You won’t miss the bread with this Reuben in a Bowl that has all the goodness of the sandwich, and it’s ready in 30 minutes! Corned beef, cabbage, sauerkraut, gooey Swiss cheese, and creamy Thousand Island dressing make up this low-carb recipe. Make weeknights a bit easier, and tastier, with a one-pot meal that’s sure to please.

A large skillet of a deconstructed reuben is shown on the counter.

If you have spent any time on this blog, you know I love taking classics and changing them up. This is especially true if I can take something delicious and make it low-carb without sacrificing any flavor. (Try this Egg Roll in a Bowl…)

Cabbage truly comes to life and is the star of the show in this simple Reuben in a Bowl.

Imagine all of the incredible tastes you know and love in the classic Reuben sandwich…

Corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and rye bread…

Packed into a one-skillet meal that is low in net carbs AND keto-friendly.

Of course, a Reuben isn’t a Reuben without a drizzle of homemade Thousand Island dressing. One taste and you’ll never even miss that starchy bread! If you prefer, Russian dressing can be subbed for a bit spicier flavor.

But the best part? Thanks to a bag of packaged coleslaw mix you can easily have this quick weeknight dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes! This keto Reuben will likely find its way into your regular rotation.

Cabbage, onions, corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, are the ingredients in this recipe.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients needed to make this Rueben in a Bowl include:

  • Coleslaw Mix. Either one large or two 10-oz. bags will do. Look for one that has a mix of cabbage and carrots. You can also shred cabbage and carrots yourself if you’d prefer.
  • Corned Beef. Buy sliced corned beef at the deli counter. Get a medium thickness so you can cut it into bite-sized pieces. Or, make your own Instant Pot Corned Beef for a healthier, homemade version.
  • Sauerkraut. A Reuben wouldn’t be complete without it! Find your favorite store-bought brand or make your own homemade sauerkraut.
  • Swiss cheese. Both sliced or shredded may be used. Mozzarella can be substituted, but you will be missing that tangy punch!
  • Caraway seeds. Even though you only need one or two teaspoons, they MAKE the dish. It’s what gives the quintessential rye bread taste.
  • Thousand Island dressing. While you can buy it at the store, it is SO much better and healthier for you when you make Thousand Island dressing at home!

How to Make a Reuben in a Bowl

These are the steps to follow to make this Reuben in a Bowl recipe. Check out the recipe card for more detailed ingredient amounts.

Cook Meat and Onions

Add one tablespoon of olive oil, or oil of preference, to a skillet, then heat oil. Butter will work, but it will burn quickly if not watched.

Pour all of the meat into the hot pan. Cook over medium heat for about three or four minutes. Saute until you get a nice, golden-brown crust. This will ensure tender meat and extra flavor.

Remove from the skillet and drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.

Pour another tablespoon of oil into the skillet. Add onion and saute for about three minutes, until transparent.

Combine garlic and caraway seeds with onion and continue to cook for another minute. You will really start to smell the caraway seeds.

Add Cabbage

Pour the cabbage mix into the onions, garlic, and caraway. Cook until slaw is tender but still crisp. Don’t overcook or it will be mushy.

This should take around six minutes, depending on the thickness of the cabbage.

The shredded cabbage is sautéed on the stove.

Bring it All Together

In the skillet, pour in sauerkraut, corned beef, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

Place cheese on top of Reuben mixture. Cover with lid until cheese melts.

Thousand Island Dressing

Thousand Island dressing is what makes a Reuben a Reuben. It’s the finishing touch to this bowl.

You can either buy store-bought or make it at home. However, bottled dressing is full of extra sugar and unhealthy oils.

Thankfully, it’s homemade dresing super easy to whip up with condiments and spices likely in your cabinet in just 5 minutes.

Simply combine mayonnaise, ketchup, sour cream, dill relish, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, onion, paprika, and garlic in a medium-sized bowl and whisk.

Refrigerate until you are ready to use. In fact, it’s best to prep ahead of time so the flavors can meld together. Up to 24 hours in advance is best.

Dish up Reuben mixture in a small bowl, drizzle with Thousand Island dressing, and enjoy!

