Vegetarian Bierocks v.2 (aka Runzas)

Here’s a updated version of a favorite recipe.  These oven-baked stuffed sandwiches are a Nebraska favorite.  They are very filling and perfect for a chilly day.  They also freeze well, so you can have their hearty goodness waiting in your freezer any time.

The original recipe I published was made with a mushroom mixture, which I still enjoy.  But many years have passed since I first concocted that recipe.  Now, there are lots of great meatless ground beef substitutes that work really well.  Normally I use the Trader Joe’s product.  For this most recent batch, I used the Lightlife brand.  Both work very well.

Vegetarian Bierocks v.2

Yield: 6 meal sized sandwiches or 12 party-sized sandwiches


  • 1 Cup Plus 2 Tbsp. Water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 3 Cups All-Purpose or Bread Flour
  • 3/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Bread Machine Yeast


  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Onion, diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 12 oz. Meatless Ground Beef Crumbles
  • 1 tsp. Basil
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce*
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Stock
  • 3 cups Cabbage, shredded (about 1/4 of a medium cabbage)
  • 1 medium Carrot, shredded
  • 2-3 Tbsp. All-Purpose or Bread Flour

*Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce Substitute

  • 1 tsp. Molasses
  • 1 tsp. Honey
  • 2 tsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. White Vinegar
  1. In a bread machine add the dough ingredients in order. Run the mixture on the “dough” cycle (mix the ingredients and allow the dough to rise).  In a mixer with a dough hook, using warm water, dissolve the sugar in the water.  Add the yeast to the sugar water.  Incorporate the yeast, then add the olive oil, salt, and flour.  Mix with a dough hook.  Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and let rise for 60 to 90 minutes.
  2. Preheat a large skillet, add olive oil and then saute the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the ground beef substitute and season with basil and pepper. (Don’t add the salt yet.) Continue to saute until the heated through.  Add the Worcestershire sauce and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and then sprinkle the cabbage over the mushroom mixture. Reduce heat to low and cover for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add salt if needed. Sprinkle flour into the mushroom/cabbage mixture and stir. The flour should bind any of the remaining liquid. Allow the mixture to cool.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350*. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.IMG_6701
  6. Divide the dough into 7 equal parts. Roll 6 of the pieces out to about a 6X6 inch squares. Divide the remaining piece into 6 equal parts. Roll the small pieces out into about 2X2 inch squares.
  7. Layer the small square in the middle of the large square of dough. Add about ½ cup of the filling mixture to the center of the dough. Fold the dough, sealing the edges as you go. Place on the prepared cookie sheet.
  8. Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Vegetarian Runza Prep


  • To save time, use your favorite frozen bread dough. Be sure to thaw according to package directions.
  • You can substitute ½ of the flour with wheat flour in the dough recipe.
  • Substitute brocoli slaw for the cabbage and carrot.



3 comments on “Vegetarian Bierocks v.2 (aka Runzas)

  1. […] **Be sure to check out the updated recipe**  […]

  2. I grew up in Nebraska – through 8th grade anyway- and enjoyed Runzas at school lunches and during rare visits to Lincoln. Many moons later and a switch to a plant-based diet I got a cabbage in my CSA box and it got me thinking… Thanks for this recipe! I wish I had found the updated version first because I ‘updated’ your original recipe with home made burger crumbles. Delish!

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