Alea’s Bierocks

I make Bierocks every fall for Oktoberfest. Happily, this coincides with sales on cabbage. If you have not had a bierock (or Runza as Nebraskans call them) you are in for a delightful surprise! They are the German equivalent of a Hot Pocket, only much tastier.


3 – 1 lb. loaves of frozen bread dough, thawed
1 lb. hamburger
8 cups cabbage, shredded
1 medium onion, diced
2 – 4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon  pepper
2 tablespoons melted butter, optional


1. Brown the meat, onions, and garlic in a large skillet. Drain the excess fat.

2. Add shredded cabbage and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until cabbage is completely wilted. 

3. Divide each loaf into 5 pieces. Roll each piece out until it is less than 1/2 inch thick. (When I was just starting out on my own,  I didn’t have a rolling pin, so I just dampened my fingers and pressed the dough into the shape I wanted). Fill the dough circle or square with a 1/2 cup cabbage, onion and meat filling.

4. There are several ways that you can seal the dough.  I will share my two favorite ways.

A. Bring opposite corners of dough together in center. Press open edges together until surface is sealed. This creates a square shaped bierock.

B. Or bring two opposite sides together and press seems together. This results in a half circle shaped bierock. 

5. Turn bierocks smooth side up. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Brush with melted butter if you wish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 – 20 minutes or until brown. Serve hot. Makes 15 bierocks (This recipe makes enough for 3 meals for my family of 5).

I use the leftover cabbage head to make Beef Stew with Cabbage and serve it with the bierocks for dinner. Bierocks also make a tasty lunch. Any leftover bierocks can be frozen.

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Are you taking advantage of the sales on cabbage? If so, please share how. I always enjoy discovering new ways to prepare in season veggies, especially when they are $o.79 a pound!

Alea shares her tips for saving money and time while reducing waste in her home at Premeditated Leftovers. She is committed to providing her family with homegrown, organic produce despite living in an inhospitable climate. Alea chronicles her gardening efforts at One Determined Gardener. She can also be found on Twitter. Check out all of her $5 Dinners Recipes too.

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  1. Sally O says

    Oh, for a Runza any day of the week! Yes, I am from Nebraska. I have made these over and over and no one gets tired of eating them. In mine I add more black pepper than you stated. The black pepper marries with the cabbage for an added spiciness that we all love to enjoy.

  2. Whitney says

    Bierocks are a family favorite! My recipe is almost identical, except we use homemade dough, and we rub them with butter as soon as they come out of the oven! Soooooo good!!!

  3. Jenna says

    Does anyone have a suggestion for making a gluten-free alternative? I have a tons of cabbage and I think my kids would enjoy this, but I’m new to gf cooking and I’m not sure what would work instead of the bread dough. thanks.

  4. Jenna says

    Thanks for the link Alea. I assume that you let the bread rise, then divide it in to smaller portions to make the “pockets.” How do you cook it after?

  5. says

    I am sorry, I forgot that the baking instruction on the web site are different than the book. I let the dough rest, while I prepare the bierock mixture. I use rice flour to roll out the dough, as it is quite sticky. I bake them on normal baking sheets, placed on a middle rack, in an oven that has been preheated to 425 degrees. I start checking on them after 14 minutes.

    I will post a milder flavored gluten-free bread dough at on Friday, as not everyone is fond of the flavor of sorghum.

  6. Denise says

    OMG! You are the first person that knows what Bierocks are!!! My Great-Grandmother taught me to make them. Going to have to whip up a batch!

  7. Judy says

    Thank you for a wonderful recipe! I am second generation German, and I’ve not had bierocks. Your recipe has enticed me to make them. Because I have an appointment tomorrow at noon, I’ve made the filling and am thawing the dough. After I get home, they will meet each other and go in the oven! It sounds delicious!!!

  8. Amy says

    I am from Kansas and my family and i have made these for as long as i can remember. My finace is from AZ where we live now and has never heard of them so im making him some tonight. Other times we have added Chesse into some of them and other family members added bbq sause inside them as well. I truly dont think you can make a bad Bierock!!! Dont be affraid to try different sauses and added items to shake them up a little. Of course then they are not the original…as my mom says….but i dont think you always have to have it the same way everytime!!

  9. Anna says

    This looks good but is more like a $12-$15 dinner. Is it supposed to feed a family for multiple nights (since $15 over 3 nights is $5 a dinner)? I will probably make it anyway because YUM!

    • says

      How I keep the price down:

      Bridgeford Dough is sold 3 frozen loaves to a bag and often has coupons. If you combine the coupon with a sale I can buy the dough for under $1.99 (sometimes less). 15 % fat hamburger regularly goes on sale at my local Smith’s for $1.79. both of these items can be bought when they are on sale and frozen for later use.

      I usually make this in the spring and fall when cabbage is in season because I am a gardener, but that also happens to be when it is on sale in the store and is often sold as a loss leader near St. Pat’s Day and Octoberfest (often for .99 cents a head. One large head will produce enough cabbage to make this recipe). Since I am a gardener, I also don’t have to buy the onion or garlic.

      I realize that I have a decided advantage because our prices are not as high as other areas and gardening provides me with inexpensive produce, but even if they weren’t so frugal for me to make, I would do it because we enjoy them so much.


  1. […] of the recipes I share are naturally gluten-free, because that is how I normally cook. However, the Bierocks recipe I posted was not, so I wanted to share the gluten-free substitute I often use when I make Bierocks […]

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