These lightened-up Reuben-style cheeseburgers are so juicy and flavorful, you won’t believe that you’re eating something “healthy.” Lean ground beef patties are seasoned to perfection, then topped with chopped corned beef, sauerkraut, and home made thousand island on top of a simple hamburger bun. Your family won’t believe that this is a lighter version of a pub favorite.
I’ve never had a Reuben! What’s a Reuben?
Ok, confession time. I am half Irish-American, and had never eaten corned beef until three years ago! I never grew up eating it, because my dad (the Irish side, by the way) was forced to eat it as a kid, and never liked it (if you ask me, maybe he just wasn’t eating it prepared in a yummy way). But that’s besides the point. So, it wasn’t until my friend Kristin told me how much I was missing out on, that I finally tried corned beef. I made corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day for my Italian husband, and that was interesting… an experience. He actually loves it now, and we usually make sandwiches out of it with some rye and mustard. It actually has become a tradition now, since I want my kids to experience cuisine and culture from both sides of the family.
That being said, a Reuben is a delicious sandwich made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and typically thousand island dressing. I’ve also seen some versions of it that include coleslaw, but I usually reserve that version for the “Rachael” which is a turkey, swiss, coleslaw, and thousand island sandwich (another one of my favorites).
So, my burger is a beef burger, topped with all the things you’d find in a Reuben… and it’s delicious.
What you’ll need to make these cheeseburgers
Here’s a quick list of ingredients to make this meal:
- 96/4 lean ground beef – this can be a tricky ingredient to find. I buy mine at Trader Joe’s, but I have also seen other stores carry it.
- if you can’t find the 96/4 ground beef, you can use any variety you can find, just update the nutritional information accordingly
- dehydrated onion
- kosher salt
- corned beef (I used this one from Boar’s Head, I just asked for it at the deli counter)
- you can use leftover corned beef for this, it would be perfect
- light swiss (this is the one I use)
- light mayo
- sweet relish
- hamburger buns
How to make Reuben-Style Cheeseburgers
This will be done in under 20 minutes, so get ready!
Making the burger patties
First, let’s start by flavoring the ground beef. Add the dehydrated onion, Worcestershire and salt to the ground beef in a bowl, and mix it together with your hands. Then, divide the mixture into four equal-sized patties.
Preheat a grill pan (or frying pan) over medium high heat, and then spray it with cooking spray.
Cook the patties for three minutes per side, then flip. That’s it. This is how long I cook mine for a medium-well temperature.
A lot of people ask me how I keep my ground beef from getting dry, since it’s so lean. To me, the secret is flavoring the meat like we did here, but also, the key is not to overcook it. That’s why I am for a medium-to-medium-rare temperature. It’s key for keeping the burgers juicy.
Once the burgers are cooked, remove the pan from the heat, and top the burgers with the cheese. Cover the pan with a lid so that the cheese melts.
Prepping the corned beef and sauerkraut
This really shouldn’t even classify as a step, because all you need to do is chop up the corned beef and throw it in a pan to get a little crispy and warm. Same for the sauerkraut.
How to make the thousand island dressing
To make the thousand island, simply whisk the ketchup, mayo and relish together. Each burger will get approximately 1.5 tablespoons of this deliciousness.
After all the components are made, you just have to assemble and enjoy!
- frying pan
- grill pan (optional)
- 4 hamburger buns
- 1 lb 96/4 lean ground beef
- 2 tbsp dehydrated onion
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 lb corned beef I use Boars Head corned beef (deli meat)
- 4 slices light swiss cheese I use Jarlsberg brand
- 1/2 cup sauerkraut
- 1/4 cup light mayo I use Hellmans
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1/2 tbsp sweet relish
Thousand Island Dressing
- Whisk together the mayo, ketchup, and sweet relish in a small bowl.
Corned Beef and Sauerkraut
- Chop the corned beef and add to a frying pan to crisp up and heat through (approximately 5 minutes).
- Move the corned beef to one side of the pan, and add the sauerkraut to the other side of the pan to warm through (approximately 2 minutes).
- Set aside until ready to assemble the burgers.
- Preheat a grill pan (or frying pan) over medium high heat.
- Mix the ground beef with the dehydrated onion, worcestershire, and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Form 4 equal-sized patties.
- Spray cooking spray in the pan, and cook the burgers for 3 minutes on each side. This will make medium-well burgers. Cook longer if desired.
- Remove the grill pan from the heat.
- Add a slice of Swiss cheese on top of each burger.
- Cover the pan with a lid to allow the cheese to melt.
Building the Burgers
- Lay out a hamburger bun. Add 1.5 tablespoons of the thousand island to the bun, top and bottom.
- Lay a patty with cheese on the bun.
- Top with 2 tablespoons of the sauerkraut, and 2 tablespoons of the corned beef.
- 10 WW points (all plans)
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