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Homemade Russian Dressing

by Courtney on October 3, 2011

Over the weekend while Jay and I were at Brown’s for dinner, we both ended up having one of the menu items totally catch our eye: a Turkey Rueben. Now, I have had many a-Ruebens in my day, both the original with corned beef and the turkey Rueben.


(Fun Fact: One of my favorite meals used to be the Rueben Supermelt from Friendly’s.)

So while I have been enjoying the Rueben sandwich for quite sometime now, Jay, on the other hand, has never tried one; and it is for one reason, and one reason only:

The thought of sauerkraut completely grosses him out.


I mean, I guess I can’t really blame him. The stuff does stink to the high heavens and it really has no physical appeal to it whatsoever. However, no matter how many times I have tried to tell him that it’s a totally different story on a Rueben, he just will not do it.

Well, this morning while I was out grocery shopping, I put on my Savvy Wife pants and decided that I was determined to get Jay to try a turkey Rueben…even if it did mean sans sauerkraut. Luckily when I’m determined, my end results are usually pretty decent.


Unlike a typical Reuben which uses rye bread, I picked up a loaf of rosemary and olive oil bread today that completely grabbed my attention at the bakery. It was the bread special of the day, so that didn’t hurt either.

Inside this amazing rosemary and olive oil bread went some fresh deli turkey, Swiss cheese, bacon (the real stuff), tomatoes, and homemade Russian dressing.


Have you ever tried making Russian dressing? If not, let me tell you how…because it’s not only beyond easy, but I think it’s 10x better than the bottled stuff.

Homemade Russian Dressing

Yield: Enough for approximately 4 sandwiches

  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sweet relish*
  • dash of paprika

That’s it! Just stir it all together and you’ve got yourself some homemade Russian dressing. If you don’t have sweet relish on hand, try adding a bit of sugar to the mixture instead (start with about 1/2 teaspoon and gradually add more, if needed).

Once the sandwiches were filled, I sprayed the tops of the bread with a little spray butter and a sprinkling of rosemary seasoning, popped ‘em on the panini maker (instead of grilling them)…

And then got Jay totally hooked on the Turkey Reuben…sans sauerkraut, of course. Winking smile


To go with our Ruebens, I roasted a big head of cauliflower, which got seasoned with a generous helping of Garlic Gold. That stuff is amazing.


Tonight’s dinner definitely got four thumbs up, along with about a zillion ”Oh my god these are so good” comments from us!


Time to go get ready for tomorrow…I’ve got some new stuff happening! Surprised smile

Questions for the Evening:

Have you ever tried a Rueben sandwich?

Do you like sauerkraut?

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathryn @ Flopoodle October 3, 2011 at 7:11 pm

I only like sauerkraut with ruebens! I always go for corned beef, but your turkey version looks good!
Kathryn @ Flopoodle recently posted..Flopoodle: Weekend Edition


2 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health October 3, 2011 at 7:14 pm

I hate sauerkraut haha…so I’ve actually never had a rueben! But I would eat one of your rueben sandwiches in a heartbeat- that thing sounds and looks amazing! Will you be enlightening us on this new stuff happening?? I’m intrigued!
Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health recently posted..A Chocolate A Day…


3 Courtney October 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Yuppers…tomorrow :)


4 Blog is the New Black October 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Ok, so what does sauerkrut taste like? I’ve never had a rueben, either! Not because I hate sauerkraut, but… Idk why! I hate mayo/Russian dresing but I’d prob like it without that… if I can figure out what this sauerkraut bizniz is!
Blog is the New Black recently posted..Orange & White Chocolate Chip Scones


5 Courtney October 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Hmmm, it’s kinda, well, sour, haha!
Cabbage-like too…


6 Erica October 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm

i LOVE sauerkraut!!!! yum!
Erica recently posted..weekend shennanigans


7 Lily October 3, 2011 at 7:33 pm

I used to love the supermelts from Friendly’s too!! My mom told me the other day that Friendly’s declared bankruptcy. saddest. day. ever.


8 Cait @ Cait hates Cake October 3, 2011 at 7:45 pm

While I’ve never had a REAL reuben, I did make a vegetarian version about a month ago using tempeh. Turned out great! I never ate sauerkraut until then, but I ending up liking it!
Cait @ Cait hates Cake recently posted..Dining and Wining


9 Stephanie @cookinfanatic October 3, 2011 at 7:47 pm

What an easy yummy dinner, the sammiches looks great!

I loveeeee sauerkraut (I’m Polish haha, not sure if that’s why?) One of our traditional Christmas Eve dishes that has been in the family forever is a basic sauerkraut & noodles (onion, sauerkraut, shell noodles, lotsa butter plus some black pepper) and I eat this for dayssss after the holidays. Love :)
Stephanie @cookinfanatic recently posted..South meets East.


