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Reuben Sauce

Reuben sauce is a creamy condiment full sauerkraut, onions, horseradish, and pickled mustard seeds. All the flavors of a Reuben sandwich and perfect for sliders, burgers, and hot dogs!

Reuben Sauce on a toast with corned beef and swiss cheese

What’s on a Reuben?

Aside from the corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, the dressing is what completes it! But what dressing?

The sauce debate rages on between 1000 island and Russian dressing with the only difference between the two is a little sweet or a little spicy!

What is the difference between Russian and Thousand Island dressing?

Russian dressing is made with chili sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire, and mayo. Thousand Island dressing is made with ketchup, sweet pickle relish, onion, and a little garlic.

They look the same but the 1000 island dressing is sweeter because of the sweet pickle relish and the ketchup. Russian dressing starts with chili sauce as a base instead of ketchup and also includes more spicy ingredients.

Sauerkraut and Swiss or Reuben Sauce in a bowl

Reuben Sandwich Sauce

Imagine a Reuben sandwich but in a sauce! Ok, not a full Reuben because the sauce doesn’t actually contain corned beef, but all the flavors that remind you of it.

The Reuben sandwich is layers of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and sauce. There is a lot of debate as to whether it is 1000 island dressing or Russian dressing.

For my Reuben Sauce, I decided to combine the two, along with some sauerkraut and onions to make a sauce that is delicious enough to stand on its own!

Feel free to spread it on a Reuben sandwich, hamburgers, hot, dogs, grilled cheese, and these fun little corned beef and Swiss appetizer toasts.

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How to make Reuben Sauce

First: Sweat some onions with toasted caraway seeds and sauerkraut until tender.

Second: Mix this with the rest of the dressing ingredients to create this unique condiment that you can use on so many things.

Third: Enjoy this! The Swiss cheese in the dressing adds some thickness to it and another layer of tanginess! Imagine this Reuben Sauce in your scrambled eggs!!

For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Can I make this ahead of time?

You can make the Reuben Sauce up to a week in advance! Just keep it stored in the fridge.

Do I have to add the horseradish?

Feel free to leave out the prepared horseradish and/or hot sauce if you want to keep the heat down.

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Reuben sauce is best on corned beef toasts

Can I make this with cabbage or coleslaw?

I guess you could, just make sure the cabbage is fully cooked. You can use coleslaw or pickled cabbage. But you might miss the tangy flavor from the kraut.

How long does Reuben Sauce last?

If you keep it stored in the fridge in an air tight container, it will last for 1 week. It doesn’t freeze well either.

Once I made this Reuben Sauce I just had to try it out on something. I didn’t have a burger or hot dog lying around but I did have some small cocktail toasts and corned beef.

I toasted small pumpernickel and whole wheat toasts, topped with sliced corned beef and some shredded Swiss cheese. Once they were all warm and the cheese was all melty, I topped them with this cool Reuben Sauce!

Brooks came home and ate all these mini, open-faced, Reuben sliders. Good thing I already took all the photos.

Try this in your Reuben Deviled Eggs and Reuben Skewers. It’s gluten free and vegetarian too!

More Tangy Condiments

reuben sauce served on pumpernickel and what toasts

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

reuben sauce closeup with text "reuben sauce"
Sauerkraut and Swiss or Reuben Sauce in a bowl

Reuben Sauce

This Reuben Sauce is a spicy condiment of sauerkraut, onions, horseradish, and pickled mustard seeds for any sandwich, burger, or hot dog!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 16
Calories: 1009kcal
Author: Jennifer Stewart


Reuben Sauce

  • 1/2 cup onion chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons pickle relish dill
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon pickled mustard seeds

For Serving


  • In a medium-sized skillet, combine the olive oil and caraway seeds.
  • Heat over medium high heat, cook the caraway seeds for 2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add the sauerkraut and onion to the pan.
  • Cook until onions are tender and golden brown.  Appr 8 mins.
  • When cooked, remove to a mixing bowl.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients stir to completely combine.
  • You can serve this Reuben Sauce warm or cold.
  • I recommend serving it on small cocktail toasts with some sliced corned beef and Swiss cheese.



  • If you like this recipe, please leave me a comment and rate it with some stars.  Thank you!


Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 1009kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 32g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 1151mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 9g

© Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

C. Russell

Friday 31st of March 2023

First off: I haven’t made this yet. I actually just came across this recipe because I’m about to make some Ruben’s and I suddenly became curious about the Ruben recipe on the back of the Boar’s Head sauerkraut that I always buy, but have never payed attention to, that mixes the sauerkraut with the dressing instead of keeping separate. I wanted to know if many others did this too. Anyway, I found your “Ruben Sauce” and it sounds absolutely delicious and such an ingenious idea! I have saved it and will be making this ASAP. I will pass this along to others too and encourage them to review on here. Thanks for sharing your great recipe!


Thursday 28th of July 2022

Need this for the first time my son made the comment Mom this is better than you get in the restaurants Awesome recipe will continue to make it!


Friday 29th of July 2022

Thank you so much! This makes my heart happy:)


Thursday 28th of February 2019

Wow! This is such a creative and delicious recipe. Love it and I can see how I can use the sauce in so many things.

Julie Menghini

Monday 25th of February 2019

Oh please, I have to have a couple of those sliders. W love Reubens and I'll be putting this sauce on all kinds of sammies.


Monday 25th of February 2019

Oh wow, whats not to LOVE about this recipe! I need to give these sliders a try asap!