Skinny Grilled Reuben Sandwich

This is my all-time favorite sandwich!!! It’s traditionally made with corned beef or pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Thousand Island or Russian dressing, and rye bread all grilled in butter.  I know you’re thinking if you’re trying to trim down this sandwich would certainly be off-limits, right?  Well, guess again.  This skinny Reuben has all the delicious taste sensations of its high-fat counterpart but with a fraction of the fat and calories and still amazingly good!  Most Reuben sandwiches, like the one at Bennigans, have an astounding 970 calories and 37 grams of fat.  My skinny Reuben has 373 calories, 12 grams of fat. So hearty, just a half sandwich is certainly satisfying. This will likely be your most requested sandwich. It is at my house!
Skinny Grilled Reuben Sandwich

Helpful Tips About this Recipe

Food Facts
Pastrami was created as a way to preserve meat before modern refrigeration. It’s beef that’s brined, dried, seasoned, smoked, and then steamed.
Depending on who you talk to, the Reuben was invented in the early 1900s’ either at Reuben’s Delicatessen in New York City or by Reuben Kay at a hotel in Nebraska during a weekly poker game.
Sauerkraut is made by combining shredded cabbage, salt, and usually spices and allowing the mixture to ferment.

Healthy Benefits

Sauerkraut is an excellent source of vitamin C as well as some of the B vitamins. It does contain lots of sodium but you can greatly reduce it by rinsing under water before using.
If you’re on a low sodium diet however, this sandwich would not be a good choice!

Shopping Tips

I found very lean uncured pastrami containing “no nitrites” at Trader Joe’s. Turkey pastrami also works well for this recipe.
Looking for a sandwich maker? Here are two I like:
Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler, Silver, Black Dials
George Foreman GR136B 2-Serving Classic Plate Grill and Pannini Press, Black
Vegetarian Tips
Make this grilled sandwich vegetarian by using meatless deli slices from companies such as Yves.  Most supermarkets carry several brands in the luncheon meats aisle.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints
WW SmartPoints
SKINNY FACTS: for 1 skinny Reuben sandwich
373 calories, 12g fat, 4g sat. fat, 37mg chol, 28g protein, 39g carbs, 5g fiber, 977mg sodium, 5g sugar


Skinny Grilled Reuben Sandwich

Skinny Grilled Reuben Sandwich

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 373 kcal


Ingredients for Thousand Island Dressing:

  • ¼ cup The BEST Skinny Ranch Dressing or light mayonnaise, such as Best Foods/Hellman’s
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon yellow or spicy brown mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika

Ingredients for Grilled Sandwiches:

  • 8 slices rye bread (I like Oroweat extra sour rye bread)
  • 8 teaspoons reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance Light
  • 8 ounces lean pastrami or turkey pastrami,  or lean corned beef, see shopping tip
  • 1⅓ cups sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
  • 4 slices reduced-fat Swiss or Jarlsberg cheese
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown or yellow mustard


  • To make the dressing: In a small bowl mix together all dressing ingredients.
  • To assemble: Spread 1 teaspoon butter on each slice of bread.  Place 4 slices on your work surface, buttered side down.  Spread 1 tablespoon of dressing on each of the 4 slices.  Distribute pastrami evenly over dressing, followed by sauerkraut and cheese.  Spread inside of the other 4 slices with mustard and place on top, buttered side up.
  • Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat.  Put sandwiches in pan (in batches, if necessary), cover, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the undersides are golden brown.  Uncover and turn sandwiches with a spatula, pressing firmly to slightly flatten them.  Cook for 1-2 minutes more until the undersides are golden brown.  Turn sandwiches again, press with the spatula and cook for 30 seconds or until cheese has melted completely.
  • Serve immediately.


Serving: 1sandwishCalories: 373kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 28gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 977mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gBlue Smart Points: 10Green Smart Points: 10Plus Points: 9
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!


  1. Love a Ruben! Do you think I could make these ahead so they are grab and go type item?

  2. Joan, You could easily make these in advance, refrigerate and grill them just before you serve them. That’s the best way.
    My best,

  3. Is ok to use sweet pickled relish instead of plain pickled relish for the sauce? That’s all I have on hand..

  4. Carol, I think it would work out great. follow the prep instructions. Then, air fry at 380 degrees for about 3-5 minutes for the cheese to melt. Flip over, continue to cook in air fryer for another 3-5 minutes until golden on the outside.
    My best,

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