The Ultimate Guide to the Classic Reuben Sandwich

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the iconic Reuben sandwich! In this article, we will delve into the rich history, mouthwatering ingredients, and step-by-step instructions to create the most delicious and authentic Reuben sandwich you’ve ever tasted. Prepare to embark on a delightful culinary journey with us!

The History of the Reuben Sandwich

The origin of the Reuben sandwich can be traced back to the early 20th century in the United States. While there are a few different stories claiming to be the true inspiration, the most widely accepted tale involves Arnold Reuben, a New York deli owner. It is believed that he created this classic masterpiece in his deli’s kitchen, and it quickly gained popularity among his patrons.

Key Ingredients

1. Rye Bread

The foundation of a Reuben sandwich is the choice of bread, and rye bread is the classic option. Its hearty flavor and dense texture complement the fillings perfectly.

2. Corned Beef

Juicy and tender corned beef, traditionally made from brisket, is the primary protein that makes the Reuben sandwich so satisfying.

3. Swiss Cheese

The creamy and nutty flavor of Swiss cheese harmonizes with the other ingredients, enhancing the overall taste of the sandwich.

4. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut, fermented cabbage with a tangy flavor, provides a refreshing contrast and adds a zesty kick to the sandwich.

5. Russian Dressing

This tangy and creamy dressing, often made with a combination of ketchup, mayonnaise, horseradish, and other spices, is the perfect condiment to elevate the Reuben to new heights.

6. Butter

Butter is a key ingredient for grilling the sandwich, imparting a golden, crispy exterior.

The Perfect Reuben Sandwich – A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Assemble the Ingredients

Gather all the essential ingredients – rye bread, corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, and butter – to create the perfect Reuben sandwich.

Step 2: Prepare the Russian Dressing

In a mixing bowl, combine ketchup, mayonnaise, horseradish, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix until well blended, and your tangy Russian dressing is ready to go!

Step 3: Layering the Sandwich

Take two slices of rye bread and spread a generous amount of Russian dressing on each slice. Place a few layers of corned beef on one slice, followed by a hearty helping of sauerkraut and a couple of slices of Swiss cheese.

Step 4: Grill to Perfection

Carefully assemble the sandwich by bringing together the two prepared slices. In a skillet or a pan over medium heat, melt a knob of butter. Place the sandwich in the pan and grill until the bread turns golden brown, and the cheese begins to melt.

Step 5: Serve and Enjoy!

Remove the Reuben sandwich from the pan, slice it diagonally for a classic presentation, and serve it hot with a side of coleslaw or dill pickles. Enjoy the explosion of flavors with every bite!

The Versatility of the Reuben Sandwich

While the classic Reuben sandwich is a work of art, culinary enthusiasts have explored various adaptations over the years. Here are a few popular variations:

1. Turkey Reuben

Swap the corned beef with tender slices of roasted turkey for a lighter and equally delicious alternative.

2. Vegan Reuben

For our plant-based friends, substitute the corned beef and cheese with marinated and grilled tempeh or portobello mushrooms, creating a scrumptious vegan delight.


In conclusion, the Reuben sandwich is a timeless classic that continues to tantalize taste buds across generations. With its delightful combination of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, all nestled between slices of rye bread, it remains a culinary gem.

By following our step-by-step guide and experimenting with different variations, you can recreate this delectable sandwich in the comfort of your own kitchen. We hope this guide helps you in your quest to make the ultimate Reuben sandwich that will surely impress family and friends.

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