Enjoyed all year round, but especially on Saint Patrick’s Day, the classic Reuben sandwich is undeniably unique, hearty, ooey, gooey, and amazingly delicious!
There’s just nothing quite like a classic Reuben sandwich! With gooey, buttery cheese, corned beef, tangy sauerkraut, sweet dressing, earthy bread, and a crispy exterior, it is undeniably one of the best sandwiches ever!
With Saint Patrick’s Day coming up soon, I’ve already been diving into some of our Irish favorites. I served my slow cooker corned beef and cabbage last week and made sure to reserve some leftovers for these Reuben sandwiches and corned beef hash (a breakfast must!)
What is a Reuben Sandwich
There are many stories about the origin of the Reuben (none of which can be confirmed), but one thing is for sure – it’s absolutely one of a kind and crazy good!
This American grilled cheese sandwich consists of rye bread, corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian or Thousand Island dressing. It’s commonly associated with (and served at) most kosher-style delicatessens, although because it has meat and cheese together, it’s not at all kosher. It’s also the top ordered sandwich at most of our nation’s hotels and restaurant chains.
What’s on a Reuben Sandwich?
There are only 6 ingredients used for a Reuben, so buy the best quality of everything. This is no time to skimp!
- Rye Bread. Jewish Rye, Russian Rye, Marbled Rye, or a Pumpernickel Rye are all a little different and all wonderful speckled with rye and caraway seeds. Scope out your local bakery for some.
- Corned Beef. Leftover homemade corned beef or store bought corned beef both work. If you do buy it at the store, I highly recommend having the deli counter slice it fresh for you, instead of buying it pre-packaged.
- Swiss Cheese. Any kind of swiss cheese works, but my favorite is Gruyere, which is commonly used in French onion soup and cheese fondue because of its smooth, buttery texture and rockstar status when it comes to melting.
- Sauerkraut. Even if you don’t like Sauerkraut, it is a must on a Reuben and I swear you will love it. The tanginess pairs so well with buttery cheese and the corned beef. Canned or jarred is totally fine.
- Dressing. You can do Russian or Thousand Island. As with mayonnaise, my kids love to slather Thousand Island on everything, so that’s what I always use. You can buy it at the store or easily make your own by combining 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons each of ketchup and sweet pickle relish, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
- Butter. Gotta have softened butter for the bread, of course. When it hits the fry pan, you’ll hear the sizzle and know you’re well on your way to a crispy, golden, awesome exterior!
- Be sure to drain and completely squeeze all the liquid from the sauerkraut or your sandwich could end up soggy. Ack.
- Warm up the sauerkraut a little before putting it on the sandwich, otherwise you will have a cold pocket in the middle of a hot sandwich.
- Place your cheese slices on the bottom when assembling the sandwiches. This ensures that it melts properly. You can even put a slice on the bottom and top so it acts as a barrier to both pieces of bread.
- Don’t overstuff your sandwiches! Keep the filling under control, so every bite is balanced, warm, and juicy.
- A cast iron skillet is the best for grilled cheese, cooked over medium/low-medium heat – hot enough that the cheese melts, but doesn’t burn the bread.
My mouth is watering just thinking about this! I’m pretty certain I’ll be making Reuben sandwiches for dinner tonight and you should, too!
Other Reuben Inspired Recipes To Make!
Other Irish Recipes We Love
Watch the video for this Reuben Sandwich
How to Make a Reuben Sandwich
Classic Reuben Sandwich
- 8 slices rye bread
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
- 1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing
- 8 slices Swiss cheese
- 1 pound thinly sliced corned beef
- 1 cup sauerkraut , drained, squeezed dry, and warmed up
- Butter one side of each slice of bread. On the non-butter side spread Thousand Island dressing on each slice. Top half of the slices with cheese, corned beef, and sauerkraut. Top each sandwich with remaining bread slices, dressing side down.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Place a sandwich in skillet and cook until golden and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes per side. (Adjust your heat, if necessary, making sure the bread doesn’t burn.)
- Slice sandwiches in half, serve with a pickle spear and some chips!