Mini-Reubens {These will make you very popular}

mini reubens

If you ever want to make a cook’s day, request a favorite dish of his or hers.  Speaking from experience, we’re so thrilled that we’ve had a “hit” we’ll gladly oblige!

For years, I hosted Husband’s annual office Christmas party at our house.  The guinea pigs (God bless ’em!), who attended year after year, apparently had their patience rewarded with a few memorable offerings. That, and there was plenty of beer and wine…

As a result of those “experiments,” the one thing I’ve had more requests for really isn’t a “dish” – it’s a sandwich.  And a mini-sandwich at that.

These Mini-Reuben Sandwiches are pretty much the perfect party food.  You can make them well in advance, they’re easy to eat, and they’re “guy friendly.” And I don’t just make them for parties.  For all the reasons above, if you stop by during football season, it’s a safe bet I’ll have some of these on hand.

This week, though, I learned that a friend’s wife (one of our frequent party guests) had undergone an emergency surgery, and I offered prayers and anything else that might help.  His response?  “Prayers are great!  As for food, I could never refuse Mini-Reubens.”  

Coming right up!

There’s some debate about the origin of the Reuben.  I’m going with the version that says it originated in Omaha.  {It’s my hometown – I’m nothing if not loyal!}  A “traditional” Reuben is made with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and either Russian or Thousand Island dressing.  And it’s served on Rye bread.  As always, I’ve taken some liberties!  Like many, I prefer the taste of cured and spice-rubbed pastrami over corned beef.  {As far as brands, you can’t go wrong with Boar’s Head.} While you can certainly pick up a bottle of dressing for a shortcut, I think mixing four simple ingredients for the “secret sauce” makes for a superior sandwich.  I also use Pumpernickel bread – rye is great too, but Pumpernickel is just… well, it’s just more fun to say.  {It’s the little things…!}

Don’t skimp on ingredients here — get your meat and cheese from the deli counter.  Ask for shaved pastrami – not sliced.  It should be fall-apart thin.  And while you can buy swiss cheese already sliced and packaged, splurge at the deli counter.  Shop for your other ingredients while they’re getting this ready for you.

mini reuben - meat

5.0 from 5 reviews
makes 24 mini-reubens
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 4 Tbs ketchup
  • 1 tsp caraway seed
  • ½ can sauerkraut, drained and chopped
  • 1 pound shaved pastrami
  • ½ pound swiss cheese, medium slices
  • 1 loaf cocktail pumpernickel bread (such as Rubschlager - 1 pound)
  • butter
  1. Heat large griddle or skillet to medium high.
  2. Mix mayonnaise, ketchup, caraway seed and sauerkraut together in small bowl.
  3. Cut or tear cheese slices to fit bread slices.
  4. Spread 24 slices of the bread with the sauerkraut mixture. Add shaved pastrami and cheese slices. Top with remaining bread slices. Butter both sides of sandwiches, if desired.
  5. Place sandwiches on griddle or in skillet, until brown, about 1 minute. Turn and brown on other side. Serve immediately, or move to cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. If making ahead: Cool completely. Place sandwiches in single layer in Ziploc bags. Freeze until ready to use. Reheat on a cookie sheet at 350 for about 20 minutes or until heated through.



Give these a try, and by all means, tweak them to make them your own.






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27 Responses to Mini-Reubens {These will make you very popular}

  1. Elaine May 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Are you just using a seasoned cast iron pan or do you use butter/oil on a griddle?

    • Morgan Wood May 26, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Either works great! I did these on my griddle… I used to butter both sides before browning, but lately I don’t!

  2. Stan Olson July 19, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    They look great and they taste great but they don’t look very mini.

    • Morgan Wood July 19, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

      Stan – I use that cocktail bread – about 2″ square. And I DO pile them a bit high! But compared to what you would get in a restaurant, or on a full size piece of bread they’re mini. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Julie September 11, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    When you make them ahead & freeze how are you reheating?

    • Morgan Wood September 12, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

      Hi Julie! Freezing them is terrific… I just pull out the number I need, put them on a cookie sheet, cover loosely with foil and bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

  4. Sandra Ciampini December 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Can these mini reubens be kept warm in a slow cooker when taking to a party?

    • Morgan Wood December 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

      Hi Sandra! Hmmmm, haven’t tried that. What I have done after taking them off the griddle is transfer them to a cookie sheet and cover with foil. If your host has room in the oven to pop them in for a few minutes to reheat, you could do that too. Never thought about a slow cooker!

