The Reuben Sandwich is a hearty and delicious sandwich that will satisfy all your cravings for a classic deli favorite. With its layers of tender corned beef, tangy sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, and creamy Thousand Island dressing, this is one of my all-time favorite grilled sandwiches to make any day of the week!
What is a Reuben Sandwich?
A Reuben is a delicious hot sandwich made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian or Thousand Island dressing grilled between slices of rye bread. Bursting with irresistible flavor, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular deli sandwiches in the United States, especially in the Northeast and Midwest.
The exact origins of the Reuben sandwich are still up for debate, but it is widely believed to have been created sometime in the 1920s by the chef at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska, at the request of Reuben Kulakofsky, a weekly poker player.
Ingredients in a Reuben Sandwich
- Rye bread: Used for its distinct flavor and texture, it is an essential component of a Reuben sandwich. You can use either light or dark rye bread, depending on your preference.
- Corned beef: Thinly sliced corned beef is the traditional meat used in a Reuben sandwich. However, you can also use pastrami as an alternative.
- Swiss cheese: The creamy, slightly nutty taste of Swiss cheese complements the other flavors in the sandwich. You can use other types of cheese, but Swiss is the most traditional choice.
- Sauerkraut: This fermented cabbage adds a tangy, slightly sour flavor to the sandwich. Be sure to drain the sauerkraut well before using it to avoid making the bread soggy.
- Thousand Island dressing: A combination of mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, and various spices, Thousand Island dressing is the go-to choice for a Reuben sandwich. However, some variations may use Russian dressing instead.
- Butter: To achieve a crispy, golden-brown crust, spread a thin layer of butter on the outer sides of the bread before grilling the sandwich.
How to Make a Reuben Sandwich
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add at least one tablespoon of butter.
- Add two slices of bread to the skillet, then add one slice of Swiss cheese to one slice of bread.
- In a separate skillet set over medium heat, add one tablespoon of butter, and heat both sides of the corned beef slices. Push the corned beef to the side of the pan and add sauerkraut, forming a lump that can be flipped to heat on both sides.
- Quickly transfer the corned beef to the toasting piece of bread without the cheese.
- Add the sauerkraut lump on top of the corned beef and top with a generous amount of Thousand Island dressing.
- Finally, top it with the other slice of toasting rye, cheese side down.
- Cut in half and serve immediately with homemade French fries, potato chips, or potato salad.
More Sandwich Recipes
- Cherry BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
- Tomato Mozzarella Sandwich with Herb Mayo
- Herbed Goat Cheese and Avocado Sandwich
- Blackberry and Peach Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwich + An At-Home Wine Tour Through France
- Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwich
If you try making this Reuben Sandwich Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
- 2 slices dark Rye bread
- 8 oz thin slices corned beef - approximately 4 thin slices
- ¾ cup Sauerkraut - drained
- 1.5 slices swiss cheese
- 2 tablespoon Thousand Island dressing
- Butter - for frying
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is warm, add at least 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and add two slices of bread to the skillet. To one slice of bread add the sliced Swiss cheese.
- Meanwhile, heat a second skillet and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Swirl the butter around and add the corned beef to the skillet. Heat both sides of the corned beef slices until heated through. Push to the side and add the sauerkraut to the pan. Form the Sauerkraut into a lump, flipping once to heat the other side.
- Working quickly, transfer the corned beef to the toasting piece of bread without cheese. After flipping, gently place the sauerkraut lump on top of the corned beef and top with a generous heap of Thousand Island dressing. Top with the other slice of rye, cheese side down.
- Cut in half and serve immediately.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)