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This coleslaw & Swiss cheese melt sandwich might be the best sandwich ever. Slathered with creamy Russian dressing, it’s over the top delicious.

Coleslaw & Swiss Cheese Melt Sandwich "Best Sandwich Ever" | Coleslaw sandwich | Swiss cheese sandwich

OK, ready for an insanely delicious sandwich? Maybe our best sandwich ever? Or at least one of our best vegetarian recipes because everyone, we repeat, everyone who tries it loves it. According to Alex: it tastes like a healthy version of a Big Mac! What makes this coleslaw & Swiss melt sandwich so savory and delicious? Well, start with our best coleslaw ever. Add a melty cheese on top of a salty pretzel bun. What puts it over the edge is our secret sauce: Russian dressing, the star ingredient in a Reuben sandwich. Are you ready to get eating? Let’s go.

Related: 15 Easy Vegetarian Lunch Ideas

Coleslaw & Swiss Cheese Melt Sandwich "Best Sandwich Ever" | Coleslaw sandwich | Swiss cheese sandwich

The inspiration: Swiss melt sandwich

Before we start, a bit more about where this coleslaw and Swiss cheese sandwich came from. Alex and I were in Ann Arbor, Michigan for a wedding this summer. And what we heard about Ann Arbor, Michigan was one thing. Well, a few things. But one main one was: Go to Zingerman’s. This top of the line deli has been around for years (since 1982, in fact) and people just rave about it. So of course Alex and I wanted to try it for ourselves. We tried to go during the day, but the line was literally out the door. (Another sign this place was legit).

So instead, we ordered takeout after the wedding! Imagine us in our hotel lobby, our wedding attire rumpled, eagerly awaiting our sandwiches from Zingerman’s. I got a sandwich just like this one (the #36, if you must know!), and my goodness, it was heaven on Earth. I LOVE Reuben sandwiches, and this one had the vibe of a Reuben using Swiss cheese and coleslaw instead. And of course, that addicting Russian dressing. Piled high atop delicious fresh rye bread, it was toasty and like biting into a little bit of heaven. So yes, Go to Zingerman’s.

Related: Easy Dinner Recipes for Busy Lives

Coleslaw & Swiss Cheese Melt Sandwich "Best Sandwich Ever" | Coleslaw sandwich

How to make this Swiss melt sandwich

If you’re an astute observer, you may have heard of the Rachel sandwich. A Rachel sandwich is like a Reuben sandwich, but it uses turkey in place of corned beef and coleslaw in place of sauerkraut. So this coleslaw and Swiss melt sandwich is basically a vegetarian Rachel sandwich! Aka the best sandwich ever. Here are the components of this Swiss cheese sandwich that make it so delectable:

  • Russian dressing. This sauce is seriously one of our favorite things ever. It’s so, so savory, with the right balance of tangy and sweet. (And tastes kind of like that Big Mac secret sauce.)
  • Best coleslaw ever. To make this coleslaw sandwich, we created a new “best” coleslaw recipe too! Alex and I love creamy coleslaws, so the dressing uses less than the normal mayo with no refined sugar that tastes perfectly creamy and balanced. You can also use our Red Cabbage Slaw.
  • Toasted pretzel bun. How can you not love the rich saltiness of a pretzel bun? It’s perfect for a satisfying vegetarian sandwich: but of course you can use bread instead.
  • Swiss cheese. Here we’ve gone with the broiling method: simply broil that cheese right onto the pretzel bun. It’s easier than the standard grilled cheese stovetop method (though we’ve added that below in case you’d like to do it with rye bread).

It all comes together into one of our very best sandwich recipes. Though there are two mayo-based components in this one, you’ll use a small portion of both: a little goes a long way! And if you’re vegan, use vegan mayo and opt for a vegan cheese (there are starting to be some really great vegan cheese brands out there). Let us know if you try this one out: we’d love to know in the comments below!

Coleslaw & Swiss Cheese Melt Sandwich "Best Sandwich Ever" | Coleslaw sandwich | Swiss cheese sandwich

Looking for vegetarian sandwich recipes?

Outside of this Swiss melt sandwich, here are some other vegetarian sandwiches we love:

Coleslaw & Swiss Cheese Melt Sandwich "Best Sandwich Ever" | Coleslaw sandwich | Swiss cheese sandwich

This recipe is…

This coleslaw & Swiss cheese melt sandwich is vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free bread. For vegan, plant-based and dairy-free, opt for vegan mayo and a vegan cheese.

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Coleslaw & Swiss Cheese Melt Sandwich "Best Sandwich Ever" | Coleslaw sandwich | Swiss cheese sandwich

Coleslaw & Swiss Melt Sandwich

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This coleslaw & Swiss melt sandwich might be the best sandwich ever. Slathered with creamy Russian dressing, it’s over the top delicious.




  1. Make the Best Coleslaw Recipe.
  2. Make the Easy Russian Dressing.
  3. Broiling instructions: Place the bottoms of the pretzel buns on a baking sheet and place a slice of Swiss cheese on top. Place the tops of the buns on the sheet as well. Broil for about 4 to 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and the buns are toasted. Add the coleslaw and spread on the Russian dressing, then assemble the sandwich. OR
  4. Stovetop instructions (with bread): Spread butter on one side of each of the bread slices. Heat a griddle pan to medium high heat. Place 4 pieces of bread on the griddle, buttered side down. On each piece, add the cheese slices and coleslaw. Spread Russian dressing on the other side of the other 4 slices of bread and place them on top. When the bottom bread is browned, flip the sandwich and cook until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Broiled
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Coleslaw, Swiss Cheese, Melt Sandwich, Swiss Cheese Sandwich, Coleslaw Sandwich

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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  1. This was awesome. Made last night. I still do eat meat, but not much. However, I did not miss the meat. This is completely satisfying and delicious.

  2. Fantastic recipe – made it the other night and was reminded me of an In & Out Burger! I know, I know…it may be a sin to say such a thing, but I think it was due to the homemade Russian recipe. Gotta love the shallots! My husband and I both eat meat, but we love trying new things and this recipe intrigued us. A very satisfying sandwich. We will definitely make it again! Ps. this is my first comment ever on a website – if that is any indicator to how good it is!

  3. This was not my favorite recipe; it was very savory and had too many similar flavors at play. I ended up slicing up an apple to put on there and that crunch and sweetness really helped.

  4. I want to try this but how can this satisfy you for long without hardly any protein in it? Is this really all you eat for your meal?

    1. This is definitely a lighter grilled cheese sandwich. I’d serve it with a large salad or side of beans.

  5. This was phenomenal. I am vegan, but my husband is a carnivore through and through. So I roasted a large portobello mushroom and added. It made for an incredible addition to this already delish sandwich! I will definitely make again.

  6. Wanted to love it but didn’t. Followed everything exactly and each specific thing tasted great on its own but together left us both wanting something different

  7. Made this today for lunch and we loved it even though I only had sesame seed burger buns! Great combination of flavors , and, fun to make! Thanks for the recipe.

  8. This sandwich is absolutely delicious. Reading some of the comments, it is beyond me that someone could not love it. I had commented previously that the broil method left out steps and it was unclear when and where to put the slaw and Russian dressing on. Is it after the cheese melts, or before it melts and on top or under the cheese? After the cheese melts do I put the slaw on cold, and serve, or do I broil it some more? Please clarify. I add-libbed it but would like to know exactly how you do it, Sonja and Alex.

    1. Great question and we’ve clarified the recipe accordingly! We broil just the bun with cheese, then add the coleslaw and Russian dressing (cold, but it picks up heat from the bun and cheese). Let us know what you did!