Its origins vary. According to Wikipedia, the sandwich may have been created by a man named Reuben Kulakofsky who lived in Omaha, Neb. It is rumored that the sandwich was placed on the Blackstone Hotel’s lunch menu, and rose to national acclaim after a former employee won a contest with the recipe.
Another possibility traces the sandwich to New York City, where Arnold Reuben owned and operated the once-famous Reuben’s Delicatessen in 1914 or so.
Wherever it may have come from, the Reuben sandwich has stood the test of time, and is a longtime staple of many a diner. It’s also an extremely fast weeknight dinner to throw together, and the cleanup’s a breeze: just one pan.
However, if you are watching calories, it is most decidedly not diet-friendly. But there are a few steps you can take to make it a little more healthy. Try substituting the corned beef with turkey pastrami, and using reduced-fat dressing and reduced-fat Swiss cheese.
I know it sounds like a major compromise, but you can save at least 200 calories by doing so, and you will still have the major components of a Reuben: crunchy, melty, gooey, salty, and sweet. Trust me on this one.