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Hot Reuben Sandwich

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The Reuben Sandwich is an American icon and my husband’s favorite!  According to tradition, we made this grilled sandwich with rye bread slathered with Russian dressing and layered with slices of corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese.

Reuben Sandwich
Rye bread, thick slices of corned beef, tangy Swiss cheese and sauerkraut

There is a murky background lurking in the history of this iconic sandwich and it is unclear of the sandwich origins.   But there is nothing murky about the taste of this sandwich.  It is undeniably delicious.  This is also a great repurposing of your leftover St. Patrick’s Day corned beef.

Here are some of our corned beef recipes:

Is Pastrami the same As Corned Beef?

They are a little different even though they are both beef cuts. Both pastrami and corned beef go through a curing process. Pastrami is then coated with a dry rub and smoked. The corned beef will be either boiled or roasted after curing.

Reuben Sandwich
The classic Reuben Sandwich

Can I make a Reuben Sandwich with Pastrami?

That would be a Rachel Sandwich.  The Rachel sandwich is a variation of the Reuben Sandwich and it uses pastrami or turkey in stead of corned beef. It also has a crunchy layer of coleslaw substituting the sauerkraut.

What is the Best Bread for a Rueben Sandwich?

The traditional Rueben sandwich is made with rye bread. Rye bread is made with either all rye flour or a combination of rye and wheat flours.  There are different types of rye bread and the most popular are:

  • Deli
  • Light
  • Dark
  • Pumpernickel
  • Jewish

Reuben sandwich ingredients.

There are only 5 basic ingredients in a Reuben but there is nothing basic about the taste of this delicious, filling sandwich. Here is the breakdown of what you need to get.

  • Rye bread
  • Russian dressing
  • Grated Swiss cheese
  • Corned beef
  • Sauerkraut 

These are the ingredients for a classic Reuben sandwich. You can certainly substitute some of the ingredients and make a variation of the classic sandwich. The important thing is to pile ’em on and make a thick sandwich. 

Reuben Sandwich
Sauerkraut and fat dill pickle

How to Make A Reuben Sandwich:

Check out our printable recipe card below but first, here is a breakdown. 

  • Spread each slice of rye bread with Dijon mustard and then Russian dressing.
  • Add a generous layer of thin slices of corned beef to one slice of bread.
  • Cover the corned beef with tangy sauerkraut.
  • Heap half of the grated Swiss cheese on top of the sauerkraut.
  • Place the second slice of bread over the grated cheese.
  • Brush the outside of the bread with melted butter.
  • Place sandwich in a preheated hot skillet and cook each side until golden.

Serve this Reuben sandwich with a crisp dill pickle, crunchy potato chips and a cold glass of suds!

What’s the difference between Russian and Thousand Island dressing?

Russian dressing is spicier and bolder tasting than Thousand Island. The tangy, sweet, Thousand Island dressing has a much milder flavor and fewer spices. We aren’t sure why Russian dressing is called “Russian” but we do know that both dressings are American made condiments. 

You can use either dressing in this Reuben sandwich but it is much more traditional to use Russian dressing. 

Hot Reuben Sandwich
A good ole’ fashioned Corned Beef Hot Reuben Sandwich

Things to serve with a Reuben sandwich. 

We love a side of chips and a dill pickle with our Reuben but if you have a big appetite, serve it with a Dilly Potato Salad or some coleslaw. Steak fries dipped in Russian dressing is also a big winner. 🙂 What? You haven’t tried dipping your fries in Russian dressing? Go get some and do it. You will set a new tradition. 

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Hot Reuben Sandwich

A classic hot Reuben sandwich, filled generously with thinly sliced corned beef, sauerkraut, Russian Dressing and Swiss cheese then toasted to a golden brown.
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 976kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger


  • 4 slices rye bread
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup Russian dressing
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced corned beef or pastrami
  • 1 cup sauerkraut drained and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup 4 oz grated Swiss cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted


  • Spread each slice of bread generously with a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, then spread the Russian dressing. Divide the corned beef on two slices of bread and top with each sandwich with half of the sauerkraut. Heap half of the grated cheese on each sandwich. Place the other slice of bread on each. sandwich. Butter both sandwiches and place buttered side down on a hot griddle or skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
  • Flip the sandwiches over and toast an additional 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is melted and crisp.


  • We are basing the amounts of the ingredients on a large 16 oz. loaf of rye bread.  If using smaller slices you will need to downsize the ingredients.  
  • To keep the sandwich from being soggy, squeeze the excess liquid from the sauerkraut
  • Grating the cheese ensures that the cheese melts quickly and evenly.


Serving: 1/2 sandwich | Calories: 976kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 74g | Saturated Fat: 33g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 33g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 222mg | Sodium: 3005mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g

Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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Recipe Rating

Dominic DiPiero

Thursday 13th of October 2022

Why are we heating oven to 400* ?

Pat Nyswonger

Thursday 13th of October 2022

Hello, Dominic...Please disregard the reference to the oven as that was an error. I have made the correction in the recipe card and I thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. I hope you enjoy this sandwich, I also added information in the Note section of the recipe card.

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