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The Classic Rueben

Prep Time:

10 Minutes

Cook Time:

10 Minutes


4 Servings



About the Recipe

Like many classic dishes, the Reuben sandwich has multiple origin stories: Some accounts trace its origins to the since-shuttered Reuben’s delicatessen in New York City. Another origin story points to a customer, Reuben Kulakofsky, who was said to have ordered a corned beef and sauerkraut sandwich at Blackstone Hotel, in Omaha, where Chef Bernard Schimmel obliged and added Thousand Island dressing, Swiss cheese, rye bread and a hot grill. Today’s Reuben sandwiches feature corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and a healthy smear of dressing between toasted, buttered rye. Homemade dressing has a brighter, fresher flavor than the bottled variety, and comes together in just a few turns of a whisk. You can also add mustard if using and the dressing directly to the sauerkraut!


  • For the Dressing

  • ½ cup mayonnaise

  • 5 tablespoons ketchup

  • 3 tablespoons dill pickle relish (not sweet)

  • 1 tablespoon minced onion

  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • For the Sandwich

  • 8 slices rye sandwich bread

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 pound thinly sliced corned beef

  • 1 cup drained sauerkraut (about 6 ounces)

  • 8 slices Swiss cheese (about 6 ounces)