Reuben Sandwiches are a treat between two slices of rye bread! Some call it a pastrami sandwich. Either way, you can enjoy a good Reuben sandwich right at home in under 30 minutes. Mix up a Thousand Island Dressing from scratch using simple and readily available ingredients.
Having a Reuben sandwich is a New York City staple. You just can’t visit without having it! On my trip to NYC with my husband, I fell in love with the rich flavors of tangy sauerkraut with dark rye bread. And of course, that rich corned beef in the middle.
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Where did the delicious Reuben sandwich come from?
Not many sandwiches have origin stories, but the Reuben sandwich is a unique story. At the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska, a man named Reuben Kulakofsky requested a sauerkraut and corned beef sandwich. The cook added melted Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing, forever making one of the best sandwiches. Now we can now enjoy it from anywhere!
Let’s put together the layers of this reuben sandwich!
Two slices of bread start this sandwich. But they’re not regular bread. No, this is rye bread. It has a vibrant, earthy flavor that already creates a tasteful base.
I recommend Jewish rye if you prefer a darker rye. We commonly find it in European markets. Some also use Pumpernickel bread for these kinds of sandwiches, but I feel it’s too heavy for a sandwich.
Next, you have your corned beef. You can make instant pot corned beef or purchase it at your local deli. With spice, salt, and a meaty flavor, the meat layer is never lacking.
Swiss cheese is a slice of heaven. Sweet, mild, and nutty, you can’t go wrong with loads of cheese. You’ll need 8 pieces of cheese for this sandwich.
Thousand Island dressing is tangy and sweet all at the same time, so it naturally goes with the mild and nutty melted cheese. Instead of buying a dressing, you can make your own with on-hand ingredients.
A cup of sauerkraut follows. It adds the salty and sour tones. Then, spread butter on the side of each slice of bread.
What is Thousand Island dressing made of?
Thousand Island dressing is among my favorite homemade salad dressings. A sweet pickle relish combined with ketchup, mayonnaise, and spices makes up the special dressing that holds a place in our hearts.
For the spices, you’ll need salt, pepper, dried onion flakes, garlic powder, and paprika. Feel free to substitute the dried onion flakes for onion powder if you have it on hand.
Buying store-bought dressings is a step down from making it yourself. They are filled with artificial flavors and so-called “natural flavors” (a word that doesn’t have any actual meaning).
All the natural flavor in this recipe comes from real ingredients, ones that you can find at home in your own pantry. Here is my recipe for this tasty Thousand Island Dressing! Enjoy it with so many more of your own sandwiches.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
How to make a Reuben Sandwich with Thousand Island Dressing
Step 1: Make the dressing
Start by whisking the dressing ingredients together. Into a small bowl add the mayonnaise, ketchup, pickle relish, dried onion flakes, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Step 2: Bread and cheese
Place a slice of bread on the cutting board. Top it with a slice of Swiss cheese.
Steps 3 & 4: Dressing & beef
Spread the dressing over the cheese.
Place a quarter of the corned beef over the dressing. Add some more dressing over the meat.
Steps 5 & 6: Sauerkraut & Swiss
Squeeze the liquid of the sauerkraut and place the cabbage over the dressing.
Place the second slice of Swiss cheese over the sauerkraut.
Step 7: Close the sandwich
Top it with a slice of bread. Spread the butter on the bread.
Step 8: Grill
Heat the grill to medium heat. Place the sandwich onto the grill butter side down. Grill until golden, then turn the sandwich and grill until the cheese melts.
- Add this Thousand Island Dressing to many more foods, dipping your french fries, atop a Big Mac, or other salads!
- Before adding sauerkraut to the sandwich, ensure you squeeze out any excess liquid. This prevents the bread from becoming too soggy.
- Reuben sandwiches are at their best when served fresh. However, if reheating is necessary, use a toaster oven to maintain crispiness.
- Serve this Reuben sandwich with dill pickle slices on the side.
Yes, you can prepare the dressing a day or two ahead. Store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble the sandwiches.
Yes, it’s essential to butter the bread’s exterior to achieve a crispy and golden crust when grilling the sandwich.
The best way to reheat a sandwich is on a grill, or skillet on medium-low heat. Just enough to get it warmed. Putting it in a microwave will make it soggy.
Sauerkraut is finely shredded raw cabbage that has been fermented with salt and caraway seeds. Some recipes add more spices or vinegar.
Here are a few recipe ideas you can serve with this classic sandwich:
- A fresh bowl of fruit on the side makes a complete meal.
- Enjoy a glass of Refreshing Peach Lemonade with a touch of mint!
- Often served with sandwiches are French Fries, and these are crazy easy to bake right at home.
- A sandwich and soup is always a great combination, like this silky, smooth vegan and dairy-free Ginger Carrot Soup.
Check out these cheesy lunch recipes
If you tried this Reuben Sandwich or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you enjoyed it in the📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Reuben Sandwich Recipe with Thousand Island Dressing
Thousand Island Dressing
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp ketchup
- 2 Tbsp pickle relish
- 1 tsp dried onion flakes
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- 8 slices rye bread marble, dark or light
- 1 lb corned beef meat sliced
- 8 slices Swiss cheese
- 1 cup sauerkraut
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Start by whisking the dressing ingredients together. Into a small bowl add the mayonnaise, ketchup, pickle relish, dried onion flakes, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.½ cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp ketchup, 2 Tbsp pickle relish, 1 tsp dried onion flakes, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp paprika, salt, ground black pepper
- Place a slice of bread on the cutting board. Top it with a slice of Swiss cheese.8 slices rye bread, 8 slices Swiss cheese
- Spread the dressing over the cheese.
- Place a quarter of the corned beef over the dressing. Add some more dressing over the meat.1 lb corned beef meat
- Squeeze the liquid of the sauerkraut and place the cabbage over the dressing.1 cup sauerkraut
- Place the second slice of Swiss cheese over the sauerkraut.8 slices Swiss cheese
- Top it with a slice of bread. Spread the butter on the bread.8 slices rye bread, 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Heat the grill to medium heat. Place the sandwich onto the grill butter side down. Grill until golden, then turn the sandwich and grill until the cheese melts.