Pastrami Reuben Sandwich Recipe: Easy & Fast Camping Meal

Buttering the bread, layering flavorful ingredients and toasting them in a skillet is all it takes to have this Pastrami Reuben Sandwich Recipe on the table in minutes! This is one of our easy camping meals that is perfect for a fast dinner because there is next to zero prep required to make it.

Pastrami Reuben Sandwich by CampingForFoodies features a toasted sandwich cut in half and stacked on a white plate set on a worn picnic table. The brown and golden white swirls in the marble rye grilled bread are stuffed with layers of reddish, pink pastrami deli meat, white Swiss melted cheese, creamy Thousand Island dressing and crunchy sauerkraut. Next to the sandwich is a small bowl of coleslaw, a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade with a lemon slice is in the background.
Pastrami Reuben Sandwich by CampingForFoodies

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The Ingredients

Six simple ingredients is all it takes to put this Pastrami Reuben Sandwich on the table! Because this sandwich has so few ingredients, I make sure to use high quality ones because their flavor really stands out, especially the meat and two slices rye bread.

I like getting my pastrami from a good local deli, but, any local grocery store will usually carry a nice brand like Boar’s Head. I always use beef but when my deli is out of it, I have substituted turkey pastrami which works but doesn’t have the classic sandwich flavor you get with beef.


Pastrami vs Corned Beef

Pastrami and corned beef are both cuts of beef that go through a brine process.

  • Traditionally, corned beef is exclusively made using brisket.
  • Pastrami is typically made from the navel cut which is fattier than brisket.

Technically, my sandwich is a cross between “The Rachel” and a “Reuben”.

  • The Rachel is usually made with Pastrami then topped with a sliced green cabbage cole slaw salad.
  • The Reuben is usually made with corned beef, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing.

How To Make This Recipe

Step 1. Prepare your ingredients, heat source and equipment as directed.

Camp Cooking Tip: Keep your camp kitchen simple and organized. Prepare your cooking utensils and ingredients before you begin cooking.

Camp Cooking Tips - Keep It Simple And Organized - Prepare your camp cooking utensils before you begin cooking this Pastrami Reuben Sandwich Recipe - Camping For Foodies .com

Step 2. Let your ingredients get to room temperature. Like any grilled cheese, a classic pastrami Reuben is served hot. You can’t make a good sandwich with cold ingredients. If you start with cold ingredients, you won’t get the meat warmed through or get a slice of cheese to melt before burning the bread. I like to place my ingredients on a cutting board or plate to take the chill off before trying to cook them.

Pastrami Reuben Sandwich Recipe Ingredients - Camping For Foodies .com

Step 3. Drain the sauerkraut. Squeeze as much moisture out of it as possible, otherwise it will make your bread soggy.

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Step 4. Butter the bread slices, one side only.

Step 5. Build the sandwich. Layer all the ingredients between the bread slices, make sure the buttered sides are facing outward.

Step 6. Toast the sandwich. Using a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat, toast one side of the sandwich then flip to toast the second side. Be careful when flipping to keep the whole thing together.


Scaling Servings

Individual sandwiches are great options for making camping meals for two. Whether you’re looking for hot or no-cook cold meals, make sure you check out all of our yummy camping sandwich ideas.

They are also great when you need easy camping meals for large groups because you can get an assembly line going and really crank them out quickly. It’s best to use a large flattop griddle here. When the pastrami sandwiches are done cooking use a piece of aluminum foil to tent them so they stay warm. You want to serve them as soon as possible, otherwise, the bread will begin to get soggy from the steam trapped inside the foil wrap.

Camp Cooking Tip: Use versatile camp cooking utensils, like cast iron skillets and Dutch ovens. They can be easily used with a camp stove on top of a table but they are rugged enough to withstand the heat of a hot campfire!

Camp Cooking Tips - Use Versatile Camp Cooking Utensils - Cast iron skillets can be used conveniently on table tops with portable camp stoves - They are also rugged enough to handle the heat of cooking directly over campfires for this Pastrami Reuben Sandwich Recipe - Camping For Foodies .com

The simplicity of this recipe makes for easy camping lunches if you’d rather have a heavier mid-day meal and just a snack later during the dinner hour.