10 Kristen October 3, 2011 at 7:49 pm


Okay, I’ve finally decided to buy Garlic Gold. What products do you recommend? Do you buy them online?




11 Courtney October 3, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Yes! You can buy them online. I’d say if you’re going to go for one thing, go for the garlic gold nuggets:

They’re awesome! The garlic oil is also pretty amazing. :)


12 Kristen October 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Thanks so much, Courtney!


13 Sana October 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Umm you are the best wife ever! I don’t even know what sauerkraut is????!
Sana recently posted..Day 3: Clouds


14 Lauren October 3, 2011 at 7:55 pm

I don’t think I’ve had a Ruben in years, or sauerkraut for that matter but you’ve made me miss them with this post. My mom used to make them for me as a kid along with cream of mushroom soup. It was a childhood favorite!
Lauren recently posted..Food Is My Medicine


15 Stellina October 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm

I am not sure that I’ve ever had a ruben or sauerkraut, not sure I would like it though because I don’t really like ham or pork. I’m more of a chicken sandwich kinda chick :)
Stellina recently posted..Music Monday’s & A Falling Sky


16 Courtney October 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Make it with turkey like I did…it’s the bomb! ;)


17 Erin @ The Grass Skirt October 3, 2011 at 8:00 pm

First of all, I love how you know about Friendly’s! A lot of people have never heard of it. My mom used to take my sister and I there on the last day of school. Their peanut butter syrup was to die for! Anyway, I actually eat raw sauerkraut because it is really detoxifying. I didn’t think that I’d like the taste, but I really do. You’re right though- the smell is not pleasant.
Erin @ The Grass Skirt recently posted..Fun Fall Festivities


18 Courtney October 3, 2011 at 8:04 pm

OMG, the peanut butter syrup! I could eat (drink?) it by the gallon!

So sauerkraut is detoxifying?? I did not know that! In that case, I think I’ll go open up a can! ;)
But seriously, how much would one need to eat to gain any benefits?


19 Erin @ The Grass Skirt October 3, 2011 at 8:09 pm

My best friend has told me many times that her dream is to swim in a giant tub of that peanut butter syrup and just drink it all up. I don’t think I’d have a probably drinking it either! ;)

I’m sort of obsessed with Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox Solution right now, and she recommends 2 tablespoons of raw sauerkraut a day. I put it on my salads at lunch and really like it! Apparently, it also boosts immunity. I’m not sure if it is a coincidence or not, but I have lupus and usually get sick a lot. Since starting the sauerkraut, I haven’t been sick at all!
Erin @ The Grass Skirt recently posted..Fun Fall Festivities


20 Krissie J @ A Philly Nerd Girl October 3, 2011 at 8:49 pm

I fricken love Friendly’s! My coworker and I used to get sundaes once in a while when things got stressful at work.
Krissie J @ A Philly Nerd Girl recently posted..Feels Like Fall Weekend


21 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake October 3, 2011 at 8:18 pm

I’ve never tried a Rueben, primarily because I’m not a fan of sauerkraut! The only time I’ll eat it is when I’m forced to on New Year’s Day for “good luck”! :-)
Erica @ For the Sake of Cake recently posted..Sometimes you just have to!


22 Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats October 3, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I’ve never tried a reuben but I love sauerkraut! Especially on pizza! :)
Abby @ Abz ‘n’ Oats recently posted..saucy squash and sausage


23 Krissie J @ A Philly Nerd Girl October 3, 2011 at 8:47 pm

I have that in common with Jay! Sauerkraut weirds me out so much I have never eaten it and thus have no had a rueben. This greatly saddens Scott since he loves both. :)
Krissie J @ A Philly Nerd Girl recently posted..Feels Like Fall Weekend


24 Melissa October 3, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I’m from a good Polish/German family, so sauerkraut is in my DNA! I love turkey reubens with extra dressing! YUM!
Melissa recently posted..Meltdown


25 Jess@atasteofconfidence October 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm

I want a panini maker so bad. Looks great!
Jess@atasteofconfidence recently posted..october plans: pumpkins and pyschology


26 Brittany October 3, 2011 at 9:34 pm

I used to love reubens when I was younger. I haven’t had one in FOREVER now!
Brittany recently posted..New Creations and a New Workout


27 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen October 3, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Reubens are amazing. I get Russian dressing on most deli sandwiches because it’s so darn good it shouldn’t just be reserved for reubens!
Gina @ Running to the Kitchen recently posted..Philadelphia half marathon training week 3


28 Sara @ RunnerWife October 3, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I am not a bit reuben fan, my dad is though! Anytime we go to a deli type restaraunt he always makes sure to get one!
Sara @ RunnerWife recently posted..Play Date


29 Ari @ Ari's Menu October 3, 2011 at 9:42 pm

I love a reuben, but I also get it with no sauerkraut. Have you ever tried turkey pastrami? Best reuben meat even IMO! :)
Ari @ Ari’s Menu recently posted..Bekki’s Birthday Dinner


30 Pamela October 3, 2011 at 9:52 pm

I used to love the Rueben at Friendly’s, too!! I actually have a great recipe for a Rueben Casserole I made a few months ago that I will have to post soon! :)
Pamela recently posted..Monday


31 Courtney October 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm

OMG YUM! Please post ASAP! :)


32 Katie October 3, 2011 at 9:52 pm

I love reubens….sans sauerkraut.

