These flaky reuben hand pies are filled with corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese and get dipped in a homemade thousand island dressing. It's the best reuben appetizer and is the perfect way to use up any leftover corned beef.
This savory filled puff pastry takes a traditional reuben and turns it into something way more fun! It's the perfect recipe to use up leftover corned beef from St. Patrick's Day and can be made using either homemade rough puff pastry or store bought puff pastry.
Paired with a homemade thousand island dressing (what traditionally goes in the reuben sandwich), each bite contains corned beef, sauerkraut, and melty swiss cheese. And, let's not forget about that buttery crunch from the flaky pastry! SO GOOD.
When I was testing these, my husband said "This is the best thing you've ever made" - I mean...how can I top that?
- Homemade Rough puff pastry or puff pastry. Make your own or buy store bought. Two sheets are needed.
- Corned beef. Leftover from corned beef and cabbage or sliced from the deli.
- Sauerkraut. Whatever type you prefer! Just be sure to drain and squeeze the juice out of the amount needed.
- Swiss cheese. Sliced or shredded, but sliced is easier to assemble.
- Caraway seeds. Don't skip these seeds! It's what replicates the flavor of the rye or marbled bread used in a traditional reuben sandwich.
- Thousand Island Dressing ingredients: yellow onion, dill pickle, mayonnaise, ketchup, paprika, sugar, salt.
How to make Reuben Hand Pies
STEP 1: Slice the corned beef and cheese so it's about two inches long one inch wide. Squeeze out the sauerkraut then mix with half of the caraway seeds. This helps with flavor!
STEP 2: Roll out two sheets of puff pastry slightly and brush off any excess flour with a pastry brush or a paper towel.
Cut each sheet into 6 even rectangles - use a sharp chefs knife or a pizza cutter.
Hot tip! Roll half of the rectangles back and forth a few times to make them slightly larger. These will be to tops and helps them fit better over the filling.
Add the bottom pieces to a large parchment lined baking sheet and brush a swipe of water around each edge of the pastry. It's best to do one at a time so they don't get too wet.
Assembling the Hand Pies
STEP 3: To each piece of dough, add half of the Swiss cheese, corned beef, a heaping tablespoon of sauerkraut, and extra Swiss cheese.
STEP 4: Place on the top, then carefully press down around the filling to seal. Gently pull the pastry to meet the edges, if needed. Use the tines of a fork to press down all around the pie to fully seal.
Repeat with the remaining hand pies, then refrigerate for 15 minutes and preheat the oven to 400℉/200℃.
STEP 5: Whip together the egg with a splash of water to create an egg wash, then brush it over the tops of the hand pies. Take care not to get it the whole way over the edges.
Poke 3 sets of holes in the top of each hand pie with the tines of a fork and sprinkle the tops with the remaining caraway seeds.
STEP 6: Bake the hand pies for 25-30 minutes until very golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer to a platter and serve with thousand island dressing dip.
Cut the hand pies in half, if desired.
Thousand Island Dressing Dip
Make the dip while the hand pies are in the oven.
STEP 7: To make the homemade thousand island dressing for reubens, mince the yellow onion and dill pickles, then mix together with the mayonnaise, ketchup, paprika, sugar and salt.
Transfer to a ramekin and place on the serving platter next to the reuben hand pies.
Storing and Freezing
Store the baked hand pies covered in the fridge for about three days. Reheat the hand pies in a 400℉ oven for about 10 minutes, then enjoy.
To freeze the reuben hand pies, assembly them fully (omitting the egg wash), then flash freeze on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes. Transfer to a ziptop bag and remove all of the air. Store for up to two months.
Transfer to the fridge for at least one hour to thaw slightly, then brush with egg wash and sprinkle with caraway seeds. Follow the normal baking instructions.
Traditional reubens are made with corned beef, though pastrami is a very similar substitute and can sometimes be used in a reuben. Using pastrami (or even thinly sliced turkey breast) on this sandwich can also sometimes be referred to as a "rachel."
A traditional reuben is a sandwich made on slices or rye or marbled rye bread and is filled with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and thousand island dressing. It then gets pan fried in butter/fat and becomes slightly crispy.
Reubens are traditionally served with French fries or chips, and sometimes coleslaw.
The sauce that goes on reuben sandwiches is either a thousand island dressing or a Russian dressing.
Reuben Hand Pies
- Rolling Pin
- Large baking sheet
- 2 sheets puff pastry homemade rough puff or store bought
- 6 oz cooked corned beef 1 oz per hand pie
- 1 cup sauerkraut 150g
- 4 oz Swiss cheese ~½ oz per hand pie
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 1 egg for egg wash
Thousand Island Dressing Dip
- ¼ cup minced yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons minced dill pickle
- ¾ cup mayonnaise 170g
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Slice the corned beef, prepare the cheese, and squeeze the juice out of the sauerkraut. Mix the drained sauerkraut with ½ tablespoon of caraway seeds.
- Roll out two sheets of puff pastry slightly and brush off any excess flour.
- Cut each sheet into 6 even rectangles. Roll out half of the slices a few more times (both vertically and horizontally) to make them slightly larger - these will become the tops.
- Add the bottom pieces to a parchment lined baking sheet and brush a swipe of water around each edge of the pastry.
- To each hand pie, add half of the Swiss cheese, corned beef, 1 heaping tablespoon of sauerkraut, and more Swiss cheese.
- Place the tops over all of them, then carefully press down around the filling to seal. Gently pull the pastry to meet the edges, if needed. Use a fork to press down all around the pies to fully seal.
- Refrigerate for 15 minutes and preheat the oven to 400℉/200℃.
- Whisk an egg with a splash of water, then brush the egg wash completely over each pastry (but don't let it fall over the edges). Sprinkle the tops with the remaining caraway seeds.
- Bake the hand pies for 25-30 minutes until very golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy with thousand island dressing dip.
Thousand Island Dressing Dip
- While the hand pies are baking, mince the onion and pickles then mix together with the mayonnaise, ketchup, paprika, sugar and salt.