Reuben Fritters

These Reuben Fritters are a fun way to turn leftover corned beef into tasty appetizers! Crispy fried on the outside with a creamy, cheesy center!

Got leftover Corned Beef? We feel you, check out these Irish Nachos for appetizers or dinner! Or you can try this Creamy Potato & Corned Beef Chowder for a whole different meal!

Reuben Fritters are a leftover corned beef recipe

A Leftover Corned Beef Recipe

BUT…you don’t HAVE to have leftover corned beef. So as much as we love making these Reuben Fritters after St. Patrick’s Day with our leftover corned beef, you can always grab some right from the deli counter.

That’s something new to me, so I thought I’d mention it. I always seem to get the same stuff at the deli counter, ham, turkey, cheese. The basics. Then one day I realized they have things like sliced pork, teriyaki flank steak and yep – corned beef.

So don’t wait until after your St. Patrick’s Day party to make these delicious, crispy fritters. Make them whenever you want!

What Are The Ingredients For These Reuben Fritters?

All you’ll need is a few basic ingredients and some oil for frying!

  • Leftover Corned Beef or corned beef from the deli: You’ll need about 3/4 of a pound of corned beef for these fritters.
  • Cream Cheese: Make sure you bring the cream cheese to room temperature so that it blends well with the rest of the filling.
  • Sauerkraut: You can buy sauerkraut right at the deli counter or in the produce department at your grocery store.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: You can also use Swiss cheese, or Gruyere but mozzarella is a more mild flavor.
  • Bread Crumbs: Panko bread crumbs make these fritters extra crispy!
  • Oil for Frying: Use vegetable or canola oil for the best frying results.
  • Thousand Island Dressing: Store bought or homemade, whichever you prefer!

Reuben Fritters process shot with breading station

How Do You Make Reuben Fritters?

All you need to do is mix together the corned beef, cream cheese, sauerkraut and seasonings and form them into balls like you see below. Then start the breading process by dipping the balls in flour, egg and lastly bread crumbs.

Drop your fritters into a large pot of canola oil that’s at about 350º. If you don’t have a thermometer you can stick the handle of a wooden spoon in the oil and if bubbles form all around it you’re at about 350º.

Fry up these Reuben Fritters for 4 minutes until they’re golden brown then remove to a paper towel lined plate to cool. Season them with salt while they’re still hot so that the seasoning sticks to the fritters.


Can You Make These Fritters Ahead Of Time?

Yep and you can do it a couple of ways.

One way is to make the fritters up until the point of frying them and then stash them in your refrigerator until you’re ready to fry them. Then just fry and serve.

Another way to do it is to cook the fritters through to the end, let them cool completely and then freeze them in a single layer in a freezer bag or container. Bake the fritters from frozen at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes and then serve.

Reuben Fritters stacked on a plate with Thousand Island Dressing

Now it’s time to eat! Serve these Rueben Fritters while they’re still hot, you can keep them warm in the oven until you’re ready for up to an hour beforehand. Serve with Thousand Island dressing for dipping and it’s time to party.

Looking For More Leftover Corned Beef Recipes?

Corned Beef Hash

Corned Beef & Cabbage Fried Rice

Cheesy Corned Beef Tater Tots

Creamy Corned Beef and Potato Chowder

Corned Beef Stuffed Mushrooms


Reuben Fritters are made with leftover corned beef from St. Patrick's Day

Reuben Fritters are a fried appetizer recipe

Reuben Fritters

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 30 1x

These delicious, crispy fried fritters are an awesome way to use up leftover corned beef! No corned beef? Head to your deli counter and grab some!