My Polish grandparents hang their heads in shame :-(


33 Colleen @ Jimmy Choos on the Treadmill October 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I’ve never tried a Reuben, but I don’t like tomatoes or sauerkraut. That bread sounds heavenly though!

P.S. Sorry about the Jets ;)
Colleen @ Jimmy Choos on the Treadmill recently posted..Colleen’s Gossip Column: Take 2


34 Courtney October 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Hahaha…thanks. That was a pretty awful showing by my guys in green, I’ll tell ya!


35 Kirstie @ Musings of a Happy Life October 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Never tried a Reuben sandwich but now I want to! hehe!
Kirstie @ Musings of a Happy Life recently posted..MUSIC TO WORK OUT TO


36 Khushboo October 4, 2011 at 12:52 am

I’m with Jay- I can’t/won’t do sauerkraut..although I’d love to try a sauerkraut free-Reuben, looks yum!
Khushboo recently posted..You just know


37 Shannon @ Healthiful Balance October 4, 2011 at 3:19 am

That sandwich looks delish!
Noo, I am not a fan of sauerkraut :P
Shannon @ Healthiful Balance recently posted..Who Says?


38 Sabine October 4, 2011 at 7:19 am

I’m totally with Melissa :) !
I’m from Germany. I grew up with Sauerkraut and I still love it.

Btw, Sauerkraut is actually a german word (sauer = sour, Kraut = cabbage).

But I never ate a Rueben Sandwich. Seems to me, this is unknown over here. Never saw it anywhere, not in the supermarket, not at a restaurant.

So, it’s the Sauerkraut without the sandwich for me ;).


39 Christy October 4, 2011 at 8:39 am

I absolutely LOVE reubens… however, not the ones you can get on Rye bread out at a restaurant. (Ewww! Rye bread ruins it) Ever since i was a kid, Reubens were an “after St. Patty’s day” special in our household. My dad would make them using soft pumpernickel bread, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, corned beef, and thousand island dressing. These things are like crack cocaine. I could easily eat two sandwiches at a time. The sports grill in east greenbush makes them on marbled rye, which is so-so, but if you want a great reuben you have to have pumpernickel.
Christy recently posted..Ketchup


40 Hope October 4, 2011 at 9:06 am

This sandwich looks delicious! I don’t think I’ve ever had a reuben but I’ve always wanted to try it. Russian dressing is one of my all-time faves. I never knew how easy it was to make at home. I’m going to have to try it. I can’t wait to get a panini maker. I’m going to have to try making this sandwich. I don’t think I’ve ever had sauerkraut before! I don’t like how it smells but I might like how it tastes? ;)
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41 Emmarie @ Bananas and Beer October 4, 2011 at 9:21 am

I just recently got a panini maker, and I swear I’ve used that thing every single day. Reubens are just the best, I’m not a huge kraut fan, but a little is necessary to get the reuben effect.
Emmarie @ Bananas and Beer recently posted..This Evening


42 Katy @ HaveYouHurd October 4, 2011 at 11:41 am

LOVE saurkraut but my hubs is the same way. He’s all like, “that sounds weird” so he won’t eat it. dumb. Anywho, I’ll def try this version. I know he’ll love it!
Katy @ HaveYouHurd recently posted..Warrior Dash!


43 Katie @ Plates and Paste October 4, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Yes and yes! I used to not like reubens, but now I’m a fan :) Down here in FL there’s even such a thing as a grouper reuben, which sounds odd, but it’s actually really good!
Katie @ Plates and Paste recently posted..Tampa Bay Hits a Homerun


44 Kristine @ Running on Hungry October 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I was just thinking of what to make for dinner tonight and your post just sealed the deal that I will be busting out my panini maker! (Can you make quesadillas on a panini maker?) Hopefully because I have black beans, corn, salsa, cheese and chicken that needs to be put to good use! :)
Kristine @ Running on Hungry recently posted..The Best Sunday


45 Courtney October 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Yes! Definitely :)


46 Samantha October 4, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Reubens are my favorite sandwich!

A splurge is a reuben from Cracker Barrell. I normally make them at home though, they’re really good with cracked pepper turkey.
Samantha recently posted..Monday Monday


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