Reuben Sandwich

The Sacramento Bee recently published a recipe for a Reuben Sandwich which sounded so good we just had to make it. That day. Corned beef, dark rye bread, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, with Russian dressing – grilled. According to the Wikipedia our national love affair with Reuben sandwiches has been going on since the 1920s, though the origin is disputed.

Reuben Sandwich Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Make 4 sandwiches.


Sandwich ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 8 slices rye bread
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
  • 3/4 lb corned beef brisket, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb sauerkraut
  • 1/4 cup Russian Dressing

Russian Dressing:

Combine the following ingredients. Makes one-half cup.

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1 Butter one side of four slices of bread, and place the slices buttered-side down on a large piece of wax paper on a flat surface. Top each with a slice of Swiss cheese, and then divide half of the corned beef among them.

2 Using paper towels, squeeze out excess moisture from the sauerkraut. Divide the sauerkraut among the sandwiches, and top each with one tablespoon of Russian dressing. Add another layer of corned beef and a second slice of Swiss cheese to each sandwich. Top with the remaining bread slices; butter the side facing out.

3 Preheat a griddle or frying pan to medium heat. Cook the sandwiches on one side until the bread is golden brown. Use a spatula to carefully flip the sandwiches over and finish cooking on the second side. Cut the sandwiches in half before serving.

Serve with a side of coleslaw.

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  1. Cary

    When we had a little restaurant/catering business, rubens and turkey rubens were very popular. To speed it up and eliminate the soggy factor, we quickly heated the meat and kraut on the griddle first, then added it to the bread/cheese/dressing and grilled open face, closing it when both slices were toasted. You could close it first and flip, allowing two sandwiches to fit on the grill at once. Also, all the filling ingredients chopped and mixed, topped with grated swiss and baked makes a fabulous dip with toasted cocktail rye bread!

  2. Jack

    I usually make mine open faced – that way I can make ’em as sloppy as I want. Start with toasted bread, top with previously heated corned beef (or pastrami), russian dressing, kraut, and cover it with swiss cheese. Then pop it under the broiler for a few. Using a knife and fork to eat it is the only drawback.
    Also, a chopped up half-sour pickle in the russian dressing is nice.

  3. Kim

    Just last week I was on a reuben kick, only minus the Russian dressing. I prefer to make them with brown mustard, which really adds something to the corned beef flavor.

  4. jonathan

    You guys really need to come to NYC to try an official Reuben. Deli owners must get a Master’s Degree in corned beef (M.C.B.) before they’re allowed to make them. ;-)

  5. Paul

    I work at a small, family owned bakery here in MI. The dark rye the baker makes is fantastic, he grinds the caraway seeds up, which I prefer. (I don’t much like biting into the caraway seed whole, and getting that intensely strong flavor.) I’ll have to try this recipe, I’ve never had it with russian dressing before….Usually just thousand island, although the russian dressing looks like it might be close.

    We like ours with lots of corned beef, and even more kraut. I haven’t had a good reuben in awhile. After seeing this rendition, I can’t wait to try it!

  6. Chris

    Paul: A Reuben without Russian Dressing is not a Reuben. You’ll know what I mean after taking one bite of this one.

    I even had a sub shop try to give me a Reuben with mustard instead of any dressing. I had to leave after that.

  7. Trish


    We whipped these up last night. (I swear, your recipes are showing up about twice a week on our menus now!) So good! We need to find a better rye – the “national brand” in the plastic wrapper from the grocery store didn’t cut it for all these fantastic ingredients – so we’ll be on the search for a more substantial rye bread (from a bakery, perhaps?). The Russian dressing is to die for! so simple so so good! It will be showing up on a lettuce wedge or two around here soon! Thanks for another great one! Oh,and did I mention I’m from Omaha, NE? the TRUE home of the Rueben sandwich?

