cheeseburger runzas

Runzas are one of my favorite foods in the world.   I have also seen them called bierocks or burger buns, but I grew up in Nebraska where they are just Runzas.

You can even get them in a drive-thru…awesome.

But since I am no longer in Nebraska, I have had to learn to make them on my own.   And since I only make EASY FOOD, this Runza recipe has to be simple!

Original runzas are filled with beef and cabbage.   This runza is a modified cheeseburger…yum.


1.   Bread dough – you can use prepared frozen/refrigerated from the grocery store OR pull out your 1991 Bread Machine that you got as a wedding present and resembles R2D2:

runza dough

If you are going to make the dough at home in your bread machine, here is the dough recipe I use.   It can be thrown into the bread machine all at once without any preparation:

  • 1 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 T of butter
  • 2 T of sugar
  • 1 t of salt
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 2 1/2 t active dry yeast

I set my bread machine on a non-baking cycle.   I start this in the morning and haven't had trouble with it even if I don't get to it by mid-afternoon…or later.   It is VERY low maintenance.

runza dough ready
2.   The Runza filling – simply ground beef, onions, tomato sauce and some cheese.

runza filling ingredients

Runza filling:

  • 2 pounds of beef
  • 1-2 onions chopped
  • 2 cans (8 oz.) Tomato sauce

Brown the beef and add the onions.   Let the onions get a bit tender and add the tomato sauce.   Season with salt and pepper.

runza filling on stove
3.   Put it all together – You are ready to fill your dough!

runza recipe preparation
Out of a full recipe I usually get around 24+ runzas of various sizes.

I like to make really small ones for the kids and larger ones for the adults.

Roll the dough out thin, add the filling and then sprinkle on the cheese “ my favorite is sharp cheddar.

filling runza dough with filling

Fold the sides in and make a little package.

runza folded
Flip them over and place them on greased baking sheet.   If you pause for a little while and let them rise the final product will look a little better.   Often I just pop them straight into the oven at this point because I am trying to get dinner on the table ASAP.

Bake them at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

runzas on cookie sheet

4.   Eat!

runzas on plate

Leftover Runzas are yummy.   You can heat them up in the toaster oven at 400 for about 6 minutes or eat them cold.

They are super easy to pop into a bag for a child’s school lunch.

Hot or cold, I like mine dipped in ketchup.

easy foodLooking for more yummy, easy food?   Here are some more easy food recipes:

Easy potato soup

Easy cinnamon rolls (you can make extra bread dough and do this too!)

Easy and extraordinary pizza buns


  1. OK. Those look REALLY good. I’m coming over for dinner.

  2. My boys have only recently deigned to eat cheeseburgers. I wonder if they’d go for these. They do look tasty. And so pretty!

    Hey, I used your name in vain over on my blog. Here’s hoping you don’t mind!

  3. I’ve never seen something like this before, and I think my kids would love it!

  4. I want a bread machine so bad, I love homemade bread. I will be trying the recipe.

  5. Wow, those look yummy! A cheeseburger in a nice little pocket! Easy, portable and fabulous! I bet there’s some amazing things you can fill in that little pocket besides just cheeseburgers! I’ll have to try it!

  6. Wow, those look really yummy and easy to make…i will have a try~~~

  7. Looks amazing — I might just have to make some this weekend!

    I’m a new single mom exploring the blog world and looking for motherhood support so just dropping a hello!


  8. My bread machine is 20 years old…I suspect other people who have been married as long as me might be selling theirs on ebay? hahaha.

  9. Now Runza has Swiss & mushroom or Italian flavors too!

  10. YUM. I am totally going to try to re-create that.

  11. My bread machine is newer than yours. I didn’t get my R2D2 until June of 1992 😉
    I’ve been looking for this recipe for over 35 years. My junior high school cafeteria served them for lunch and they were one of the most popular menu items, but they weren’t called Runzas (which very clearly, they are Runzas). I can’t wait to try your recipe out tomorrow. Thank you!

  12. I LOVE you!!! I miss the Runzas so much… will be trying these in the morning!

  13. Sounds great, but I don’t have a bread machine. Do you just mix all the ingredients together and let rise? Does the milk need to be heated? Butter melted before adding? Any tips would be much appreciated!

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