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5 from 3 votes

The Radical Reuben

The Radical Reuben is our most popular dish. It took home the Vegetarian Times Magazine Readers' Choice Award for Best Recipe in the Midwest in June 2008 and was also featured on TLC's "Best Food Ever: Darn Good Diners" show. Basically, this sandwich rocks, and now you can make it right in your own kitchen!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time27 mins
Total Time37 mins
Course: Sandwich
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Keyword: chicago diner, comfort food
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 654kcal
Author: Jo A. Kaucher


For the Corned "Beef" Marinade:

For the Thousand Island Sauce:

  • ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise Vegenaise
  • 3 Tablespoons organic ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped dill pickles

For the Reubens:

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ½ cup sliced yellow onion
  • ¼ cup sliced red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup sliced green bell pepper
  • 1 ⅓ cups sauerkraut
  • 8 slices marble rye bread
  • 1 pound Seitan Corned "Beef" See marinade recipe above
  • 1 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese Chicago Diner uses Daiya brand for this sandwich


To make the marinade:

  • In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until fully combined.
  • Slice 1 pound of seitan thinly. Place it in a large, shallow baking dish. Pour the marinade over the seitan and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.

To make the Sauce:

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Set aside.

To make the Reubens:

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and peppers and sauté for 7 to 9 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Remove from the heat and transfer the onion and peppers to a medium covered bowl. Set aside.
  • Place the sauerkraut in the skillet and return it to the heat. Warm it in the skillet for 5 minutes, until it is warmed through. Remove from the heat and transfer the sauerkraut to a medium bowl. Cover the bowl and set aside.
  • Toast the bread. Place the Seitan Corned "Beef" in the skillet and return it to the heat. Warm it in the skillet for 5 to 7 minutes, until it is warmed through and a little brown on the edges. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Place 4 of the toasted bread slices on a serving platter. Divide the Seitan Corned "Beef" evenly among the 4 slices.
  • Atop each pile of Seitan Corned "Beef," layer ¼ of the sauerkraut, the pepper-onion mix, the vegan mozzarella cheese, and the Thousand Island Sauce. Top each sandwich half with the remaining 4 slices of bread. Slice each sandwich in half and serve immediately.


Reprinted with permission from The New Chicago Diner Cookbook by Jo A. Kaucher, Agate Surrey December 2013.


Calories: 654kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 300mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Vitamin C: 28.5mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 5.9mg