  5. Nathus Dorkus February 21, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    I just wanted to let you know that a Facebook page has been stealing photos from around the internet of other place’s food and misleading potential future customers into thinking that the food is their own, by not crediting the original source of the images and answering questions like it’s their food (and they’re not even open yet.)
    I found one which appears to be a photo you took on your journal, this one:

    I’d suggest calling them out on it and reporting them for it.

    • Morgan Wood February 21, 2014 at 11:22 am #

      Wow, Nathus. How’d you find that!? I did contact the company… we’ll see what they say. Many thanks! I sure love it when people share my content, but only when they properly attribute it. Thanks!

  6. Ann March 16, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    I brought these to a St Patrick’s Day themed party and everyone loved them! This is a keeper

    • Morgan Wood March 16, 2014 at 11:03 am #

      Hi Ann! Glad you liked them… I’m getting ready to make a big batch – and will hopefully be able to stash some in the freezer.

  7. Bonnie June 7, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

    Amazing once again, Morgan. Just made these for a little get together we’re having tonight. We had to try one to make sure they were edible. I will be surprised if there are any left for our guests!

    • Morgan Wood June 9, 2014 at 9:51 am #

      So glad you liked them! Keep them on hand in the freezer for snack “emergencies”!

  8. Chippy December 10, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    Hi Gorgeous,
    These look fabulous, I came here after googling ‘can I freeze Reubens’. I had a Reuben at a local casino last year (they ‘comp’ me ten bucks per month for food and everything they cook is just awesome), anyhow I started makin’ them at home, in fact I just had one w/ my other favorite: potato pierogies w/ 12 seasonings and onions, boiled, then fried in margarine (have to watch my cholesterol. Anyhoozle, I’m glad you suggest shaved pastrami and the miniaturized versions, looks like I’ll be buying a grill tomorrow so I can load up my freezer!

  9. Marilyn February 29, 2016 at 10:50 am #

    has any one keep Rubens warm in a roaster to serve later? was thinking of wrapping foil around them but someone though the bread would get soggy? I need to make them in the morning and server mid afternoon but where I’m going to serve them doesn’t have any thing to warm them in.

    • Morgan Wood February 29, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

      Hi Marilyn! Here’s what I do… I go ahead and do the toasting of them, on the griddle or wherever. Then I freeze. In your case, you could just cover {when cool} and put in fridge. When ready to serve, I put them on a cookie sheet and lightly lay a piece of foil on top while I rewarm in the oven. The bread doesn’t get soggy and it saves those crispy edges you get from the griddle. They’re so good!

  10. Elise Robertson March 13, 2018 at 3:41 pm #

    I am wanting to cook them for this weekend; however, we do not have an oven at work. Should I just serve them cold?

    • Morgan Wood March 13, 2018 at 4:30 pm #

      Hi Elise!

      Hmmmm. Well if you’ve had a chance to brown both sides (and melt the cheese) on a griddle or skillet beforehand, I suppose you could… My husband is fine with them microwaved. If you wanted to get REALLY creative, you could take an electric griddle with you and just brown them right on the spot!

  11. Miranda August 27, 2018 at 3:54 pm #

    These look so great! Thank you for sharing! Do you have any other bread suggestions?

  12. Bev kirby December 21, 2018 at 2:26 pm #

    Do I need to thaw the frozen sandwiches before I put them in the oven?

    • Morgan Wood December 21, 2018 at 2:42 pm #

      Hi Bev! Nope, you don’t need to. They’ll just take a bit longer. I would just put them on a cookie sheet and cover tightly with foil for about 30 minutes, then remove foil and test to see if they’re heated through. I usually remove the foil or just cover lightly for the last several minutes so they crisp up a bit. (Timing depends on how thick you made these sandwiches). I just made 96 for a party, and thankfully have a couple dozen left in the freezer.

  13. Erin March 12, 2019 at 3:12 pm #

    Hi I’m making these this Saturday can I make an hour ahead of time and just keep warm in the over till guest’s arrive?


    • Morgan Wood March 12, 2019 at 9:01 pm #

      Absolutely! I would probably cover them with foil to keep from drying out as you reheat. They’ll be fabulous!

  14. Mary Koehler January 1, 2020 at 10:22 am #

    My family loves this recipe. Making these Mini-Reubens has become a New Year’s tradition. Of course, they’re great party food anytime of the year.

    • Morgan Wood January 1, 2020 at 11:58 am #

      Happy New Year Mary! They are great – and they freeze well so you can always have some ready!!!

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