The Original Reuben Sandwich

  • Serves

    serves 1

  • Cook

    15 minutes


By SAVEUR Editors

Published on September 6, 2016

Pressing down on this sandwich with a spatula while it toasts in the pan is the key to achieving the outer crispness and well-melted cheese that you want in a Reuben. Pile the meat on generously but not more than an inch or two thick or else the interior won't get sufficiently warmed.


  • 3 tbsp. sauerkraut, well drained
  • 3 tbsp. Thousand Island dressing
  • 2 slices dark rye bread
  • Unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 thin slices Emmenthaler Swiss cheese
  • 4 slices Jewish-style corned beef, or more to taste
  • Optional for serving: kosher dill pickle, potato chips, radishes


Step 1

In a small bowl, mix the sauerkraut with the Thousand Island dressing. Set aside.

Step 2

Spread one side of each bread slice generously with softened butter. Place 1 slice on a clean work surface with the unbuttered side facing up. Top it with two slices of cheese, the corned beef, the sauerkraut, and then the remaining cheese. Top with the remaining bread slice, buttered side up.

Step 3

Heat a small skillet, griddle, or grill pan to medium-high. Melt a thin layer of butter in the skillet, or brush the grill pan with melted butter. Once hot but not yet smoking, transfer the sandwich into the pan and cook, pressing down occasionally with a spatula and flipping as needed, until the bread is browned evenly on both sides and the cheese is fully melted, about 5 minutes per side.

Step 4

Transfer to a plate, slice in half, and serve immediately. Garnish the plate with the pickle, potato chips, and radishes if desired.

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