamburger if you desire.  Or get creative and try and recreate your own special Runzas with ingredients like the Italian, Swiss Mushroom, Cheeseburger, BBQ Bacon and Cheese Runza.

Do you have a favorite stadium traditional food? Please share it here!