The Rachel Sandwich (A Turkey Reuben)

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A twist on the classic reuben sandwich, this version uses homemade Thousand Island dressing, turkey, and swiss cheese on toasted rye bread.

A plate with a turkey reuben cut in half and a pile of fries.

Many years ago my husband asked if we could have Reuben sandwiches for dinner.  I told him that I didn’t eat corned beef but I would be happy to make him one.

That’s when he told me about the Rachel.   I had never heard of a turkey reuben before but I was willing to try it. I liked turkey sandwiches and this would make for an easy dinner so I was game.

Here’s the thing about them though.  I don’t really like rye bread and I’m not a huge Swiss cheese fan but I was willing to give it a go.   I bought some thin sliced corned beef for my husband and some thin sliced turkey breast for myself.


  • rye bread
  • butter
  • Swiss cheese
  • sauerkraut
  • thousand island dressing
  • thin sliced turkey breast

To Make the Sandwiches:  Preheat the broiler.   In a small skillet heat the turkey breast for 2-3 minutes over medium high heat or until it’s hot.  Remove from heat.  Spread butter on 4 slices of marble rye bread.  Put on a baking pan, butter side up, and broil 6 inches from heat for 1 minute.  Flip the bread and broil the unbuttered side for 1 minute. Place 2 slices of Swiss cheese on 2 slices of the bread.   Put sauerkraut on the other 2 slices of bread.  Broil 1 minute.  Place turkey on top of the sauerkraut and the dressing on top of the turkey.  Top with the bread that has Swiss cheese on it.

A sheet pan with four slices of bread, two with sauerkraut and cheese on them, and the other two with meat and dressing on them.

I saw a lot of versions that just used a bottle of Russian or Thousand Island dressing.  I don’t mind the bottled version but I looked to see if I could find a homemade version instead.

I found one that used just a few ingredients and it was all stuff we had on hand. There are a few substitutions you can make if you don’t have everything listed.

Substitutions for the dressing:

  • Use relish in places of the pickles.
  • Use ketchup in place of the chili sauce.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley can be used in place of the fresh parsley

Pin Image:  A bowl of Thousand Island dressing, tect title, a cutting board with a container of relish, a bottle of Worcestershire sauce, a bottle of ketchup, a bottle of mayonnaise, and a jar of salt.

What type of bread can I use?

The classic sandwich uses a marble rye and that is what I prefer.  However, I can’t always find that.  Good alternatives are rye bread, pumpernickle bread, or sourdough bread.   It needs to be a hearty bread to hold up to all the ingredients.

Can I use something instead of sauerkraut?

I totally love the sauerkraut in these sandwiches but if that isn’t your thing you can substitute cole slaw in place of it.  If you are just looking for a good sauerkraut try the ones that are refrigerated in a bag instead of the canned ones.

What kind of turkey should I use?

I always just buy deli meat turkey.   Make sure to have them slice it thinly for you.  You don’t want thick pieces of turkey on this sandwich.  You can also use roasted turkey just make sure to cut it really thin.  I wouldn’t use flavored turkey like black pepper or honey because there are so many flavors already in this sandwich.

Can I make the reuben ahead of time?

Because of the sauce and the sauerkraut you cannot make these ahead of time or else the bread will get terribly soggy.  The one thing you can make ahead of time is the dressing.  It can be made up to 3 days in advance and placed in the refrigerator.


The homemade dressing for this sandwich is amazing.  It has a wonderful flavor that goes well with the sauerkraut.  While you don’t have to use marble rye, it really is a great choice for this sandwich.

Pin Image:  A plate with a turkey reuben and fries on it, text title, a cutting board with a pile of turkey, a loaf of bread, a package of swiss cheese, and a bag of sauerkraut.

I also like that you can use all the same ingredients and just pick up some corned beef if someone in your house wants a regular reuben.  It’s easy to make both types at the same time then everyone gets what they want to eat!

More Sandwich Recipes:

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A plate with a turkey reuben and fries on it.

Turkey Reuben

Yield: 2 sandwiches
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

A twist on the classic reuben sandwich, this version uses homemade
Thousand Island dressing, turkey, and swiss cheese on toasted rye bread.


For the sandwich:

  • 4 slices marble rye bread
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 2 oz. turkey, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c. sauerkraut

For the Thousand Island Dressing:

  • ½ c. mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons Heinz Chili Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons finely minced pickles
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. In a small bowl combine all ingredients for the dressing. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. In a small skillet oven medium heat saute the turkey until it is hot.
  3. Preheat the broiler to high.  Spread butter on one side of each slide of marble rye. Place marble rye slices, butter side up, on a heavy baking sheet.  Broil 6 inches from heat for 1 minute per side.  Remove from oven.
  4. Place 2 slices of Swiss cheese on 2 slices of the bread.  Place ¼
    cup of sauerkraut on the other 2 slices of bread.  Broil for 1 minute.
  5. Remove from the oven.  Divide the turkey and place on top of the
    sauerkraut.  Place a tablespoon of dressing on top of the turkey. Broil for 1 minute.
  6. Top with the bread that has the Swiss cheese on it.  Serve immediately.


A Hezzi-D Original Recipe

A plate with a turkey reuben and fries on it.


  1. I’m a huge Reuben fan…but this Rachel looks just as good! Definitely a sandwich I need to try!

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