Reuben Casserole

4.50 from 2 votes
1 hour
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A Reuben Casserole has all the delicious elements of a Reuben sandwich with salty corned beef, Swiss cheese, tangy sauerkraut, and homemade Thousand Island dressing in a convenient casserole form. My version gets kicked up with horseradish for a fresh take on this homey classic!

Reuben Casserole in white rectangular baking dish on cooling rack.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

Although especially popular around St. Patrick’s Day, a Reuben Casserole is perfect for weeknight dinners, potlucks, and casual get-togethers all year round!

Reubens are one of our favorite sandwiches and a go-to dinner for when we’re just … spent. A Reuben Casserole offers all the flavors of that classic sammie with the comfort of a hearty meal in one dish, making it perfect for when you’re craving something filling and satisfying.

My Reuben Casserole recipe has all the elements of the classic sandwich, but it’s kicked up with horseradish and the most amazing homemade Thousand Island dressing! Although you can use purchased Thousand Island dressing, the taste of homemade will win you over.

Best of all, a Reuben Casserole doesn’t require any pre-cooking of ingredients except for light baking of the bottom layer of buttery rye bread cubes.

This recipe for Reuben Casserole is:

  • Super easy with prepared convenience items like deli corned beef, rye bread, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. The homemade Thousand Island dressing uses mostly pantry items with very little prep involved.
  • A full meal deal! Just add a green salad, and you’re good to go!
  • Make ahead!
  • Always a crowd-pleaser!
Metal serving spoon serving up some of the casserole.

How to Make a Reuben Casserole:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this recipe for Reuben Casserole and instructions for preparing the ingredients. The exact quantities are on the recipe card below.

Ingredients for Reuben Casserole in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Mayonnaise: Use your favorite mayo. We’re Duke’s fans!
  • Paprika: Use conventional sweet paprika rather than smoked or Hungarian. It’s mostly for color, and you don’t want anything overpowering in the dressing that will compete with the unique flavor of corned beef.
  • Onion: Opt for fresh minced onion rather than dried.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is always best!
  • Horseradish: Use “prepared” horseradish, not horseradish sauce.
  • Rye Bread: Use unseeded rye bread. If seeded rye is all you have, remove the crusts before cutting it into cubes. The seeds are not a terrible thing to have, they just don’t add anything to your Reuben Casserole. You can also use pumpernickel.
  • Butter: Use salted or unsalted. I like to add a pinch of salt to the unsalted butter in this Reuben Casserole for a little added flavor to the bread.
  • Deli Corned Beef: For ease, use deli corned beef, but your leftover corned beef works just as well. You can also use sliced deli turkey or leftover turkey.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  • Combine the Reuben sauce / Thousand Island dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
Thousand Island dressing in glass bowl.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Pour the melted butter over the rye bread cubes and toss well.
  • Combine the corned beef and horseradish in a bowl and stir to combine.
  • Place half of the buttered rye bread cubes in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Then, layer the ingredients as follows:
  • –1/2 of the sauerkraut.
  • –1/2 of the Swiss cheese.
  • –1/3 of the sauce.
  • –All the beef.
  • –The rest of the sauerkraut.
  • –1/3 of the sauce.
  • –The rest of the cheese.
  • –The rest of the bread.
  • Cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until hot, bubbling and heated through to 165 degrees in the center. Remove the aluminum foil for the last 10 to 12 minutes of baking so the bread topping crisps up.
  • Sprinkle with parsley if using.
Baked Reuben Casserole in white rectangular baking dish garnished with fresh parsley.
  • Serve with the remaining sauce drizzled over the top.
Reuben Casserole with serving spoon in white rectangular baking dish.

Chef Tips and Tricks:

  • Baking the first layer of cubed rye bread before adding any more layers will give the Reuben Casserole more “body”; otherwise, the first layer of sauerkraut soaks in too quickly.
  • It’s important to drain the sauerkraut well. To remove as much water as possible, place it in a sieve and press it with a wooden spoon or other mixing spoon until very little liquid is released.
Reuben Casserole with serving spoon in white rectangular baking dish.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use turkey instead of corned beef in a Reuben Casserole?

Sure can! If you’re not a beef eater, smoked, sliced deli turkey will work perfectly. This is also a great way to use up those Thanksgiving turkey leftovers!

Can I make a Reuben Casserole ahead of time?

Yes. This Reuben Casserole recipe can be made one day before you plan to serve it. Wrap it tightly and refrigerate. When ready to bake, let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to remove the chill. You can also place it in a cold oven and then turn your oven on and bake as directed. Unless your baking dish is a material other than ceramic or glass, you never want to place a cold dish in a hot oven because it can explode.

One serving of Reuben Casserole with serving spoon on white plate with fork drizzled with Thousand Island dressing.

Storage:

  • Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to five days. To reheat leftovers, place them in a covered baking dish and bake in the oven or toaster oven until heated to 165 degrees in the center.

What to serve with a Reuben Casserole:

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Reuben Casserole in white rectangular baking dish on cooling rack.

Reuben Casserole

4.50 from 2 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
A Reuben Casserole has all the delicious elements of a Reuben sandwich with salty corned beef, Swiss cheese, tangy sauerkraut, and homemade Thousand Island dressing in a convenient casserole form. My version gets kicked up with horseradish for a fresh take on this homey classic!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Beef, Main Course / Entrees, Meat
Cuisine American, Irish
Servings 6
Calories 819 kcal

Ingredients
  

Reuben Sauce / Thousand Island Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Salt - to taste

Reuben Casserole

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup melted butter - (1 stick) salted or unsalted *
  • 8 slices unseeded rye bread - cubed
  • 1 pound deli corned beef - cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 cups sauerkraut - well drained
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley - for garnish, optional

Instructions
 

Reuben Sauce / Thousand Island Dressing

  • Combine the ingredients for the sauce/dressing in a small bowl. Set aside.

Reuben Casserole

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Pour the melted butter over the rye bread cubes and toss well.
  • Combine the corned beef and horseradish in a bowl and stir to combine.
  • Place half in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Layer the ingredients as follows:
  • –1/2 of the sauerkraut.
  • –1/2 of the Swiss cheese.
  • –1/3 of the sauce.
  • –All the beef.
  • –The rest of the sauerkraut.
  • –1/3 of the sauce.
  • –The rest of the cheese.
  • –The rest of the bread.
  • Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until hot, bubbling, and heated to 165 degrees in the center. Remove the aluminum foil for the last 10 to 12 minutes of baking so the bread topping crisps up.
  • Sprinkle with parsley if using. Serve with remaining sauce drizzled over the top.

Notes

*If using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt.
MAKE AHEAD:  This Reuben Casserole recipe can be made one day before you plan to serve it. Wrap it tightly and refrigerate. When ready to bake, let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to remove the chill. You can also place it in a cold oven and then turn your oven on and bake as directed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 819kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 67g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 2045mg | Potassium: 459mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 989IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 384mg | Iron: 3mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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2 Comments

  1. I’m definitely making this! I love Reubens and I love the idea of making it into a casserole. Also: Great tip! “You never want to place a cold dish in a hot oven because it can explode.” Many people take for granted that people would know that, but some don’t and learn the hard way. Thanks for the great tip. I always find your tips helpful. Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day Carol!

    1. Hi, Cheryl, Thanks so much and always love hearing from you! I had to tell my personal chef clients that all the time. Many didn’t really cook. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!