For tips on making sure your camp cast iron cookware lasts for generations, check out our Cleaning And Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware post for helpful tips!


What To Serve With This Recipe

Kosher dill pickles are always a nice touch with classic deli sandwiches. If I want to get fancier, I serve my Refrigerator Cucumber Salad that combines English cucumbers, red onion, bell pepper and garlic in a simple homemade dressing. It’s best after being refrigerated for a few days (or up to 2 months) so it’s great to make ahead.

If I’m serving this in the summer and want to keep it really simple, I serve a simple coleslaw and potato chips on the side. When I have a bit more time and enough cooler space, I make my yummy Polish Potato Salad at home and bring it to camp.

Some of the easiest winter camping recipes include doing a simple grilled cheese sandwich with some sort of meat. During those cold weather trips, I like to add a hot side, like soup or mac & cheese to keep the meal warm and cozy.

Get your FREE printable camping trip & menu planner before you create your next meal plan!

Camping Menu Template Meal Planner Free Printable by CampingForFoodies features a collage of free camping printables including a camping menu planner template, a campfire stew recipe card and a healthy no cook camping salad with text over the image that reads free camping menu template, tips and recipe ideas.

Similar Recipes

If you like pastrami reuben sandwiches, you’ll love this Pesto And Turkey Grilled Cheese made with deli turkey, provolone cheese and prepared pesto. Try it the next time you want a hot, toasted sandwich.

This Bacon Wrapped Grilled Cheese combines bread, bacon and a few slices of cheese to make an AMAZING meal. It’s my favorite grilled sandwich when I really want to splurge.

My Basil And Prosciutto Sandwich is the best sandwich to make when you don’t feel like cooking! The fresh mozzarella cheese and thinly sliced prosciutto are complimented with tomato slices and a simple homemade vinaigrette.


Print This Recipe

Pastrami Reuben Sandwich by CampingForFoodies features a toasted sandwich cut in half and stacked on a white plate set on a worn picnic table. The brown and golden white swirls in the marble rye grilled bread are stuffed with layers of reddish, pink pastrami deli meat, white Swiss melted cheese, creamy Thousand Island dressing and crunchy sauerkraut. Next to the sandwich is a small bowl of coleslaw, a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade with a lemon slice is in the background.

Pastrami Reuben Sandwich Camping Recipe

Kim Hanna
Camping For Foodies Dinner Camping Recipes: This hot pastrami sandwich is a quick meal that creates a nice crispy texture on the slices of bread with an ooey, gooey center from melted Swiss cheese slices.
4.85 from 13 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dinner Camping Recipes
Cuisine American

SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT

Servings 1 Serving
Calories 757 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 slices marble rye bread slices of rye bread with caraway seeds or pumpernickel bread may be substituted
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 pound beef pastrami sliced thin from the deli (see * Note)
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup tart sauerkraut
  • 4 tablespoons prepared Thousand Island dressing tangy Russian dressing may be substituted

Instructions
 

  • This recipe makes 1 sandwich, multiply as necessary.
  • Bring meat to room temperature just before cooking. Slightly warm meat in pan to take the chill off, if necessary.
  • Thoroughly drain and squeeze as much moisture out of the sauerkraut as possible.
  • Butter one side of each slice of bread.
  • Lay one slice of bread (butter side down) in cast iron camp skillet.
  • Place pastrami on the bread, then, layer the rest of the ingredients.
  • Top with second piece of bread, buttered side out.
  • Place cover on skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the toasted rye reaches a nice golden brown color.
  • Flip to toast the other side and cook until the cheese melts.

Notes

*NOTE: 1/4 pound of meat makes a good Reuben, but, if you want more of an “authentic deli” classic Reuben sandwich found in many New York City deli restaurants, you’ll want to pile on the meat. The famous Katz’s Deli in NYC actually uses over 1/2 pound of meat per sandwich!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1gCalories: 757kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 38gFat: 48gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 2534mgPotassium: 521mgFiber: 5gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 778IUVitamin C: 45mgCalcium: 384mgIron: 6mg
Cuisine American
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