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How to make the BEST Reuben Sandwich!

Updated on January 3, 2010

How to Make a Reuben to Remember!

 Attention sandwich lovers!  Of all the classic sandwiches, none compares, in my opinion, to the remarkable Reuben!  The origins of the Reuben sandwich go back to the early 20th century, although there is some dispute as to the actual author of this tasty classic.  One story traces it back to Arthur Reuben, owner of the once popular Reuben's Delicatessen in New York.  Another story links this legend to Reuben Kulakofsky of Omaha Nebraska.  But whoever gets credit for the invention, YOU can take credit for making the BEST Reuben sandwich ever by following these simple and easy directions.  I LOVE a good Reuben.  And I have ordered them from many reputable sandwich shops, and I am convinced you can make a GREAT Reuben Sandwich right from your very own kitchen.  I hope you enjoy it!

What you will need

Okay, the first step is to go to the store and get the right ingredients. Since you can buy the meat and cheese by the slice, I recommend buying at least enough for 2 sandwiches. Once you eat the first will want to make another! Here is what you will need:

1) A regular loaf of Rye bread (you will only need 2 slices per sandwich, but Rye bread makes great toast or grilled cheese sandwiches the extra will go to good use!)

2) Sauerkraut (1 can, or a jar, or possibly from the Deli)

3) 8-10 slices of Corned Beef (thinly sliced, this is enough for 2 sandwiches)

4) 2-4 slices of Swiss Cheese (enough for 2 sandwiches)

5) 1 bottle of Russian Dressing (your favorite brand is fine)

6) Side dish of your choice (chips, bean salad, macaroni salad, etc.) This is optional of course.

Step 1: Warm the Corned Beef and Sauerkraut

The first step in making the BEST Reuben sandwich is to warm the sauerkraut (I use about 3-4 generous forkfuls) and 4-5 slices of corned beef on the stove in a frying pan. Set the temperature between low and medium and let these two ingredients warm up side by side. If you like, you can add a little salt and pepper to them at this point, but this isn't necessary.

Step 2: Toast the Rye and add the Russian

 The second step is to toast the Rye bread in the toaster or toaster oven.  Use 2 slices and do this while the corned beef and sauerkraut are warming.  After the bread is toasted, remove the bread from the toaster and apply a nice layer of Russian Dressing to one side of both slices of Rye bread. 

Step 3: Combine the Sandwich

The third and final step in making the BEST Reuben sandwich is to combine the ingredients onto the Rye bread. I usually pile the sauerkraut onto 1 slice of bread, then stack the slices of corned beef on top of it. Then take 2 slices of Swiss Cheese and put these on top of the corned beef. At this point, you could pop it all back into a toaster oven to melt the cheese if you like. Alternatively, you could put the cheese on the corned beef while it was warming on the stove also. Personally, I just put it right on the sandwich at this point and enjoy it!

Add to the plate whatever side dish you like....and serve yourself the very best Reuben sandwich ever! Who needs to travel to New York? This dish is a delicious crowd pleaser and easy to make as well.

You're Done!

 You have now made the best Reuben sandwich ever!  You can research a variety of ways to make this famous Deli delight.  Some people will grill the finished sandwich like a grilled cheese for a more buttery and toasty taste.  Another variety, actually called a "Rachel", involves using pastrami and cole slaw rather than corned beef and sauerkraut.  I hope you enjoy your Reuben!


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    • profile image

      Rob van Ommen 

      9 months ago

      I look forward to trying this recipe......but being Canadian I think Montreal Smoked meat will be my choice.

    • Athlyn Green profile image

      Athlyn Green 

      20 months ago from West Kootenays

      Ooh... that looks soooo good! I love Reuben sandwiches. So much flavor and now after reading this, I have a better idea of what goes into them. I knew it was corned beef and sauerkraut but will try it with the Russian dressing.

      Up here in Canada, in the restaurants, they serve it on thick French bread. Delicious!

    • firstcookbooklady profile image

      Char Milbrett 

      2 years ago from Minnesota

      We love Reubens at my house, too. Marble Rye, buttered outside, Thousand Island, Coarse Mustard, Baby Swiss, Corned Beef, Sauerkraut - baked at 400 degrees, middle oven on tin foil until butter is browned, and flipped over to do other side... Mmmm! I know what I'm having for supper tonight!!!! Great hub. Makes me hungry!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It looks like a nice Reuben. But Check These out.

    • pharmacist profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason Poquette 

      6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      matt M,

      Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      matt M 

      6 years ago

      This Rueban Is NOT going to have the Awesome flavor or texture...because the bread needs to be butterd on one side then toasted..Also, Thousand island dressing is way better match with the beef...And the corned beef needs to be SHAVED.

    • profile image

      Angela Mezzetta 

      6 years ago

      I ate my first Rhuben Fl.Im a snowbird from Montreal known as one of the worlds best restaurent and food places,but they don't have anything to compare to the rhuben.I introduced my husband to the rhuben this yr.he loves it .

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      coleslaw is also a good alt. than kraut

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The reuben is the best with pickles as a side.

    • foodservice profile image


      7 years ago from US / Canada

      Sounds delicious! Look forward to trying.

    • pharmacist profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason Poquette 

      8 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi George,

      Pickles would be the perfect side to a good reuben. But do you mean pickles on the sandwich? Interesting. Haven't seen that in the classic reuben recipes, but I'm sure it would be great. Thanks for commenting!

    • profile image

      george stueburt 

      8 years ago

      um, where are the pickles?

    • pharmacist profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason Poquette 

      8 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi rkhyclak,

      Yes...the grilled cheese approach makes a really awesome tasting version of this sandwich...I agree! Thanks for commenting.


      Hope you enjoy your supper! Thanks for reading and stopping by!


      Happy to share these things...and hope you enjoy it as well! Thanks for your kind words.


    • triplet profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to trying the sandwich.

    • BeccaHubbardWoods profile image

      Becca Hubbard-Woods 

      8 years ago from Outside your window.

      Looks like I've found what I'm gonna make for supper! Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing! : )

    • rkhyclak profile image


      8 years ago from Ohio

      I love sandwiches and Reubens are no exception! This is exactly how we make them, except we butter the outside of the bread and toast it like you'd make a grilled cheese. I love the crispy texture of the bread next to the oozy cheese!


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