St. Patrick’s Day, game day or a regular ol’ weekday—any day of the year is a good day to dig into this Reuben casserole when that comfort-food craving hits. A fun and easy take on a classic Reuben sandwich, this casserole features a rich filling made with tangy sauerkraut, sour cream and corned beef, all topped with a layer of Swiss cheese and buttery rye bread croutons. Get ready for the Reuben that can feed a crowd.
Ingredients for Reuben CasseroleTMB Studio
- Sauerkraut: Made from fermented shredded cabbage, traditional sauerkraut has a distinctive acidic bite that adds flavor and cuts through the richness of this casserole. In this recipe, sauerkraut provides texture by adding a bit of crunch. To take it to another level, try your own homemade sauerkraut.
- Corned beef: Typically made from beef brisket that’s been brined with pickling spices before cooking, corned beef is soft and tender with salty, savory flavors. Corned beef is divine in everything from corned beef hash for breakfast to corned beef sandwiches for lunch to this comforting Reuben casserole for dinner. If have leftover corned beef and cabbage from St. Patrick’s Day, this is a great way to use it up. You can also use corned beef from the deli. Just ask for thicker slices so you’ll get bigger pieces in the casserole.
- Swiss cheese: This Alpine-style cheese, known as a reliable melter, provides rich creaminess and a mild, nutty flavor. It gets sprinkled atop this Reuben casserole, binding all the delicious ingredients underneath it.
- Rye bread: Make your own rye bread, or pick a loaf up at the deli. Either way, this old-fashioned favorite adds loads of nutty, malty flavor to the casserole. And don’t forget about texture. Drizzled with butter and baked, the bread becomes golden and crunchy on the outside while staying chewy on the inside.
Step 1: Make the filling
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, stir together the sauerkraut, corned beef, sour cream, onion and garlic. Spoon mixture into a greased 11×7-inch baking dish.
Step 2: Add the toppings, and bake
Sprinkle with the cheese and bread cubes, then drizzle with melted butter. Bake, uncovered, until heated through and the cheese is melted, 25 to 30 minutes.
Editor’s Tip: When possible, shred your cheese from a block rather than using pre-shredded. Whole blocks of cheese are more economical, and they melt better than pre-shredded cheeses, which contain anti-caking ingredients that inhibit proper melting. If you have any cheese left over, put it to good use in these Swiss cheese recipes.
Reuben Casserole Variations
- Sauce it up: To get that classic Reuben flavor, replace some of the sour cream with Thousand Island dressing. Or serve a bowl of the dressing alongside the casserole for guests to drizzle on top.
- Experiment with different rye breads: There’s a rye bread for every palate: light rye, dark rye, marble rye, Jewish rye, caraway seed rye bread, Swedish rye bread and more. Each offers a different flavor and intensity, so find the style that best suits your taste.
- Mix up the meat: Make a “Rachel” casserole rather than a Reuben by using pastrami or roasted turkey instead of corned beef.
How to Store Reuben Casserole
Store leftover Reuben casserole, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to three or four days.
Can you make Reuben casserole ahead of time?
Yes! You can assemble this easy casserole recipe up to three days before you want to serve it. Cover it tightly, and store it in the fridge. To bake, remove the cover, and bake as directed, adding a few more minutes to heat through if needed.
How to Freeze Reuben Casserole
You can freeze the Reuben casserole either unbaked or baked. Just assemble it in a freezer-safe baking dish. (If baked, let the casserole cool completely before proceeding.) Cover it tightly, and store in the freezer for up to three months. Allow it to thaw in the fridge the night before you plan to eat it. If not already baked, bake off the casserole as directed in the main recipe above. If the casserole was already baked before you froze it, reheat in a 350° oven until a thermometer inserted in the center of the casserole reaches 165°.
Reuben Casserole Tips
What can you use instead of rye bread for Reuben casserole?
If you can’t find or just don’t prefer rye bread, tangy sourdough bread and savory pumpernickel bread are suitable (and delicious) substitutes. Most firm, dense breads will hold up well to the other filling ingredients in this recipe.
What can you serve with Reuben casserole?
Reuben casserole is a complete meal, but you can easily serve your favorite easy potato recipes alongside it. And, don’t forget. A bright green salad always makes a great side dish to a rich and creamy casserole.