Reubens with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

I couldn’t have all of these Irish “feast” posts without wrapping it up with a good old Reuben sandwich. There is something magical about corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and thousand island between two pieces of rye bread, pressed in some butter on the stove. I always make sure I buy a big enough piece of corned beef so I can make these sandwiches with the leftovers.


In years past I have gone out and bought a bottle of thousand island dressing to use for these sandwiches and then ended up letting it go bad, sitting in the fridge unused. It’s just not a dressing I find myself using very often, even though it is quite delicious. This year I decided to whip up a fresh batch. I made a half recipe of the following so I had enough for two sandwiches with a bit leftover. The full recipe will make a liberal amount for 4 sandwiches. I like my sandwiches “saucy” so you might get more or less out of it depending on how thick you like to spread it on. Thousand island is soooo easy to make. Mayo, ketchup, pickle relish, salt, pepper and a dash of hot sauce, if you like. There are other more complicated recipes out there, which much longer ingredient lists, but this one is a great go-to for these sandwiches. I have yet to try another recipe so I couldn’t tell you if a longer ingredient list yields better results, I just know that this version tastes pretty much identical to the bottled stuff I was buying, if not better.


Quick Thousand Island Dressing

(Adapted from “Thousand Island Dressing II” on

Makes about 2 ½ cups


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • Dash of hot sauce (I like Cholula), optional


  • In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve

I don’t know if I really needed to include a recipe for the reubens as it is pretty self-explanatory but I figured I would just to be clear about everything. These are very nom nom. For the butter used to coat the bread in the following recipe you may choose to use softened or melted butter. My kitchen is so cold this time of year so I used melted butter to get an even coat.


Reuben Sandwiches

(Adapted from “Thousand Island Dressing II” on

Makes 4 sandwiches


  • 8 slices or rye bread
  • 1 pound thinly sliced corned beef
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup thousand island dressing
  • 12 ounces sauerkraut, drained
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened


  • Preheat a grill pan or Panini pan over medium-high heat
  • Build 4 sandwiches (in order from bottom to top): piece of rye bread, thousand island dressing, piece of swiss cheese, ¼ lb. corned beef, 3 ounces sauerkraut, piece of swiss cheese, thousand island dressing, rye bread




  • Butter the top piece of rye bread of each sandwich with 1 tbsp. of butter



  • Grill one (or two depending on the size of your pan) sandwich, butter side down for about 5-6 minutes, or until golden brown



  • Meanwhile, butter the piece of bread that is facing up with another tbsp. of butter
  • Flip the sandwich and grill on the second side for 5-6 minutes or until golden brown and the cheese is melted. During the cooking of the second side, press sandwich down with a second pan (or lid if using a Panini press)



  • Remove from heat, cut in half and serve




6 responses to “Reubens with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

  1. Jess, this is probably my favorite sandwich in the world. I’ve been making them in the oven since breaking my shoulder, because It’s easier to put them in there than to burn them on the top of the stove. Soooo good. Thanks for the Thousand Island recipe. I’m the same way, love it on some things, but not enough to use a whole bottle. This recipe will help me make just enough for 2 sandwiches in 2 days, then hold off for a few weeks until I want another and make fresh dressing.

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