My kids have always loved the Runza sandwich at the fast-food chain primarily located in Nebraska and Kansas.  This is a copycat recipe that my kids have said, “This is even better than a real Runza!”  The more formal name for the meal is a “bierock” and this one has cheese, seasoned ground beef and cabbage that just blend together so well with the breading.  

Why You’ll Love This – That One Thing

These will stay fresh in your fridge for approximately five days.  For any leftovers, you can put them in a gallon ziplock baggie and freeze them.  The most beautiful thing is how easy these are to reheat in the microwave.  Take one out of the freezer, wrap it in a paper towel, and cook it for approximately 1-2 mins (depending on the size of the Runza).  If it still needs a little extra time, flip it over and cook an additional 30 seconds.  My kids handle this all by themselves for lunches or dinners when we don’t have the time to make something for them.

Ingredients You’ll Need – Quick Snapshot

Here are the ingredients you will need (see quantities below):

  • Rhodes Thaw, Rise & Bake White Bread – You can find this in your grocer’s freezer
  • Ground Beef – 2 pounds 
  • White Onion – We use a small one and dice up the entire thing
  • Shredded Cabbage – We buy the packaged shredded cabbage because it’s just so easy
  • Season All – Really brings an amazing flavor to the ground beef
  • Pepper – For a taste
  • Slices of Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Use whatever cheese you want!

The Process

Once the dough has risen and it’s ready to build each copycat Runza, the fun really begins.

Allow the bread to rise:

Dice the onion and cook with the hamburger.

Once the hamburger has browned, add the cabbage and seasonings and let it cook down.

Once the dough has been separated into evenly-sized dough balls, rolled out, cheese & meat added, fold the dough around the mixture and pinch together.  We can fit eight copycat Runzas on a single cookie sheet.

The finished product!

cheesy bierocks homemade midwest runza copycat

Cheesy Bierocks “Homemade Midwest Runza Copycat”

Course: Entree
Cuisine: American, German
Prep Time: 7 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 16
Print Recipe


  • 1 package of Rhodes Thaw, Rise & Bake White Bread
  • All purpose flour (for the rolling pin)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 small white onion (diced)
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 tsp of Season All
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 16 slices of extra sharp cheddar cheese


  • Thaw 4 loaves of bread per instructions on the package
  • While dough is rising, you can cook 2 pounds of ground beef and 1 small white onion (diced) over medium/high heat until meat is no longer pink
  • Drain the grease
  • Stir in 2 teaspoons of Season All, 1 teaspoon of pepper and 4 cups of cabbage
  • Stir until cabbage cooks down and ingredients are combined
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Once the loaf has risen as instructed on the package, remove one loaf from the bread pan
  • Knead the dough in your hands to remove some of the bubbles in the dough
  • Separate the dough into four evenly-sized balls of dough
  • Put a very small amount of all-purpose flour on your roller pin (we find it better to put the flour on the roller vs. on the table top)
  • Roll out each ball of dough to approximately 8 inches x 6 inches
  • Take one slice of extra sharp cheddar cheese, break it in half and line the middle of the rolled-out dough with the two halves of cheese
  • Place approximately ½ cup of the meat mixture on top of the cheese
  • Fold in the sides of the dough to where they overlap and pinch them together
  • Fold up one open end and pinch together
  • Fold in the final end and pinch together
  • Place on a greased cookie sheet (we use parchment paper)
  • We are able to fit 8 Runzas on a single cookie sheet
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown
  • Continue this process for the other three loaves


Did You Know

What is the difference between pierogies and bierocks?
Ah, pierogies and bierocks, two delectable delights that have captured the hearts and stomachs of food lovers everywhere. While they may share a few similarities, these culinary creations also have their fair share of differences. So, gather ’round and let me whisk you away on a tongue-tingling adventure as we explore the distinctions between pierogies and bierocks!
First off, let’s talk about origins. Pierogies, those scrumptious Polish dumplings, have been delighting taste buds for centuries. They’re like little pillows of joy, filled with various fillings like potato, cheese, or even sauerkraut. On the other hand, bierocks, a savory sensation, hail from Germany and Eastern Europe. Picture a savory pastry bun stuffed with meat, cabbage, and onions. It’s like a handheld flavor bomb!
Next up, let’s dive into the dough. Pierogies typically feature a soft and tender dough, perfect for hugging the delectable fillings within. They’re often boiled or pan-fried, creating a delightful texture contrast. Bierocks, on the other hand, boast a heartier dough, akin to a bread roll. This doughy casing helps hold all the savory goodness inside and adds a satisfying chew to every bite.
When it comes to fillings, pierogies and bierocks take divergent paths. Pierogies dance across the taste spectrum, with fillings that span from classic mashed potatoes and cheese to mouthwatering combinations like spinach and feta or even sweet fruit fillings. Bierocks, on the other hand, are steadfast in their meaty ways. Traditionally, they’re filled with ground beef or pork, cabbage, and onions, creating a robust and savory flavor profile.
Cooking methods also set these two culinary wonders apart. Pierogies are often boiled or pan-fried, allowing them to achieve a delightful combination of softness and crispness. They’re then served with a dollop of sour cream or a drizzle of melted butter. Bierocks, however, are typically baked, allowing the dough to rise and develop a golden crust. It’s like biting into a warm, savory cloud!
Lastly, let’s not forget the cultural associations. Pierogies have become a beloved staple in Polish cuisine, celebrated during holidays, family gatherings, and street festivals alike. They’re a symbol of comfort and tradition. Bierocks, on the other hand, have their roots in German and Eastern European communities, often associated with Oktoberfest celebrations and hearty, satisfying meals.
So, there you have it, the delightful differences between pierogies and bierocks. Whether you prefer the soft, filled pockets of joy from Poland or the hearty, savory rolls from Germany, both will undoubtedly leave your taste buds dancing with delight. So go forth, my friend, and embark on your own culinary adventure.

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