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  • Sugar Free

Reuben Sandwich Recipe with Thousand Island Dressing

Reuben sandwiches are a treat between two slices of rye bread! Some call it a pastrami sandwich. Either way, you call it, you can enjoy a good Reuben sandwich right at home, in under 30 minutes. Even the dressing is made from scratch, with simple easy-to-find ingredients.

reuben sandwiches on a white board with chips on the side.
How to reheat a Reuben 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 a soggy.

Is Thousand Island Dressing and Creamy Russian Dressing the Same?

The two may look alike, but the taste is far from the same. Tangy Russian dressing is typically made with a ketchup-mayonnaise base, pickle relish, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and spices. It’s spicier and less sweet than Thousand Island, which is made with mayonnaise- ketchup, pickle relish, onion flakes, garlic powder, paprika, and salt and pepper.

What kind of cheese is on a Reuben sandwich?

Unlike the American grilled cheese sandwich that is made with American cheese or cheddar, a real Reuben sandwich is made with slices of Swiss cheese for its mild flavor.

What is sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is finely shredded raw cabbage that has been fermented with salt and caraway seeds, some recipes add more spices or vinegar.

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.

Regular cheese sandwiches do not compare. Set aside that grilled cheese sandwich! This traditional Reuben sandwich is a great way to expand your palate and “trye” new foods!

stacked reuben sandwiches on a white board.

Where did the delicious Reuben sandwich come from?

Not many sandwiches have origin stories, but the Reuben sandwich is a unique story. In the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska, a man named Reuben Kulakofsky ordered a sandwich with sauerkraut and corned beef. The cook added melted Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing, forever making one of the best sandwiches that we can now enjoy from anywhere, even from home!

What are the layers of a classic Reuben sandwich recipe?

Two slices of bread start off 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. If you want darker rye, I recommend Jewish rye, it’s common to find it in European markets. Some also use Pumpernickel bread for these kinds of sandwiches, but I feel like 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 butter that is spread on the side of each slice of bread.

When it’s all done and grilled, the warm and toasty bread slices will hold together this delicious corned beef sandwich.

reuben sandwich ingredients ketchup, pickle, spices, onion flakes, mayonnaise, corned beef, butter, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and rye 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, Big Macs, French fries, Reuben sandwiches, dip bowls, salads, and wherever else your imagination will let you put this amazing homemade dressing. Don’t hold back! The combinations are endless.

You can have ranch dressing in your salads, vegan mayonnaise for sandwiches, or any other dressings you desire. I’m content when my food has loads of flavor. The perfect dressing for me is the homemade version of a Thousand Island dressing. It will always be unmatched!

Buying store-bought dressings is a step down from making it yourself. They are filled with artificial flavors, canola oil, and so-called “natural flavors” (a word that doesn’t have any actual meaning). All of 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 that can go on so many more of your own sandwiches.

a white bowl with thousand island dressing and a spoon.

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.
a stack of reuben sandwiches.

Reuben Sandwich Recipe with Thousand Island Dressing

Reuben sandwiches are a treat between two slices of rye bread! Some call it a pastrami sandwich. Either way, you call it, you can enjoy a good Reuben sandwich right at home, within 10 minutes. Even the dressing is made from scratch, with simple ingredients.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Allergy: Nut Free, Sugar Free
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings4 people
Calories: 816kcal


Thousand Island Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp pickle relish
  • 1 tsp dried onion flakes
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Reuben Sandwich

  • 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 off by whisking the dressing ingredients together. Into a small bowl add ½ cup mayonnaise, 2 tbsp ketchup, 2 tbsp pickle relish, 1 tsp dried onion flakes, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp paprika, salt, and pepper to taste.
    1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp ketchup, 2 Tbsp pickle relish, 1 tsp dried onion flakes, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp paprika, salt, ground black pepper
    a white bowl with thousand island dressing and a spoon.
  • 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
    swiss cheese on rye bread on a white board.
  • Spread the dressing over the cheese.
    thousand island dressing on swiss cheese and rye bread.
  • Place a quarter of the corned beef over the dressing. Add some more dressing over the meat.
    1 lb corned beef meat
    sandwich halves being put together.
  • Squeeze the liquid of the sauerkraut and place the cabbage over the dressing.
    1 cup sauerkraut
    two sandwich halves with sauerkraut layer on top on a white cutting board being put together into a reuben sandwich.
  • Place the second slice of Swiss cheese over the sauerkraut.
    8 slices Swiss cheese
    reuben sandwich layers with final swiss cheese layer on top.
  • Top it with a slice of bread. Spread 3 Tablespoons of butter on the bread.
    8 slices rye bread, 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
    reuben sandwiches with mayonnaise on top.
  • Heat up 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.
    grilling reuben sandwiches in a grill pan.


Calories: 816kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 59g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 2393mg | Potassium: 586mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 644IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 378mg | Iron: 5mg
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Recipe Rating

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    We aren’t huge Swiss cheese fans in our house but this recipe made us think otherwise! It pairs well with the beef. Will be making this again. Perfect for lunches!