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Score big with these at your next Super Bowl party! Layer your corned beef Reuben Sandwich Recipe on sourdough with spicy brown mustard, Pepper Jack cheese, tangy coleslaw, green onions, and Thousand Island dressing.  

a corned beef reuben with coleslaw sandwich cut in half and stacked on a plate with a pick through the center and peppers on the side.

Why you’ll love this Reuben Sandwich recipe!

  • Milder Flavor. While sauerkraut has a distinct tangy and sometimes sharp flavor, coleslaw offers a milder taste. This makes it a great choice for those who prefer a more subtle or less acidic flavor in their sandwich.
  • Customization. Coleslaw can be easily customized to suit different preferences. You can adjust the dressing and ingredients accordingly, whether you like it sweet, tangy, or with a hint of spice.
  • Lighter Option. Coleslaw tends to be lighter in calories and fat compared to sauerkraut, especially if you use a lighter dressing.

Traditionally, the Reuben is a hot sandwich of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, grilled between two slices of rye bread.

If you’re not a fan of sauerkraut or rye (I’m not either!), then you should really try my version. I’ve taken several liberties from the old deli staple that makes this one delicious sandwich!

ingredients for corned beef reuben with coleslaw on a table.

Key ingredients & substitutions for a Corned Beef Reuben

  • Shredded cabbage — Instead of slicing this by hand, I just grab a bag of coleslaw mix from the produce aisle. It’s a great substitute for sauerkraut, since there’s plenty of tang when you add in the dressing.
  • Green onions — Add these to the cabbage for extra flavor!
  • Corned beef — This is not the place for leftover St. Paddy’s fare — you will need thinly sliced meat from the deli counter.
  • Thousand Island dressing — Grab a bottle of your favorite or whip up my easy homemade version!
  • Spicy brown mustard — Enjoy a little extra heat and earthiness in each bite of your Reuben with coleslaw.
  • Pepper Jack cheese — Adds a little extra kick that would normally be found in the pickled cabbage. If you prefer something milder, use swiss or provolone instead.
  • Sourdough bread — Use a sliced loaf for sandwiches instead of the traditional round loaf. This way, each corned beef Reuben with coleslaw is uniform in size.

How to make a Reuben with coleslaw

Often, I use my Blackstone griddle (I absolutely love it!) to flip and serve these sandwiches hot off the pan like a short-order cook boss!

process for making corned beef reuben with coleslaw: saute cabbage; spread mustard on sourdough bread slices.

STEP 1 | Sauté the cabbage with Reuben sandwich sauce

Heat olive oil in a large skillet, then cook the coleslaw mix and green onions until softened. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the secret sauce — Thousand Island dressing!

layer corned beef on top of cheese; top with coleslaw before grilling.

STEP 2 | Assemble the sandwiches

Spread mustard on one side of half of the bread slices. Place the slices on a lightly greased griddle, mustard side up.

Layer the cheese, meat, and coleslaw on top of each sliced, then top with the remaining bread.

STEP 3 | Toast

Cook each sandwich on the griddle for 3-4 minutes per side. The cheese should be melted but not oozing out the sides.

tips

  • You can assemble the corned beef Reuben sandwiches completely before placing them on the griddle. I just find that the transfer can be a bit messy.
  • If you prefer, shred half a head of cabbage using a mandoline slicer or a large sharp knife. You will need just over 4 cups total for this recipe.
  • Spread a thin layer of butter on the outside of the bread before it goes on the griddle. It will get extra crispy and delicious!

a corned beef reuben with coleslaw sandwich cut in half and stacked on a plate with a pick through the center.

Instead of the usual chicken wings, burgers, and bowls of chili or beer cheese soup, make up a tray of corned beef Reuben sandwiches for the big game instead. Served hot off the griddle, these sandwiches are sure to be a winner!

Variations and substitutions

  • Go For the Original. Traditionally, the Reuben is a hot sandwich of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, grilled between two slices of rye bread.
  • Skip the Beef. Next time, try my Rachel Sandwich with deli turkey instead.

Storage and reheating tips

Truthfully, these sandwiches are best eaten fresh to avoid getting soggy, so I don’t recommend storing leftovers and reheating later.

Frequently asked questions

Can I double this recipe?

Absolutely! You can adjust the amounts to create as many servings as you need.

What is a good substitute for sauerkraut?

In this recipe, I used a warm cabbage coleslaw with Thousand Island dressing. It’s just as tender and tangy without the extra heat or bite at the end.

I don’t have an electric griddle. What can I use instead?

Any large, flat pan that heats evenly will work! Cast iron is great, or you can purchase a griddle pan that goes on top of the stove burners.

a corned beef reuben with coleslaw sandwich cut in half and stacked on a plate.

Looking for more unique sandwich recipes?

If you like spicy food, try my Hot Chicken Sandwich next. Or, if you like sandwiches on the griddle, the Sandwich Cubano {Cuban Sandwich} and my Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich are phenomenal choices!

Serving suggestions

Pair each corned beef Reuben with your favorite sandwich sides like sweet potato chips or crispy French fries — both can be made in the air fryer!

For a game day spread, whip up a big bowl of potato salad or a platter of deviled eggs. We also love snacking on asparagus fries with a lemon aioli sauce.  

Please share!

Your shares are how this site grows, and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or Pinterest!

top down view of a corned beef reuben with coleslaw sandwich cut in half and stacked on a plate.

Super Coleslaw Reuben Sandwiches

Layer your corned beef Reuben on sourdough with spicy brown mustard, Pepper Jack cheese, tangy coleslaw, green onions, and Thousand Island dressing.
3.06 from 34 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Sandwiches
Cuisine American
Servings 6 sandwiches
Calories 764 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 10 oz. pkg. finely shredded cabbage coleslaw mix
  • 4 green onions sliced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing
  • 3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 12 slices sourdough sandwich bread
  • 6 slices Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 lb. thinly sliced corned beef

Instructions
 

  • Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cabbage and green onions and sauté for 3-5 minutes until cabbage is wilted. Remove from heat and stir in the salad dressing.
  • For each sandwich, spread mustard on just one side of 1 piece of the bread, then place on a lightly greased griddle, mustard side up.
  • Carefully pile on the cheese, corned beef, and coleslaw, then top with another slice of bread.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until the cheese is melted and the bread is nicely toasted.

Notes

Original recipe by Southern Living.
  • You can assemble the corned beef Reuben sandwiches completely before placing them on the griddle. I just find that the transfer can be a bit messy.
  • If you prefer, shred half a head of cabbage using a mandoline slicer or a large sharp knife. You will need just over 4 cups total for this recipe.
  • Spread a thin layer of butter on the outside of the bread before it goes on the griddle. It will get extra crispy and delicious!

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 764kcalCarbohydrates: 77gProtein: 36gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 1998mgFiber: 5gSugar: 11g

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword reuben, sandwich
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.

Beyond the recipe

Years ago, John and I stopped by a pub one Friday night. Instead of ordering the usual fish and chips, I took a chance and ordered the special of the night — a Reuben.

I had never tried one before, mostly because I don’t care for sauerkraut and sometimes rye bread can be a little overbearing for me. Much to my surprise, I actually enjoyed this one and that’s probably because the kitchen substituted sourdough for the rye!

Sheila Thigpen, blogger

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

2 Comments

  1. I want to make these but I would like to make them in our sandwich press…. I just wonder, do you think that would be okay?

    1. Trish, I’m not sure I’d use a sandwich press on this one because of all the coleslaw — but I don’t own a sandwich press, so you probably would know better than me!

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