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A reuben sandwich on a cutting board surrounded by chips and a pickle spear.

Reuben Sandwich

Upgrade your lunch repertoire with a hearty, homemade Reuben Sandwich. Pile rye bread high with corned beef, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut, then grill to crispy, melty perfection.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Irish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 703kcal


  • 8 slices rye bread (see note 1)
  • 3/4 cup Thousand Island salad dressing (see note 2)
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese (see note 3)
  • 1 pound (1 1/3 cups) sauerkraut rinsed, drained, and squeezed of extra moisture (see note 4)
  • 1 1/2 pounds corned beef thinly sliced (see note 5)
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted


  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack.

To assemble the sandwiches:

  • On a flat surface, lay out 4 slices of bread.
  • Spread 1 tablespoon of thousand island dressing on each piece. Layer one piece of Swiss cheese, 1/3 cup sauerkraut, 1 more tablespoon dressing, 6 ounces corned beef, one more slice Swiss cheese, and 1 additional tablespoon of dressing.
  • Top each sandwich with another slice of bread and press each sandwich down gently.

To cook the sandwiches:

  • Brush the tops of two sandwiches with melted butter. Lay them butter-side down in a large skillet. Place a Dutch oven or large pot onto the tops of the sandwiches and cook over medium-low heat until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pot and brush the tops with melted butter. Gently flip over sandwiches. Place pot back on top of sandwiches and cook until the bottom side is crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the sandwiches to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat the process with remaining two sandwiches.



  1. Rye bread: Take your pick; seeded rye, pumpernickel, and marbled rye all work well.
  2. Thousand island dressingWhile thousand island is the traditional spread, some recipes call for Russian Dressing. The latter isn't made with pickle relish and can be spicy. Both make excellent Reubens.
  3. Swiss cheese: You'll need 2+ slices of Swiss per sandwich.
  4. Sauerkraut: You can certainly make your own sauerkraut, but store-bought canned fermented cabbage works just as well, too.
  5. Corned beef: Stock up on sliced corned beef at the deli, or you can make your own from scratch.
  6. Yield: One recipe makes 4 sandwiches.
  7. Make ahead: Assemble the cold sandwiches and wrap them in plastic wrap to store in the refrigerator a few hours before you plan on grilling them.
  8. Hot or cold: Yes, a Reuben is also delicious cold (without grilling it).Try it if you're in a hurry or don't want to dirty a skillet.
  9. Montreal-style: Trade in Montreal smoked meat for the beef brisket for a Montreal Reuben.
  10. Walleye Reuben: Try walleye pike fillets instead of beef for a pescatarian-friendly reuben.
  11. Rachel: Craving pastrami or turkey rather than corned beef? Voila, you've got a Rachel.
  12. Egg rolls: For a riff on this popular flavor combo, take inspiration from a menu item made famous at Mader's in Milwaukee, WI: deep-fried egg rolls stuffed with corned beef, Swiss, and sauerkraut, served with a side of thousand island dressing for dipping.
  13. Serve with: Reubens are best enjoyed with the cold slices of kosher pickles, crunchy potato chips, plus sides of coleslaw and macaroni salad, plus strawberry cheesecake bars for dessert.


Calories: 703kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 3321mg | Potassium: 830mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 478IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 362mg | Iron: 6mg