Gluten Free Runza (or Bierock)

Gluten Free Runza

I am currently enjoying the wonders of Omaha, Nebraska! Whenever I go on a trip somewhere new I like to see what there is to do there and what kinds of food the area is famous for. Before this trip I had only ever hear of Omaha Steaks (which are delicious), but there are all sorts of other culinary delights that are famous in Omaha. Yesterday I shared a gluten-free Reuben salad, which was my take on the famous Reuben sandwich that originated in Omaha. Today I made something that I had never heard of before! A runza!

A runza, which is sometimes called a bierock, came to the Midwest with the German, Russian and Eastern European immigrants that settled there. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed the runzas I made. They were delicious. I am partial to Eastern European food, so cabbage, onion and meat can’t really be bad in my book. With the addition of some spices and extra-lean ground turkey (they are traditionally made with ground beef or pork, but that’s not my style) to light it up a little, the end result was a perfect hand held sandwich. If I was the make runzas again (which I just might, because I think they would freeze and keep really well) I would probably add some grainy dijon to the cabbage mix. The flavor was good, but I think mustard would make it perfect. I was a bit short on time this week, so I cheated and rolled out some Chebe dough for my crust, which worked perfectly. I was able to get 8 big runza out of one bread mix. I ended up with a lot of left over cabbage and meat, so next time I might try to make mini ones instead.

Gluten Free Runza



Gluten Free Runza (or Bierock)


For the Filling:
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 1/4 pounds extra-lean ground turkey
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • onion powder, to taste
  • smoked paprika, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 small head of cabbage shredded (or a bag of cole slaw mix)
For the dough:
  • 1 box of Chebe bread mix, or dough recipe of choice


For the Filling:
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan. When heated add onion and cook until well browned and starting to caramelize. Add turkey and break apart to cook. Add spices and brown the meat.
  2. Add the cabbage and cover pan with lid slightly off to allow steam to escape. Remove lid when cabbage is almost completely cooked and allow excess moisture to evaporate.
  3. When cabbage and meat are both cooked through, remove pan from heat and allow filling to cool slightly.
For the Dough:
  1. Follow instructions on box and when dough is mixed, roll out on flat, well floured surface.
  2. Cut the dough in to 8 pieces that you will be able to fold it into a rectangle.
  3. Place filling in center of each piece and fold together into a rectangle
For the Runzas:
  1. Heat oven to 375. Place folded runzas on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Serve and enjoy!

3 thoughts on “Gluten Free Runza (or Bierock)

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  2. Hi! I came across your blog when I Googled “gluten free runza recipes”. I currently live in Omaha, so I was excited to see your post. My mom has been making homemade runzas for years and I loved them! Recently I have found that I am very sensitive to gluten and dairy so my cooking style has been changing. I am now learning to adjust the recipes of foods that I used to enjoy so that I can still have them without gluten or dairy. I am excited to try the Chebe bread mix for my runzas!

    Oh and you are right, runzas free very well. My mom would always have to make double batches to freeze some because the first batch would be gone right away!

    • There is definitely a learning curve when you are starting out with gluten free cooking. I personally love Chebe! And have found that it makes a great substitute when I need a basic dough recipe. It worked really well with these runzas and it is great for pizza too. Hope you enjoy them!

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