Comfort food during the winter months here in Olean, New York, is a must. We have frosty temperatures and fluffy mounds of snow, and there is something about eating the right meal that just puts us in a better mood (understanding that our winters are long). A Reuben sandwich fits the description of comfort food in my humble opinion, keeping in mind that we’re not discussing it as a healthy option. The warm gooey cheese, sauerkraut, dressing and corned beef between two buttered pieces of rye bread, toasted perfectly, is the ideal warm meal for a chilly day.
As we get ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and knowing that we love our appetizers, our thoughts turned to how could we change up the classic Reuben sandwich? By making an easy Reuben Dip in a Slow Cooker, of course!
This dip comes together in minutes and cooks in the slow cooker for a perfectly timed appetizer that will complement any St. Patrick’s Day spread (or for that random Saturday when you want an appetizer). All the ingredients are easily found in your local grocery store and it’s simply a matter of mixing it all together and letting the slow cooker do the heavy work.
Making the Reuben Dip
A couple of quick tips when getting ready to make this appetizer. The cream cheese should be room temperature so that it’s easier to mix with the other ingredients. If you forgot to take it out of the refrigerator to soften (as is normally the case for me), take it out of the foil wrapper and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave at 10-second intervals until the cream cheese is soft (making sure you don’t melt it). The other tip relates to the corned beef. Buy deli corned beef, which you’ll find either in your cold cuts section of the grocery store or at the deli counter, where they can thinly slice it for you.
To get this recipe into the slow cooker, there are only a few prep steps you need to complete. The first is squeezing dry your sauerkraut. While this may sound odd to do, it’s imperative that you dry the sauerkraut as much as possible, otherwise you’ll have a runny dip. To do this, lay a thick piece of paper towel in a bowl and place the sauerkraut onto the paper towel. Fold the ends of the paper towel over the sauerkraut and squeeze the excess liquid into the bowl. Remove the sauerkraut into a small bowl until you’re ready to mix with the other ingredients.
Using a Trimmer, roughly chop the thinly sliced corned beef into bite-size pieces. Do this by layering the slices of corned beef into one pile, cut into strips and then turn the pile to cut the strips into pieces.
That’s it for the prep work. Now it’s simply mixing the ingredients. Start by blending the softened cream cheese, sour cream, Thousand Island dressing and half-and-half together in a large bowl until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add in the chopped corned beef, sauerkraut (that you previously squeezed dry), Worcestershire sauce and Swiss cheese, and using a Basting Spoon, mix the ingredients together.
Another tip for this recipe is to spray your slow cooker (crockpot) with some non-stick cooking spray or use a crockpot liner so the dip doesn’t stick to the sides.
Once the slow cooker is prepared, transfer the dip into the cooker, cover and cook on low for approximately two-and-a-half hours. Stir the mixture at the one-hour mark and, because every slow cooker is different, check the mixture at two hours to see if the additional 30 minutes of cooking time is needed. The dip should be evenly heated, the cheese melted and some browning along the edges.
When the dip is done, transfer it to a nice serving bowl (or individual serving bowls) and get ready to dip your favorite rye cracker, toasted rye bread piece or pretzel cracker into the warm, melty and corned beef goodness.
I mentioned above that we were trying to create a Reuben sandwich in an appetizer, and this Easy Reuben Dip in a Slow Cooker definitely hits the mark. It has all the flavors of the sandwich but as an appetizer. It makes it an easy dish to serve at your next St. Patrick’s Day gathering. Warm, delicious, and so tasty, everyone in the kitchen kept going back for more. This is one appetizer that won’t last long on the table. Enjoy!
Easy Reuben Dip in a Slow Cooker
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing
- 1 tablespoon half-and-half
- 1/2 pound thinly sliced corned beef, chopped
- 16 ounces sauerkraut, squeezed dry
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- Rye or pretzel chips for serving
- In a large bowl, blend the cream cheese, sour cream, Thousand Island dressing and half-and-half. The mixture doesn’t need to be completely smooth, simply ensure the cream cheese is not in a solid block.
- Mix in the remaining ingredients of corned beef, sauerkraut (ensure the sauerkraut has been squeezed dry), Worcestershire sauce and Swiss cheese.
- Transfer the mixture into a crockpot that has been lightly greased or use a crockpot liner for easy clean up.
- Cover the crockpot and cook on low for approximately 2 1/2 hours. Stir the mixture halfway through the cooking process and check at 2 hours to assess how much more cooking time is needed (crockpots are different). You want the mixture thoroughly heated through and the cheese melted with some slight browning around the edges of the dip.
- Once cooked, place the dip into a serving bowl and serve immediately with rye or pretzel chips.