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Reuben Sandwich with a Twist

Reuben sandwich with a twist gives a new twist to a classic sandwich. If sauerkraut isn’t for you, this sandwich replaces the Kraut with sauteed cabbage.  

Reuben Sandwich

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I lived in Manhattan for several years back in the ’90s. That was when I discovered what a great sandwich a Reuben was. The gold standard for Reubens (in my opinion) is the Katz Delicatessen in Manhattan. Interesting fact: Katz uses 8000 pounds of corned beef every week! Wow, that’s a lot of Reubens. They are so famous for their Reuben Sandwich that they go through 8000 pounds of corned beef a week.
A little history. There are several different theories as to when and who invented the Reuben. However, the most common assumption is that it was developed by Arnold Reuben, the owned of Manhattan’s Reuben Delicatessen in 1914. 

ingredients for a reuben

What is in a Reuben Sandwich with a Twist? 

A classic Reuben sandwich is a melty sandwich of Rye bread with corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian or Thousand Island dressing. The twist, skip the sauerkraut, and use sauteed cabbage and onions. However, if you love sauerkraut on your Reubin, squeeze some lemon over the sauteed cabbage, mix it in.  Wahla, fresh sauerkraut for your Reuben!!!
For St. Patrick’s day, I don’t boil my cabbage and potatoes in the corned beef. GASP! I know if you’re Irish, this is mandatory for St. Patrick’s Day. I prefer my potatoes prepared any way but boiled. Fried, baked, roasted, or mashed, please.
If I’m lucky enough to have leftovers, they are transformed into Reubens the next day. I fry the potatoes for a side instead of chips. I saute the cabbage with onions instead of boiling it with the corned beef. Hence the leftover sauteed cabbage and onions instead of sauerkraut for Reubens the next day. If you aren’t a sauerkraut lover, this is your kind of sandwich.

How do I Make a Reuben Sandwich with a Twist?

Make the dressing: Thousand Island and Russian dressing are similar.  The Russian dressing has more of a “kick,” whereas the Thousand Island leans more towards the sweet side.  So the choice is spice it up with the Russian,  or mellow out with a  Thousand Island dressing.  For both mix  together mayonnaise, ketchup, Worchester sauce, and sweet pickle relish.  The Russian is spiced up with some horseradish, onion and garlic powder, and mustard powder.  

Saute the Cabbage and Onions.  Thinly slice the cabbage and onions.  Add butter to a large skillet and saute until slightly tender.  Want Sauerkraut on your Reuben?   My sis, Lynette Dickerson suggests you add some fresh squeezed lemon juice to the sauteed cabbage for a “fresh sauerkraut twist”.  Thanks Lynette, great idea.    Click here to read the Blog.

Putting It All Together: Lightly Toast the rye bread and spread both halves with the dressing. Add the cheese, corned beef, and sauteed cabbage with onions. Butter the outsides of the sandwich. Heat until the cheese is melted, and the outside of the bread is toasted. I don’t know about you, but it seems like every time I need soft butter, the only butter I can find is not soft. I’ve tried softening it in the microwave – meaning it is now melted butter. My solution! Mayonnaise, that’s right, mayonnaise. Spread mayonnaise on the outside of the sandwich before grilling. I promise you won’t be able to tell the difference between mayonnaise and butter. After all, it’s the fat that makes that nice toasty brown crispy outside of the sandwich.  Grill the Reuben in either a grill pan or panini press. 

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Reuben Sandwich

Reuben Sandwich with a Twist

Reuben sandwich with a twist gives a new twist to a classic sandwich. If sauerkraut isn't for you, this sandwich replaces the kraut with sauteed cabbage. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Reuben Sandwich, reuben sandwich wiht a twist
Servings: 4
Calories: 800kcal


  • This page contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click a link, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you
  • Panini Press


  • 8 slices rye bread lightly toasted
  • 1 lb corned beef sliced extra thin
  • 8 slices swiss cheese

Cabbage and Onions

  • 2 cups cabbage Thinly sliced, discard the core
  • 1 cups sweet onions thinkly sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice Optional

Homemade dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tsp Worchester sauce
  • 2 tbsp Horseradish (optional)


Thousand Island Dressing

  • Mix together the mayonnaise, ketchup, sweet pickle relish, and Worchester sauce. For a spicer dressing add the Horseradish

Saute the Cabbage and Onions

  • Melt 4 tbsp of butter in a frypan. Add the cabbage and onions to the melted butter and saute until tender and slightly browned. About 10 -15 minutes. If you like sauerkraut on your Reuben, drizzle the lemon juice over the sauteed cabbage for "fresh sauerkraut"!
    sauteed cabbage and onions

Assemble The Reuben

  • spread a generous amount of dressing on one side of each slice of bread.
  • Add 2 slices of Swiss cheese and 1/4 lb Corned beef to one slice of the Rye Bread.
  • Add 1/4 cup sauteed cabbage and onions to the other slice.
  • Put the two slices together, Spread the outside of the sandwich with butter or mayonnaise and grill in either a grill pan or panini press until the cheese is melted and the sandwich is hot through. About 2-3 minutes
    Reuben Sandwich


If you love the traditional Reuben replace the cabbage and onions with 1/4 cup of sauerkraut. 
Spread mayonnaise on the outside of the sandwich before grilling instead of butter.  Delicious, simple, and quick. 


Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 800kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 2208mg | Potassium: 622mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 601IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 350mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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