Radical Reuben Sandwiches

Radical Reuben Sandwiches are a vegetarian version of the popular sandwich replacing the usual corned beef with meaty mushrooms.
Radical Reuben Sandwiches

Radical Reuben Sandwiches

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

One of my favorite sandwiches in the world is a Reuben sandwich. And I love it so much I’d love to make it for all my friends, but when you have vegetarian friends, that just doesn’t seem to work out. But fortunately, there is a way around it, using meatlike mushrooms marinated to bring out their best “corned beef” like qualities, which makes it a perfect choice for World Vegetarian Day.

And even if you do like meat, it is always nice to give it a break and try something different for both ethical, ecological and health reasons. We all know we should eat more veggies. And doing so without a loss in  passion for the food that most meat eaters feel when they sink their teeth into a thick mound of corned beef. I knew when I made this that I could also have punched up the beefy flavor with a bit of bouillon in the marinade, but left it out to keep this all veg. But I want to mention it for those who like the mushroom idea and who aren’t averse to adding beef as part of that marinade. Obviously not vegan here (because of the cheese mainly) but even with vegan cheese, there are concerns with the brown sugar, butter and possibly the bread (I didn’t bake it myself so cannot vouch for it). So if you want to make this vegan, it can be done using substitutes- you just  have to be careful about what is in those substitutes.

But otherwise, this is a sandwich most can enjoy and I hope you do so, both for World Vegetarian Day and also as part of your Oktoberfest  celebrations, putting a little German-American spin on your casual meal. Until tomorrow (#AppleWeek is starting!)—


Radical Reuben Sandwiches

Radical Reuben Sandwiches

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Radical Reuben Sandwiches
Marinate: 2 hours
Prep and Cook: 15 minutes


  • 8 ounces portobello mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons pickling spice
  • cheesecloth (optional)
  • 16 ounce can sauerkraut
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 4 slices rye bread
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Thousand Island dressing


  1. Brush off the mushrooms and remove stem. Use a soup spoon to scrape off the dark gills from the underside.
  2. Slice mushrooms in half, then slice them thinly.
  3. Drain the kraut saving all the juice; squeeze the kraut dry (save that juice too).
  4. Heat the juice until it is hot and wrap the pickling spice in a small piece of cheesecloth cinching it off with a twistie tie. Add the sachet to the hot brine.
  5. Pour the brine over the mushrooms and marinate at least a couple hours.
  6. Take one tablespoon of the butter and saute the onion in a small pan with the caraway seed until the onion is soft, then add the kraut and the apple cider and simmer until the kraut is pretty much dry.
  7. Drain the marinating mushrooms and discard the brine and sachet.
  8. Heat the remaining butter in a small skillet then add the mushrooms and 2 teaspoons of brown sugar; cook until mushrooms are soft.
  9. Build the sandwiches each with 2 pieces of bread spread with the Thousand Island, mushrooms and sauerkraut between the cheese. You probably won’t use all the kraut unless you do 4-6 sandwiches. Save it for another use.
  10. Griddle the sandwiches until golden on each side and cheese is melted.

From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com

Radical Reuben Sandwiches

Sunday Supper

Recipes for World Vegetarian Day

Hosted by Susan Pridmore from The Wimpy Vegetarian






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4 responses

  1. Portobello mushrooms are wonderful meat substitutes…Your Reuben looks radically delicious! P.s. My 93-year-old father’s sandwich is the Reuben…Maybe I can make this version for him on a visit <3

  2. Great looking sandwich, Sue! I love a good Reuben and now I want one… I’m not a big mushroom lover, but I could give them are try with this preparation.

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