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Reuben Sandwich

January 1, 2023

For us, reuben sandwiches immediately conjure deli counters, soda pop, a healthy side of potato–in chip or salad form, depending on your mood–and a crunchy pickle. Here’s how to bring all that home.


a stacked reuben sandwich made with rye bread pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese & Russian  style dressing
Photography by Gayle McLeod

The Classic Reuben Sandwich

This sandwich has quite the legacy, and there’s a reason the reuben sandwich is a North American classic. It’s visually appealing, with a toasty marbled rye exterior, stacks of pastrami and sauerkraut covered in melty Swiss and creamy Russian dressing on the interior, we get hungry just looking at it! Since the reuben sandwich origin in the early 1900s (stories place the debut in New York City or Omaha, Nebraska), it’s been winning hearts and minds and sandwich contests! Once you make your own homemade reuben sandwich, we think you’ll be putting it on regular rotation in your kitchen.

rye bread, pastrami, sauerkraut kraut, Swiss cheese and ingredients for Russian style dressing on the counter for reubens

What Is a Reuben Sandwich?

The reuben sandwich is a knife-and-fork kind of sandwich that layers slices of pastrami, a deli meat best known for its peppery with a touch of coriander and smokiness flavor. The debate: Is a Reuben sandwich made with corned beef or pastrami? It can be either, but we prefer pastrami because it gives the reuben a touch more spice and flavor overall, in our opinion. The sandwich is then stacked high on rye bread, stuffed with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, and a good smear of Russian dressing. We make our own Russian style dressing, and we think you’ll love the extra zippy flavor you get when you make your own (hint: there’s Sriracha in it!). Griddled lovingly with butter in a warm skillet, this deli classic will be your new sandwich calling card.

a bowl of Russian style dressing made with mayo, ketchup, relish, sriracha, lemon juice, onion, garlic, salt & pepper
reuben sandwiches being assembled made with rye bread, pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian style dressing

How Do You Make A Reuben Sandwich?

Glad you asked! Let’s walk through the best reuben sandwich recipe one layer at a time!

  1. Start by making the Russian style dressing in a small bowl. Set this aside for when you assemble the rest of your reuben sandwich ingredients.

  2. To make the sandwiches, spread one side of each slice of bread with butter. On the non-buttered side of the bread, spread the Russian dressing on each slice.

  3. Next, divide pastrami evenly among two slices of the bread. Top pastrami with sauerkraut, and then finally the slices of Swiss cheese. Top each sandwich with remaining slices of bread, dressing side down.

  4. Heat the sandwiches in a skillet (low heat is best here!) until the bread turns golden brown, about 5-8 minutes per side. Keep flipping until the cheese is nice and melty!

  5. Transfer sandwiches to a cutting board. Cut in half and serve immediately alongside potato chips or potato salad and pickles.

2 reuben sandwiches made with rye bread, pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian style dressing being grilled in a pan
2 reuben made with rye bread, pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and dressing being cut in half with a knife on a bread board

Tools You’ll Need

Any Way You Slice ‘Em, We Love Sandwiches

We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite sandwich recipes from The Modern Proper archives for you here:

a reuben sandwich cut in half and stacked on top of each other made with pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese& Russian dressing

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread Is This Reuben Sandwich Recipe

Show us those stacks of reuben sandwiches next time you make them and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Reuben Sandwich

  • Serves: 2
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 430


Russian Style Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ⅓ cup sweet relish
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


  • 4 slices marbled rye bread
  • ¾ pound pastrami, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup sauerkraut, drained
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened


  1. Make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sriracha, lemon juice, grated onion, garlic, salt, and pepper.

  2. Make the Reuben. Evenly spread the slices of bread with the butter, flip over and evenly spread dressing on the non-buttered side of each bread slice.

  3. Top the dressed side of two bread slices, dressed-sides up, with the pastrami, sauerkraut, and cheese. Place the remaining slices, dressing-sides down, on top.

  4. Heat a large skillet over low heat. Add the sandwiches to the pan and cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 5-8 minutes. Flip the sandwiches and cook until golden brown on the bottom and the cheese has melted, 5-8 minutes more.

  5. Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board. Cut in half and serve immediately.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories430
  • Protein25 g
  • Carbohydrates27 g
  • Total Fat24 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol71 mg
  • sodium1295 mg
  • Total Sugars10 g

Reuben Sandwich

Questions & Reviews

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  • Chelsea

    The BEST Reuben sandwich. I’ve tried ordering them at restaurants since making this one & this one will always win. Get a good fresh rye bread & you won’t look back.

    Thanks Chelsea, so happy you love it!

  • Bea

    Loveeeed this. Way cheaper than buying a reuben from a cafe and just as good.

    Thanks Be a! So happy you loved it!