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Reuben Casserole

7 reviews / 5 average

This Reuben Casserole is a classic sandwich-turned-casserole situation and you don’t want to miss it! Butter-soaked pumpernickel bread, pulls of Swiss cheese, tender corned beef, briney sauerkraut, and lots of homemade reuben sauce sauciness. Let’s dive in!

Truly not sure if there is anything more fun than turning classic sandwiches into casseroles! Fine, in re-reading that sentence, it’s fair to question our fun-scale, but what we need you to understand here is that this strange, wonderful, cheesy, buttery, bready pan of nostalgic goodness is just an A+ very good time and we’re not sorry about it.

Hunks of butter-soaked pumpernickel bread that crisp in the oven, long pulls of Swiss cheese at every turn, tender corned beef tucked in and around with Thousand Island sauciness. Of course, there’s tangy briney sauerkraut throughout because all Reuben promises are kept here, in every scoopy bite.

Ingredients To Make The Tastiest Reuben Casserole

There is some truly captivating and intense debate around the origins of the Reuben sandwich. Like, did you know there was even such a thing as the “National Sandwich Idea Contest?!” Because there is, and the Reuben won it. (Obviously, because it is made of magic.) Omaha vs. NYC? Deli orders for actresses or grandpa recipes for card players? If you’re into fun and somewhat heated sandwich history discussions – and who isn’t – we recommend this Saveur article for a deep dive!

Just to note, nobody is heatedly discussing the origin of making this sandwich in casserole form. An arguably strange and wonderful thing to do! Do we…do we start a National Ideas for Turning Sandwiches Into Scoopy Casseroles contest? Could we make that a thing?!

Regardless, you need all the signatures:

  • pumpernickel bread & butter
  • sauerkraut
  • Swiss cheese
  • Thousand Island dressing
  • corned beef
  • some onion, caraway seeds, and fresh parsley
Reuben casserole in a pan with a spoon

How To Make a Reuben Casserole

A Reuben in and of itself is a distinguished mess, they’re supposed to be. With the stacks of corned beef and the big pulls of cheese, and then you have to catch the sauerkraut spilling over the sides and hello, drips on drips on drips of that Thousand Island…what we’re saying is, a baking dish is a perfect solution here.

  1. Bread & butter. Toss bread cubes with melted butter in a bowl. Then, layer half of the bread/butter mixture on the bottom of the baking dish and bake to crisp up.
  2. Sauerkraut. Combine the sauerkraut, onion, parsley, and caraway seeds.
  3. Corned beef & Swiss After you’ve removed the dish from the oven, start layering in this very important order: sauerkraut, Swiss, 1000, corned beef, Swiss, sauerkraut, 1000, Swiss, and finally the remainder of bread cubes and bake!
  4. Thousand Island. Drizzle with a little more dressing (never enough) and parsley.

Now start scooping, pals! What a treat.

What To Serve Alongside This Casserole

Other than a side of high-fives because you made this weird, wonderful, delicious pan of yum, you might also consider this simple green salad. As long as your oven is on anyway, you could certainly just roast up some vegetables, maybe some crisp roasty broccoli or cauli? Oh oh! Are sweet potato fries on the menu? Doesn’t that sound fun?!

Or if you’re the childhood version of a certain head creator here at Pinch of Yum, you’d ask for it served with a tall glass of milk on your birthday. (Because that is a very normal kid birthday meal request 😂.)

Reuben casserole on a plate with a fork

Reuben Casserole: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different kind of bread besides pumpernickel bread?

Yes! Cubed up rye bread can also work here.

Can I use canned corned beef?

Yes, canned corned beef can work here!

What do caraway seeds taste like?

Caraway seeds give the casserole a peppery and earthy flavor with a lil’ hint of fennel taste. Soooo good and essential for the casserole.

