Delectable Rachel Sandwich


Indulge in the ultimate comfort food experience with the delectable Rachel Sandwich. This classic deli favorite is a delicious twist on the traditional Reuben, featuring tender pastrami or turkey, tangy sauerkraut, creamy Swiss cheese, and tangy Russian dressing, all piled high on rye bread. In this article, we’ll explore the origins of the Rachel Sandwich, share a mouthwatering recipe, and offer tips for creating the perfect sandwich that will satisfy your cravings and delight your taste buds.

The Story Behind the Rachel Sandwich: The Rachel Sandwich is believed to have originated in the United States as a variation of the classic Reuben sandwich. While the Reuben typically features corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing on rye bread, the Rachel substitutes pastrami or turkey for the corned beef, offering a lighter and equally delicious alternative. Named after a character in a Broadway play, the Rachel has become a beloved staple on deli menus and home kitchens alike.


To create the perfect Rachel Sandwich, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Sliced pastrami or turkey
  • Sauerkraut
  • Swiss cheese
  • Russian dressing
  • Rye bread
  • Butter


  1. Prepare the Bread: Lightly butter one side of each slice of rye bread. Place the slices butter-side down on a griddle or skillet over medium heat.
  2. Layer the Ingredients: On one slice of bread, layer sliced pastrami or turkey, followed by sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. Spread Russian dressing on the other slice of bread.
  3. Grill to Perfection: Carefully place the slice of bread with the Russian dressing on top of the layered ingredients to form a sandwich. Grill the sandwich on the griddle or skillet until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted, flipping halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  4. Slice and Serve: Once the sandwich is golden brown and the cheese is melted, remove it from the griddle or skillet. Slice the sandwich in half diagonally and serve hot.

Tips for the Perfect Rachel Sandwich:

  • Choose Quality Ingredients: Opt for high-quality pastrami or turkey, tangy sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese for the best flavor and texture.
  • Russian Dressing Variation: Experiment with different variations of Russian dressing, such as adding horseradish for extra kick or using a lighter version for a healthier option.
  • Toast the Bread: Toasting the rye bread with butter adds a delicious crispness and enhances the flavor of the sandwich.

Serving and Storage Tips for Rachel Sandwich:


  1. Presentation: Present the Rachel Sandwich on a platter or individual plates, garnished with a pickle spear or a side of coleslaw for a classic deli experience.
  2. Accompaniments: Serve the sandwich alongside traditional deli sides such as potato chips, French fries, or a simple green salad to complete the meal.
  3. Open-Faced Variation: For a lighter option, consider serving the Rachel Sandwich open-faced by placing the ingredients on a single slice of toasted rye bread. This presentation allows the layers of pastrami or turkey, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing to be showcased.
  4. Portion Control: If serving the Rachel Sandwich at a gathering or event, consider cutting the sandwiches into smaller, bite-sized portions to make them easier to handle and enjoy.


  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover Rachel Sandwiches in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Consume within 2-3 days for the best taste and quality.
  2. Reheating: To reheat refrigerated Rachel Sandwiches, place them on a baking sheet in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat individual portions in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Freezing: While it’s best to enjoy Rachel Sandwiches fresh, you can freeze them for longer-term storage. Wrap each sandwich tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  4. Assembly Before Serving: If you’re preparing Rachel Sandwiches in advance, wait to assemble them until just before serving to prevent the bread from becoming soggy. Keep the components separate and assemble the sandwiches when ready to eat for optimal freshness and texture.

