NYC-worthy lunch ideas: how to make the perfect Reuben sandwich

The Reuben sandwich is something of a New York lunch legend – and you can make it at home, with a sandwich maker

Reuben sandwich
(Image credit: Getty)

The Reuben sandwich comes in high on the New York sandwich chart, – which must exist – and although it was quite possibly invented as early as 1914, this speciality sarnie has been served for lunch since the 1920s. This pastrami, cheese, and sauerkraut deliciousness is actually fairly easy to make. It must be served hot, so make it in a sandwich maker for ultimate lunch glory.

How to make a Reuben sandwich

For this delicious and filling lunch idea, you'll need:

  • Sliced sourdough or rye bread (whole grain bread will work if you prefer)
  • Pastrami ham, thickly sliced
  • Sauerkraut 
  • American-style cheese slices
  • Mustard, Dijon or English, depending on preference/mayonnaise, ketchup and horseradish ('Russian dressing')
  • Sliced gherkin (optional)


1. If using the 'Russian dressing', simply combine the mayo, horseradish, and ketchup in equal parts.

2. Layer the pastrami, mustard/dressing and sauerkraut (and sliced gherkin, if using) on one slice of the bread

3. Top this off with the cheese slices.

4. Make sure the sandwich isn't so full that filling is falling out. Place in a hot sandwich maker for 15-20 seconds on each side, for a subtly chargrilled finish. 

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.