Vegetarian Reuben Sandwich

When I told people I was retiring I got one of two responses.

  • You Lucky Duck
  • That Scares the Hell Out of Me

I wasn’t surprised as I had the same two feelings myself. My father’s retirement had not been good. His marriage, already in trouble, suffered more, and his sense of purpose went out the window. I recall him telling me, “Don’t do what I did. With having kids I let all my friendships go and now I have nobody”, or words to that effect. Within a year he was dead.

That wasn’t going to be my retirement outcome, not if I could help it. I signed up for classes, including abstract watercolor class, which was a tremendous challenge as I’d hadn’t done art since middle school, not really. And when I say a tremendous challenge it turned out to be that in all senses of the word. I loved it. I’m not claiming artistic genius, but I loved/love doing it.

“I Make a Point About Consciousness”
“Inside a Thought”

Another important aspect of retirement was to assure that my wife and I had a good balance of alone and together time. It’s a challenge, too, but once again it has turned out to be so in all senses of the word.

For our together time we always plan Friday as our “outing/adventure day”. To get to the point of this post a few times we done the long drive from Seattle up to beautiful Camano Island. We always stop at the Cama Beach Cafe in the lovely Cama Beach State Park, about 65 miles drive from north Seattle.

We love their vegan reuben sandwich made from beets. Love it! A word of caution: Just like carob tastes great but is a poor substitute for chocolate, a beet-based reuben is wonderful, but if you love meat it is not the same. We love it. Your experience may vary.

I got the basics for this recipe from Food Network, but I can never leave well enough alone. Here is my own take:

Vegatarian Reuben Sandwich

Serves: 2


  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise. I used Veganaise.
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 squirt siracha – to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 2 large cooked beets, though I used 5 or so small round “Love Beets”, a packaged precooked beet.
  • 4 slices rye bread
  • 4 thick slices Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup drained sauerkraut
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. I used Miyoko’s vegan butter, which is superb.



Mix the mayonnaise, capers, ketchup, onions, and siracha in a bowl. Mix the coriander, smoked paprika, allspice, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper on a small plate. You will probably have extra seasoning left over.


Roll the beets in the spice mixture to coat. Slice the beets 1/4 inch thick.


Spread each slice of bread with the mayonnaise mixture. Lay a cheese slice on 2 pieces of the bread. Top with the sauerkraut. Divide the sliced beets and arrange on top of the sauerkraut. Top with the remaining cheese. Put the remaining 2 bread slices on top, mayonnaise-side down. Press lightly with your hand.


Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter. When the butter is melted, add the sandwiches. Cook until golden on the underside, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon butter, let melt, then flip the sandwiches. Cook until the underside is golden and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes more. Cut in half before serving.


I got this basis for this recipe from Food Network. Thank you.

Slice your beets and coat them in the spices. I coated all sides, not just edges as some recipes suggest. The seasoning was NOT overpowering at all.
I had small beets, but you’d probably find it easier to use large beets. Your choice.
I found the beet flavor was pretty strong, so didn’t need even more beets slices.
I used an electric griddle, purchases for crepes. It works perfectly.
The sandwiches were pretty good. My wife was a big fan. I’d say be careful about not putting on too much of the mayonaise/veganaise dressing. Next time I will also sprinkle some of the dry spice onto the mayonaise spread. Just a bit. I’d like the extra flavor. My bread was a dark rye. Note: Don’t skimp on the sauerkraut and cheese as I did. The recipe amounts are correct.

Gizmos Used:

Nonstick 12” Electric Griddle – Pancake Maker, Batter Spreader, Wooden Spatula – Crepe Pan for Roti, Tortilla, Blintzes – Portable, Compact, Easy Clean – I use this thing almost every day. I rarely used a pan anymore.