Sandwich Essentials: The Ultimate Classic Ruben

Andy Anderson !


I genuinely enjoy a good Ruben sandwich. There is something about those diverse flavors of corned beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, and Swiss cheese, all lovingly sandwiched between two slices of marbled rye, that just sets your tongue to dancing. Add some chips, and a dill wedge, and I am in heaven.

The one twist that I am adding is preheating the corned beef, but we will talk about that later

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


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10 Min
10 Min
Stove Top



  • 2 slice
    marbled jewish rye
  • 1 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted, melted
  • 4 oz
    corned beef, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c
    sauerkraut, drained
  • 4 slice
    switzerland swiss cheese
  • 2 Tbsp
    russian dressing, homemade, if possible

How to Make Sandwich Essentials: The Ultimate Classic Ruben


  2. Although most Rubens are served today with thousand-island dressing, the original condiment was Russian dressing.
  3. Most historical records support the fact that the first Rubens were served on marbled Jewish rye bread. If you cannot get marbled rye, regular rye is acceptable.
  4. One of the mistakes making a Ruben is overstuffing it with corned beef. I have seen some sandwiches that are so thick, you cannot open your mouth wide enough to eat it. This classic Ruben is all about proper proportioning.
  5. If you are looking to do this recipe from homemade ingredients, here are a few additional recipes to help you out:
    Micro Fermenting Essentials: Cabbage to Sauerkraut

    Dressing Essentials: Rumbustious Russian Dressing

    Excellent Corned Beef in Seven Days#page1:comment2385411
  6. Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  8. Take the sauerkraut out of the fridge, and place in a strainer to thoroughly drain.
  9. Chef’s Note: Nothing can ruin a good Ruben faster than a bunch of soggy sauerkraut… Drain that sauerkraut.
  10. Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 250f (120c).
  11. Lay a piece of parchment paper on aluminum foil, and lay down two ounces of corned beef, and place two slices of Swiss cheese on top (per sandwich).
  12. Lay another 2 ounces of corned beef on top.
  13. Sprinkle with a few drops of water, cover, using another piece of parchment paper, and foil, and place into the preheated oven, until needed.
  14. Chef’s Note: I slice my Ruben, so that each slice equals 1 ounce (30g).
  15. Chef’s Note: This is my twist to a traditional Ruben. The most difficult thing for home chef’s is to find the exact temperature for their skillet, so that by the time the bread is toasted, the insides of the Ruben are warm with gooey melted cheese. Too hot, and the bread burns before the insides are warm; too cold, and the bread never gets the chance to properly brown. By preheating the corned beef with some of the cheese, the sandwich comes out perfect every time.
  17. Brush the melted butter on one side of each of the slices of rye.
  18. Take a cold pan, and place one slice of the bread, buttered-side down into the pan.
  19. Chef’s Note: In the photos, I am making two sandwiches.
  20. Brush half the Russian dressing on the bread.
  21. Add a slice of Swiss cheese.
  22. Add the drained sauerkraut.
  23. Remove the corned beef from the oven, and place on top of the sauerkraut.
  24. Add another piece of Swiss cheese, brush the unbuttered side of the second slice of bread with the remaining Russian dressing, and place on top.
  25. Place the pan over a burner set to medium/medium-high heat, and cook until the bread is nicely browned, but not burned, about 3 – 4 minutes per side.
  27. Slice, and serve with some chips, and a dill pickle wedge. Enjoy.
  28. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About Sandwich Essentials: The Ultimate Classic Ruben

Course/Dish: Sandwiches
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: American
Dietary Needs: Soy Free
Other Tags: Quick & Easy Heirloom

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