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Turkey Cranberry Runzas

Makes 8 large runzas.
Prep Time1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Main
Servings: 6 to 8
Author: Suzanne Cowden


  • Dough
  • ¾ cups warm water
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • cups bread flour plus more for the work surface
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons 1½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature and sliced into ¼-inch pieces
  • Filling
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup diced water chestnuts
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Egg wash
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • pinch salt


  • For the dough, combine ¾ cup warm water (approximately 110° F), the yeast, and a pinch of the sugar to the bowl of a standing electric mixer. Let sit until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add 2 cups of the bread flour and the eggs to the bowl. Beat with the paddle attachment until well combined. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and the salt.
  • Add remaining flour about ½ cup at a time, alternating with the butter. Mix well until a sticky dough forms. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  • Knead with the dough hook for about 5 minutes. Scrape the soft, silky dough into a well-greased bowl, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise for about an hour at room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator. Let it rest for at least an hour, but several hours to overnight work best.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into 8 even portions. Using only enough flour to prevent sticking, roll pieces into smooth balls. On a lightly dusted counter, cover the dough and let it rest as you prepare the filling.
  • To prepare the filling, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook celery and shallot until they begin to soften, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, stirring for one minute.
  • Increase heat to medium high and add the ground turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and stirring frequently until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in dried cranberries, water chestnuts, and thyme. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Grease two baking sheets and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  • Fill the runzas one at a time. Flatten a dough ball on a lightly floured surface and roll it out into 6 to 7-inch circle. Set the circle of dough in a small bowl. Add about ½ cup of the filling to the center. Pull the sides of the dough together around the filling, tucking and pinching to create a good seal.
  • Turn the sealed bun into your hands and set the fat oval seam-side down on one of the prepared baking sheets.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, spacing the runzas generously on the baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes.
  • For the egg wash, whisk egg, water, and a pinch of salt. Right before baking, brush the tops of the runzas lightly with the egg wash. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Serve warm with homemade or prepared cranberry sauce, if desired.