Homemade Russian Dressing

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?


  1. Lily says

    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.

  2. says

    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.

  3. Kristen says


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



  4. says

    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

  5. says

    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

    • Courtney says

      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?

      • says

        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

  6. says

    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

  7. Sabine says

    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 ;).

  8. says

    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

  9. says

    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? 😉
    Hope recently posted..A Season To Look Forward To…

  10. says

    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


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge