Cheeseburger Runzas with BONUS cinnamon rolls

I don’t cook.   Really, I don’t.

So when I DO cook it has to be EASY and taste GOOD or else it isn’t worth the PAIN.

This is one of my favorite recipes to eat.   It is something I have modified over time from the original Runza recipe I used to make as a child that was beef (in my case, veggie-beef) and cabbage.   Over time it became more beef, then real beef and less cabbage, then no cabbage, and then…why not add cheese!

Wah-la! The Cheeseburger Runza. I have also seen these named cheeseburger bierocks or cheeseburger buns, but I grew up in Nebraska where these type of things are called Runzas.   So that is what they are.

This recipe calls for bread dough so you can pick up some frozen/refrigerated at the grocery store OR pull out your 1991 Bread Machine that you got as a wedding present and resembles R2D2:

Cheeseburger Runza - making bread dough

Here is the dough recipe – it can be thrown into the bread machine all at once without any prep:

1 1/4 cup of milk

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

3 cups of bread flour

2 1/2 teaspoons 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.
Cheeseburger Runzas - bread dough has risen
The filling is simply ground beef, onions, tomato sauce and some cheese.
Cheeseburger Runzas - other ingredients
If you want to use all the dough then make this full recipe.*

If you want to save a portion of the dough for cinnamon rolls, then just cut this recipe in half:

2 pounds of beef

1-2 onions chopped

1 can (15 oz.) of tomato sauce

Brown the beef and add the onions.   Let the onions get a bit tender and add the tomato sauce.

Cheeseburger Runzas - filling
You are ready to fill your dough!
Cheeseburger Runzas - prep for assembly
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 very thin, add the filling and then sprinkle on the cheese – my favorite is sharp cheddar.

Cheeseburger Runza - filling on dough
Fold the sides in and make a little package.
Cheeseburger Runzas - wrapped package
Flip them over and put 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.
Cheeseburger Runzas - on oven sheet
Now, if you only did a 1/2 recipe then it is time for cinnamon rolls.   You will need lots of help.
Cinnamon rolls - spread with butter
First spread the left over dough with melted butter.
Then sprinkle sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon on top and spread it around.

Cinnamon rolls - kids help out
Send all your helpers to the sink to clean up, roll up the dough, cut and bake at 400 for 10-18 minutes depending on your cinnamon roll size and pan density.

Alrighty people, time to eat.

Behold the Runza.
Cheeseburger Runzas - done
Behold the rolls of cinnamon.
Cinnamon rolls are done too

*One argument against the cinnamon roll is that the left over runzas are yummy.   You can heat them up in the toaster oven at 400 for about 6 minutes or eat them cold.   Either way, I like mine dipped in ketchup.


  1. Thank you for posting this recipe- we’re going to try it this week.

  2. These are WONDERFUL! And the Cinnamon Rolls are a great added bonus you can enjoy after dinner, or the next morning! YUMMY…

  3. I had to come back to say that the Cheeseburger Runzas are so stinkin’ good!!! Loved them! I didn’t make the cinnamon rolls because I knew that I would eat the entire pan- by myself :).

  4. AW….. Runzas!! I love them! Your post took me back to my early years as a kid in from Nebraska and ‘Runza Stands’.
    Thank you for the new variation

  5. Thanks! I do miss the ability to drive-thru and get a runza…it is such a step up for “fast food”! Thanks.

  6. AW….. Runzas!! I love them! Your post took me back to my early years as a kid in from Nebraska and ‘Runza Stands’.
    Thank you for the new variation

  7. OK, a few thoughts.

    1. Never heard of a Runza, & apparently I missed your first posting of this. These sound GOOD.

    2. You need to open a Runza Hut, or Tons-a-Runza or something equally catchy.

    3. Not only do you have a bread machine, if you look at the picture, you have THE Bread Machine. And it does look like R2D2!

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