Reuben Sandwich Recipe: Your Tasty Adventure Awaits

Reuben Sandwich Recipe

Sink your teeth into a world of mouthwatering goodness with this classic Reuben sandwich!

Why dine out when you can create this deli staple right at home? Let’s turn your kitchen into a sandwich paradise, where corned beef meets Swiss cheese, and tangy sauerkraut tangoes with Thousand Island dressing.

It’s more than a sandwich; it’s a flavor adventure.

Ready to turn the heat up? Fasten your apron, chefs, because we’re about to cook up a storm with your soon-to-be new favorite recipe! A golden, crispy, cheesy delight is just moments away. Let’s do this!

History of the Reuben Sandwich

History of the Reuben Sandwich

You might be curious about the origin of the delicious Reuben sandwich, an iconic American culinary invention. The Reuben sandwich is a delightful combination of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and either Thousand Island or Russian dressing, all grilled between two slices of rye bread. This friendly meal has been a favorite for decades, and its history is quite a fascinating tale.

There are actually two compelling stories about the creation of the Reuben sandwich. Omaha, Nebraska, is the first location tied to its invention. In the late 1920s, Kulakofsky,a Lithuanian grocer, created the sandwich during his regular poker game at the Blackstone Hotel. The sandwich was such a hit that it eventually made its way to the hotel’s restaurant, where it was added to the menu.

The alternative version of events takes us to the bustling city of New York. Arnold Reuben, the founder of Reuben’s Delicatessen, served a similar sandwich to an actress in 1914. The sandwich at Reuben’s Delicatessen consisted of roast turkey, coleslaw, and Swiss cheese on rye bread with Russian dressing. The actress liked it so much that they decided to name it “Reuben’s Special.”

Regardless of which origin story is correct, it is safe to say that the Reuben sandwich has been delighting taste buds across the nation for nearly a century. Now, whenever you enjoy this scrumptious sandwich, you can appreciate not only its flavors but also the competing histories that contributed to its creation.

Variations and Alternative Ingredients

When it comes to making a Reuben sandwich, there’s always room for creativity to fit your tastes. While the classic Reuben is made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing on rye bread, you can easily substitute various ingredients to create a unique and delicious sandwich. Here are some alternative ingredients and variations that you can try in your Reuben sandwich:



If you’re not a fan of corned beef, or you simply want to try a different flavor, ham can be a great alternative. Thinly sliced ham pairs well with the tanginess of sauerkraut and the creamy Russian dressing.

Provolone or Mozzarella

Provolone or Mozzarella

For a different cheese option, you can swap out Swiss cheese for provolone or mozzarella. Both of these cheeses melt nicely and provide a mild and creamy taste, which complements the bold flavors in your Reuben.

Turkey Pastrami

Turkey Pastrami

Another meat option for your Reuben sandwich is turkey pastrami. It’s a lighter choice than corned beef but still packs a punch in terms of flavor. Plus, turkey pastrami can help you cut back on some calories without sacrificing taste.

Sour Cream and Lemon Juice

Sour Cream and Lemon Juice

If you’re not a fan of Russian or Thousand Island dressing, consider using a mixture of sour cream and lemon juice as an alternative. The tangy and creamy combination adds a refreshing twist to the sandwich and works perfectly with the other ingredients.

Experiment with these alternative ingredients or try mixing and matching them to create your own unique Reuben sandwich. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to your sandwich – make it your own and have fun with the flavors!

Serving Suggestions

When you enjoy a delicious Reuben sandwich, you might wonder what to serve alongside it. Here are some friendly suggestions for complementary side dishes that will make your Reuben meal even more delightful.

Potato Combos

Potato Combos

Start by considering a classic and popular side dish like potato chips. They add a delightful crunch to your meal, and their salty nature complements the flavors of the Reuben sandwich. You can also opt for french fries as another satisfying and universally loved side dish.

Coleslaw Pairing

Coleslaw Pairing

Coleslaw is another excellent choice for a Reuben sandwich side. Its tangy and slightly sweet flavor profile nicely balances the bold tastes of the sandwich. Plus, coleslaw’s crunchiness adds texture variety to your plate.

Pickle Boost

Pickle Boost

Now, let’s not forget about pickles. A dill pickle, in particular, works wonders with a Reuben sandwich. Its tangy flavor cuts through the richness of the sandwich, making it a perfect palate cleanser between bites.

Soup Sidekick

Soup Sidekick

A warm bowl of soup is another great way to round out your Reuben sandwich meal. The brothy, steaming liquid contrasts beautifully with the melty, grilled nature of your sandwich. A vegetable soup would be a lovely choice, offering both comforting warmth and a healthy component to your meal.

