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Enjoy a restaurant quality Reuben Sandwich at home, only better. Homemade Russian dressing, mouthwatering corned beef, tart Sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, and crisp rye bread! This amazing sandwich is messy to make and even messier to eat, but unbelievably tasty.

Reuben Sandwich cut in half on plate
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Why this recipe works so well:

Reuben sandwiches are typically something we only get in a restaurant, but they’re actually quite easy to make and unbelievably delicious. My husband loved this sandwich so much, I filmed him eating it because his reaction was just so entertaining!

  • Quality ingredients: Unlike with a restaurant, you have total control over the ingredients in this sandwich.
  • Homemade Russian dressing: It’s super easy to make and you can adjust the ingredients to your liking.
  • Super messy: Reuben sandwiches are messy. There’s no way around that. Just grab a big napkin and embrace it.
splitting apart a cut Reuben Sandwich

Ingredients needed:

There are just a few main components to making an authentic Reuben.

Homemade Russian Dressing:

To make a homemade Reuben, you’ll need some Russian dressing. This is different from Thousand Island Dressing, which is sweeter because of the addition of sweet pickle relish (which does not taste like crunchy dill pickles).

You can certainly buy some premade dressing, but homemade is always better and you can modify the ingredients based on your preference. You’ll also find a million different recipes for homemade Russian dressing, but I find that this specific combination of ingredients is outstanding on this sandwich.

Russian Dressing ingredients: mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, horseradish, chili garlic sauce, smoked paprika, grated onion, and minced garlic.

Russian dressing ingredients

Reuben sandwich ingredients:

  • Rye bread: Any kind will work but I chose dark rye bread.
  • Corned beef: You can make your own like I did from a marinated brisket, or you can use store bought. Sliced pastrami is a common substitution for corned beef in a Reuben sandwich.
  • Sauerkraut: You can make your own or use store bought. You will need to press as much liquid out as possible, otherwise you’ll end up with soggy bread.
  • Swiss cheese: Other cheeses can be used, but Swiss is the traditional choice for a Reuben.
  • Russian dressing: Homemade is best.
  • Butter: for spreading on the outside of the sandwich prior to grilling.
homemade Reuben Sandwich ingerdients

How to make a Reuben sandwich:

  1. Spread butter: Soften the butter and spread it onto one side of the rye bread. Then turn the butter side down.
  2. Start with cheese: Add Swiss to both sides of the bread. You line the bread with the cheese so that it melts when grilled or pressed.
  3. Add the Russian dressing: Avoid the edges so that it doesn’t spread once assembled.
  4. Corned beef and Sauerkraut: Make sure they’re warm and assemble the whole thing together.
  5. Cook: Add to a hot griddle or a panini press and cook until the cheese is melted.

Helpful tips when making this recipe:

  • Heating: Both the meat and the drained and squeezed fry Sauerkraut should be warmed before assembling the sandwich. You can do this in the microwave at 50% power or in a covered pot on the stove over low heat.
  • Substitutions: Thousand island is often used in place of Russian dressing. Pastrami is often used in place of corned beef. You can also swap out the type of bread and cheese used. If you want to make an authentic Reuben sandwich, however, this recipe is what you want to use.
messy homemade Reuben Sandwich

Other corned beef recipes:

If you made a huge homemade corned beef and aren’t sure what to do with all the leftovers, you can also make these favorites.

close up of a homemade Reuben Sandwich

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Reuben Sandwich

Prep10 minutes
Cook5 minutes
Total15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Enjoy a restaurant quality Reuben Sandwich at home, only better. Homemade Russian dressing, mouthwatering corned beef, tart Sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, and crisp rye bread! This amazing sandwich is messy to make and even messier to eat, but unbelievably tasty.

Ingredients 

Russian Dressing:

For the sandwich:

  • 3 Tablespoons butter softened
  • 6 slices Rye bread
  • 12 ounces corned beef warmed
  • 8 ounces Swiss cheese I used 9 slices, grated works great too
  • 25 ounces Sauerkraut One 25-oz jar, liquid pressed out, warmed
  • Russian dressing
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Instructions 

Make the Russian dressing:

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust any ingredients to your liking. On it's own, the sauce needs salt, but when used in a Reuben sandwich you may not want to add salt because corned beef is super salty.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the sandwich:

  • Using one tablespoon of butter per sandwich, spread a half tablespoon on each side of the bread. Set the butter side down.
    butter on rye bread
  • Divide cheese evenly among the slices.
    rye bread with slices of Swiss cheese
  • Top with Russian dressing. No need to spread it to the edges as it will disperse as it cooks.
    homemade Russian dressing on bread with cheese
  • Divide warm corned beef and Sauerkraut between the sandwiches and assemble. Cook with the butter side against a hot griddle or a panini press until crisp and cheese has melted. Serve warm.
    layering a Reuben Sandwich

Notes

Makes three large sandwiches. Serving size based on one half of a sandwich.
  • Heating: Both the meat and the drained and squeezed fry Sauerkraut should be warmed before assembling the sandwich. You can do this in the microwave at 50% power or in a covered pot on the stove over low heat.
  • Substitutions: Thousand island is often used in place of Russian dressing. Pastrami is often used in place of corned beef. You can also swap out the type of bread and cheese used. If you want to make an authentic Reuben sandwich, however, this recipe is what you want to use.
 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 483kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 84mg, Sodium: 2014mg, Potassium: 473mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 552IU, Vitamin C: 33mg, Calcium: 367mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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2 Comments

  1. My mother never made Rubens with Thousand Island. We have always used Mayonnaise. Spread on both slices of Rye bread, then add very well squeezed sauerkraut, I mean squeeze the heck out of it, the corned beef and swiss cheese. Put the second slice know top, mayo side down. Then we would wrap the sandwiches separately, in aluminum foil. Place in 350 degree oven for about a half hour. Then enjoy.

  2. An “authentic” Reuben sandwich is different for everyone. I’m Brooklyn born and have eaten this food for ~60 years … IN Brooklyn. There would be no butter on the bread, no chili garlic sauce in the Russian dressing, and the proper — authentic, if you will — bread is old-fashioned seeded rye: loaded with caraway seeds, chewy and sturdy enough to stand up to the liquid seeping from the fixings WITHOUT FALLING APART, and with a very hard, very thin, and very shiny crust.

    That’s my Brooklyn take on an authentic Reuben. Plus, my grandpa’s name is Reuben, and he swore by this version.