Classic Reuben Sandwich

Preparing a Reuben Sandwich
Reuben Sandwich. Lauri Patterson / Getty Images
  • 15 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving
Ratings (7)

The Reuben sandwich was purportedly created in 1914 by Arnold Reuben, the owner of Reuben's Restaurant in New York City. Another claim states that it was first made in 1922 by Reuben Kolakofsky, a grocer from Omaha, Nebraska. 

The sandwich is made with sliced corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese on rye bread. It is usually fried like a grilled cheese sandwich.

These classic Reuben sandwiches are a fabulous combination of flavors and a great way to use leftover corned beef.

I use big slices of seeded rye bread for these sandwiches. This easy homemade no-knead beer rye bread is excellent if you like to make your own bread.

Scale the recipe for the number of family or guests you are feeding. Serve the sandwiches with chips, fries, soup, or salad.

What You'll Need

  • 2 large slices of rye bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter (softened)
  • 2 tablespoons Thousand Island dressing
  • 2 ounces corned beef (sliced or shaved)
  • 1 ounce sauerkraut (well drained)
  • 1 ounce Swiss cheese (or Gruyere, sliced)

How to Make It

  1. Spread 2 slices of rye bread lightly with Thousand Island dressing. Place a layer of sauerkraut over one slice, then top with a slice of corned beef then a slice of Swiss cheese. Top with the second slice, dressing side down.
  2. Butter outside of the Reuben sandwich lightly with soft butter or margarine and fry the sandwich on a griddle or grill, turning to brown both sides evenly.

Tips and Variations

  • Open-faced Reuben - Omit the top slice of bread. Either toast the bottom slice of bread first or assemble the sandwich and toast the bottom on a griddle. Place the assembled sandwich on a foil-lined baking pan and place it under the broiler (500 F) until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Alternative Cheeses - Swiss is the traditional cheese for the sandwiches, but sliced or shredded Muenster, Havarti, or Gruyere may be substituted.

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