So next time you’re enjoying a Reuben sandwich, remember that you have plenty of delicious options to serve alongside it. Whether you’re craving something crunchy, tangy, or warm, these side dishes are sure to elevate your overall dining experience!

Easiest Reuben Sandwich Recipe

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Recipe by Raja


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  • 8 slices 8 Rye bread

  • ½ cup ½ Thousand Island dressing

  • 8 slices 8 Swiss cheese

  • 8 slices 8 Deli sliced corned beef

  • 1 cup 1 Drained sauerkraut

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Softened butter


  • Start by warming up your griddle or skillet over medium heat.
  • Get your slice of bread and spread a good amount of Thousand Island dressing on one side. Next, take four slices and start assembling your sandwich. Start with a slice of Swiss cheese, then place 2 slices of corned beef on top. Add a quarter cup of sauerkraut for that tangy kick. Add another slice of Swiss cheese to seal it all in before capping it off with your dressed bread slice.
  • Now the fun part: Grill those sandwiches! Place the dressed slices butter-side down on your now hot griddle, and layer butter on the top side. Flip when you see that satisfying golden brown crust, roughly around 5 minutes per side. This will unlock all the flavors and create a tantalizing experience.
  • Finally, serve it up hot, and there you have it, a classic Reuben sandwich.


  • ""This is a gem of a recipe! It has won my family over, and it's definitely earning a spot in my regular meal rotation. Who knew making a Reuben could be this quick and simple?" -AvaBernard
  •  "A little trick with grilled sandwiches - swap the butter for mayo. It gives a delightful crunch to your toasts. Trust me, no one will know your secret!" -HankCalloway
  • "Wow, these sandwiches were effortless to whip up! They taste like they came straight from a gourmet deli, if not better." -MiaJameson
  • "I've entered sandwich heaven! The balance of crunch and creaminess just takes it over the top. Can't wait to make it again!" -EliMurphy
  • This was honestly one of the best Reuben's I've ever had. Makes you amazed at how simple ingredients can create such explosive flavor." -ZekeThompson 

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 657kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 44g
  • Protein: 32g
  • Fat: 40g
  • Cholesterol: 115mg
  • Sodium: 1930mg
  • Potassium: 412mg
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Calcium: 517mg
  • Iron: 4mg

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best sauce for a Reuben?

A classic Reuben sandwich typically includes Russian dressing. It’s a tangy, slightly sweet dressing that complements the corned beef and sauerkraut perfectly. To make a simple Russian dressing, just mix together mayonnaise, ketchup, chopped pickles, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.

How do I make a Pastrami Reuben?

To make a Pastrami Reuben, simply swap out the corned beef for pastrami. This adds a different flavor to the sandwich with the signature smoky and peppery taste of pastrami. Just layer the pastrami, sauerkraut, cheese, and dressing between slices of rye bread, and grill until the cheese is melted and the bread is crispy.

What are popular Reuben variations?

Some popular Reuben variations include the Turkey Reuben, Vegetarian Reuben, and Rachel Sandwich. For a Turkey Reuben, replace the corned beef with sliced turkey breast. A Vegetarian Reuben uses a meat substitute like tempeh or a grilled portobello mushroom. The Rachel Sandwich features a combination of turkey, coleslaw, and Swiss cheese instead of the traditional ingredients.

What’s a good cheese alternative?

Swiss cheese is the classic choice for a Reuben sandwich. However, if you want to try something different, you can opt for other cheeses that melt well like Gruyere, Provolone, or even Cheddar. Just make sure the cheese complements the other flavors in the sandwich without overpowering them.

How to create the perfect Russian dressing?

The perfect Russian dressing starts with a base of mayonnaise and ketchup. You can customize it by adding finely chopped pickles, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, or fresh herbs. Some people also like to add a bit of grated onion or garlic for extra flavor. Experiment with the ingredient proportions until you achieve a balanced flavor that suits your taste.

Corned beef or pastrami: which is traditional?

Corned beef is the traditional choice for a Reuben sandwich, offering a tender, salty, and slightly tangy flavor profile. Pastrami, on the other hand, is smoked and often seasoned with black pepper and other spices. While pastrami can be used in a Reuben sandwich, corned beef remains the most classic and authentic choice.

Key Takeaways

  • The Reuben sandwich is a classic American dish with a debated history
  • This versatile, flavorful meal offers potential for variations and alternative ingredients
  • No matter the version, Reuben sandwiches make for a satisfying and comforting meal.