Never choose between your two favorite sandwiches again. This toasted Reuben sandwich recipe combines corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese with sliced ham, mustard and dill pickles from a Cuban sandwich. It’s the best of both worlds!
What do you get when you combine everything that’s good about a Reuben sandwich with everything that’s delicious from a Cuban? An amazing combination, aptly named — the Cuban Reuben. Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
What is a Reuben Sandwich?
The main ingredient in a Reuben sandwich is corned beef. You may assume it’s Irish in origin, but it is actually an American invention. Stories of it origins vary (you can read a history of the sandwich here). It’s made by layering sliced corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on rye bread then toasting.
The Anatomy of a Cuban.
Contrary to its name, the Cuban sandwich is also an American invention. Both Tampa and Miami lay claim, which is where many Cuban immigrants settled in the early 1900’s (more of the history here if you are interested). An authentic Cuban sandwich contains sliced ham, roast pork, cheese, and dill pickle between Cuban bread, much like a submarine sandwich.
Put Them Together and What Do You Get?
It’s no surprise that someone would eventually introduce these two distinct and well-loved sandwiches. The parts and pieces of each sandwich go so well together between two pieces of toasted bread.
Rye is not one of my favorite breads and unfortunately, Cuban bread is not available here. Italian bread was the closest I could find. Feel free to use rye if you prefer the flavor.
First, I cut my Italian loaf in half. I slathered the bottom half of the bread with yellow mustard, then layered ham and corned beef. You could prepare your own corned beef to make this sandwich. However, if you are hungry and in a hurry, deli sliced will work just fine. I layered on a couple pieces of sliced Swiss cheese, then I topped the whole thing with a pile of sauerkraut sliced dill pickles. Traditional Reuben sandwich recipes call for Russian or Thousand Island dressing. I wanted to put my own spin on it. I slathered the top half of my bread with homemade comeback sauce.
The finishing touch was grilling it on my sandwich press for a few minutes. This allowed the outside of the bread to get nice and toasty while inside, the cheese became warm and melty.
Looking for more sandwich recipes?
Cuban Reuben Sandwich
- 1 loaf Cuban bread can substitute Italian bread or four slices of rye
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
- ½ pound thinly-sliced corned beef
- ½ pound thinly-sliced ham
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
- ¾ cup sauerkraut drained
- 1 large dill pickle sliced lengthwise into several strips
- 3 tablespoons Comeback sauce or Russian dressing *
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat a griddle or sandwich press.
- Cut the bread in half. Spread the mustard on the bottom layer.
- Layer the ham over the mustard, followed by the corned beef.
- Arrange Swiss cheese slices over the meat.
- Spread sauerkraut over the cheese. Top with dill pickle slices. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
- Spread the comeback sauce over the inside of the top layer of bread. Place the top layer on top of the sandwich.
- Spread a thin layer of butter over the top of the sandwich.
- Press the sandwich on a hot griddle until the bread is toasted, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the griddle and cut in half on the bias.