Classic Reuben Sandwich with Russian Dressing

This Classic Reuben Sandwich with Russian Dressing makes a hearty meal and packs a real flavour punch!

In the spirit of full disclosure – you can make this Super Easy in just a few moments with store-bought corned beef and sauerkraut right out of the can and it will be good.

But if you want to take it up to restaurant level flavour and quality consider preparing your own corned beef and sauerkraut. It is still Super Easy but Needs Time.

  • Start with a pre-spiced corned beef like Rachel’s. Rinse off spices and juices, trim visible fat and cook in a slow cooker with 1 1/2 cups of beer 4 hours on high or 7 hours on low.  Cool and slice.

Slices of Corned beef on a cutting board

  • For the sauerkraut, drain commercial sauerkraut, add 1 tsp caraway seeds and  cook in slow cooker with 1 cup of beer for 2 hours on high and 3 hours on low.  Cool.
  • You can do both of these ahead and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.


If you have leftovers from this Brisket Cooked in Guiness or this Apple Onion Sauerkraut then you are all set!

It is hard to describe how good this sandwich can be! It is so full of flavour and very filling! It is also quite forgiving… I use Sourdough bread often because I usually have it on hand. I also usually have Jarlsberg cheese in my fridge so I often sub that for Swiss Cheese

Ingredients for Reuben Sandwich - corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss Cheese, Rye bread and Russian dressing


I can highly recommend both of those substitutions.

You can substitute Thousand Island Dressing for the Russian Dressing. I prefer the Russian so to me it is worth the effort to make it. Russian Dressing is spicier than Thousand Island which is sweeter due to the addition of sweet green relish.

As for buttering the outside in grilled cheese fashion. I have made them with and without the butter and I don’t find that the butter adds that much flavour. It may enhance the sandwich if you are using a skillet to toast the bread. I am actually fine with bread from the toaster or toasted in the panini maker.

Two halves of a Reuben Sandwich on a board with Swiss Cheese and Sauerkraut oozing out of the sandwich

Wine Pairing for Reuben Sandwiches

Well…. here I am going to defer to a cold beer if you have taken the time to cook your corned beef and/or sauerkraut in beer!

Otherwise I would go for a crisp Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc.

Two halves of a Reuben Sandwich on a board with Swiss Cheese and Sauerkraut oozing out of the sandwich

Classic Reuben Sandwich With Russian Dressing

A Deli Classic at Home!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 7 mins
Total Time: 17 mins
Servings: 4 sandwiches


  • panini maker, skillet or toaster


  • 8 slices rye bread or any rustic hearty bread
  • 1 lb corned beef See Note 1
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese Jarlsberg is also very good
  • 1 cup sauerkraut drained, See Note 2
  • butter optional

Russian Dressing

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsps ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp hot sauce I used Frank's
  • 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp horseradish optional


Russian Dressing

  • Combine all ingredients in a small dish. Cover and refrigerate to allow flavours to meld. (Can be made upto a day ahead)


  • Preheat panini maker or heavy skillet. Butter one (outer) side of each slice (optional). On the inner side, divide corned beef equally between 4 slices of bread. Then top beef with one quarter of sauerkraut and one quarter of cheese slices. Slather Russian Dressing on the other side. Top the cheese with last 4 slices of bread, Russian Dressing side down.
  • Toast in skillet or panini maker until cheese is soft and bread is toasted. Flip sandwich half way if using a skillet.
  • Serve warm with dill pickles on the side if desired.
  • Alternative: Toast unbuttered bread in a regular toaster, assemble beef, sauerkraut, cheese and Russian dressing as outlined above. Microwave 3- seconds to a minute to soften cheese and warm sandwich.
    Alternative: You can substitute Thousand Island Dressing for Russian Dressing.


Note 1:  You can buy prepackaged corned beef slices at the deli or to make your own start with a pre-spiced corned beef (like Rachel’s).  Rinse off spices, trim as much visible fat as possible and cook in a slow cooker with 1 cup of beer 4 hours on high or 7 hours on low.  Cool and slice.
Note 2:  You can use drained sauerkraut out of a can directly but you can also drain sauerkraut, add 1 tsp of caraway seeds, 1 cup of beer and cook in a slow cooker 2 hours on high or 3 hours on low.


Calories: 561kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 2106mg | Potassium: 487mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 373IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 324mg | Iron: 4mg
Classic Reuben Sandwich with Russian Dressing

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