This classic Reuben Sandwich gets an upgrade that saves you lots of time without sacrificing any flavor. Tangy sauerkraut and thin slices of pastrami are added to the slow cooker alongside beef broth and Thousand Island dressing to create a perfect sandwich filling that’s rich and dripping with flavor. 

Slow Cooker Reuben Sandwiches from Zestuous

An Update to the Classic Reuben Sandwich Recipe

I recently stumbled upon a recipe where someone put lunchmeat in a crockpot with beef broth. I wish I could remember the source so I could give them credit. Whoever you are, thank you! 

That recipe inspired me to try other lunchmeats in the slow cooker…and that’s how my Slow Cooker Reuben Sandwich was born.

There is no need to spend hours brining brisket and slow cooking it to perfect tenderness. The guy at the deli has already done that hard work for us. It’s easier to just say, “Thank you, kind sir. I’ll take two pounds.”

Dump his perfectly tender pastrami in the slow cooker with the traditional Reuben sandwich flavors of sauerkraut and Thousand Island, finish it all off with a bit of beef broth, and voila, you have all the Reuben components in one pot. When the family is ready to eat, they can load up their rye bread with a generous spoonful and top it off with a slice of Swiss. It’s too easy.

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Slow Cooker Reuben Sandwich

The classic Reuben Sandwich gets an upgrade when you add tangy sauerkraut and pastrami to a slow cooker for a perfect filling that’s dripping with flavor.


  • 2 lbs deli-sliced pastrami
  • 14.5 oz canned sauerkraut
  • 1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • rye bread
  • Swiss cheese


  • COOK: Place the pastrami, sauerkraut, dressing and beef broth in a slow cooker and toss to combine. Slow cook for 2-4 hours.
    Slow Cooker Reuben Sandwiches from Zestuous
  • ASSEMBLE: Add the desired amount of filling to toasted slices of rye bread and top with Swiss cheese.
    Slow Cooker Reuben Sandwiches from Zestuous


Calories: 1422kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 184gFat: 55gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 23gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 459mgSodium: 13529mgPotassium: 2966mgFiber: 13gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 338IUVitamin C: 374mgCalcium: 233mgIron: 33mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
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Ingredients for a great Reuben sandwich

  • Pastrami. Whether you like thin or thicker slices, your local deli or butcher will have the best cuts to choose from.
  • Sauerkraut. You can find this at most local delis, as well as at your local grocery store in the deli section.
  • Thousand Island dressing. This is a perfect replacement for homemade Russian dressing. 
  • Beef broth
  • Rye bread. Pumpernickel rye, Jewish rye, or dark rye bread are excellent choices. Visit your local bakery to find your favorite. 
  • Swiss cheese

Substitutions: Really want to try making your own pastrami or corned beef? Check out my Crock Pot Corned Beef recipe.

See the full recipe card for servings and a full list of ingredients.

How to make this iconic sandwich

Slow Cooker Reuben Sandwiches from Zestuous
Slow Cooker Reuben Sandwiches from Zestuous
  1. Cook: Place the pastrami, sauerkraut, dressing and beef broth in a slow cooker and toss to combine. Slow cook for 2-4 hours.
  2. Assemble: Add the desired amount of filling to toasted slices of rye bread and top with Swiss cheese.


Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on each piece of bread and a second slice of Swiss cheese, sandwiching the filling between. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

Slow Cooker Reuben Sandwiches from Zestuous

How to serve a Reuben sandwich 

A good Reuben stands alone, but it’s even better with a side of potato chips, potato salad or baked beans for a real sandwich shop feel. 


Any leftover filling can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to three days. Reheat in 30-second bursts in the microwave or oven on low heat on the stove before serving. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who invented the Reuben Sandwich? 

Many people might associate the Reuben Sandwich with New York City, but the origins of the Reuben sandwich come from Omaha, Nebraska. According to History Nebraska, a Jewish grocery by the name of Reuben Kulakofsky asked for a corned beef and sauerkraut sandwich at his weekly poker game at the Blackstone Hotel. The hotel owner loved it so much that he put it on the menu!

What’s the difference between corned beef and pastrami? 

Both are made from beef brisket, but they are two different cuts of meat. Pastrami tends to be a little more tender than the other. This recipe uses pastrami instead of corned beef because I love how tender the cut is, especially after it simmers in the slow cooker.

Are Reuben’s a fancy grilled cheese sandwich?

That’s one way to look at them! Since they’re traditionally made with toasted slices of bread, the cheese melts beautifully and contrasts with the crunchy bread. If you want to up the ante, you can grill these or use a panini maker. 

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Christie Vanover

About Zestuous

Hi. I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and have dozens of top ten category finishes. People know me as the girl who is forever hovering over a grill, smoker or campfire with tongs in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

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