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Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
Vegetarian Reuben with beets! You’ve gotta try this creative sandwich. Homemade Thousand Island dressing, Swiss cheese, quick pickled beets, sauerkraut on rye bread.
Oh man, have I got the sandwich for you. This vegetarian Reuben sandwich is so knock-your-socks-off delicious, I can’t wait for you to try it!
Two pieces of rye bread hold together perfectly pickled beets, punchy sauerkraut, melted swiss cheese and homemade thousand island inspired spread. It’s possibly the furthest thing from a classic Reuben, but it’s so yummy and perfect that it might just top the original. At least, in my mind. I’ve never actually had a traditional Reuben sandwich but who cares? The combination of flavors is so amazing; it doesn’t really matter what you call it.
We’ve been eating this one on repeat for the last few weeks and haven’t gotten sick of it yet. Sometimes I add in slices of my homemade tempeh bacon for extra protein and a more filling sandwich.
I’m including my recipe for my quick pickled beets though I’ll be honest and share that I’ve also made this one with jarred sliced pickled beets.
If you love beets, then you must try this sandwich. Extras are great in salads as well! Here’s how to make them.
To make my pickled beets for this vegetarian reuben, you’ll need:
You’ll want to slice the beets fairly thin and uniform so they cook evenly. Add all of the ingredients together in a saucepan and simmer over low heat until the beets are tender. Depending on how thick they are, it will take anywhere from 30-60 minutes to cook through and become fork tender.
While the beets are cooking, make the Russian inspired dressing. I say inspired as it’s similar but not exactly the same as traditional Russian dressing. Whisk together 1/4 cup mayo of choice, 3 tablespoons chopped dill pickle (or relish) and 3 tablespoons of ketchup. I often throw in a dash or two of hot sauce, but that’s totally optional. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper if desired.
After you’ve made the dressing and pickled beets, the rest of the sandwich comes together very easily. To finish, you’ll need:
As written, this recipe is vegetarian but very easy to make vegan by choosing your favorite vegan cheese and vegan mayonnaise. I highly recommend the Chao brand for their sliced cheese, it tastes great and the cheese melts!
Once the beets and dressing sauce is made, the sandwiches come together in just minutes.
Spread a slice of bread with the dressing, then add a slice of cheese, 5-7 slices of beet, ~1/4 cup of sauerkraut and another slice of cheese. Top with another slice of bread spread with the mayo mixture. Repeat with the rest of the sandwiches (bread, mayo, cheese, beets, sauerkraut, cheese, mayo, bread) until you’ve prepped 4 sandwiches.
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil (or cooking spray) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sandwiches and let cook until crispy, golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2 minutes. Flip the sandwich and cook another 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches, adding a little more butter if needed.
Slice in half and enjoy warm! We’ve been loving this one for easy dinners, especially alongside sweet potato fries or a simple salad.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations and your feedback helps others. Happy cooking!Print
Vegetarian Beet Reuben! You’ve gotta try this creative sandwich. Homemade thousand island dressing, swiss cheese, pickled beets, sauerkraut on rye bread. Ready in just 10 minutes!
Quick Pickled Beets:
Thousand Island Dressing:
This recipe was originally published in 2018 and updated in 2022.
(67 comments) leave a comment
Made it. Loved it. I thought that maybe add a little pepper, then realized I used bottled thousand island dressing. Making the dressing per the recipe with hot sauce should do the trick.
Ever since joining the vegetarian crowd I’ve been craving my favorite sandwich, the reuben… This actually cured my cravings for it tonight, very satisfied with my meal! Thanks to you!
Love hearing that, thanks Sam!
I am not sure if you were aware that Aunt Nellie’s beets are made with High Fructose Corn Syrup. It’s the ingredient right after beets and water. Yuck. It’s very easy to make your own pickled beets, and much healthier without that ingredient. This recipe looks very tasty and I will definitely be trying! Just wanted to give you a heads up.
Hi Rebecca, yes! I did know that. Of course, my homemade beets won’t contain HFCS but they do take more time to prepare than the jarred version.
I’ve been vegetarian for 20 years, and this recipe is right up my alley! Would love to try it! 😀 So far I haven’t really had a chance to eat beets in a variety of ways – usually I eat them roasted in mixed salads with goat cheese or feta!
I love roasted beets and feta cheese in a grain salad.
I like to eat beets in soup.
Hidden in a smoothie! Haha
My favorite way to enjoy beets is to make oven baked beet chips. I also love to grate beets and add them to veggie burgers.
I love making a salad with beets, orange wedges and arugula with citrus dressing. So refreshing in the summer heat.
I like to use beets in my salad.