  • 3/4 lb. corned beef, chopped (you can use leftover corned beef or get it at the deli)
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 c. sauerkraut, rinsed
  • 6 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/4 t. salt, plus extra for seasoning the fritters
  • 1 T. dijon mustard
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
  • vegetable or canola oil for frying
  • thousand island dressing for dipping


  1. Set a large pot filled half way with canola or vegetable oil over medium heat. You’re looking for the oil to get to about 350º. If you have a thermometer that works best but a good way to check is to put the end of a wooden spoon in the oil, if it bubbles you’re good.
  2. Combine the corned beef, mozzarella cheese, sauerkraut, cream cheese, garlic powder, salt and dijon in a large bowl.
  3. Beat together with a hand mixer until well combined.
  4. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop, portion out the filling into balls.
  5. Set up a breading station with three bowls, one for the flour, one for the eggs and another for the panko.
  6. Dip each ball into the flour first, then the egg and last the panko.
  7. Repeat until all the fritters are breaded.
  8. Once your oil reaches temperature, carefully drop about 6-8 fritters at a time into your oil and fry for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to cool and season with kosher salt.
  10. Repeat until all the fritters are fried and serve with the thousand island dressing for dipping.
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Deep Fry
  • Cuisine: American

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28 Responses
    1. Dan

      Tom, I haven’t tried baking them so I really can’t answer that other than to say I think they’d be better fried. But if you do try baking them, I’d say to spray them first with cooking spray and bake them in a hot oven like 450. Let me know if you try it!

      1. Tom

        Dan, thanks for the reply. I did make up some of these. I tried a few baked using your tip of spraying before. They baked ok but you were correct in thinking they would be better fried. I also had that assumption but was curious how they would be baked. I have frozen the rest for later consumption. Those will be fried. Baked is not terrible, I just prefer them fried.

        1. Dan

          Thanks for letting me know Tom! I’m glad you tried that out. Sometimes you can get away with a high heat oven “fry” but I was thinking these weren’t the answer for that.Thanks again for your feedback!

          1. Casey

            I was thinking about making up a bunch of these and freezing some.. do you think it would work to freeze them right after the bread crumbs but not cook them, and then fry them whenever I take them out of the freezer? I’m just worried they might end up kind of soggy or something…

          2. Dan

            They should be fine! Fry them right from frozen though, don’t defrost them. You might need to add a minute or two to the cooking time.

    1. Dan

      Phil, you can cook them fully, let them cool and then freeze them. I haven’t tried this but a reader has so I’ll tell you what they told me! Heat them back up in a 400 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. Let me know how this works for you!

  1. Rita Zelig

    I tweaked this recipe by adjusting with a different main ingredient rather than corned beef, which I dislike. I tried this with both pastrami, chorizo & then with ground hot & sweet sausage combined. I added in a pinch of grated cheddar cheese. (& I do mean only a pinch…as in 1 small handful!). Prepared all as per balance of your recipe. I would not recommend chorizo! Yuk! But either pastrami or the ground sausage worked EXCEEDINGLY well! Your whole recipe was spot on except that the corned beef lacks flavour & the pastrami & sausage do not. They bring MUCH more flavour to this dish & the scant amount of cheddar also adds that delightfully sharp, cheesy edge. Kudos to you for developing such a wonderful take on a boring fritter!❤

    1. Dan

      Thanks Rita! I love when our readers take the recipes and use the ingredients they like – it’s absolutely the right thing to do!

  2. Chaf

    Yo. I’m laying here with a ball freak, and by ball I mean fritters. She guided me to the sphere goodness of Ruben delight. So, what’s up with no Swiss???? This some sort of a joke, Dan?

  3. Dona

    Just came across this recipe & will definitely be trying it. I saw a previous comment about baking instead of frying & not being the best way to cook these. Do you know how they would come out in an air-fryer?

    1. Dan

      I don’t because this is an older recipe of ours and our air fryer is new, but if you try them in your air fryer please let me know how they turn out!

  4. Anna

    Made these last year for our annual St. Pat’s gathering. They were a HUGE hit. Followed the recipe with no tweeking. Making again this weekend, has anybody tried forming the balls , then coating/frying the next day? I’m thinking it would be ok, but just wanted to see… Thanks!

  5. Tahiti Sailor

    Made these today substituting Boursin Garlic and Herb cheese spread for the cream cheese. I made them in to patties. They are delicious. Made our own Thousand Island (mayo, catsup and pickle relish–all to taste). We will also make sandwiches with them tomorrow and probably top off with a little more sauerkraut and the homemade dressing. Thank you very much for the inspiration….. with the two of us we always have a hard time finishing off the corned beef….not anymore!

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