Field To Table | Salads & Sandwiches

Venison Reuben Sandwich Recipe

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If you’re a fan of traditional Reuben sandwiches, try this delicious twist on the classic: a corned venison Reuben!

Venison reuben Sandwich on a white plate with potato chips.Pin
Venison Reuben

This hearty sandwich features slices of brined and cooked venison layered with tangy sauerkraut, creamy Thousand Island dressing, and gooey Swiss cheese, all between slices of rye bread. It’s a unique way to enjoy a Reuben sandwich, and it’s perfect for using up any leftover venison you might have in your fridge.

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We’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to make this mouth-watering sandwich, so you can enjoy it any time you like.

The origin of the Reuben

The origin of the Reuben is, like the origins of many different foods, debatable. There are at least 4 or 5 different stories. One common thread of information is that it originated sometime in the early 1900s, between 1915 and 1930. Most believe it originated in New York City, but one story suggests it originated in Omaha, Nebraska! The other commonality is that it was invented by a Jewish-American.

piled high reuben sandwich with runny cheese and lots of sauce on white platePin

Several years ago, we started making corned beef in the slow cooker. Now I make my own corned venison and cook it in the slow cooker, as well!

You would never know that this is a tougher cut of venison. It is tender, juicy, and delicious! It is simply unbeatable and so easy because the slow cooker does all the work. Most people who try it agree it is even better than corned beef.

What is corning?

Corning is the process of curing meat. In the days before refrigeration, meat was “corned” with large salt that resembled kernels of corn. to preserve it for longer-term storage. See this short article from the USDA. 

Today corning is typically done with a brine. It takes a bit of time for the corning process. But hands-on time is minimal. The brine does all of the work.

The process for making corned venison and venison pastrami differs only in the smoking. Venison pastrami is smoked, and corned venison is unsmoked.

To corn this venison, you need a meat curing salt, such as Morton tender quick, pink curing salt, or instacure. Plus a large venison roast, brown sugar, and a variety of spices like garlic powder, black peppercorns, and a spice mix called pickling spice, which contains bay leaf, whole cloves, whole allspice, mustard seeds, whole coriander seeds.

These are mixed with water and poured over the roasts. Then the brine needs to work on them for a week or so. For complete instructions, see Homemade Corned Venison Curing.

Once the meat has finished curing, it needs to be cooked. We cook it in the slow cooker with Guinness stout beer, carrots, onions, a few bay leaves, garlic cloves, and more pickling spice. You want the corned meat to be fork tender when it is done cooking but not fall apart, so cook it to about 180°F.

It can also be cooked in a large pot or Dutch oven on the stove. Bring it to a boil over high heat, then turn it down to a low simmer. Again, simmer for a couple of hours until the venison is tender.

What you need

Ingredients for Reuben sandwich. See details in recipe below.Pin
Reuben Ingredients

How to make it

Soften butter, or use mayonnaise to baste one side of the bread.

The mayonnaise will give it a lovely crispiness.

Heat the frying pan over medium-low heat. Place the bread in the frying pan with the basted side down.

Top it with thousand island dressing and spread it out.

Lay slices of corned venison on top of the dressing.

Sprinkle with the drained sauerkraut.

Top the kraut with the sliced Swiss cheese.

Baste one side of the other slice of bread with more mayonnaise or butter.

Lay the bread on the constructed sandwich with the basted side up.

Let the first side fry until it is golden brown.

Carefully flip the sandwich over and brown the second side.

Meaty venison Reuben on a white plate with potato chips.Pin
Venison Reuben

What to serve with them

Lots of side dishes go well with a Reuben sandwich. Some of our favorites are;

  • Sweet potato fries – Cut raw sweet potatoes into thin slices. Cut these into strips. Then toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven until crispy and golden brown.
  • Coleslaw – Mix shredded cabbage, carrots, and a dressing of your choice (such as mayo, apple cider vinegar, and honey) for a crunchy and refreshing side.
  • Pickles – Add some tang and crunch with a side of dill pickles or bread and butter pickles.
  • Chips – Serve your Reuben with a side of potato chips or veggie chips for some extra crunch.
  • Roasted vegetables – Roast some Brussels sprouts, asparagus, or other veggies with olive oil and garlic for a nutritious side dish.
  • Potato Salad– Mix your potatoes with crisped bacon, chopped hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, and spices.

These sides will complement the flavors of your corned venison Reuben nicely, and they’re all easy to prepare.

More venison recipes

Click the link to view the video How to Make Homemade Reubens
Here’s how to make your own Corned Beef or Venison!

Helpful tools

Want to learn more about How to Cook Venison? Don’t miss our awesome Ultimate Guide! Complete with 75 FREE Recipes from some of the top venison recipe developers in the world!

