Reuben Sandwich Recipe

There’s nothing better than a Reuben Sandwich made with your leftover corned beef from St. Patrick’s Day! Tender corned beef stacked on rye bread with sauerkraut and Russian dressing. It’s a classic sandwich recipe for a reason – it’s damn good.

reuben sandwich stacked on a plate with pickles

Why You’ll Love This Reuben Sandwich Recipe

Nothing beats the classics, and this Reuben Sandwich recipe is no exception. Thick slices of corned beef with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing. And there’s no need to worry if you don’t have any leftover corned beef, just head to your deli counter and grab some there.

  • Transform Your Leftovers: Instead of just warming up that leftover corned beef, try making a whole new meal.
  • Comfort Food: A buttery grilled sandwich that is dripping with dressing and cheese. Goes perfectly with a cup of soup or with a side of french fries.
  • Versatile: Switch up the corned beef for ham if you prefer, provolone or mozzarella cheese also works wonderfully.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s a basic list of ingredients you’ll need to make a reuben sandwich. Please scroll down to the recipe card below for a complete list of ingredients.

ingredients for making a reuben sandwich
  • Leftover, cooked corned beef: Sliced any way you like it, thick or thin. If your slices are too thick, you can cut them up smaller with a knife before assembling.
  • Russian dressing: You can buy bottled Russian dressing at the store, but Thousand Island is also a good substitute.
  • Sauerkraut: You can buy sauerkraut right at the grocery store, sometimes by the deli, sometimes by the refrigerated pickles and eggs. Make sure to rinse it and squeeze dry before using.
  • Swiss cheese: Swiss cheese is classic but you can also substitute provolone or mozzarella cheese as well.
  • Rye bread: Also a classic ingredient for a reuben, but can swap out pumpernickel as well.

How To Make

The basic instructions here with step by step photos. For complete instructions please scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Prepare the bread: Spread butter on one side of 8 slices of rye bread and then flip over. Spread Russian dressing on the other side of the bread.
  • Assemble the sandwiches: With the dressing side of the bread facing up, add 2 slices of cheese to 4 slices of the bread, topped with sauerkraut. Divide the corned beef on to the remaining 4 slices of bread.
Assembled reuben sandwich before grilling
  • The assembled sandwiches will look like the photo above for reference. You can also add an extra slice or two of cheese underneath the corned beef layer if you like, for us, the more cheese the better!
  • Cook: Add the assembled sandwiches to a skillet (with extra butter if desired) and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until brown and toasty. When you flip the sandwiches over to the other side, turn the heat down to low so that the inside of the sandwich will warm through.
grilled reuben sandwich stacked in plate

Tips For Success

  • Slice the corned beef thin: Thicker slices of corned beef will take longer to warm through in the skillet. If you start with thick slices just cut or shred them into smaller pieces.
  • Rinse the sauerkraut: Take the extra step and rinse the sauerkraut and squeeze dry before using. This will yield a more mild flavor. However, if you like a strong sauerkraut flavor, you can just drain it and not rinse it.
  • Watch the heat: You can start cooking these reubens on a medium heat, but once you flip them to the other side, turn the heat to low to ensure the the inside of the sandwich warms through before the bread gets too toasted.
sliced reuben sandwich on a plate

What To Serve With Reuben Sandwiches

There’s so many delicious sides that go perfectly with a reuben. For more inspiration, head to our Side Dish Menu for all the sides you can imagine!

reuben sandwich stacked on a plate with pickles

Reuben Sandwich Recipe

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches 1x

This classic Reuben Sandwich is one of our favorite leftover corned beef recipes! Tender sliced of corned beef piled onto rye bread with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing!



  • 1 1/2 pounds corned beef, cooked and sliced
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 8 slices of rye bread
  • 16 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups of sauerkraut, rinsed and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup Russian dressing


  1. Butter one side of each piece of bread and place buttered side down on a cutting board. Spread the bread with a heaping tablespoon of the Russian dressing.
  2. Add 2 slices of Swiss cheese on top of each slice of bread. Add about 1/4 cup of sauerkraut to 4 of the slices of bread (the sauerkraut only goes on one half of the sandwich).
  3. Divide the corned beef between each of the 4 slices of bread without the sauerkraut. (the corned beef only goes on 4 slices of the bread).
  4. Place 2 sandwiches (or as many as will fit in you skillet) in a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until the bread is toasted and browned. Flip to the other side and turn the heat down to low. You want the cheese to melt and the corned beef and sauerkraut to warm through before the second half of the bread gets too browned.
  5. Once the second half of the reuben is brown and crispy, remove the sandwiches to a plate and serve. Repeat with the remaining 2 sandwiches if needed. You can cover the cooked sandwiches with foil to keep warm or keep them warm in the oven while the remaining sandwiches cook.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

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