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Photo by Chelsea Kyle

Skipping the corned beef in a cooked greens-packed Reuben shouldn’t feel (or taste) like a bummer. Happy to say this one doesn’t.

Ingredients

Makes 2

2

Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

4

garlic cloves

2

bunches Tuscan kale, center ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely torn

1

cup sauerkraut, drained

¼

cup whole-milk Greek yogurt

1

tsp. hot sauce

Kosher salt

4

slices rye or whole wheat bread

2

slices Swiss cheese (about 3 oz. total)

¼

cup finely grated Parmesan

2

Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature, divided

Preparation

Step 1

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low. Add garlic and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add kale in handfuls, stirring often and letting each addition wilt before adding the next. Stir in ½ cup water. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until kale is tender and pan is dry (add more water as needed if kale needs more time), about 5 minutes. Transfer kale to a medium bowl; discard garlic, if desired. Stir in sauerkraut, yogurt, and hot sauce; season with salt. Wipe out skillet.

Step 2

Divide kale mixture between 2 slices of bread. Top kale mixture with both cheeses. Close sandwiches with remaining bread, then spread 1 Tbsp. butter on top slices.

Step 3

Heat reserved skillet over medium-low. Add sandwiches buttered side down and press down gently with a pan lid. Butter top sides of sandwiches and cook, turning sandwiches once, until golden brown and crisp and cheese is melted, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and cut in half before serving.

How would you rate Kale Reuben?

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  • The flavor was excellent, the one thing I didn't care for was the texture. A big bite full of cooked kale just didn't work for me. I think maybe a thin layer of tempeh, pressed marinated tofu, or deli turkey if you eat meat added in would have helped. The angry comments about this not being a reuben in previous reviews are funny.

    • Anonymous

    • Rochester, NY

    • 3/28/2022

  • I've never actually had a "real" reuben before so take this review with a grain of salt...that said, I loved this sandwich! Definitely will try the real thing now, but will turn to this for a quick and (relatively) "healthy" lunch. Only change is I think I'd add a true Russian dressing next time. It's also easily modified for different dietary preferences. I'm an omnivore partnered with a vegan so this dish was an easy and delicious middle-ground meal. Simply sub in vegan mayo, cheese, and butter for half the batch. Lastly, I'm also not a big fan of kale, but really liked it in this dish. Perhaps you've made a (kale) convert out of me, Chris!

    • SA

    • Arlington, VA

    • 7/7/2021

  • This sandwich is amazing. Thank you! We are vegan, so I skipped the cheese and put a little marinated tofu on instead, and grilled the whole thing on olive bread. So tasty, love bonappetit.com so much.

    • Amy Elvis Kiehl

    • Los Angeles

    • 6/9/2021

  • This sandwich far exceeded my expectations! Not a big fan of kale here, but get it in my farm boxall the time! It is creamy and tangy and just the right texture! Definitely will make again and a again.

    • Stepanl

    • Olympia, WA

    • 12/22/2020

  • This is one of my go-to recipes now. I make it about once a week just because it's so quick and easy and tasty! I like to make it with a mixture of mayo and greek yogurt. Less healthy I guess, but gives it a better flavor imo (especially since I don't use a lot of cheese on mine). It's a really stellar recipe that I've recommended to a lot of my friends-- with the caveat that it's not really gonna hit the spot if you want an actual reuben. I consider it entirely its own thing.

    • Anonymous

    • Chicago

    • 10/6/2020

  • Worked very well! I skipped the yogurt and put Thousand Island dressing on top after it came off the heat. (Could also put mustard if that's how you like your Reuben.) I also made one using butter and another with a thin layer of mayo (like I do with grilled cheese), and the mayo browned more evenly (no mayo taste - try it!) than the butter version.

    • Dan from CT

    • 8/15/2020

  • This is so yummy! It kind of feels like a fancy, veg-forward grilled cheese? But sauerkraut is a total comfort food for me and it's SO GOOD with the Greek yogurt, hot sauce, and kale. It isn't that fancy, but it sure is delish. Dropping 1 star because (1) I wouldn't really call it a reuben, and (2) we were MORE THAN FINE with only one bunch of kale.

    • mrs.vinegar

    • Chesterton, Indiana

    • 6/18/2020

  • This sandwich is easy and very tasty. I don't eat reubens so I won't involve myself in that discourse, but this is a flavorful and filling melty treat.

    • Anonymous

    • 5/29/2020

  • Good! I echo the other reviewer: This isn't reminiscent of a reuben, but is a good sandwich on its own merits.

    • Anonymous

    • California

    • 5/25/2020

  • A really good sandwich! Although it didn't really scream "rueben" to me while I was eating it, and it's more good despite the kale, rather than because of it. It felt like a delicious fancy grilled cheese with some greens added to downgrade the cheese/hot sauce/more cheese guilt factor. I'd eat it again, but it's not the first recipe I'd reach for.

    • Anonymous

    • 4/3/2020

  • This sandwich is great. I didn't miss the meat at all. My housemate added a fried egg which I will surely do next time around. I don't know how big the bunches in the recipe calls for, however, I found 1 bunch to be sufficient (it was a large bunch). I also used smaller bread however still had an excess of filling (though I will happily use it tomorrow for another sando. Super quick and easy to make with impressive flavors.

    • BingoBronson

    • 8/28/2019

  • Love this sandwich concept! Admittedly, I am not a sauerkraut fan and ended up using more of a soy sauce, garlic, sriracha approach (plus some pre-roasted mushrooms). So no, I didn’t make this exact recipe, but it just goes to show that this is a very riff-able sandwich that is so easy to throw together in just a few minutes!

    • Anonymous

    • Boston, MA

    • 7/30/2019

  • Delicious!! Came together very easily, works well as a weeknight dinner. Thanks Chris!

    • Abigail Knight

    • 6/12/2019

  • For another reuben variation check www.connoisseurusveg (dot) com/vegan-seitan-and-mushroom-reubens

    • Anonymous

    • NYC

    • 6/11/2019

  • This sandwich looked so good in the picture, I just couldn't wait. I didn't have any yogurt on hand so I substituted mayo. It was incredible! Super easy to make and to be honest, I didn't miss the pastrami one bit. I will definitely make this again.

    • Anonymous

    • Norman, OK

    • 4/11/2019