Who could have imagined the classic corned beef deli sandwich could be eaten any other way? The ingredients of this grilled sandwich actually lend themselves to a delicious casserole—the corned beef, sauerkraut, and cheese are layered with Thousand Island dressing and then topped with buttered rye bread crumbs. It's an excellent way to use leftover corned beef, especially for Reuben sandwich lovers.
Use leftover corned beef, deli corned beef, or canned corned beef in the recipe. If you use canned corned beef, chill it in the can for a few hours so it will be firm enough to dice. If you like caraway seeds, toss a tablespoon in along with the sauerkraut.
- 1/2 to 1 pound corned beef (cooked, and diced or sliced)
- 1/4 cup Thousand Island salad dressing
- 1 (16-ounce) can or bag sauerkraut (drained and rinsed)
- 8 ounces (2 cups) shredded Swiss cheese
- 6 slices rye bread (crumbled or cut into cubes)
- 1/4 cup butter (melted)
- Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C/Gas 4). Grease a 9x13x2-inch baking pan.
- Spread the corned beef over the bottom of the prepared baking dish and then dot with spoonfuls of the dressing. Spread the sauerkraut over top and then sprinkle with the Swiss cheese.
- In a bowl, toss the crumbled rye bread with the melted butter. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the sauerkraut layer.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly and the crumbs are lightly browned.
Tips and Variations
If you don't have commercial Thousand Island dressing, here's how you can make a good substitute. Combine 1/4 cup of mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon of ketchup and 1 tablespoon of sweet pickle relish. Stir in 1 teaspoon of grated or finely minced onion and a dash of garlic powder. Add salt to taste.
To quickly make the bread crumbs, pulse the rye bread slices in the food processor to make coarse crumbs. You can also replace the rye bread with whole wheat, pumpernickel, or white bread, although be aware that signature rye taste will be missing from the casserole.
Instead of using shredded Swiss cheese, overlap thinly sliced Swiss cheese over the sauerkraut. Or replace the Swiss cheese with Gouda, Gruyere, Emmentaler, Jarlsberg, or fontina. Again, the final dish will have a different flavor.
Other Reuben-Style Casseroles
If this Reuben casserole is a hit at the dinner table, you may want to give any of these similar recipes a try. Reuben casserole with crumb topping adds onion, Cheddar, and mayonnaise making for a somewhat richer dish. Quick and easy corned beef and cabbage casserole is like St. Patrick's Day in a pan. And with just five ingredients, it is simple to put together. If you are a fan of tuna noodle casserole, this corned beef noodle casserole with spinach and cheese may be a nice alternative and is a one-dish meal.