This Rachel Sandwich is a not-so-distant cousin to the traditional Reuben substituting corned beef for turkey and sauerkraut for coleslaw.
Rachel vs. Reuben
Reuben sandwiches are a popular sandwich consisting of deli corned beef, swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing and sauerkraut grilled between two slices of rye bread.
Until doing some research, I was under the impression that the only differences between Reubens and Rachels was that Rachel Sandwiches just substituted the corned beef for turkey. I remember making them this way in the small café I worked at in my hometown when I was a teenager. While they were delicious, an “official” Rachel Sandwich also substitutes sauerkraut for coleslaw. The coleslaw gives the sandwich it’s element of crunch, but can be more appealing to certain people who aren’t big fans of sauerkraut.
I think store-bought coleslaw dressing has come a long way. In a pinch you could most definitely grab a bag of coleslaw mix and toss it with some store-bought dressing to make the coleslaw for these Rachel Sandwiches.
On the other hand, let me show you how easy it is to make your own coleslaw dressing with pretty simple ingredients!
- Mayo – any kind will do, but I’ve made the switch to mayo made with either olive or avocado oil (like in my Homemade Ranch Dressing)
- White sugar – gives the coleslaw it’s hint of sweetness
- Apple cider vinegar & lemon juice – for acidity
- Dijon mustard – for flavor
- Salt & pepper
To make the coleslaw, whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss it with an 8 oz. bag of coleslaw mix or your own chopped cabbage and carrots. If possible, make the coleslaw a few hours before assembling the Rachel Sandwiches. This will allow the flavors to meld together.
An 8 oz. bag of coleslaw contains about 2 1/2 cups of cabbage. This recipe only calls for 1 cup total, so I like serving the extra coleslaw on the side!
How to Make a Rachel Sandwich
Start the Rachel Sandwiches by buttering one side of each bread slice.
- Place the bread butter side down in a skillet or griddle.
- Place a slice of swiss cheese on each bread slice.
- On one half of the sandwich spread a tablespoon of Thousand Island dressing.
- On top of the Thousand Island dressing, place 1/4# of deli turkey (about 4 slices, depending on thickness)
Grill the sandwiches on medium-high heat until the cheese is melted and the bottoms are nice and toasted. Before putting the sandwich together, place 1/4 cup of coleslaw on top of turkey. Doing this at the end ensures the coleslaw doesn’t get too warm. Place the top of the sandwich on and remove from heat.
Slice the sandwich in half and serve immediately. Serve this Rachel Sandwich with chips, fresh fruit, pasta salad or with any leftover coleslaw. A Rachel Sandwich is a great alternative to the more popular Reuben sandwiches! I would venture to guess this may become your new favorite!
Some other popular sandwich recipes:
- 8 slices rye & pumpernickel bread
- 8 slices swiss cheese
- ¼ cup Thousand Island dressing
- 1 cup coleslaw see recipe below
- 1 # sliced deli turkey
- 4 tbsp. butter softened, for buttering bread
- 1 8 oz. bag coleslaw mix
- ¼ cup mayo
- 1 tbsp. white sugar
- 1 ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ tsp. lemon juice
- ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Butter one side of each bread slice with softened butter. Heat griddle or large skillet to medium. Lay bread slices butter side down on griddle.
- Place 1 slice of swiss cheese on each slice of bread. On 4 of the bread slices, spread 1 tablespoon Thousand Island dressing.
- Place 1/4 (about 4 slices) of sliced turkey on top of each bread slice with dressing.
- Grill sandwiches until the bread is golden brown and toasted. Before putting sandwich together, place 1/4 cup of prepared coleslaw on top. Place top bread piece on the sandwich.
- Remove from griddle and slice sandwich in half diagonally.
- Serve immediately.
Coleslaw Recipe *
- In a mixing bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients. Whisk until well combined, then add in coleslaw/cabbage mix. Mix until well coated.
Helpful Equipment & Ingredient Links
- Serve this Rachel Sandwich with fresh fruit, chips or the leftover coleslaw
- If possible, make the coleslaw a couple hours before making the sandwiches to allow the flavors to meld together