If you’re looking for a delicious twist on the classic Reuben sandwich, the corned venison Reuben is a must-try. It’s a hearty and flavorful sandwich that’s perfect for lunch or dinner, and it’s a great way to use up any leftover venison you might have on hand.

Following our simple instructions, you can quickly whip up the classic flavors in this sandwich at home and enjoy it in no time. So, gather your ingredients and give it a try – you won’t be disappointed!

2 grilled reuben sandwiches cut in half and stacked high on black platePin

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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today.

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

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Corned Venison Reuben on marble rye bread.Pin

Reuben Sandwiches on YouTube!

The king of all grilled sandwiches! Made with corned beef or venison and topped with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and 1000 Island dressing!
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Sandwich
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 sandwich
Calories: 681kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $4


  • 2-3 slices Corned Venison (can use corned beef)
  • butter or mayonnaise room temperature
  • 2 pieces Rye Bread
  • 2 Tbsp Thousand Island Dressing
  • 2-3 slices Swiss cheese
  • Sauerkraut to taste about 3 heaping Tbsp per sandwich


  • Slice Corned Venison or Beef thin.
    2-3 slices Corned Venison (can use corned beef)
  • Butter rye bread on one side of each slice.
    butter or mayonnaise, 2 pieces Rye Bread
  • Spread Thousand Island Dressing on the opposite side of the butter on one slice of bread.
    2 Tbsp Thousand Island Dressing
  • Layer corned beef or venison, cheese and sauerkraut on top of Thousand Island.
    2-3 slices Swiss cheese, Sauerkraut to taste
  • Cover sandwich with the other slice of bread with the buttered side out.
  • Brown first side on a small frying pan over medium heat.
  • Flip and brown the other slice of bread. Remove from pan. Enjoy!
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YouTube video


Bread can be toasted on both sides, if you prefer.
You will hear the sizzling stop in the pan, if doing 1 sandwich. That will indicate that sandwich is ready to be flipped.
Best if made fresh.
Individual components of the sandwich can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
Sandwich should be made fresh.


Calories: 681kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 420mg | Potassium: 43mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 535IU | Calcium: 443mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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Originally Published 4/15/2016. Updated 3/28/2023.

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  1. 5 stars
    Your venison Reuben sandwich is perfect! I love everything about it! I literally drooled when I saw the first photo and can imagine how it tastes! I need to get some corned venison so I can make it exactly how you did!!

  2. 5 stars
    Corned venison sounds amazing. I’m sure I’d absolutely love this superb looking sandwich. I love sauerkrout. This sounds divine. I must find the venison as soon as possible and get this made.

  3. 5 stars
    Wow that sounds insanely good, I love the idea of corned venison, I’ll have to see if I can score a large joint… Typically I see it cut up and love using it for stews and the like. Challenge accepted 😀

  4. 5 stars
    The Reuben sandwich is quite possibly my favorite sandwich of all time…If I had to pick. Oh my goodness, yours looks incredible and the fact that you used venison makes it even more interesting! I can honestly say I’ve never tried that. Just pinned this beauty…thank you for the recipe inspiration!

    1. Thanks so much, Traci! I would venture to say not many have tried corned venison! Pity because it is so good! I’m on a mission to change that!

  5. 5 stars
    Now THIS is a fabulous looking sandwich!! And I love the idea of using venision instead of beef, I must try that as soon as I can get my hands on some vension.

  6. 5 stars
    Ruben is so good with rye bread and sauerkraut… I never tried venison version but I find venison l know where to find recipe

    1. I agree! I suppose it’s easier to find commercially in Europe than it is here in United States. You can find it at specialty meat shops, though. Thanks Edyta!

  7. 5 stars
    Such a comforting meal, and one of my favorites. I am SO impressed that you’ve made all of the elements from scratch! And corned VENISON? I never would have though of this. My dad loves venison and I’m going to need to try this out for him. It’s such an economical, nutritious alternative to beef.

    1. Thanks, so much, Danielle! Now all I have to make is the sauerkraut, lol! I’m sure your Dad will love it! It’s a bit of work, but so worth the effort! Let me know!

  8. 5 stars
    Were you corning your venison at the same time I was corning my beef? LOL! This Reuben looks absolutely delicious — it’s one of my favorite sandwiches and now I need to try it with venison! Beautifully done!

    1. That’s funny, because when I saw yours come up, this post was already written. Great minds think alike, I suppose! Thanks so much Lisa!

  9. 5 stars
    One of my most favorite sandwiches in the world. I love this beautiful recipe with house made corned beef. Lovely pictures as well.

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