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Ed’s Reuben Sandwich (…a mild Reuben variation)

This post was written by my foodie sister Robin, who is now sharing all of her favorite recipes and kitchen tips several times a week (usually in the afternoon) on the new “Make It and Love It – in the KITCHEN” portion of this blog. Try a few of her recipes…your belly will thank you! -Ashley

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 Hey everyone, so happy to be here!  And even though Ashley went on and on about what I can do, ignore her. Ha!  I just like to make delicious things in the kitchen and I love figuring out why things do and do not work.  I don’t know everything, but I sure like to get my hands in the mixing bowl and do a little trial/error until I figure it out.  Some of the things I have to share will be a little basic, while others will take a little more time – but all will be delicious.  Promise!  -Robin (the older and wiser sister!)



Ash and I have another sister (hey April!) who lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan more than 10 years ago, while her husband was going through dental school at the University of Michigan. While visiting one time, they introduced me to this great sandwich called Ed’s Reuben that they found at a nearby deli. Maybe it was created after some dude named Ed…..but in my opinion, the name implies that anyone will love this type of sandwich, even all the Ed’s out there. :)


I know there are some who don’t like regular Reuben sandwiches (especially for the little ones) because of the strong flavor coming from the sauerkraut. But don’t worry, an Ed’s Reuben sandwich is a little more mellow and has an incredibly great flavor. The secret? Replace the sauerkraut with coleslaw. Once I tried it while visiting our sister April in Michigan, I knew we had to duplicate it. So, we did.



And well, there are a few other secrets to this sandwich that may sound strange…but really, you CANNOT knock it until you try it. A bit of melted swiss, a fried egg (don’t be scared – it’s amazing!), some secret sauce (ha!), a bit of crunchy cole slaw, and a few layers of grilled pastrami. Place that all on some toasted sourdough – mmm, so delicious! I’m telling you…I have made this for so many dinner parties and it’s always a hit. And really quick to throw together.





To make this, be sure you have all these items in your pantry. Some ingredients will be difficult to find, depending on the region where you live, so I have listed alternatives.


Shopping List for 1 sandwich

  • 2 slices Sourdough bread
  • 1 Slice Jarlesberg Cheese (or baby Swiss)
  • 1 TBS Russian Dressing (or Thousand Island)
  • 3 oz Pastrami (Beef or Turkey)
  • ¼ cup Coleslaw (recipe below)
  • 1 Fried egg
  • butter (for grilling the bread)


Coleslaw (Enough for 10 sandwiches)

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1/8 cup oil
  • 1/8 cup vinegar
  • 1/8 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 ½ cups shredded cabbage chopped


**Now, if you have had a Reuben sandwich, you would see from the shopping list that it looks quite similar. The differences are mild equivalents. The sourdough bread replaces pumpernickel. Jarlesberg replaces regular Swiss. Coleslaw replaces sauerkraut. And the egg is a bonus and tames the pastrami a bit (but don’t skip it, it’s delicious!).



To start off, you want to get the coleslaw out of the way first. You will want to prepare it at least 1 hour before the sandwich is served but NOT overnight. I mean, if you have to, go right ahead…but you’ll end up with semi-soggy coleslaw. And then you won’t get the full and crisp crunch that the coleslaw offers the sandwich.



To make things easier, I get the bagged shredded cabbage. It is nice because a lot of the work is done for you. I like to go over and chop it a little more because when I bite, I like to keep what is in the sandwich in the sandwich and not pull long cabbage pieces out with my teeth leaving nothing left in the rest of the sandwich. This is just preference though.


Next, mix together the rest of the ingredients together (including the finely chopped onion), creating your sauce. Add the chopped cabbage into the sauce, mix well, cover, and store in the refrigerator for at least an hour to let the flavors meld.


Ok, now for the rest of the elements in this sandwich.


Cook your fried egg, leaving the yolk runny or hard. Again, this is just preference. For these pictures, I kept it runny.


Once the egg is done, set it aside while you butter one side of each of your two pieces of bread. (Note: If you want, butter both sides of the bread. I am a little evil and like to grill the inside of the bread as well. So if you want to enjoy the same, butter both sides but only grill one side.) Set the bread aside, ready to be used.


Cook your pastrami in a frying pan (on med high heat) on one side of the pastrami. Flip the meat over and then place a slice of cheese on top until it melts. (The meat below is for multiple sandwiches.)


Pull the meat from the heat and gather everything now to assemble your sandwich. Russian dressing is optimal but because of where I live, I couldn’t find any, so Thousand Island is similar and works pretty well.


