Reuben Panini

by on March 14, 2014

Classic Reuben Panini...a mouthwatering favorite

{I first posted this recipe in September 2008 — now updated with clearer instructions, a new photo and an excerpt from my cookbook, The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook}

Once upon a time I asked Panini Happy readers to name their favorite sandwich. The overwhelming choice turned out to be the Reuben. It wasn’t hard for me to understand why. Just the sight of all of that bright pink, salty corned beef piled on top of mouthwatering sauerkraut, with Thousand Island dressing and melted Swiss cheese on rye . . . well, you know you’re in for a flavor explosion.

There are lots of Reuben variations out there—some use turkey or pastrami instead of corned beef, some opt for Russian dressing rather than Thousand Island. This version happens to be the one I like best, especially after St . Patrick’s Day when there is leftover corned beef in the fridge.


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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mike September 4, 2008 at 12:58 am

This looks awesome! I got a ‘Reuben-esque’ grilled sandwich in the pipeline to be posted on my blog too.

Nowhere near this one though.

Damn, all hungry now and it’s only 09:00 in the morning. ;)

// Mike

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2 HoneyB September 4, 2008 at 2:55 am

I have made these on my small George Foreman grill for a long, long time. I admit I have used lower fat turkey or ham to do it, but love them just the same! I’m the only one (Grumpy would rather not eat them) so I normally will make Reubens when I’m alone. :)

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3 Deborah September 4, 2008 at 10:34 am

I am so asking for a panini grill for my birthday in a few weeks!!

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4 noble pig September 4, 2008 at 12:40 pm

I do love a good reuban sandwich! I never thought of doing it as a panini!

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5 grace September 4, 2008 at 1:04 pm

i once knew a fella named reuben. he was a real jerk and didn’t deserve the name. :)
great sammich, as usual. :)

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6 Tara September 4, 2008 at 1:55 pm

My Father-in-law adores reubens, and I will admit that the sight of yours made my stomach growl. Maybe the next my in-laws visit, I should treat them to these.

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7 Elle September 4, 2008 at 2:23 pm

I want one for dinner! That’s such a gorgeous shot you took, too. Mmmmmm…..

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8 S.Lynne September 4, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Mmmm…looks and sounds delicious! Reubens are a favorite of my son, who is away at college, and I usually only make them when he is home. That will change this week-end!

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9 Tom Aarons September 5, 2008 at 12:52 am

You know when you just get struck dumb for a few minutes by a truly great idea? This was one of those times! :)

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10 Kevin September 5, 2008 at 3:58 am

That looks good!

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11 Lo (BURP! Where Food Happens) September 5, 2008 at 10:30 am

Oh, dear. I love the reuben.
And I’m CERTAIN it’s fantastic “panini-d”… we’ll have to try this!! Maybe on my new panini press :)

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12 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) September 5, 2008 at 12:47 pm

I don’t know if you can call this a Reuben if you leave out the sauerkraut, but that’s how I make mine. Sometimes I sneak a bit of cole slaw in, instead.

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13 Cindi August 16, 2009 at 8:42 pm

That would be called a Rachel I think!!!!

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14 Hildi Valenzano March 14, 2014 at 5:05 am

Cindi, you are correct, it’s a Rachel.

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15 Kristen September 5, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Kathy – I cannot look at your site without getting totally hungry! YUM on this one. I love it! My dad would love it… will have to pass this on to him!

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16 Natasha September 5, 2008 at 4:58 pm

It looks wonderful, but I’m just not sure about sauerkraut in a sandwich…

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17 Susan from Food Blogga September 5, 2008 at 6:18 pm

You know, I never liked Reubens, but your picture has me reconsidering.

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18 Mary Anne September 6, 2008 at 3:48 am

It looks awesome. It’s only 6:45 am and your grilled reuben picture made me hungry. They are the best!

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19 Kim September 6, 2008 at 6:05 am

Hands down when I go to New York City, I manage to eat at least 2 reubens with sauerkraut of course! Looks mighty good.

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20 Sandie September 6, 2008 at 9:41 am

Ah, my husband’s favorite sandwich. (I have to admit, I’m rather partial to reubens myself!)

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21 MangerLaVille September 6, 2008 at 2:40 pm

I love the classic reuben. You got me craving some good pastrami, guess I will have to go visit Kats in NYC and then come home and make this. You have some great grill marks on your panini. Looks Great!

