Ham's Turkey Reuben (Rachel copycat)

A throwback copycat from Ham's Restaurant, a small chain formerly located in North Carolina and Virginia. This recipe is attempting to be a faithful recreation of their Turkey Reuben; keeping it alive since the restaurant chain has closed all remaining restaurants.
Instructions for 1 sandwich (with enough slaw and dressing for multiple sandwiches)
schedule 25 minutes
schedule 15 minutes
schedule 40 minutes


Thousand Island dressing
  • 12 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 2 teaspoons white onion, finely minced
  • 12 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper
Cole slaw
  • 14 ounces cole slaw mix (or 1/2 head of shredded cabbage + 1/4 cup shredded carrot)
  • 12 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teasppon kosher salt
  • 14 teaspoon black pepper
Turkey Reuben assembly and cooking
  • 2 tablespoons butter (split in two)
  • 2 slices of rye bread
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons Thousand Island dressing (from above)
  • 1 or 2 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 4 or 5 slices of deli smoked turkey
  • 14 cup cole slaw (from above)


Thousand Island dressing: in a medium-sized bowl, combine all Thousand Island dressing ingredients and mix to combine. 

Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Cole slaw: add the cole slaw mix or shredded cabbage to a large bowl. If you have a food processor, don't forget that some have a shredding feature. Use that to shred if you can. It makes things quick. 

Add mayonnaise, sugar, apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, celery seed, salt, and black pepper to your bowl and mix with a spoon to combine everything thoroughly. 

You shouldn't need any extra salt, but you should taste the slaw to see if it needs anything else at this time. 

Store in a container in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

Sandwich assembly: heat a large pan or griddle over medium-low heat. Wait five minutes for the pan to be hot.

Spread butter on one side of one piece of rye bread and then place that butter side down on the hot pan/griddle. Add Thousand Island dressing on top of the bread and then add a slice of Swiss cheese.

Pile four to five slices of turkey on top of the cheese.

On top of the turkey, add a generous amount of cole slaw, and top the slaw with the second slice of Swiss cheese (if using). Spread Thousand Island dressing on the second slice of bread and lay the bread on top of the Swiss cheese with the dressing facing down on top of the cheese. 

Spread a little more butter on top of the top slice of bread and cook the whole thing for 2 or 3 minutes and then flip. Cook for another 2 or 3 minutes and then flip again. At this point, you want to cook the sandwich, flipping back and forth until the bread looks nice and brown but not burned, so you might have to flip it another 2 or 3 times. 

Once the bread is browned to your liking, remove it from the heat and serve the Turkey Reuben sandwich.

Have you made this recipe? Tag @beerinator and let him know!


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