This stuffed bun goes by many names: Bierock, Krautbrot, Pirozhki or Pirogi. In Nebraska, we call these tasty stuffed buns a Runza. And it turns out, there are a lot of creative spins on the Runza recipe out there.
Traditional Runza recipes call for a yeasty bread pocket stuffed with beef, cabbage, onions and some spices. Essentially, it’s a Hot Pocket crossed with a hamburger that has an Eastern European twist to it.
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Most Nebraskans get their Runzas from the local fast food chain, Runza Restaurants. At least, that’s where I get mine. Some small town cafes in Nebraska serve Bierocks, including probably the most famous of them all, Sehnert’s Bakery & Bieroc Cafe in McCook.
Runza recipes and Runza variations
If your travels aren’t taking you through Nebraska any time soon, you can easily make Runzas at home. I’ve round up a traditional Runza recipe from a Nebraskan baker, plus all sorts of variations. Enjoy!
What ingredients are in a traditional Runza sandwich?
A traditional Runza sandwich typically consists of ground beef, finely chopped onions and cabbage, and seasonings, all baked inside a homemade bread pocket. The seasonings can vary depending on the recipe, but they often include salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Some recipes may also include other ingredients like cheese or mushrooms. The ingredients in a Runza sandwich create a savory, hearty flavor that has become a beloved comfort food in the Midwest, where it originated.
What sides go well with a Runza sandwich?
If you’re at a Runza restaurant, the classic pairing will be French fries. For homemade Runza sandwiches, you have a lot more options, but a few go-to sides are onion rings, can be a great complement to the Runza’s meaty filling; coleslaw, which can help balance out the richness of the Runza sandwich; baked beans or potato salad.
What are the nutritional values of a Runza sandwich?
The nutritional values of a Runza sandwich can vary depending on the specific recipe and ingredients used, as well as the size of the sandwich. However, here are some general nutritional facts for a typical Runza sandwich made with ground beef, cabbage, onions, and bread:u003cbr/u003eu003cstrongu003eCaloriesu003c/strongu003e: A single Runza sandwich can range from 300 to 600 calories, depending on its size and ingredients.u003cbr/u003eu003cstrongu003eProteinu003c/strongu003e: A Runza sandwich can provide around 15 to 25 grams of protein, depending on the size and meat-to-vegetable ratio.u003cbr/u003eu003cstrongu003eFatu003c/strongu003e: A Runza sandwich can contain around 15 to 25 grams of fat, depending on the type and amount of meat used, as well as the bread.u003cbr/u003eu003cstrongu003eCarbohydratesu003c/strongu003e: A Runza sandwich can provide around 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates, depending on the size and type of bread used.u003cbr/u003eu003cstrongu003eFiberu003c/strongu003e: A Runza sandwich can contain around 2 to 6 grams of fiber, depending on the type and amount of vegetables used.u003cbr/u003eu003cstrongu003eSodiumu003c/strongu003e: A Runza sandwich can contain around 500 to 1000 mg of sodium, depending on the type and amount of salt used.u003cbr/u003eIt’s worth noting that some recipes may use leaner meat or whole wheat bread to make the sandwich healthier, while others may add cheese or other ingredients that can increase the calorie and fat content. If you’re looking for a healthier option, consider making a homemade Runza sandwich with lean meat and plenty of vegetables.
How do I reheat a Runza sandwich?
Reheating a Runza sandwich is a simple process. Here’s how to do it:u003cbr/u003ePreheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).u003cbr/u003eWrap the Runza sandwich in foil. This will help to keep it moist and prevent it from drying out.u003cbr/u003ePlace the wrapped Runza sandwich on a baking sheet and place it in the oven.u003cbr/u003eHeat the sandwich for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is heated through. The exact time will depend on the size and thickness of the sandwich.u003cbr/u003eOnce the sandwich is heated through, remove it from the oven and unwrap it from the foil.u003cbr/u003eLet the sandwich cool for a few minutes before serving.u003cbr/u003eAlternatively, you can also reheat a Runza sandwich in the microwave. Here’s how:u003cbr/u003ePlace the Runza sandwich on a microwave-safe plate.u003cbr/u003eCover the sandwich with a damp paper towel. This will help to keep it moist.u003cbr/u003eMicrowave the sandwich on high for 30 to 60 seconds, or until it is heated through. The exact time will depend on the wattage of your microwave and the size of the sandwich.u003cbr/u003eOnce the sandwich is heated through, remove it from the microwave and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.u003cbr/u003eWhether you choose to reheat your Runza sandwich in the oven or microwave, it should be heated to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure that it is safe to eat.
Got a recipe?
I’d love to know if you’ve got a recipe for Runzas that differ from those above. Share a link or the recipe itself in the comments below!
Have an idea for another quintessential Midwestern dish? Leave me a comment with your suggestion! Or check out the other recipes: