Vegetarian "Reuben"

By • April 26, 2011 16 Comments

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Author Notes: I started making this sandwich when I became a vegetarian because I love reuben sandwiches. My family, who was not vegetarian, loved this sandwich equally. This is the recipe I want to be remembered by, because I would eventually like to open up a deli that specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches. I like to call this a "vegetarian reuben", but it's really not a reuben at all. I make my own "pickled" red cabbage and replace the meat with mushrooms. Instead of a Thousand Island dressing, I make a concoction of mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and dill relish. I generally use rye bread, because I love, love, love rye and pumpernickel breads. So as you see, this is really not a reuben at all. But let's be honest, who's stopping me from calling it one?Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Food52 Review: Cows everywhere, rejoice! This vegetarian "reuben" is quite possibly better than the real thing. Gooey Swiss, tangy red cabbage, creamy dressing, garlicky mushrooms and crisp, buttery rye make this sandwich utterly irresistible. Thanks to Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast, I have now been ruined for all other sandwiches -- and I'm ok with that!Rachel Snow

Makes 2 sandwiches

  • 4 slices rye or pumpernickel bread
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese (lacey, baby, or regular)
  • 10 to 15 button mushrooms (cleaned and sliced)
  • 1/4 head red cabbage (sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Unsalted butter
  • Olive oil
  1. The first step in assembing this grilled cheese is to prepare all your ingredients. Heat two saute pans over medium heat. Add some olive oil to each pan. In one pan, add the mushrooms, garlic, and black pepper. Let cook for 5 minutes.
  2. In the second pan, add the red cabbage, salt, and pepper and let cook in oil for 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and horseradish and let cook for 5 more minutes.
  3. While both the mushrooms and cabbage are cooking, mix up the dressing. Combine mayonnaise, Dijon, and relish in a small bowl.
  4. Butter one side of 2 pieces of bread generously. On the other side of the buttered pieces of bread, spread the dressing. Add mushrooms to each sandwich. Add a slice of cheese on top of the mushrooms. Cover the cheese in cabbage. Add one more slice of cheese on top of the cabbage.
  5. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Place the slices of bread, buttered side down, on the skillet. Add the second slice of bread to the top of the sandwich and place a couple cubes of butter on top of each slice. Put the pan you used to cook the mushrooms or cabbage on top of the sandwiches (unless you have a foil-covered brick or some other cool device).
  6. Flip after a few minutes and cook the other side without the pan. The bread should be nice and crusty, and cheese should be melting out the sides.

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Sandwiches|Cabbage|Pickles|Bread

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Comments (16) Questions (0)


11 months ago Heather

This is a veggie sandwich which FILLS you up with flavor, texture and deliciousness. I've made these twice in the last month and am ready to have them again. Thank you for a veggie meal which leaves you saying "ahhhh, that hit the spot".


11 months ago Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Yay, glad you loved in Heather! It's definitely one of my all time favorites.


over 2 years ago foxeslovelemons

Congrats on the Community Pick! My thoughts:

Full disclosure: I've never actually had a Reuben sandwich. So, do this sandwich taste like a "real" Reuben? I have no idea. Does it taste great? Absolutely. It was incredibly simple to put together, especially because you cook two of the main components (mushrooms & cabbage) in two different pans, but at the same time. The mushrooms added a filling and "meaty" element, and the sauce was equal parts tangy, creamy, and spicy. It was the perfect dinner for Meatless Monday!


over 2 years ago thefood

i absolutely hope you win with this one! yummmmm!


over 2 years ago Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Thanks, thefood! It's a crowd pleaser for sure!


over 2 years ago Tanya Taylor

OMG - The Reuben is my FAVORITE sandwich and since becoming a vegetarian, I've been stumped on how to make one. THANK YOU - I will try it after we return from spring break vacation...with dark rye, of course!!!


over 2 years ago Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Thanks, Tanya! I hope you get to enjoy it!!


almost 3 years ago gina.hellman.7

Delicious! Made them twice in one week!


about 4 years ago constanterratic

I'm tired of the typical veggie sandwiches I see on menus and in cookbooks (as if vegetarians only eat tomatoes and cheese, or really weird exotic things), so your recipe was a welcome sight. You've punched up two simple staples, the mushroom and cabbage- with incredibly satisfying results. This is one sandwich I would kill to see on menus everywhere!


about 4 years ago Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Thanks, constanterratic! I would love it if I showed up at a restaurant and they were serving it!


over 4 years ago susan g

I love the directions you've gone with the Reuben concept. Our 80's natural food deli served Tempeh Reubens, and it was very popular. I'm trying this ASAP.


over 4 years ago Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Thank you everyone! Please try it out and let me know your thoughts/suggestions!


over 4 years ago clintonhillbilly

Sounds delicious!


over 4 years ago Jennifer Ann

I love your idea for a vegetarian reuben, and am going to give this a try over the weekend.


over 4 years ago Bevi

I won't stop you! This sounds really good, and I hope your dream comes true!


over 4 years ago student epicure