How to make Reuben Sandwiches (Baked)
Skip the skillet flipping of your next reuben sandwich and bake a bunch quickly and easily in the oven. Gooey and delicious, this fast classic will be a winner and you don’t have to babysit them.Jump to Recipe
A hot melty sandwich makes a fabulous dinner or lunch for guests. You might tend to skip over the simplicity of a great reuben or tuna melt and go right for the prime rib–but this simple sandwich is full of amazing flavor.
To make things even easier, we’re baking these on hot cookie sheets so the bread toasts and you don’t have to stand over a skillet and tend to each sandwich one at a time. If you have large enough pans, they can all be baked at once.
Reuben sandwiches would be a great recipe to teach your kids if they make dinner and it’s easy to adjust for large crowds or when you’re cooking for two.
What ingredients are on a reuben sandwich?
Reuben sandwiches are made with
- Rye or pumpernickel bread
- Corned beef
- Swiss cheese
- Russian dressing (I use Thousand Island) You could make your own Russian dressing.
Tips for the best reuben sandwiches
Like I always say: When a recipe has just a few ingredients they all need to be the best they can be.
- Use a good quality rye or make your own bread if you feel up to it.
- I’d recommend a refrigerated sauerkraut over the canned version, but get what you like
- Buy a good corned beef and get it shaved in the deli.
- Get a block of Swiss cheese sliced in the deli as well. Bagged pre-shredded cheeses don’t melt reliably.
- I’ve always used potted Thousand Island dressing in this sandwich. It has some pickle relish in it that Russian dressing doesn’t. You can make your own dressing if you choose.
To skip baking: Stovetop instructions
Heat a medium skillet over medium high. Add your assembled sandwich and reduce heat to medium. Cook until the bread is toasted (3 to 5 minutes) and then flip.
Cook on the second side until toasted another 3 to 4 minutes, and if needed you can put a lid on the pan to help the cheese melt. Just don’t leave it on long so it doesn’t drip condensation on your bread and make it soggy.
What to serve with reuben sandwiches
Personally I keep it simple with just some chips but you could make homemade potato chips to impress your guests. This is one sandwich where fancy side dishes just aren’t necessary.
Baked Reuben Sandwiches
- 8 slices rye bread
- 1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing
- 1 pound corned beef shaved in the deli
- 1 pound Swiss cheese sliced
- 1 14.5 ounce sauerkraut canned or refrigerated; drained and squeezed very dry
- 3 tablespoons butter or margarine softened
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place two rimmed baking sheets in the oven to heat while you assemble the sandwiches.
- Butter one side of each of the slices of bread, and place four of them butter side down.
- To these four slices of bread, spread on 1 tablespoon Thousand Island dressing per slice.
- Top with one slice of cheese (or a little extra if you want it).
- Add several slices of corned beef–I guess at the amount–enough to make it about 1-inch thick on the bread. You can do less if you like.
- Add 1/4 cup sauerkraut. Make sure you've pressed out most of the liquid to prevent sogging.
- Add 1 more tablespoon Thousand Island dressing to the un-buttered side of your remaining slices of bread. Place it on top of the sandwich, butter side up.
- Place the sandwiches on a hot baking sheet and place the second baking sheet on top of the sandwiches.
- Bake until the cheese is melted and the sandwiches are hot–about 12-15 minutes. Serve warm.
I use a salad spinner to dry the sauerkraut. Then it’s not pressed into a lump from squeezing. And I agree with buying kraut from the refrigerator section, not off the shelf. Same with the dressing.
I’ve used your recipe often – or as often as I make Reubens. You’re absolutely right – dry the sauerkraut. Pour the jar or can of kraut into your colander and with your fists press the moisture out of the kraut. Viola!
Thanks Greg! And yes, you have to drain that liquid thoroughly so the bread doesn’t get soggy. –Rachel
do you have any recipes for rye or pumpernickel bread, it is my husbands favorite and I would love to me it from scratch. Thank you!
I don’t at the moment but I will make you one soon Donna! One like this might work, it has great reviews: https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/steakhouse-style-pumpernickel-bread/ –Rachel
A friend of mine told me her hubs makes a version of these but wraps individually in foil? I wanna make some for work but I want to rewarm them with no oven. Any suggestions?
Hey Jodi, you could probably bake them and cool them then wrap them in parchment and rewarm in a microwave. Foil in the microwave is obviously not a good idea. They may be a little soggy but you can give it a try and see! –Rachel
These reubens are so easy for a crowd!
Made this for dinner tonight. Having trouble getting the bread to get toasty. Any tips?
Hey Gwen, I’m obviously late to the game on this but to get your bread toasty, make sure you didn’t leave your kraut too wet and it’s leaking through and you can always use the broiler if you want your bread really crispy. I hope you liked them anyway! –Rachel
Preheat your sheet trays in the oven while assembling your sandwiches. Take one out and put sandwiches on it. Place in oven and put second hot sheet tray on top, bottom side down.
Oh my gosh Rachel, this looks amazing!!
Thank you Gayle. 🙂 I hope you get a chance to try them soon!
Cookbook? Holy cow how exciting…tell me more!
p.s. believe it or not I have never had a Reuben. I decided at a very early age that I didn’t like corned beef or pastrami. I believe it is time to grow up!
Our Seattle Seahawks will no doubt be in the Superbowl…:) so I will have to give these a try!
Haha! Yes Kathi, I have been working as a professional food photographer for a while now. I am shooting cookbook images for a variety of clients and I LOVE it. It’s a lot to manage being stylist and photographer but we have a great time. And don’t get me started on the stuff I don’t like….Lord have mercy. It’s a long list. Maybe we could both be a little adventurous and try a few new things? I hope you are feeling better!–Rachel