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The Best Turkey Reuben {aka Rachel}

Crunchy on the outside with a creamy, tangy interior creates a delightful grilled sandwich. This leaner twist of the classic reuben sandwich uses turkey instead of corn beef. Perfect for those Thanksgiving day leftovers, you can use either carved turkey or deli turkey meat in this Turkey reuben, also know as a Rachel sandwich. In addition to the melted cheese and yummy sauerkraut, our homemade version of Russian dressing makes this sandwich a special treat your family is sure to love.

Turkey Reuben feature image.

Our girls love sandwiches with melted cheese (or really any cheese), and this turkey reuben certainly checks that box. Every year we have leftover turkey from the holidays and try to think of new ways to eat them. This tasty sandwich is a great option, and can be served as lunch or dinner!

Why This Recipe Works?

  • Super easy to make.
  • Comes together in minutes.
  • Readily available ingredients.
  • Perfect for leftover turkey from the holidays.
  • A great school lunch option.
  • Amazing homemade Russian dressing.
  • A good use of leftover sauerkraut.
  • Includes sauerkraut, which is an amazing superfood.
  • The Best Turkey Reuben ever!!!
Turkey reuben second feature image.

Main Ingredients

This recipe uses super easy ingredients that can be purchased from a local grocery store if they are not already in your kitchen. Read the Recipe Card for the measurements.

  • Turkey Meat – We use organic nitrate and nitrite free turkey, but you can use your personal preference. Leftover turkey from holidays like Thanksgiving are also perfect to use in this recipe.
  • Sauerkraut – This is used in the traditional Reuben (with corn beef). We still like to use sauerkraut in our Turkey Reuben, however you may substitute cole slaw here. Sauerkraut is known as a superfood that is known to strengthen immune systems, improve digestion, reduce risks of certain diseases, and even lose weight.
  • Rye Bread – We use a fresh marble rye, as it is perfect for a reuben sandwich. You can also use plain or caraway rye bread as well.
  • Swiss Cheese – We use this traditional reuben sandwich cheese in our recipe. You can substitute provolone, muenster, or gruyère depending on your personal preference and what you have available.
  • Mayonnaise – We use a good quality low fat mayo as the basis for our homemade Russian dressing, you can also use regular mayo.
  • Ketchup – Another staple in making Russian dressing. Adds a sweet and tangy component and helps give the dressing its enticing color.
  • Horseradish – Gives the sauce a little kick. If you prefer it sweeter you can leave out the horseradish.
  • Lemon Juice – Adds a sour, tangy flavor to our homemade dressing.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – Brings a combination of sweet, sour, and some spice to the dressing.
turkey reuben ingredients.

How To Make The Best Turkey Reuben {aka Rachel}

Step 1: The Russian Dressing

  • In a medium bowl combine all of the dressing ingredients and mix well; set aside.
making the homemade Russian dressing.

Step 2: The Sandwich

  • Let’s bring the turkey and sauerkraut to room temperature: In a microwave safe bowl, warm sauerkraut and turkey cold cuts separately for 10-15 seconds each and set aside. Note: If you are using carved turkey (from the holidays) you will need to microwave longer to bring to room temperature.
  • Remove as much liquid as possible from the sauerkraut by using a cheese cloth or kitchen towel. This prevents the reuben from becoming soggy while retaining all the flavor of the sauerkraut.
  • Heat a medium pan, over medium high heat and add olive oil and turkey. Fry until brown on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes. Depending on how much turkey you have, you may need to fry in batches to avoid overcrowding in the pan. Remove from pan and set aside. 
Fry the turkey meat.
  • Lightly butter one side of each slice of bread, flip over on a plate (butter side down) and slather the Russian dressing on each slice. 
cover the marble rye with dressing.

Step 3: Assembly

  • For each sandwich, layer 1 slice of bread (butter side down), a slice of Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, half of the fried turkey, and another slice of Swiss cheese. Then, close the sandwich with the other slice of the marble rye (butter side up). Repeat this process for the other sandwich.
making the turkey reuben adding all the components.
  • In a large pan over medium heat, or a sandwich press, cook sandwiches pressing down gently. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side until the cheese melts and the bread is golden brown and crisp. 
grill the sandwiches to make them crunchy.

Serve immediately or this can be a great option for your kids school lunch. When we reheat these sandwiches for school lunches, we grill them and let cool for an hour, then wrap in parchment paper and pack in lunchboxes.

time to enjoy, final feature image.

Serve this grilled sandwich with macaroni salad, kale salad, or sweet potato fries.

Expert Tips:

  • Remove as much liquid as possible from the sauerkraut by using a cheese cloth or kitchen towel. This prevents the reuben from becoming soggy while retaining all the flavor of the sauerkraut.
  • Bringing the turkey meat to room temperature before frying helps prevent it from sticking to the pan.
  • When we reheat these sandwiches for school lunches, we grill them and let cool for an hour, then wrap in parchment paper and pack in lunchboxes.
The Best Turkey Reuben {aka Rachel}

The Best Turkey Reuben {aka Rachel}

Yield: 2 sandwiches
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Crunchy on the outside with a creamy, tangy interior creates a delightful grilled sandwich. This leaner twist of the classic reuben sandwich uses turkey instead of corn beef. Perfect for those Thanksgiving day leftovers, you can use either carved turkey or deli turkey meat in this Turkey reuben, also know as a Rachel sandwich. In addition to the melted cheese and yummy sauerkraut, our homemade version of Russian dressing makes this sandwich a special treat your family is sure to love.

Ingredients

  • Russian Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon creamy horseradish (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Sandwich:
  • 6 oz deli turkey meat
  • 1/3 cup sauerkraut, removing as much liquid as possible
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • 4 slices marble rye bread (can substitute plain rye or caraway rye)
  • 4 slices of Swiss cheese (can substitute Provolone, Muenster or Gruyère)

Instructions

  1. The Russian Dressing:
    In a medium bowl combine all of the dressing ingredients and mix well; set aside.
  2. The Sandwich:
    Bring the turkey and sauerkraut to room temperature: In a microwave safe bowl, warm sauerkraut and turkey cold cuts separately for 10-15 seconds each and set aside. Note: If you are using carved turkey (from the holidays) you will need to microwave longer to bring to room temperature.
  3. Remove as much liquid as possible from the sauerkraut by using a cheese cloth or kitchen towel.
  4. Heat a medium pan, over medium high heat and add olive oil and turkey. Fry until brown on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes. Depending on how much turkey you have, you may need to fry in batches to avoid overcrowding in the pan. Remove from pan and set aside.  
  5. Lightly butter one side of each slice of bread, flip over on a plate (butter side down) and slather on the Russian dressing on each slice. 
  6. For each sandwich, layer 1 slice of bread (butter side down), a slice of Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, half of the fried turkey, and another slice of Swiss cheese. Then, close the sandwich with the other slice of the marble rye (butter side up). Repeat this process for the other sandwich.
  7. In a large pan over medium heat, or a sandwich press, cook sandwiches pressing down gently. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side until the cheese melts and the bread is golden brown and crisp.
  8. Serve immediately or this can be a great option for your kids school lunch.

Notes

Expert Tips:

Remove as much liquid as possible from the sauerkraut by using a cheese cloth or kitchen towel. This prevents the reuben from becoming soggy while retaining all the flavor of the sauerkraut.

Bringing the turkey meat to room temperature before frying helps prevent it from sticking to the pan.

When we reheat these sandwiches for school lunches, we grill them and let cool for an hour, then wrap in parchment paper and pack in lunchboxes.

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