This classic Reuben Sandwich is a satisfying and filling lunch or dinner. My homemade Russian Dressing is the perfect condiment to the sandwich, with its slightly spicier taste. I also have a Thousand Island Dressing that you could use if you prefer a sweeter-tasting Reuben Sandwich.

Classic Reuben

Reuben Sandwich

As a kid, I never liked sauerkraut, so I shied away from ever enjoying this popular Reuben Sandwich. I was definitely missing out! Since my taste buds have decreased (which they do as we get older), I actually have become of fan of sauerkraut’s salty and sour flavor! Plus, sauerkraut actually has some health benefits.

Okay, now that I have convinced you to give sauerkraut another chance if you were not already on board, you can pile it on my Reuben Sandwich. I loved this sandwich so much, that I went ahead and created Reuben Sliders!

Reuben Sandwiches Cut up and In a Dish with Chips and Sauce

Ingredients & Substitutions

This is a pretty classic take on a Reuben Sandwich, but I think my herbed butter takes it to an even more flavorful level, and it’s so easy to make!

  • Corned beefDeli-style corned beef worked just fine for this sandwich. I prefer a thicker cut and that is what I request at the deli. If you like a thinner cut, it works perfectly in this recipe as well! If corned beef is not your thing, I will have some variations you can try at the end of the recipe.
  • Marble Rye bread: I bought the marble rye bread from the bakery section at a local grocery store, and it was delicious! You can use whatever bread you have on hand.
  • Russian Dressing: As I stated at the beginning of this post, I made my own Russian dressing for the Reuben Sandwich, but you could use store-bought dressing as well. Or, don’t forget about Thousand Island dressing as an option.
  • Swiss cheese: Swiss cheese is generally used for a Reuben Sandwich because of its mild flavor. You may also try mozzarella or provolone cheese, two more mild-tasting kinds of cheese.
Hand Picking Up a Reuben SandwichOff Ceramic Plate on a Napkin

What is the Difference Between Thousand Island and Russian Dressing?

Although Thousand Island Dressing and Russian Dressing can be used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. Thousand Island dressing is more on the sweeter side whereas Russian dressing has a bit more tanginess and sharpness to it.

I refer to Russian dressing as my ‘spicier, sassier relative’ to Thousand Island. Both are delicious on a Reuben, so use your preferred dressing.

Reuben Sandwich Cut in Half and Stacked Showing Inside

Can I Make a Reuben Sandwich Without Sauerkraut?

Well, you could, but then it really would not be a Reuben. Sauerkraut actually has some health benefits, being that it is a good source of fiber and the fermented cabbage produces probiotics that keep our digestive system on track. So, I would encourage you to give it a try on the sandwich!

Variations of a Reuben Sandwich

For some variations of this classic Reuben Sandwich, try it with fish, like Walleye, Grouper, or Tilapia! Of course, being in Minnesota, the walleye variation makes total sense to me 😀. You could also replace the corned beef and sauerkraut with pastrami and coleslaw to make the “Rachel” version. Not a meat-eater? You can make this Reuben Sandwich vegetarian style as well. Simply substitute the corned beef with zucchini, cucumbers, or mushrooms.

More Lunch Ideas

4.91 from 10 votes

Reuben Sandwich

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Piled high with Swiss cheese, corned beef, and sauerkraut, this Reuben Sandwich stays one step ahead of other Reubens by using a homemade herbed butter!


Herbed Butter

  • ¼ cup (½ stick, 57 g) butter
  • ½ teaspoon dried minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon poppy seeds
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  • 1 pound deli corned beef
  • 1 loaf marble rye bread
  • 1 cup (245 g) Russian Dressing
  • 8 ounces sauerkraut
  • 12 slices Swiss cheese


Herbed Butter

  • In a small bowl, mix together butter, garlic, onion, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and salt. Set aside.


  • Steam the corned beef by placing a small amount at a time (about ¼ pound) in a damp paper towel and placing it in the microwave on high for 30 seconds.
  • Heat the sauerkraut (cover in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until heated through).
  • Butter one side of each slice of rye bread using the herbed butter. Place 2- 3 slices of buttered bread on heated skillet or grill pan over medium-low heat.
  • Layer the Swiss cheese, corned beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, more corned beef, and another slice of cheese and top with another slice of bread (butter side up).
  • Heat until bread slightly browned and crispy and cheese melted about 2-3 minutes. Flip and repeat with the opposite side.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. My daughter and I make Rueben’s all the time. Almost everyone I know uses Thousand Island Dressing, and that’s interesting to me. I have always used Catalina Dressing on my Rueben’s, and if I couldn’t find it, I used French. Has anyone else ever used either of these? I’ve never used Thousand Island, or Russian.

  2. I was never a fan of Thousand Island dressing until I found a great recipe for it that is delicious on a Reuben. I always thought they were good naked but this is a game changer for me. You should be able to find it on The Food Network’s website if you’re interested

  3. Thankyou for delicious recipes. Also for your patience with all the nasty remarks from some classless , ignorant people. You are kind and you are strong!

  4. I had a bakery that had a German onion rye that I used. I sautéed the sauerkraut in butter with onions. I baked the corned beef till tender. I loved the flat round corned beef I used to get. I also use gruyere cheese and my blend of a honey mustard. Put all the ingredients together and grill it on a griddle. I do love a lot of your recipes. First time commenting here from MN.

      1. I have never had a Rubin and it sounds so good!! Thank you for listing what I would need to make one

  5. My favorite sandwich of all time. Sometimes I ditch the cheese and use cream cheese. Adds a different but pleasing taste profile. For those sauerkraut haters, rinse the kraut under water.

  6. Love, love, love Reubens!! When I was doing Keto, I did a Reuben without bread in a personal casserole dish. Yummy!!
    I do prefer Bavarian sauerkraut and mix in juniper berries, caraway and combine it with the 1000 Island.

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