Reuben in a bowl is topped with homemade thousand island dressing.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already gluten-free and low-carb as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Dairy-Free, Paleo, Whole30 – Omit the cheese, or substitute with a plant-based cheese.
  • Keto – Leave out the onions to reduce the carb content even more.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Make the Thousand Island dressing and corned beef one to two days in advance. The day before, chop onions and cabbage (if not using bagged slaw mix.)
  • To Store: Keep the dressing and reuben bowl in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. The bowl will be good for up to 4-5 days, the dressing up to 2 weeks.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months. However, the cabbage will change consistency.
  • To Reheat: Warm in skillet for the best texture. You can also microwave for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.
Cheesy, reuben in a bowl is served with a spatula.

FAQs

What’s on a Reuben sandwich?

These classic sandwiches are made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing on rye bread.

What makes rye bread taste unique?

Caraway seeds are what give rye bread its distinct flavor.

What meals can I make with cabbage?

If you’ve had enough Reuben bowls and corned beef and cabbage, there are plenty of other cabbage recipes to make! Try cabbage rolls, egg roll in a bowl, coleslaw, or use it as a fish taco topping!

How is corned beef made?

Beef brisket is cured in a brine. The best way to cook corned beef is low and slow to create a tender texture.

Is corned beef bad for you?

It can be if you’re limiting sodium. Some varieties can have really high sodium but others have the same as normal deli meat.

Can I use something else besides corned beef?

Pastrami or another cut of beef like flank steak can be used. Or you can try sliced turkey, ham or chicken.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Use a bag. Pre-shredded coleslaw mix makes this recipe super quick and easy.
  • Golden and crispy. Brown the corned beef for the best taste and texture.
  • Toast away. Heating the caraway seeds brings out the aromatics.
  • Make from scratch. Skip the store-bought thousand island and mix up your own dressing.
  • Prep it. Store the bowls and dressing in separate containers for a delicious make-ahead lunch.

More Keto Dinner Recipes

The beauty of this Reuben in a Bowl recipe is that it is delicious and low-carb! Check out these other Keto dinner recipes to round out your week.

Best Steak Fajitas

Fiesta Lime Chicken

Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

Easy Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups

Mexican Zucchini Taco Boats

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 11 votes

Reuben in a Bowl Recipe

You won't miss the bread with this Reuben in a Bowl that has all the goodness of the sandwich, and it's ready in 30 minutes! Corned beef, cabbage, sauerkraut, gooey Swiss cheese, and creamy Thousand Island dressing make up this low-carb recipe.
Yield 6
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Reuben in a Bowl:

  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • ½ pound corned beef cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ sweet onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 20-24 oz. coleslaw mix
  • ¾ cup sauerkraut
  • ½ tsp. Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Swiss cheese sliced or shredded
  • Green onions finely chopped, optional

Thousand Island Dressing:

  • ¾ cup mayo
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 3-4 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet relish
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet onion minced
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar or ACV
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. salt to taste

Instructions 

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat add 1 tablespoon of oil along with the cut corned beef. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove the beef from the skillet and sit on a paper-lined plate to drain.
  • Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet along with the chopped onion. Saute for 3 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and caraway seeds. Continue sauteing for another minute.
  • Add the coleslaw mix. Stir to combine and cook until tender but still crisp, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Mix in the sauerkraut, the corned beef, salt, pepper, and top with Swiss cheese. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid, and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  • Thousand Island Dressing: Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Serve the Reuben in a bowl with a drizzle of thousand island dressing and a sprinkle of chopped green onions. Enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 11 votes

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Make this recipe in advance for easy meal prep.
  • To Store: Keep the dressing and Reuben bowl in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. The bowl will be good for up to 4-5 days, the dressing up to 2 weeks.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months. However, the cabbage will change consistency.
  • To Reheat: Warm in skillet for the best texture. You can also microwave for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 471kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 41g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g, Monounsaturated Fat: 14g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 54mg, Sodium: 1165mg, Potassium: 410mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 527IU, Vitamin C: 50mg, Calcium: 216mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
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Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! I only made a couple of changes: I don’t like corned beef so used deli turkey (the natural kind), and can’t eat onions or garlic because they are too acidic for my stomach, so I used onion and garlic powder. I dropped step #2 and browned the caraway seeds with the turkey, then added the onion powder and garlic powder before moving on to step #3.

    I’ve been wondering how to make this meatless, but think it would miss something significant.

    I don’t usually love bottled Thousand Island Dressing, so was glad you included a recipe. This has so much more depth than the bottled kind. Yummy!

    Thanks for thinking this one up and sharing it with the world!

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Jo! I’m glad you could make this recipe work for you. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Kenna! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!