This Reuben casserole is a combination of the namesake sandwich ingredients, all layered and slow cooked to perfection. Use deli sliced corned beef, canned corned beef, or your own home cooked corned beef in this crock pot casserole.
The classic Reuben sandwich contains layers of corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese on rye bread. The sandwich traditionally includes Russian dressing, but Thousand Island dressing is another popular choice. The two dressings are similar, but Russian dressing is a bit spicier than the sweeter Thousand Island dressing. Use either one in this recipe.
Go ahead and get creative! For a Rachel-style casserole, make this dish with pastrami or turkey instead of the corned beef. Or use ham or smoked sausage in the recipe if that's what you have on hand. The cheese is another ingredient that can be modified. Feel free to use some shredded cheddar cheese, or use Muenster or Gruyere in the dish. If you enjoy the taste of caraway seeds, sprinkle a tablespoon or two over the sauerkraut mixture. The seeds complement the flavors of the sauerkraut and corned beef mixture nicely.
- 1 (16-ounce) can sauerkraut
- 1 (12-ounce) can corned beef* (or use deli or leftover corned beef)
- 2 cups Swiss cheese (shredded)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Thousand Island dressing
- 2 tomatoes (medium)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup soft rye bread crumbs (or pumpernickel)
- Grease the bottom and sides of the slow cooker crockery insert.
- Partially drain the sauerkraut and spoon it into the slow cooker.
- Slice or dice the corned beef.
- Top the sauerkraut with the corned beef and then add the shredded Swiss cheese.
- In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and Thousand Island dressing; blend well.
- Spread the dressing mixture over the cheese layer.
- Slice the tomatoes and arrange the slices over the dressing mixture.
- Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until they are golden brown, stirring constantly. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the casserole just before serving.
*If using canned corned beef, put it in the refrigerator a few hours in advance or the day before to chill thoroughly. The corned beef will slice or dice much easier when it's chilled.
To make this an oven-baked casserole, layer the ingredients in a greased baking dish. Melt the butter and toss it with the breadcrumbs. Bake in a 350 F oven for about 30 minutes, or until the casserole is hot and bubbling and the breadcrumbs have browned.
Homemade Thousand Island Dressing: Combine 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise with 2 teaspoons of ketchup, 2 teaspoons of sweet pickle relish, a dash of garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. Mix well and use as a substitute for the Thousand Island dressing in this recipe.