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The Reuben burger mashup of your dreams

This Reuben burger is a mashup of my beloved Katz’s Deli Reuben sandwich — so thick I can barely get my mouth around it — and a perfect summertime burger. It’s comfort food at its best, and you won’t be caring one bit about your waistline as you eat it. Trust me.

Reuben burgers

The summer before my senior year in college, I interned at Citibank on the lower east side of Manhattan, which has one of the best delis I’ve ever been to: the legendary Katz’s Delicatessen.

The previous summer, my mother and I had spent my entire three months off at home, low-carbing our way to 10 pounds less (the freshman 15 hit me a year late), and I did my best during my junior year of college to keep it off. That all changed my first day of work, when I walked through the doors of Katz’s and ordered a Reuben the size of my head.

Thankfully I worked there only part time, because by the end of the summer, I barely fit into any of my work suits as it was.

Reuben burger recipe

Serves 4


  • 4 hamburger patties
  • 8 slices rye bread
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, drained of excess water
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 dill pickle, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and grease it with baking spray.
  2. Place the hamburger patties into the skillet once hot.
  3. Meanwhile, butter 1 side of each slice of bread, and toast them in a toaster oven or on a baking sheet in the oven.
  4. Flip the burgers after about 3 to 4 minutes, and push them to one side.
  5. Add the sauerkraut to the pan in an even layer, and let it cook next to the burgers (in their fat) to get nice and crispy.
  6. While the burgers finish cooking, make the sauce. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, yogurt, ketchup, chopped pickle, lemon juice, horseradish, salt and pepper.
  7. Add a slice of Swiss cheese to the top of each burger, and let it melt.
  8. Slather the sauce onto a slice of bread, top with 1/4 of the sauerkraut mixture and then the burger, add more sauce on top, and finish with the other slice of bread. Repeat assembly for the remaining burgers.
  9. Gently press down to “smash” the burger a bit, and serve.

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