Reuben Grilled Cheese

Reuben Grilled Cheese

We’re back after a nice holiday break, and finally ready to start thinking about food again.  It’s lovely being cooked for as a guest, but we’ve missed our little galley kitchen and cosy bungalow. We returned from our week-long trip to Minnesota greeted with bright white snow covering the branches of all our trees – winter has finally come to Indianapolis. (Check out scenes from our trip on our Instagram feeds [Sonja or Alex], if you’re interested.)

Now that we’re back, we’re pondering 2013 — feeling nostalgiac, but excited for the New Year. 2012 was good to us: an amazing trip across the world, and the cookbook project of a lifetime. We’ve also grown immensely in what we’re looking to do in here this space, our images and recipes finally starting to reflect the vision in our heads.

As we ponder 2013, we’re excited about several projects we’ve been kicking about, and whatever new opportunities might await. But, somewhat new to us, we’re also starting to learn the art of Saying No (see this article shared by our friend Erin). We’re learning how to Say Yes to only the projects that are most important to us, those that further our values and dreams for this space.

There are many things we’re dreaming about for 2013, but our focus for A Couple Cooks remains the same — to inspire life change through whole foods cooking: for personal heath, community development, and environmental sustainability. More simply: to change the world and who you are by the way you eat and live. Our lives have been rocked by food. We’re excited to continue that conversation next year.

And, readers, we’re so glad to have you along with us — realizing that you’re actually out there, reading, encouraging, and talking with us about everything from pizza dough and social justice. Thank you. We are looking forward to 2013 and talking about things that matter together.

And here’s a sandwich — a delicious take on a reuben sandwich sans meat. We’re suckers for the flavors of Russian dressing, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and fragrant rye bread: a combination we never tire of! It’s an old favorite that we’re excited to share with you.

Happy 2013 and here’s to the New Year!


Reuben Grilled Cheese

1 Star (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 4


  • 1 shallot (2 tablespoons chopped)
  • 3 to 4 small dill pickles (2 tablespoons chopped)
  • ¼ cup mayonaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • Dash hot sauce
  • 1 jar sauerkraut
  • 8 slices rye bread
  • Swiss cheese, shredded
  • Butter


  1. Make the Russian dressing: Finely dice shallot and dill pickles to make 2 tablespoons of each. In a small bowl, combine the chopped shallot and pickles with 1/4 cup mayonaise, 2 tablespoons ketchup, and a dash of hot sauce. Stir to combine.
  2. Squeeze the liquid from the sauerkraut.
  3. Spread butter (or olive oil) on one side of each of the 4 bread pieces. Heat a griddle pan to medium high heat. Place 4 pieces of bread on the griddle, buttered side down. On each piece, spread some shredded cheese, sauerkraut, the Russian dressing, more cheese, and then another piece of bread. When the bottom bread is browned, flip the sandwich and cook until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Courtney Jones
    December 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Oh, dear! A vegetarian reuben!? I’m so excited to try this!!! Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve been vegetarian so long, I forgot how a reuben tastes! A vegetarian grilled cheese version is genius! :)

    • Reply
      December 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      You are so welcome! It’s one of our favorites :) Let us know if you try it out!

  • Reply
    Terri Sue
    December 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I’ve been making my own version of this for 32 years, as long as my husband and I have been vegetarians. We missed Reubens and I realized that what we missed was the grilled swiss cheese and sauerkraut, not the corned beef. Mine are a little simpler. I don’t make my own Russian Sauce I use Durkee Famous Sauce. This was used by many restaurants for Reubens in the 50’s and 60’s. It is what I remember having when I would order one out at a restaurant. It is the only prepared sauce I buy besides mustard. I make my own mayonnaise and ketchup and such. The secret of it is the horseradish in it. The tang is fantastic with the swiss cheese. When I get a craving I will bake up a loaf of rye bread and send out my husband for some swiss. They are fantastic aren’t they?

    • Reply
      December 30, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      Agreed, totally fantastic! Glad to find a fellow veggie reuben lover :) I’ve never heard of the Durkee sauce — we’ll have to look around for that! Thanks for the tip.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    I recently found your blog – this reuben looks incredible – and I’m so happy I did! Hope you had a great visit to MSP… it was cold here over Christmas!

    Saying no is something I worked on all of December, and it will continue throughout 2013. Thanks for the link to Glei’s article… it’s bookmarked!

    Looking forward to reading in 2013!

    • Reply
      January 2, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Thanks, Erin! I’m glad to meet another Minnesotan (though I’m not currently living there — once a Minnesotan, always a Minnesotan!). And, good to hear that you’re into Saying No in 2013 too! We’ve found it to be just as important as saying Yes. Happy 2013!

  • Reply
    Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen
    December 31, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    I love Rueben’s, so this one’s a winner, for sure!

  • Reply
    January 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    This sounds like an amazingly delicious sandwich to start the year with – happy new year to both of you and thank you for everything you’ve put into the blog in 2012. I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for you!

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