This sandwich is pretty juicy. That juice is coming mostly from the coleslaw. I like to lessen the opportunity of the bread getting soggy as much as possible so I protect the bread from the coleslaw. From bottom to top of the sandwich I build it this way: bread, meat, cheese, dressing, coleslaw, fried egg, and then bread.

I tried to avoid as much as possible, but as you can see, I broke the yolk. Makes it a bit more interesting wouldn’t you say?


Place the sandwich on the fry pan and grill the buttered bread, on both sides of the sandwich. Pull off when you get the bread to your desired brownness.


There you have it.


You can serve this with a pickle or all on its own. It makes my mouth water just looking at it. Sorry, but I may have to go sneak a bite. :)




Ed’s Reuben – Recipe Card

makes 1 sandwich

  • 2 slices Sourdough bread
  • 1 Slice Jarlesberg Cheese or baby Swiss
  • 1 TBS Russian or Thousand Island Dressing
  • 3 oz Pastrami (Beef or Turkey)
  • ¼ cup Coleslaw (recipe below)
  • 1 Fried egg


Coleslaw (Enough for 10 sandwiches)

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1/8 cup oil
  • 1/8 cup vinegar
  • 1/8 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 ½ cups shredded cabbage chopped


Mix together the first five ingredients of the coleslaw together. Add the chopped cabbage and mix well. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator. (Make the coleslaw at least an hour before serving, not more than 12 hours ahead of time.) For the sandwich, butter one side of the bread and set aside. Fry the fried egg according to preference. Set aside. Grill one side of your meat in a fry pan. Flip over and place cheese on top until melted. Place meat on one slice of the bread (on the un-buttered side). On top of the meat, place the dressing, the coleslaw, the egg and then place the second slice of bread on top (with the unbuttered side on top of the egg). Grill both sides of the sandwich in a pan until desired brownness. Serve with a pickle or by itself.




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  11. Nancy says:

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  12. Diana says:

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  13. Sarah says:

    This looks so good. I’ve got to try it. My husband loves Reuben sandwiches but I’ve never liked sourkrout. This might be a good compromise.

  14. Stacey says:

    So excited to try this ~ looks delish! Reubans are my favorite sandwich. The deli in Ann Arbor has to be Zingerman’s. I think they have at least 5 reuban variations (my MIL lives in the area).

  15. Svenja says:

    We just bought a new griddle pan and I fell in love with grilled sandwiches, so this recipe is right on time and looks so yummy!
    Though I have no idea where to get Pastrami here in Germany. I guess I’ll have to search a bit. May have to improvise on the sauce, too. But what’s cooking without improvising?

    1. Robin says:

      Perfect! If you can find corned beef, that will work just as well. The sauce can quickly be made mixing 1 part ketchup, 2 parts mayonnaise, and about 1/2 part sweet pickle relish. I agree, cooking is all about improvising. Enjoy it!

  16. Юлия says:

    I like it!

    1. Robin says:


  17. Chrissy says:

    So excited to make this! Looks delicious! I love the sandwich-dinner party idea.

    I hate to be picky, but since I am living in Norway, I need to defend the national cheese. Jarlsberg is not a Swiss cheese. It’s Norwegian. :)

    1. Robin says:

      Aack! Thanks for catching that and don’t worry, that is not being picky. I’m fixing that right now.

  18. Robin says:

    Robin! We share a first name and the love of delicious food. This looks delicious. Sounds like the perfect mid-week dinner item… oh wait, how convenient… that’s tomorrow. ;)
    Welcome to mi-li! I’m super excited for all your delicious recipes. Thanks for sharing in advance!

    1. Robin says:

      Awesome, a shared name and love of food. We can be friends. Thanks! I’m excited to be here. Enjoy it!

  19. Natalie says:

    I’ve been on a total sandwich kick lately and these look right up my alley! I live in the Toledo area – about one hour from Ann Arbor and I’m pretty sure I know the deli you’re talking about :) Everything there is delicious, but I love recreating things from restaurants that I can make for so much less. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Robin says:

      Perfect! Yes, it saves money and you can make it perfectly the way you want it.

  20. Ali Aguilar says:

    This looks SO yummy! Grilled Rubens are the official food my husband makes when we have a new baby – he just goes to costco, gets everything and we live off them for the first crazy week with our newborn.
    I think my husband will love the addition of the grilled egg.

    1. Robin says:

      Ha! Love it… anything to survive the first week. And if he is a Reuben lover, he’s gotta try it.

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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