Classic Reuben Sandwich Recipe

The Reuben sandwich has a complex and fascinating history. According to History Nebraska, the sandwich was invented in 1925 by grocer, Reuben Kulakofsky, who served the sandwich at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska. It grew in popularity after it was eventually added to menu of the hotel's restaurant, The Plush Horse. However, there is another theory that Arnold Reuben invented a similar sandwich that he served at his New York restaurants, making the true origin story a mystery. 

Recipe developer Cecilia Ryu came up with this classic Reuben sandwich recipe, complete with the Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, and corned beef, all sandwiched between rye bread. "A Reuben sandwich is far better than any other grilled sandwich. It's cheesy, crunchy, and tangy. Other grilled sandwiches can be greasy and heavy, but the tang from the sauerkraut cuts the greasiness, making it a very well balanced sandwich," Ryu raves. "Also the best part is [that] it's so easy to make! Just a few ingredients, and you have a classic and delicious lunch or dinner ready in minutes."

Keep reading to find out how to make this tasty Reuben sandwich. 

Gather the ingredients for this classic Reuben sandwich

For this recipe, you will need to get mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, 1 shallot, Worcestershire sauce, fresh lemon juice, rye bread, unsalted butter, Swiss cheese, corned beef, and sauerkraut. "If you don't have the ingredients to make the Russian dressing, you can also use store bought," Ryu explains. 

Once you have those items, you can begin making this classic Reuben sandwich.

Make the Russian dressing

To make the Russian dressing, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, diced shallot, Worcestershire sauce, and fresh lemon juice into a medium-sized bowl. 

"Russian dressing is a creamy dressing, consisting mainly of mayonnaise and ketchup. The addition of relish, and finely chopped shallots gives it its signature zesty flavor," Ryu explains. "It's known to be similar to French dressing and thousand island dressing. Many classic Russian dressing recipes add horseradish for a spicy kick, but I prefer it without." 

Assemble the sandwich

After you make the dressing, it's time to assemble the sandwiches. Grab 4 slices of rye bread, quarter 1 tablespoon of butter, and spread it evenly onto one side of each slice. Then, on the opposite side of the bread slices, spread the Russian dressing. 

Onto 2 slices of bread, with the Russian dressing side facing up, top each with 2 slices of Swiss cheese, 4 to 6 slices of corned beef, and ¼ cup of sauerkraut. Top with the remaining 2 bread slices with the buttered side facing out. 

Grill and serve

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet. "Watch when grilling," Ryu reminds. "Keep the heat on medium so the butter doesn't burn too quickly." Once the butter melts, place the sandwiches in the skillet. Cook until the cheese melts, and the bread turns golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes on the each side.

After you remove the sandwiches from the skillet, plate, optionally slice in half, and serve."I like to serve Reuben sandwiches with soup, pickles, coleslaw, or potato chips," Ryu suggests. "If you have any leftovers, store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on a skillet over medium heat," she shares. 

Classic Reuben Sandwich Recipe
5 from 15 ratings
It's hard to beat a good, hearty sandwich, and this classic Reuben recipe is sure to take the cake.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
6
minutes
Servings
2
servings
classic reuben on cutting board
Total time: 16 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons relish
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 slices rye bread
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 8 to 12 slices corned beef
  • ½ cup sauerkraut
Directions
  1. To make the Russian Dressing, mix together the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, shallot, Worcestershire sauce, and fresh lemon juice.
  2. Grab 4 slices of rye bread, quarter 1 tablespoon of butter, and spread it evenly onto one side of each slice. Then, on the opposite side of the bread slices, spread the Russian dressing.
  3. Onto 2 slices of bread, with the Russian dressing side facing up, top each with 2 slices of Swiss cheese, 4 to 6 slices of corned beef, and ¼ cup of sauerkraut. Top with the remaining 2 bread slices with the buttered side facing out.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Once the butter has melted, place the prepared sandwiches in the skillet, and cook until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Serve immediately while hot.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 1,780
Total Fat 159.1 g
Saturated Fat 44.1 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 281.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.6 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Total Sugars 13.7 g
Sodium 4,917.3 mg
Protein 59.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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