Reuben Casserole ♥ Recipe

Reuben Casserole ♥, great for leftover corned beef, quick, easy & very tasty.
Here's an easy main dish casserole for St. Patrick's Day – or afterward to use up leftover corned beef. For all my fellow grilled reuben lovers, this is our favorite drippy, melty sandwich except in casserole form with just five ingredients: corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, a little onion and the all-important thousand island dressing. (The one thing you won't miss? There's no bread!) No time to cook? No problem, there's no "cooking" required here, just assemble and bake in the oven for hearty, satisfying comfort food.

Real Food, Fast & Casual. A Tasty Weeknight Dinner Casserole (aka "Hot Dish" in My Home State of Minnesota). Budget Friendly & Supper Substantial. Little Effort, Big Taste. High Protein. Low Carb.

Get the Big Corned Beef

When the butcher asked if I wanted the "big" piece of Kobe corned beef for our St. Patrick's Day feast, I was sure a "small" one would be plenty. "Are you sure?" he encouraged. "It's really good." So I charged ahead, "Sure, a big one, it is." Good advice, good decision. The Kobe beef was spectacular, moist and meaty and fork tender in my long-time favorite Corned Beef & Cabbage. The only downside to lots of meat turns out to pure upside: great leftovers. This casserole, it's a keeper. [Note to Vegetarians]

Pinterest Loves It! For Good Reason!

This recipe is a big favorite on Pinterest! It's so easy to throw together, just a handful of ingredients. It makes for a nice supper one night and when there are just the two of us, gets finished off in grilled sandwiches the next. Wonderful!

Ingredients for a Reuben Casserole = Ingredients for a Reuben Sandwich

Corned Beef If you cook corned beef for St. Patrick's Day, set aside a half pound of the cooked meat for this casserole. You could even buy corned beef at the deli, just be sure to buy a whole piece or have it cut in thick slices.

Sauerkraut Look for good sauerkraut in jars or plastic bags in the refrigerated section. Do keep an eye out, many stores carry local brands of sauerkraut. You'll want to drain the sauerkraut of its liquid. I also like to rinse the sauerkraut to remove some of the strong flavor but if you really love sauerkraut, feel free to skip this step. For the rest of us? Taste the sauerkraut and decide, before rinsing.

Thousand Island Dressing Either store-bought or my own recipe, Homemade Thousand Island Dressing, either one.

Swiss Cheese Oh! The melty cheese in a reuben sandwich, right? There's plenty in this casserole too.

A Little Onion But just a touch! And grated so that it'll actually cook.

Let's Get Creative!

A casserole begs for accommodation to what's on hand and what sounds good. Here are a few ideas.
ADD A CRUMB TOPPING My Reuben Casserole remains true to the simple construction of the very best traditional reuben sandwiches, just corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and dressing. What it doesn't have, however, is bread. So my favorite adaptation is to add a touch of the traditional rye bread. In fact, readers suggest both rye crumbs or even homemade rye croutons for the top. Such good ideas !

SWAP THE PROTEIN How about rotisserie chicken, smoked turkey leg, chunks of cooked sausage, even cooked ground beef. Hot dogs? Why not?!

ADD A LAYER ON TOP With a layer on top, the Reuben Casserole would become a sort of Reuben Shepherd's Pie. That would mean leftover mashed potatoes or hmm, Mashed Potatoes & Carrots would be wonderful both texture and color-wise. To stay low-carb, try Mashed Cauliflower (Low-Carb Mashed "Potatoes"). For super-convenience, how about tater tots or even frozen hashed browns?!

CONVERT TO A PASTA CASSEROLE Stir in cooked egg noodles or another cooked pasta.

"[With cream cheese for an appetizer ...] it's exceptional." ~ Diana

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Reuben Casserole ♥, great for leftover corned beef, quick, easy & very tasty.


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Serves 4 as main dish, 8 as side dish

Baking spray, for the dish
16 - 32 ounces "good" sauerkraut (see ALANNA's TIPS), rinsed, drained and squeezed
8 ounces cooked corned beef, diced
2 tablespoons grated onion
8 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
1/2 - 1 cup light Thousand Island dressing (see ALANNA's TIPS)
Pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350F/180C. Spray an 8x8 or 9x9 or pie dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Spread the mixture in the baking dish. Bake for about 30 minutes.

LEFTOVERS Leftover Reuben Casserole makes mean grilled-cheese sandwiches. Another reader adds cream cheese and serves it as a spread at parties, great idea!

"GOOD" SAUERKRAUT Huh? This usually means "anything but canned sauerkraut". In fact, the best sauerkraut comes in jars and bags, look for these in a refrigerator case. And there's a cottage industry with sauerkraut, I often come across local brands of sauerkraut: these can be amazing!
GRATED ONION Grate the onion on the large holes of a cheese grater, this lets the tiny bits of onion both distribute better throughout the casserole and ensures that the onion actually cooks. (FYI I've had the same four-sided cheese grater for years but like this looks of how this two-sided cheese grater folds flat for storage. Handy!)
THOUSAND ISLAND I'm a stickler for this adage, Never Buy Salad Dressing Again! so my fridge door doesn't have a "salad dressing shelf" like so many do. Instead, I make my own Homemade 1000 Island dressing. But use what you have, bottled dressing will work just as well. If it were me, I'd thin a store-bought dressing with a little milk before using it.
WHO KNEW? A 32-ounce jar of sauerkraut yields only 16 ounces of useable sauerkraut! I suspect when I made this the first time that I bought a 16-ounce bag of sauerkraut and so my casserole contained only 8 ounces of actual sauerkraut. It also explains why that first time, I used only a half-cup of Thousand Island Dressing where since then, with double the sauerkraut, the casserole really needed a full cup.
VARIATIONS I might cook some egg noodles or add some caraway or spinach or top it all with mashed potatoes. It's a casserole: it's flexible! A reader suggests topping the casserole with buttered rye bread crumbs: brilliant!

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Still Hungry?

More Sauerkraut Recipes

~ more sauerkraut recipes ~
~ more casserole recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ New-Fashioned Sauerkraut Salad ~
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~ Thick Chops with Sauerkraut ~
~ more sauerkraut recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

More St. Patrick's Day Recipes

~ Caraway Corned Beef ~
~ Emerald Isle Stew ~
~ Whole Wheat Soda Bread ~
~ more St Patrick's Day recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Wow that looks really good. Cabbage is so good for us we can all use more cabbage in our diet.

    Happy St. Patricks Day!

  2. Whenever I make corned beef (and it's not too often), I hope for leftovers. My favorite way to use them is in hash, but this casserole looks delicious and I will absolutely try it. The couple of days after St. Patrick's Day are a great time to pick up corned beef on sale in the supermarket, for those who don't want to corn their own.

  3. creative. I would have never in a million years thought this one up. I'll have ot give it a try!

  4. Now that is really looking good and I love your attitude that it's a casserole and open to playing around!

  5. Sounds amazing---a new spin and easy enough.

  6. LOVE your column and the wonderful ideas it brings..SARAH

  7. I wanted you to know, by adding some cream cheese to your recipe, it makes a great appetizer for parties. It's exceptional. I'm going to give your casserole a try ... I love corned beef and cabbage.

  8. AnonymousJune 25, 2013

    Iam thinking this needs some toasted ,buttered rye bread cubes (croutons) on top.

  9. i love how with vegetables, you can make things like casseroles and it doesn't have to be just a dull vegetable.

  10. looks so good. I'm going to have to make this.

  11. I'm trying this tonight- thanks so much for the recipe!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna