Smoked Salmon Reuben

Built of corned beef, melted Swiss cheese and Russian dressing, the Reuben sandwich is a masterpiece of heart-stopping excess, huge not[ only in flavor but in size. Indeed, as my father-in-law might say, the typical Reuben sandwich is "big enough to choke a horse." I suppose that trying to invent a less than Rubenesque Reuben was slightly sacrilegious -- rather like dreaming of a low-cal version of foie gras -- but I thought it might be worth a shot. I substituted both smoked salmon and smoked turkey for the corned beef and -- wonder of wonders -- found them to be equally delicious. So it's up to you -- choose whichever one suits your mood. By the way, you can make this sandwich on a panini grill, if you happen to have one. If not, my homemade press works just as well.]

Total Time:
45 min
15 min
30 min

4 sandwiches

  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce or ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • Kosher salt and freshly milled black pepper

  • 8 slices rye bread

  • 4 to 6 ounces thinly sliced Gruyere, Italian Fontina, or Swiss

  • 8 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon or smoked turkey

  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can sauerkraut, drained, rinsed and gently squeezed dry

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Combine the mayonnaise, chili sauce, pickle, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, to taste. Spread 1 side of each slice of bread with some of the dressing. Arrange half of the cheese on 4 of the slices. Divide the salmon, sauerkraut, and remaining cheese among the cheese-topped slices of bread and top each with 1 of the remaining bread slices, dressing-side down.


  • Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat; add the sandwiches and something heavy (such as a cast iron skillet, flat saucepan lid, or heatproof plate and a weight such as a food can) to firmly press the sandwiches down. Cook for 6 minutes a side or until golden and the cheese has melted. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.

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