Classic Reuben Sandwich

Classic Reuben Sandwiches

Imho, the best reason for making my Corned Beef is to have leftovers for a Classic Reuben Sandwich. Corned Beef, sauerkraut, a good Pumpernickel or Marble Rye, a simple dressing of home-made Thousand Island. I think maybe if I hadn’t grown up eating Reuben’s I’d think they were a little nuts.

Classic Reuben Sandwich

Classic Reuben Sandwich


And maybe they are, but they’re crazy good. Whenever I make my Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner, I try to make a little extra or at least hold a little back to make Reuben Sandwiches, and that’s pretty much always an automatic meal #2 for us.

Right away, you’ll probably notice that slicing a bit of your corned beef brisket is going to cost you a lot less than buying Corned Beef from the Deli, even counting any waste from removing the fat and the shrinkage.

Classic Reuben Sandwich

Classic Reuben Sandwich

Dividing a big ticket item like a Corned Beef Brisket over two (or more) meals lets you “cost average” the price. In the first meal, Corned Beef is more or less the star of the show…in the second, the Classic Reuben Sandwich, just needs a few slices per person.

Toss in a third meal, one that might just use a smidge of the corned beef, like Nested Corned Beef Hash Cups or a Traditional Corned Beef Hash, and the cost of that corned beef can basically be divided among three meals.

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There are a few other leftover Corned Beef recipes in the slideshow, too. You can access them all from the button on the bottom of the page, Irish & Irish American Recipes.

I often serve the Classic Reuben Sandwich with Traditional Irish Potato Cakes; this time around I served with a variation of my Stupid Simple Sweet Potato Fries. They’re so good dipped in my home-made Thousand Island Dressing.


Classic Reuben Sandwich

This is the Classic Reuben. Absolutely traditional, just how they should be made.

  • Author: mollie kirby
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches 1x


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 slices Marbled Rye, Rye or Pumpernickel
  • Thin slices of corned beef, almost two pounds
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, drained and lightly rinsed if desired
  •  1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing


Preheat a large skillet or griddle on medium heat.

Optional: to make certain your corned beef is heated through with the cheese hot and melty and the sandwich perfectly browned, Add a corned beef and sauerkraut each in a separate pile on the skillet. Add a tablespoon or two of the juices the corned beef was cooked in, or a little water. Place a lid on the skillet and allow the corned beef and sauerkraut to steam for a minute or two. Remove the lid, and when the moisture has evaporated,, remove to a plate. Wipe skillet clean.

In the meantime, lightly butter one side of the bread slices and place four in the pan or on a griddle, buttered side down. (take out two slices of bread at a time, and open them like a book and they’ll line up correctly when the sandwich is finished.)

Top each piece of bread with a slice of cheese, a schmear of thousand island, 1/4 of the sliced corned beef and sauerkraut. Top all that with a bit more thousand island and another slice of cheese. Top with the last slice of bread, butter side out. Grill slowly (so they will warm through) until golden brown and toasted, several minutes per side, turning once.


When serving the corned beef, turn it over so the “top” is on the bottom of the plate. It will not be quite as hot as the bottom so it won’t steam on the plate as much, staying crispier.

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3 thoughts on “Classic Reuben Sandwiches

  1. Pingback: Reuben Sandwiches with Traditional Irish Potato Cakes | My Meals are on Wheels

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