Print
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Reuben casserole in a pan

Reuben Casserole


Description

This Reuben Casserole is a classic sandwich-turned-casserole situation and you don’t want to miss it! Butter-soaked pumpernickel bread, pulls of Swiss cheese, tender corned beef, briney sauerkraut, and lots of Thousand Island sauciness. Let’s dive in! 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Reuben Casserole:

  • 1012 slices rye or pumpernickel bread, cubed (about 45 cups)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 pound of sauerkraut, drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (and a little more for topping)
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 3 cups Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup reuben sauce
  • 1 pound corned beef, cut into small bite-sized pieces (I buy mine at the deli – you can also use pastrami if you can’t find corned beef)

Reuben Sauce (VERY delicious): 

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 small shallot, grated or minced
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss bread cubes with melted butter in a bowl.
  2. Whisk ingredients for the reuben sauce; taste and adjust.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the sauerkraut, parsley, and caraway seeds.
  4. Layer half of the bread/butter mixture on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven.
  5. Layer the remaining ingredients on top of the baked bread cubes. This is the order I usually follow: sauerkraut, cheese, sauce, corned beef, sauerkraut, cheese, sauce. Finish with a little more cheese and the remainder of bread cubes. Bake for 35 minutes.
  6. Drizzle with sauce, sprinkle with parsley, and serve!

Notes

This recipe will also work with store-bought Thousand Island dressing! That’s actually how my mom always made this growing up. I like to do it with the homemade reuben sauce (as written), but either can work!

If you’d like to do this in a 8×8 square baking dish, just halve all of the ingredients.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Casserole
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: reuben casserole, reuben sandwich, casserole recipe

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30 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Tracy

    Sodium 1976.1mg?! My daily allowance is only 1,500mg. I would love to see some healthier recipes included. Not everyone can eat willy nilly like this.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Debbie Waters

    Question on the Corn Beef Ruben Casserole: can you use fresh corn beef brisket that is sold in the meat department? If so do you need to cook the corn beef before assembling into the casserole?
    Thank

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Debbie! Yes, the corned beef should be cooked prior to assembling the casserole. We used corned beef from the deli, but you can certainly use the brisket version too!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Mary C

    I have been making this for years since a more casual post on Pinch of Yum quite some time ago. I’m always asked for the recipe! I use brisket corned beef cooked in the crock pot then shredded into the casserole. This has become a St. Patty’s Day tradition in my house, thank you!!






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Awesome, Mary! So glad you’ve been enjoying this casserole. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    What a fun recipe! I’m going to make this for St. Patrick’s Day instead of the regular corned beef and cabbage

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      For sure! You could slice the bread into cubes, prep/measure out the cheese, and slice the corned beef. Then, make the reuben sauce (step 2), and prep the sauerkraut (step 3). All that’s left would be to assemble the casserole according to steps 4 and 5.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Joy Arneson

    This was amazing and easy to put together! I enjoy following your blog and make a lot of the recipes. They’ve all turned out delicious and worth repeating.
    Admittedly, I did double the sour kraut. Would it be possible to make ahead?
    Thank you in advance.






  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Karli

    This was delicious! The homemade sauce totally makes the recipe. We used a fresh corned beef brisket instead of deli meat. I’m the vegetarian in our house so my portion had sliced beets instead of meet.






  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Margaret B

    Had this last week for a girls supper club and had to make again for my family for St Patricks Day. Everyone loved it—including my 4 year old! The homemade sauce is absolutely necessary.






  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Ashley

    Family Loved it!!! One of my favorite sandwiches turned into a casserole? Yes please!






  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Tori

    Made this for a family St. Patrick’s Day party, and it was a HUGE hit! I loved that it was so easy to throw together. Perfect for a potluck!






  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kathy

    Jenna this sounds yummy. However, I don’t eat cornbeef. Can I use turkey like a Rachel Turkey Ruben? If so, what kind of turkey would you suggest I buy at the deli? And would the sauce recipe remain the same? Looking forward to making this delicious sounding recipe. Thanks.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Carly

      If your deli serves Boars Head meats, they make a pastrami seasoned turkey that is SO good that I bet would be great in this! That’s what I use when I make Rachel sandwiches at home.

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Kathy! For sure. Turkey pastrami would be a lovely option if you can find it. Or, any kind of deli turkey would be great. Everything else would remain the same!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jessica

    Is it a bad idea to assemble the casserole and freeze a few days prior to eating?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Great question, Jessica! We haven’t tried freezing this casserole prior to cooking. I’m thinking the bread may become soggy once heats up in the oven, but that’s just a hunch. If you give it a try, we’d love to hear back!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Betsey

        I would like to bake and then freeze for a couple weeks, have you had any luck with doing that?

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          Hi, Betsey! We haven’t tried freezing this recipe yet and we’re not sure if things would still taste quite right once thawed. Let us know if you try it out though!