  8. Tresa

    Hey Elise, Reuben’s have been my favorite since I was a child, thank you for the great recipe! A slight variation that you should try sometime when you get the chance, is dipping your Reuben in ranch dressing (with the russian still on the sandwich of course) it adds a really unique taste to the sandwich
    thank you for all of your great recipes! I look foreward to opening gmail to see what new dish you’ve cooked up.

  9. Malcom

    Made a couple of these last night and they were great. To cut down on the sogginess factor I always place the sauerkraut on a paper towel to get rid of most of the liquid. I also saute the corned beef in a Tbsp. of butter before assembly. This makes for a sandwich which is guaranteed hot all the way through and no soggy bread.

  10. Georgiana

    Yummy! This is exactly how I make them. A little tricky to flip them but I never miss!

  11. Tony

    Try placing butter in an old iron skillet then cooking a Reuben in it and you will find it to be even more delicious. That is the way they were prepared in the 1920s.

  12. Sushi K

    I simply use a toaster oven, open faced to melt the cheese, heat the meat, and toast bread in one step (no butter), pull it out, flip the meat onto the cheese, then add Russian dressing (shortcut: mayo, ketchup and relish) and cole slaw instead of sauerkraut! Top it, cut it and eat it usually standing next to my best friend the toaster oven. :)

    Fast and yummy!

  13. Bob NM

    Ok Dudes & Dudettes,
    To continue enjoying Reubens in today’s 11/15/08 economic world you make your own dressing – get some packets of mayo and ketchup at your local fast food place to which you’ll add in relish from the jar at home which you have cuz you’re eating more hot dogs! Make half your sandwich with cheaper white bread that you lightly toast to look like rye and upon which you’ve spread some ground up caraway seeds…use a real rye slice for the bottom half which you always eat that side down for maximum contact with your tongue where your taste buds are. Now lightly fry some SPAM !!!!! for the piece de resistance !!! in place of the corned beef. Add your sauerkraut and grille the closed sandwich as usual. Bon Appetit.

  14. purdygoode

    Yeah! The toaster oven!

    I’ll skip the details

    1st> remove pan from oven
    2nd> Preheat toaster oven
    3> grease pan with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
    4> place two slices of bread on greased pan, place in heated toaster oven 4 a few seconds
    5> remove pan, place swiss cheese slices on bread slices, return to oven 4 a few
    6> remove pan, top 1 slice with meat, the other with kraut, return to oven
    7> remove pan, top kraut with dressing, place slices together, enjoy

  15. Nancy Long

    Hadn’t made a reuben in years until I saw this several weeks ago and have made it twice now. My husband loves it. Just the thing when I don’t feel like making a big meal. I especially liked the Russian Dressing. It reminds me of the one my mother always made for salads. One note, the dressing really doesn’t need any salt. There is enough in the other ingredients.

  16. Janice

    I made these today for lunch. They turned out great. My husband commented they were the best he ever ate. Thanks, Elise.

  17. Arnie bodnar

    I like to bake the sauerkraut in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes this takes much of the acid out which tends to be easier on the tummy for those that may have issues with gas that can come with eating pickled foods and the kraut is dryer so you don’t end up with a soggy sandwich.I also preheat the meat in the oven along with the kraut. also try ham and turky the ham and turkey compliment each other very well and its alot cheaper than corned beef or pastomi.

  18. Lynne

    I made these sandwiches for my picky kids, and they loved them!!!!!!!! Mine came out crispy and just right. For those that said it came out soggy, maybe you didn’t dry your sauerkraut enough. Loved it!

  19. Greg Lacy

    I like to use pumpernickel bread for maximum flavor. Thousand Island with Bacon dressing adds a good zing to it also. Sauerkraut with caraway seeds is good too. Grilled on a cast iron skillet with butter. Also, use regular Swiss cheese that is cut from a loaf for best flavor. Not baby Swiss. Add plenty of spices when you boil the corn beef also. These are super yummy.

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