Variations of Rachel Sandwich:

  1. Turkey Rachel Sandwich:
    • Substitute pastrami with thinly sliced roasted turkey breast for a lighter option. The turkey pairs well with the tangy sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing, creating a delicious and satisfying sandwich.
  2. Vegan Rachel Sandwich:
    • Create a vegan version of the Rachel Sandwich by using plant-based deli slices or marinated tofu in place of the meat. Opt for dairy-free Swiss cheese or a vegan cheese alternative, and use a vegan Russian dressing made with vegan mayonnaise, ketchup, and relish.
  3. Pulled Pork Rachel Sandwich:
    • Put a twist on the classic Rachel by substituting pastrami with tender pulled pork. Top the pulled pork with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing, then sandwich between slices of toasted rye bread for a mouthwatering combination of flavors.
  4. Smoked Salmon Rachel Sandwich:
    • Elevate the Rachel Sandwich with the addition of smoked salmon, also known as a “Smoked Salmon Rachel.” Layer thinly sliced smoked salmon on toasted rye bread, followed by sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and a dollop of Russian dressing for a luxurious and savory sandwich option.
  5. Reuben Rachel Wrap:
    • Transform the Rachel Sandwich into a wrap for a convenient and portable meal option. Fill a large tortilla with pastrami or turkey, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing, then roll it up tightly. Slice the wrap into bite-sized pieces for a delicious on-the-go snack or lunch option.


  1. What is a Rachel Sandwich?
    • A Rachel Sandwich is a classic deli sandwich that is similar to a Reuben but typically made with pastrami or turkey instead of corned beef. It features layers of meat, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing on rye bread.
  2. What is the difference between a Rachel and a Reuben sandwich?
    • The main difference between a Rachel and a Reuben sandwich is the choice of meat. While a Reuben is made with corned beef, a Rachel typically features pastrami or turkey. Additionally, some variations of the Rachel may include coleslaw instead of sauerkraut.
  3. Can I use corned beef instead of pastrami in a Rachel Sandwich?
    • Yes, you can substitute corned beef for pastrami in a Rachel Sandwich if you prefer. The flavor profile will be slightly different, but it will still be delicious.
  4. Is Russian dressing the same as Thousand Island dressing?
    • While similar, Russian dressing and Thousand Island dressing have slight differences in ingredients and flavor. Russian dressing typically contains mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, and spices, while Thousand Island dressing may include additional ingredients such as sweet pickle relish and hard-boiled eggs.
  5. Can I make a Rachel Sandwich gluten-free?
    • Yes, you can make a gluten-free Rachel Sandwich by using gluten-free bread, such as rye bread made with gluten-free ingredients. Ensure that all other ingredients, including the meat, cheese, sauerkraut, and dressing, are also gluten-free.
  6. What can I substitute for Swiss cheese in a Rachel Sandwich?
    • If you prefer, you can substitute Swiss cheese with another type of cheese such as provolone, cheddar, or Gouda. Choose a cheese that melts well and complements the other flavors in the sandwich.
  7. Can I make a Rachel Sandwich without sauerkraut?
    • Yes, if you’re not a fan of sauerkraut, you can omit it from the Rachel Sandwich or substitute it with coleslaw for a different twist on the classic recipe.
  8. Can I prepare Rachel Sandwiches ahead of time?
    • While it’s best to assemble Rachel Sandwiches just before serving to prevent the bread from becoming soggy, you can prepare the individual components such as the meat, cheese, and dressing in advance and assemble them when ready to eat.
  9. Is a Rachel Sandwich served hot or cold?
    • A Rachel Sandwich is typically served hot, with the bread toasted and the cheese melted. However, some variations may be served cold or at room temperature, depending on personal preference.
  10. What are some side dishes that pair well with a Rachel Sandwich?
    • Rachel Sandwiches pair well with a variety of side dishes such as potato chips, French fries, coleslaw, pickles, or a simple green salad. Choose sides that complement the flavors of the sandwich for a satisfying meal.


Savor the irresistible flavors of the Rachel Sandwich with this simple and delicious recipe. Whether enjoyed for lunch, dinner, or a hearty snack, the combination of savory pastrami or turkey, tangy sauerkraut, creamy Swiss cheese, and zesty Russian dressing on toasted rye bread is sure to please your palate and warm your soul. Gather your ingredients, fire up the griddle or skillet, and treat yourself to the comforting goodness of this classic deli favorite.

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