Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 10 mins

This is how we make our Reuben sandwiches at our house. They're hearty, messy, usually require the aid of a knife and fork, and are absolutely delicious! We think it's because we make our own dressing... you can call it Thousand Island or French, whathaveyou. All we know is that we gladly lick it off our fingers when it dribbles. :) It's also a Pantry Challenge recipe, made with items we already had at home.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 13 cup mayonnaise (Best Foods or Hellmann's or Vegenaise)
  • 14 cup catsup
  • 12 teaspoon dill relish
  • 12 teaspoon sweet pickle relish
  • 14-12 teaspoon dried onion flakes, to taste
  • 18 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 14 teaspoon lemon juice (we use both, to taste, the balsamic really adds nice flavor) or 14 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (we use both, to taste, the balsamic really adds nice flavor)
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 slices dark rye bread (caraway or not, it's up to you, but we prefer it without)
  • 3 teaspoons butter
  • 3 -4 ounces thinly sliced deli pastrami
  • 13 cup sauerkraut, drained well (we prefer Bubbie's naturally fermented kraut)
  • 1 -2 ounce sliced provolone cheese or 1 -2 ounce swiss cheese or 1 -2 ounce monterey jack cheese


  1. In a small bowl, make the dressing: combine the mayonnaise, catsup, relishes, onion, garlic, lemon juice, and black pepper to taste; set aside.
  2. Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread.
  3. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat and place one slice of bread, butter-side down, in the pan.
  4. Assemble the sandwich: on top of the bread, place the sliced pastrami; top meat with a couple of tablespoons of the dressing; then spread the sauerkraut over, add some more dressing, top with the cheese, then place the other slice of bread- buttered side up- on top (this arrangement helps keep the dressing from soaking the bread too much).
  5. Cover the grilling sandwich with a lid (a Reverware saucepan lid works well for this) and let grill for 2 to 3 minutes, checking to make sure that the bread does not burn- the idea is to heat the air underneath the lid and melt the cheese easier as you're also browning the bread.
  6. Carefully turn the sandwich, re-cover, and grill other side. (I say "carefully" because, depending on how much of the fillings you put in, this step can get a little messy -- ).
  7. Cut the completed grilled sandwich in two and serve with the extra dressing for dipping, along with a dill pickle and potato chips or potato salad.


Most Helpful

I used hotdog relish instead of dill relish (all I had). I do not like relish of any kind so was very skeptical using it. I am so glad I did. The steps to make so the bread did not get soggy were FABULOUS. I cheated in a way,,,got lazy. I made exactly as written to prepare it,,,but made it a few hours before cooking it,,,and baked it in 450 degree oven for 15 minutes w/out flipping and worked out awesome. I made 6 sandwiches on a cookie sheet. Thank you I will def. be making these again.

Karen Guerra December 30, 2009

WOW! This is sooo good! The dressing is perfect and, like Huntergirl, the steps in putting this together MAKE the sandwich. I squished ALL of the liquid out of the sauerkraut and this sandwich was perfect. Try it now, you will not be disappointed! Thanks for posting Jules.

Scoutie October 17, 2009

I love to cook but Reubens are a favorite and I was practically drooling over this sandwich waiting for the first bite. YUM! I swear this is the best reuben sandwich I've ever eaten and better yet it was made in my own kitchen! I liked the steps in where to place the dressing to prevent soggy bread. THANK YOU, Julesong!!! :)

*Huntergirl* September 12, 2009

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