7 Classic Reuben Sandwich Recipes to Eat Right Now

Ryan Nadolny

We've got a lot of love for a classic Reuben sandwich and we're sharing our favorite recipes to make your own at home.

**Warning** This post contains strong opinions about Reuben sandwiches.

There is no better sandwich in the world than a properly made, classic Reuben sandwich. You can’t change my mind. I will fight anyone that disagrees.

Ok, maybe not fight. More like a passionate disagreement. Just don’t put baby in a corner. Got it? Cool.

What is there not to love about griddled corned beef, with tangy sauerkraut, melty Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, all on toasted rye bread?

It is, hands down, the perfect sandwich.

Classic Reuben Sandwich Recipe Photo

Consider this a love song for the classic Reuben. I'm even sharing 7 of the best classic Reuben recipes we've come across so keep scrolling!

Reuben Sandwich Origin

So, where did the Reuben sandwich come from? Despite what you may have heard, the Reuben is not part of Irish fare.

Nope, in fact the classic Reuben sandwich we all know and love is 100% American made! It’s simple in design but not so simple in taste.

This sandwich has many different layers of flavor and texture. Tangy, spicy, toasty, sweet, crunchy, melty deliciousness.

Depending on who you talk to, the Reuben originated in either New York City or Omaha, Nebraska. 

When I think of this sandwich, I think Jewish deli. When I think of Jewish delis, I think of NYC. It just makes more sense to me.

Classic Reuben Sandwich Recipe Picture

What Do You Put On a Classic Reuben Sandwich?

Like I mentioned earlier, this sandwich is very simple in design. First thing you need is good quality corned beef.

This makes up the majority of your sandwich, so don’t get the super cheap stuff if you can help it. You’ll thank yourself later.

Next up is the Swiss cheese. If you don’t like a strong Swiss, go with baby Swiss. It’s much lighter in flavor but still shares the smooth and creamy texture.

Personally, I go for a strong Swiss that smells like dirty feet. The smellier the better!

Let’s move on to the sauerkraut. If you’re not into cabbage, you could always use pickled red onions. It’s not the same, but I think it would suffice.

I try to stay away from the canned kraut. It has a metallic flavor that I’m not a fan of. Bagged or jarred is the way to go.

Classic Reuben Sandwich Recipe Image

The next ingredient sparks some controversy among us purists. Thousand Islands dressing or Russian dressing?

My vote is for Russian dressing, which hails from New England. It is made with chili sauce and horseradish for an added kick.

Thousand Islands, named for the region of Upstate New York where it was created, uses pickle relish, making it a sweeter, rather than spicy, condiment.

Dijon mustard is another option if you want to see me cry.

Last up is the bread. It must be rye bread. This is not up for debate. Whether it’s with or without caraway seeds, light, dark, or marble, it needs to be on rye bread.

How Do You Make a Classic Reuben Sandwich?

  1. You’re going to start with the Russian dressing, spread on both pieces of bread.
  2. Add a slice of Swiss cheese on each bread piece. The cheese will act as a barrier to the bread, keeping the sandwich from getting soggy.
  3. Corned beef is next. You can do a few slices or stack it like I do. At least 8oz. piled high and evenly. This is already a messy sammich, so it’s best to pack it tight.
  4. Moving on to the sauerkraut. Whichever type you decide to use, make sure you drain it well and pat dry with a paper towel. I’ve been known to toss the kraut into a sauté pan for just a moment to char it a bit. It’s a very strong flavored ingredient, so use it sparingly.
  5. Now, top it with your other piece of bread sauce side down. Spread butter evenly on the top piece of bread and invert into your sauté pan. While that side cooks, butter the other side of your sandwich and then carefully flip.

Our Favorite Classic Reuben Sandwich Recipes

Now that you're practically drooling, we've put together a list of the top-rated Reuben recipes for you to try at home!

I'll go so far as to say that these will compete with your favorite deli Reuben. The hard part is deciding which one you like best.

Striped Spatula Reuben Sandwich Recipe Photo

Reuben Sandwich by Striped Spatula

Planning to do a Jiggs dinner for St. Patrick’s Day? Use your leftover corned beef to make this delicious version and have it ready in under 20 minutes.

Get the recipe from Striped Spatula

Recipe Girl Reuben Sandwich Recipe Photo

Grilled Reuben Sandwiches from Recipe Girl

This recipe builds the Reuben like you would a club sandwich with a third piece of bread for added structural integrity.

Get the recipe from Recipe Girl

Spaceships and Laser Beams Reuben Sandwich Recipe Photo

Reuben Sandwich from Spaceships and Laser Beams

Another classic Reuben sandwich recipe, we love that this one teaches you how to make your own homemade Russian dressing.

Get the recipe from Spaceships and Laser Beams

Flavor Mosaic Reuben Sliders Recipe Photo

Reuben Sliders from Flavor Mosaic 

If giant messy sandwiches aren’t your thing, try this recipe turning the classic Reuben into sliders!

This is a no-fail recipe using sweet Hawaiian rolls that are baked instead of griddled. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

Get the recipe from Flavor Mosaic

Cooking with Cocktail Rings Reuben Sandwich Recipe Photo

Reuben Sandwich from Cooking with Cocktail Rings

If you’re looking to do everything from scratch, this classic Reuben recipe is the one for you.

It includes step-by-step instructions for corning your own brisket and directions for making your own dressing.

It’s much more labor intensive, but you won’t regret it!

Get the recipe from Cooking with Cocktail Rings

Olivia's Cuisine Reuben Sandwich Recipe Photo

Classic Reuben Sandwich by Olivia's Cuisine

You just can’t go wrong with making your own dressing, which is why we love this Reuben recipe.

It’s so simple to make and the flavor is much better than what you would find on the shelf at your local grocery store.

Get the recipe from Olivia's Cuisine

The Cookie Rookie Reuben Sandwich Recipe Photo

Reuben Sandwich Recipe from The Cookie Rookie

For those looking for the standard, this is it. Toasted marble rye, gooey cheese, tender corned beef…yum!

Get the recipe from The Cookie Rookie

Ryan is a food and writer from Toledo, Ohio where he's had a love affair with food since 1984. When he's not cooking or writing, he's planning the next he wants to eat.

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