Open-Faced Reuben Burgers

Special Burgers
Kyle Monk/Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
2109 Calories
129g Fat
68g Carbs
165g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 2109
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 129g 165%
Saturated Fat 58g 290%
Cholesterol 538mg 179%
Sodium 4138mg 180%
Total Carbohydrate 68g 25%
Dietary Fiber 19g 68%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 165g
Vitamin C 70mg 351%
Calcium 1339mg 103%
Iron 22mg 122%
Potassium 2820mg 60%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Reuben is a classic sandwich consisting of corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese between slices of rye bread spread with thousand island dressing; it is grilled until the cheese is melted and served hot. These open-faced burgers are a twist on this time-honored sandwich, substituting a cooked hamburger for the deli meat and adding sautéed onions to the mix.

To make, ground beef is formed into patties and cooked, placed on slices of rye bread, topped with sauerkraut, onion, and Swiss cheese, and then broiled until the cheese is bubbling. Top off these open-faced burgers with Thousand Island Dressing and dill pickle slices, if you like.

For a hand-held eating experience, feel free to use white or wheat hamburger buns instead of rye bread, or rye buns if you can find them. Serve these burgers with crispy potato chips, French fries, potato salad, or a cup of soup.


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 small onion, sliced

  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 4 slices rye bread, or 4 burger buns

  • 8 to 16 ounces sauerkraut, drained and rinsed

  • 4 slices Swiss cheese

  • Thousand island dressing, optional

  • Dill pickle slices, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion slices and sauté until tender; set the onions aside.

  3. Shape the ground beef into 4 patties. Using the same skillet, fry the burgers to your desired doneness, turning to evenly brown. You can also broil them if you prefer.

  4. Preheat the broiler. On a baking sheet or broiler-safe pan, arrange the slices of rye bread. Place one hamburger patty on each piece of rye bread and top the burgers with the sauerkraut, onion, and then cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted.

  5. Top with a dollop of Thousand Island dressing and pickle slices, if desired. You can also serve the dressing and pickles on the side.

  6. Enjoy.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.

Recipe Variations

  • You can caramelize the onions, instead of simply sautéing them, for a deeper and richer flavor. The process will take longer (30 to 45 minutes) so plan accordingly.
  • Swap out the sauerkraut for a mayo-based coleslaw, which makes the open-faced burger more like a Rachel than a Reuben.
  • To add extra flavor to the burger, add a tablespoon or two of the Thousand Island dressing to the ground beef before forming into patties.
  • For a decadent touch, top the burger with some chopped corned beef along with the sauerkraut, onion, and cheese.