Vegetarian Reubens with Russian Dressing

Spring 2004, The Essential EatingWell Cookbook (2004)

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This exceptional sandwich originated at Penny Cluse Cafe in Burlington, Vermont. The spinach, mushroom and onion filling is so satisfying, you won't even miss the corned beef.

"This recipe is so amazing. I used Jarlsberg Lite and served sweet potatoes fries as a side - YUM. Like some of the other posters, I am a vegetarian that often misses these types of hearty meals, but this sandwich will make you forget...
Vegetarian Reubens with Russian Dressing

Makes: 2 servings

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Total Time:


Russian dressing

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons chopped capers
  • 1 teaspoon chopped pickle, or relish


  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 5 cups baby spinach
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices rye bread
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese, such as Jarlsberg Lite or Alpine Lace (2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut


  1. Prepare Russian dressing: Whisk mayonnaise and ketchup in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in capers and pickle (or relish).
  2. To prepare sandwiches: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 4 minutes. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until it has wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a plate.
  3. Coat the pan with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and return to medium heat. Add the bread; divide cheese equally among the slices. Divide sauerkraut between 2 slices and divide the spinach mixture between the other 2 slices; cook until the cheese has melted and the bread is golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer sandwich halves to a cutting board. Divide the dressing between the spinach halves. Carefully place the sauerkraut halves on top. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the dressing (Step 1) for up to 2 days.


Per serving: 380 calories; 16 g fat (3 g sat, 7 g mono); 15 mg cholesterol; 44 g carbohydrates; 16 g protein; 7 g fiber; 931 mg sodium; 364 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (80% daily value), Vitamin C (45% dv), Calcium (40% dv), Iron (25% dv).

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1 lean protein, 2 1/2 fat

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