A classic Reuben sandwich is made up of buttered rye bread, Thousand Island dressing, corned beef brisket, drained sauerkraut, caraway seeds and Swiss cheese. It may also be made with Russian dressing instead of Thousand Island dressing, and regular corned beef instead of corned beef brisket. The Russian dressing used in a Reuben can be made from scratch using mayonnaise, chili sauce, sour cream, parsley, onion, pickles, lemon juice, horseradish and Worcestershire sauce.
A proper corned beef sandwich also contains ingredients placed in the right order on the rye bread. The proper order is the dressing, followed by corned beef, topped with sauerkraut with caraway seeds if desired, topped with Swiss cheese and additional dressing. The sandwich needs to be heated in a pan until golden in color and the cheese is melted.
The corned beef used in a Reuben should be high quality. Lean corned beef should be avoided. The ingredients should also be piled high to make the sandwich properly.
Reuben sandwiches are easy to put together, according to most recipes. To make a leaner sandwich, it is possible to use a fat-free Thousand Island dressing. It can also be made healthier by using turkey or chicken instead of corned beef. The butter can be omitted.