Rueben Sandwich

Rye bread stacked with fresh corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut and then toasted to perfection!  Yum!
Rueben Sandwich

I don’t know about you, but I love a good Rueben Sandwich!  My sisters and I travel quite often together and we order Rueben Sandwiches whenever we see them on the menu.  There is nothing like fresh corned beef stacked on some delicious rye bread, slathered with mayonnaise and then stacked with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese.

I found fresh sauerkraut at Costco in the deli section last week.  It is in a large jar and is so delicious!  My husband hates, I mean HATES cabbage and sauerkraut.  I made the Rueben Sandwich pictured above with the new sauerkraut.  Um, he loved the sandwich and kept commenting about how the sauerkraut was not too strong.  HUGE WIN!  The sauerkraut is mild and not as overpowering as so many sauerkrauts can be.  These sandwiches are so flavorful, tender and just down right addictive!

How to a Ruben Sandwich

1. Get all your ingredients gathered and start warming up your griddle or fry pan on medium heat.  Having your pan ready to go and at a medium heat is key to any good grilled cheese sandwich.  That’s why the instructions to gather your ingredients is super important.

When I make this sandwich, I have already cooked corned beef the day before.  The sauerkraut has been squeezed dry in paper towels and the Swiss cheese is separated and ready to stack.

2.  Spread mayonnaise on both sides of the rye bread.  Rye bread makes these sandwiches come together.  Without it, you are missing a key flavor to complete these sandwiches.  There is nothing like the taste of rye with the corned beef and sauerkraut to wake up your taste buds.  No need to toast your bread before you make these because it will be toasted on the griddle.

3.  Pull apart the fresh, sliced corned beef and spread a generous amount on one slice of bread for each sandwich you are making.  If you did not make corned beef the day before, you are missing out on the rich flavor of this delicious meat.  You can also use pastrami from the deli, or if you are really in a pinch, you can buy corned beef slices in a package in the grocery store by the cheese.

Make fresh corned beef to get the best flavor.

If you made fresh corned beef earlier, and put it in the refrigerator, warm it up in the microwave to give the sandwich a head start.  Bringing the meat, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese up to temperature can take a while if everything is straight out of the refrigerator.

Corned Beef cooked in a slow cooker. It is perfect for Rueben sandwiches or corned beef hash.
Corned Beef

4.  Place two slices of Swiss cheese on top of the corned beef.  The cheese is the glue the holds the meat and the sauerkraut together.  Placing it in the middle of the sandwich ingredients is very important.  Try and place the cheese so it hangs over the edge of the bread a little. As the cheese melts, it will hang over the edges to hold on to the bread and the rest of the ingredients. 

 5.  Grab a handful of sauerkraut and wrap it in two paper towels.  Squeeze this over the sink.  You want the sauerkraut to be dry.  Squeezing out the juice allows the Swiss cheese to be the star and provide the moisture with a big kick of flavor.  

6. Spread the sauerkraut over the Swiss cheese in a thin layer.  You have to use your hands to pull it apart a bit. You want a delicious amount in each bite you take.  Cover it with the other piece of rye bread.

7.  Butter the top piece of bread on the outside of the sandwich and then spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on it.  This side goes first on the griddle.  Now the unbuttered side is available to do the same thing.  Using room temperature butter is the only way to go.  If you do not have any, use the microwave to soften a cube of butter.

How to Soften Butter in a Microwave

Place the cube on a plate in the microwave in the wrapping.  Set the microwave to 30 seconds.  Before hitting start, find the power button and push it.  Set the power to level 2.  When the buzzer goes off, flip the cube of butter over and heat for another 30 seconds on power 2.  Perfect! (in MY microwave anyway.)

8.  A lid from a large stock pot is essential to cook these sandwiches.  Once you have cooked the first side and flipped the sandwich over, lay the lid on top of the sandwich.  I always put a timer on for 4 minutes.  This helps me not forget that I have something on the stove.  Then I do not burn the sandwiches.

9.  Cook both sides of the sandwiches twice.  These sandwiches are thick and need more time on the heat.  I cooked mine 4 minutes on each side.  They were very brown the first time I turned them, so I turned the heat down so I had enough time to melt the cheese.  If the cheese is not melting, cut the sandwich in half and continue to cook so the heat can get in the center.

Rueben Sandwich

Let me know on Instagram or Pinterest if you make this.
  Post a picture and tag me @dinasdiner.  I want to know how it turns out.

Rueben sandwich with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut with a hint of mayonnaise then toasted on rye bread to perfection.

Rueben Sandwich

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Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Servings 2 Sandwiches


  • 4 Slices Rye Bread
  • 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 5 Ounces Corned Beef (about 1 1/3 Cups)
  • 4 Ounces Swiss Cheese (four slices)
  • 1 Cup Sauerkraut (before squeezing out juices)
  • 1/4 Cup Butter, softened


  • Get a griddle/fry pan heated on medium low heat.
  • Spread mayonnaise on all four slices of bread.
  • Heat corned beef until warm and spread on two slices of bread.
  • Lay two slices of Swiss cheese on each slice of bread over the corned beef.
  • Measure out 1 cup of sauerkraut and place in paper towels
  • Squeeze all the water/juice out of the sauerkraut.
  • Separate and spread the sauerkraut evenly over the Swiss cheese on both sandwiches.
  • Put the other slice of Rye bread on the top.
  • Spread softened butter on the outside of both slices of bread.
  • Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on top of the butter.
  • Place butter side down on the warm griddle.
  • Set the timer for 4 minutes. 
  • Butter the other side of bread and spread a thin layer of mayonnaise, too.
  • When the timer goes off, flip the sandwich.
  • Place a large lid on top of the sandwiches.
  • Set the timer for 4 minutes.
  • When the timer goes off, flip the sandwich and place the lid on again.
  • Set the timer for another 4 minutes.
  • Flip for the last time and set the timer for four minutes.
  • Make sure you place the lid on during the last four minutes.
  • Take the sandwiches off the heat, slice and serve.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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