Classic Reuben Sandwich

Preparing a Reuben Sandwich
Lauri Patterson / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
653 Calories
45g Fat
37g Carbs
25g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 653
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 45g 57%
Saturated Fat 18g 91%
Cholesterol 125mg 42%
Sodium 1680mg 73%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 14%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 5mg 27%
Calcium 357mg 27%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 309mg 7%
*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 sandwich was purportedly created in 1914 by Arnold Reuben, the owner of Reuben's Restaurant in New York City. Another claim states that it was first made in 1922 by Reuben Kolakofsky, a grocer from Omaha, Nebraska. Whichever story is correct, there's no denying the sandwich was a success.

The sandwich is traditionally made with sliced corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese on rye bread. It is usually fried like a grilled cheese sandwich and served hot, but it may be served cold. Reuben sandwiches are usually made with corned beef, but pastrami is an excellent alternative.

These classic Reuben sandwiches are a fabulous combination of flavors and a great way to use leftover corned beef. Make this version with Thousand Island or Russian dressing. Thousand Island dressing contains chopped sweet pickles and ketchup, while the spicier (and less sweet) Russian dressing includes horseradish and chili sauce.

Use big slices of seeded rye bread for these sandwiches. This easy homemade no-knead beer rye bread is excellent if you like to make your own bread.


  • 2 large slices rye bread

  • 2 tablespoons Thousand Island dressing, or Russian dressing

  • 3 tablespoons well-drained sauerkraut

  • 2 ounces thinly sliced corned beef

  • 1 ounce thinly sliced Swiss cheese or Gruyere

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Spread both slices of rye bread lightly with Thousand Island dressing.

  3. Place a layer of sauerkraut over one slice, then top with the corned beef then Swiss cheese. Top with the second slice of bread, dressing side down.

  4. Butter the outside of the Reuben sandwich lightly with softened butter (or margarine) and fry the sandwich on a hot griddle or grill over medium heat, turning to brown both sides evenly.

What to Serve With Reuben Sandwiches

  • Serve Reuben sandwiches with dill pickles and crispy potato chips, French fries, potato salad, or a cup or bowl of soup. Matzo ball soup or a cream-based soup pairs well with the sandwiches, or serve them with tomato soup.


  • Use big slices of seeded rye bread for these sandwiches. This easy homemade no-knead beer rye bread is excellent if you like to make your own bread.
  • Scale the recipe for the number of family or guests you are feeding. Serve the sandwiches with chips, fries, soup, or salad.
  • A Reuben sandwich is big and hearty, so you might want to save half for later. If you have a leftover half sandwich, it's easy to reheat it. Wrap the sandwich in aluminum foil and place it on a baking sheet. Heat it in a preheated 325 F oven for about 15 minutes.

Recipe Variations

  • To make this an open-faced sandwich, omit the top slice of bread. Either toast the bottom slice of bread first or assemble the sandwich and toast the bottom on a griddle. Place the assembled sandwich on a foil-lined baking pan and place it under the broiler at 500 F until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Swiss is the traditional cheese for the sandwiches, but sliced or shredded Muenster, Havarti, or Gruyere may be substituted.