Have leftover corned beef? Use if for easy and delicious grilled reuben sandwich, made with quick pickled onions, swiss cheese and homemade Thousand Island dressing.
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes
If you've got a bit of leftover corned beef after St. Patrick's Day, there is no nicer way to enjoy it than in a classic Reuben Sandwich.
If you aren't familiar with the classic Reuben sandwich, it is a delicious combination of corned beef, Swiss cheese, mustard and sauerkraut.
My version skips the sauerkraut (not really a fan) and uses quick pickled red onions instead, for a similar tangy note. I've used a homemade Thousand Island dressing here, instead of the classic Russian dressing. The Swiss cheese and the corned beef is here though, all placed onto a nice multigrain sourdough rye and given a quick grill for warmth and crispness.
It's a feast of a sandwich, for sure and also an easy and simply delicious way to enjoy corned beef!
Here are the ingredients you will need for the sandwich:
Nice bread - rye bread is classic for a Reuben, but a nice rye variation, such as multigrain or marble is a good option, as well
Cooked corned beef, either leftover or deli-bought
Mustard - either regular prepared mustard, Dijon or my favourite, a nice grainy mustard
If you'd like to make your own pickled onions:
For the homemade Thousand Islands dressing:
Replace the quick pickled onions with Sauerkraut, for a more classic Reuben
Use store-bought Thousand Island or Russian dressing
What is the best cheese for a Reuben Sandwich? Swiss cheese is the usual cheese in a classic Reuben sandwich. I think Emmental would be a good substitute, as well.
What sauce is best for a Reuben? Russian dressing is probably the most classic, but I prefer Thousand Island dressing myself. You can certainly go either way.
What about sauerkraut? Again, adding sauerkraut to a reuben sandwich is classic and if you love kraut, go ahead and add some. I've used homemade pickled onions in my version, which offers a similar tangy note to sauerkraut, but in a more subtle way.
Grilled Reuben Sandwich
For the Quick Pickled Onions:
- 1/2 small red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp mustard seed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the Thousand Island Dressing:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp ketchup
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp sweet pickle relish
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the sandwich:
- 4 slices rye bread (or any bread you enjoy)
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
- 8 slices Cooked corned beef (leftover or deli-bought)
- 1 Tbsp Dijon or grainy mustard
- 3 Tbsp butter (softened)
- Make the pickled onions: In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, combine the water, cider vinegar, sugar and mustard seed. Heat to boiling in the microwave (2 - 2 1/2 minutes). *Alternately, heat to a boil in a saucepan on the stovetop. Add the sliced red onion and season with salt and pepper. Stir and let stand at least 1 hour, before draining and using. (Refrigerate any leftovers to use for other things)
- Make the dressing: Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Stir to combine well. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
- To prepare the sandwich: Lay out two of your bread slices. Spread with some of the Thousand Island Dressing. Top with cooked corned beef slices and two slices of Swiss cheese, overlapping them. Add a layer of pickled onions. Spread the inside of the two other slices of bread with Dijon mustard and place on top, mustard side down.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Spread top of sandwiches with softened butter. Place into hot skillet, butter side down and grill until golden brown underneath. Before flipping, spread the top piece of bread with butter, then flip and grill that side until golden.