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22 Wandering Coyote September 6, 2008 at 7:10 pm

Thanks for you comment!

Wow – an entire blog devoted to paninis – excellent!

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23 Jenny September 6, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Mmm, I’d love one of your classic reubens. I am so excited to buy my own panini press in a couple weeks. Your blog is awesome and I know where I’ll get my panini recipes!

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24 Jude September 6, 2008 at 9:58 pm

Looks perfect. Gotta love grill marks on rye bread.

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25 Marisol September 7, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Perfection! I’m craving one now.

Beautiful blog, too!

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26 Pam September 7, 2008 at 10:59 pm

I love reuben sandwiches. They are gooey and messy and oh so delicous!

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27 robinsue September 8, 2008 at 6:42 am

Reubens are one of my favorite sandwiches to order out when I am at diners. They do such a good job on them. I like them either way, with coleslaw or sauerkraut but definitely with the Thousand Island dressing! I’ll have to try to make them at home sometime.

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28 Sandy S October 20, 2008 at 12:19 pm

This recipe suddenly makes me enormously happy to have a panini grill! Thank you!

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29 soulchocolate@ My Gourmet Kitchen November 15, 2008 at 8:00 pm

I love those grill marks! Pity mine is just a regular sandwich press with flat plates with no chance of a fancy design like this! I will just have to imagine grill marks on my toast then.

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30 Danny January 20, 2010 at 2:43 pm

woah i dont think iv ever seen such a good lookin rubin before, my dad and i always have them but never in a panini formi got to go make one right now my mother is watering

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31 Lyle February 4, 2010 at 5:58 pm

As a follow-on to a previous comment about a Rachel – I believe that a Rachel is the same as a Reuben except it substitutes your favorite turkey for the corned beef. Although cole slaw would be an interesting alternative, too!

If you don’t like the flavor of the kraut but want the cabbage crunch, just rinse it once or twice in a collander to remove some(all) of the pickling brine, squeeze to drain. Also, mixing the 1000 Island and kraut together moderates the flavor somewhat. Personally, I go for a Czech or Bavarian style kraut that has caraway seed in it… :- )

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32 Brenda T. (Meal Planning Magic) March 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm

I am so totally going to try this! Corned beef is in the slowcooker for tonight’s meal and hubby bought two corned beefs because he said he likes it so much followed by “we’ll be having Reubens too, right?” How totally delicious will it been as a panini–my tummy’s grumbling already!

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33 Stuart Reb Donald March 22, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I don’t get the whole Thousand Island thing. It not only tastes retched but it isn’t accurate. Ruebens can have Russian Dressing, the flavor is better that TI and it is historically correct or they can have mustard which best matches the flavor profile of the other ingredients. Thousand Island is the brain child of fern bar chains like Applebee’s and Ruby Tuesday.

So what are the thoughts of you Thousand Islanders?
.-= Stuart Reb Donald´s last blog ..7 Questions with the Bikini Chef Susan Irby =-.

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34 Kathy March 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm

To me, food is food. If it tastes good and isn’t *too* bad for you I’m all for it, whether it’s the traditional approach or not.

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35 Jenn January 10, 2011 at 9:01 am

This is my husband’s favorite sandwich. It comes out so much nicer in a panini maker. We pile it high, so it always falls apart in a grill pan. So good. Thanks!
Jenn´s last blog post ..Sunday Night Roast Chicken &amp The Family Dinner

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36 craig p March 29, 2013 at 11:44 am

my panini is in the mail, i cant wait to try this recipe!!! it looks fantastic!!!

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37 Kathy Strahs March 29, 2013 at 11:54 am

Have a great time with your new grill – I hope you love it!

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38 Rachel @ Bakerita March 16, 2014 at 8:11 am

This looks so awesome! I loooove corned beef, and I so wish I had access to all the ingredients for this so I could celebrate St. Patty’s Day in the most delicious way. Pinned!
Rachel @ Bakerita´s last blog post ..St. Patrick’s Day Recipe Roundup

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39 Kathy Strahs March 16, 2014 at 8:18 am

Thanks, Rachel!!

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40 Lauren March 28, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Taste explosion, you’re right!! This looks completely amazing!
Lauren´s last blog post ..Planted Carrot Chocolate Easter Cake

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