Adults can have food jags, too. A food jag–the habit of eating one food repeatedly over a period of time–is usually associated with behavior exhibited by young people. However, I know of at least one adult who has experienced a food jag thanks to her fondness for reuben sandwiches.
Typically made with rye bread, corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and either Russian or Thousand Island dressing (depending upon the restaurant or person who’s making it), a reuben is a popular American sandwich that can be found on the menus of delis, diners, pubs and other eateries around the country. And, this sandwich is so beloved by my mom that she ordered one for lunch every day for a few months when she was still working full time. I knew she liked them, but I never realized she liked them that much!
Okay, so maybe that wasn’t a real food jag because she always ate a variety of foods for breakfast and dinner. But, whatever it was, it ended up benefitting me, my dad and my sister. How? Some of those lunch orders included a few extra reubens that she brought home to us to enjoy for dinner. So, while I sometimes wished she worked closer to our home and didn’t have to travel into Chicago’s downtown area to work every day, one perk for me of her job location was that it was in close proximity to two different restaurants that served delicious reubens.
Since that time in my life, I’ve enjoyed many more corned beef reubens like the ones my mom would bring home. However, in recent years I’ve also noticed that some restaurants are making versions of this sandwich with sliced turkey instead of corned beef. This meat option offers a nice alternative for those of us who enjoy food most when we’re able to switch up common recipes from time to time, as well as for anyone who doesn’t eat beef or wants to minimize how much red meat they’re consuming.
I’ve even made turkey reubens for my family a few times. If you’d like to see what I used the last time I made them, as well as the simple side dish that I served, check out the below recipes. As usual, if you purchase any of the groceries I used using the links provided, I will earn a small commission from qualifying purchases that will help me to continue to share recipes like this on my blog.
What You’ll Need To Make My Easy Turkey Reuben Meal (Six servings)
*1 Stick of Butter
*18 Slices of Unseeded Rye Bread (12 Slices if you make a traditional sandwich)
*3 Packages of Sliced Turkey
*1 Cup of Thousand Island Dressing
*1 Package of Sliced Swiss Cheese
*1 Cup of Sauerkraut, drained
*3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
*1 16-Ounce Bag of Broccoli Florets
*1 Cup of Frozen Mirepoix
*2 Teaspoons of Italian Seasoning
*Salt and Pepper to taste
How to Make My Easy Turkey Reuben Meal
1. If you opt to make a double-decker sandwich like I did, it will be easier to butter and lightly toast all of your bread in your oven’s broiler because you can do this with several slices at one time. (Note: If you don’t want to make a tall sandwich like this, see the notes that follow the recipe for tips on making a shorter one.) Once your bread is ready, you can lay it (toasted side down) on a sheet of aluminum foil and began to layer on the ingredients.
2. Start with placing two slices of turkey on each slice of toasted bread. Then, place a slice of swiss cheese, two tablespoons of sauerkraut, and two tablespoons of dressing on each. Next, cover each sandwich with a slice of bread. This will become the bottom part of your sandwich.
3. Take two more slices of turkey and place them on top of the bottom part of the sandwich that you’ve already formed. Then, layer on another slice of swiss cheese, two more tablespoons of sauerkraut, and a little more dressing. Then, cover the dressing with another slice of bread. Make sure the toasted side of your top pieces of bread are facing up.
4. You’ll want to melt the cheese on the sandwiches, but set them aside for now and begin to prepare the vegetables.
5. Heat olive oil to medium heat in a skillet. Then, carefully add the broccoli and mirepoix. Cover the vegetables and allow them to cook for about 10 minutes. (While the vegetables are cooking, you can begin to microwave the sandwiches. See Step 6.) After the vegetables have been cooking for 10 minutes, remove the skillet’s cover and sprinkle Italian seasoning, as well as a pinch of salt and pepper on top of the vegetables. Stir them again and re-cover the skillet. If you feel that the vegetables might get too dry before they’re ready, feel free to add a few tablespoons of water to the skillet before you re-cover it. Allow the vegetables to cook for approximately 10 more minutes or until the broccoli is warmed through and tender.
6 .While the vegetables are cooking, plate each sandwich and microwave it for about 30 seconds (depending upon the wattage of your microwave) to melt the cheese.
7. When the vegetables are ready, serve them alongside the finished turkey reubens and enjoy a delicious meal! (You can cut sandwiches in half diagonally to make it easier to hold and eat them if you’d like.)
Possible Substite utions and Notes:
1. I used unseeded rye because I prefer seedless bread, but you could use regular rye bread for your sandwiches. Marble rye bread could also be used.
2. If you don’t want to make a double-decker sandwich, use only two slices of bread and skip the pre-toasting step. Just butter one side of each of six slices of bread and then place them buttered side down on a sheet of aluminum foil. Then, layer on all of your ingredients on the non-buttered side in a similar fashion to the way I layered them for my taller sandwich. (Note: Use only one tablespoon of sauerkraut if you think that two would be too much for your sandwich.) Top your sandwiches with the remaining slices of buttered bread with the butter side up. Once they are assembled, heat a skillet to medium heat and cook each sandwich for a few minutes on each side or until the cheese is melted. Feel free to slice the sandwiches in half diagonally to make it easier to eat them.
3. I didn’t use organic turkey for this recipe. But, if you’d like to use an organic turkey for yours, consider using this one.
4. The reubens that my mom ordered from those two downtown Chicago restaurants always served pickle spears with theirs. However, I didn’t buy any when I made my sandwiches because I’m the only one in my family who really likes pickles. However, if you or someone in your family wants to eat them with this meal, I’d like to suggest these organic dill spears because they are delicious.