The Easy Protein Swap For A Leaner Reuben Sandwich

reuben sandwich
reuben sandwich - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

While its origins may be hotly debated, there's little question that a Reuben makes for one satisfying sandwich. With its savory layers of corned beef, melted Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut, the Reuben is a classic lunchtime meal that has definitely earned a spot in the sandwich hall of fame. However, it is a bit on the heavy side, and isn't a good option for people with certain dietary restrictions. That's why if you crave the taste of a Reuben but are avoiding red meat or trying to implement leaner foods into your diet, you should swap out the corned beef for turkey.

Using turkey instead of corned beef leads to a protein-packed, lighter version of a Reuben. Three ounces of sliced roasted turkey only has 177 calories, 8.4 grams of fat, and a whopping 23.7 grams of protein -- compared to corned beef's 213 calories, 16.2 grams of fat, and 15.5 grams of protein. Additionally, turkey is very low in sodium, making it a heart-healthy choice. If you're concerned about altering the taste of the Reuben too much, rest assured that the mild flavor of turkey will allow the vibrant sauerkraut and dressing to come through.

Read more: The Best Types Of Meats And Cheeses For Your Charcuterie Board

Other Ways To Customize A Reuben

turkey reuben
turkey reuben - HodagMedia/Shutterstock

If you are really trying to reduce your calorie intake, you can also skip the butter you would typically use when toasting your Reuben's rye bread. Aside from changing the sandwich's nutritional profile, there are a few other swaps you can make when assembling your Reuben to suit your tastes.

One popular change is to skip the sauerkraut and use coleslaw instead. While both toppings heavily feature shredded cabbage, sauerkraut has a distinctly sour taste due to its fermentation process, while coleslaw is a bit lighter and creamier. A Reuben made with turkey and coleslaw is actually known as a Rachel or as a California Reuben, depending on where you go. Because coleslaw is often made with mayo, it's not necessarily a leaner choice than sauerkraut, but it does bring a brighter flavor to the already lean turkey.

Additionally, some folks like to switch out the traditional rye bread for sourdough. However, others would argue that at that point, it's not really a Reuben anymore. Whether you go for the original Reuben or the leaner Rachel, you're in for a meal that really hits the spot. We're not knocking buttery corned beef, but if you want a leaner sandwich, reach for the turkey instead.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.