Looking for the best Reuben appetizer recipe to share for St. Patrick’s day celebrations and more? These idyllic keto friendly Reuben muffin cups are an easy and delicious way to enjoy your favorite sandwich but with fewer net carbs.
Corned beef is beyond delicious and with another St. Patrick’s day around the corner, it’s safe to say I have Reuben’s on my mind. A classic Reuben is made with a delicious marble rye, sliced corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and some classic thousand island dressing. Grill it all up in a pan and serve it hot with a side of pickles and it’s the perfect sandwich.
Not exactly low carb or keto friendly however, but that’s all about to change!
These Swiss cheese shell cups make the perfect bite sized keto Reuben appetizer. If you’ve tried my Cheese and Mushroom tarts recipe, then you know exactly where this Reuben sandwich inspired version is going! Whether you’re on a keto diet or not, these hit the spot and keep the carb count low!
Get the complete recipe below and read through the post for the quick and easy how-to tutorial so you can recreate this at home!
- Knife & Cutting Board
- Baking Sheet and Parchment Paper
- Muffin Tins
- Saute Pan
- Small Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Spoons
I made this keto Reuben recipe because frankly, the world needed it. How can you not love this classic sandwich? All that delicious crispy corned beef, homemade dressing, gooey Swiss, and some sauerkraut to tie it all together.
This recipe is honestly super easy to create but it does have a few moving parts. I create a little tutorial on my Instagram stories when I made these originally, you can check the highlight section as well for a better visual aid if needed.
Keto Friendly Thousand Island Dressing-
In my opinion, the dressing is what really ties everything together and I always like to prep this first to get the flavors to meld and marry. This dressing recipe is so similar to the sauce I made on my Keto In N Out recipe and my Low Carb Po Boy. It’s so versatile and so easy to recreate even if you don’t eat keto!
Start with the base of the dressing, mayo. Use your favorite mayo or sub with avocado mayo if you’re looking to avoid canola or vegetable oils. Mix in a few tablespoons of sugar free ketchup, a little pickle juice (dill is preferred to reduced sugars), some minced onion and minced dill pickles.
Make sure to taste the mixture before seasoning. Because I like to sub pickle juice for vinegar here, it already tastes fairly salty. I usually just add a little more pepper and test taste to see if it needs a little more ketchup or not.
Whisk it all together and let it sit and refrigerate until you need it. You can easily make this ahead of time and store it in a jar for salads or other recipes too since it makes a larger batch that you would need for this recipe.
Corned Beef and Sauerkraut Prep-
Next up, you need to prep the cheese cup filling! The cups come together quickly so I find its best to have everything else prepped and ready to go before hand.
I like to sliced the corned beef up into small pieces. I just purchased about 1/3 lb from the deli for these six cups. Saute it on medium heat until it starts to get crispy, steal a few pieces because it’s so delicious, then set it aside in a small bowl.
For the sauerkraut, I prefer fresh if possible. This would be anything in the refrigerator section and usually has way more probiotics (but we heat this so it sort if defeats the purpose there but you have leftovers to munch on too). I like to rinse mine in a strainer to get some of the tang off and squeeze out excess liquid so it doesn’t leak through the cheese shell.
Toss the sauerkraut in the same pan you cooked the corned beef in. Let it heat through and set it aside as well so it’s ready for assembly.
How To Make Swiss Cheese Shells-
Make sure you have your oven preheated fully to 375 F. I used two baking sheets so I could get all my cheese cooked at once. For ease with this recipe, I decided to just use deli Swiss that was pre-sliced from the meat counter but you could also use fresh grated shredded Swiss cheese instead.
Place the cheese slices (or about 1/2 cup of shredded) spaced out onto a parchment covered pan. Bake for 6-7 minutes until the edges look slightly browned and the middle is very bubbly. The trick to making these work is to let them cool for 1-2 minutes before forming into cups.
Things to note-
- Baked cheese is very greasy
- You still need to use cooking spray on the bottom of your muffin tin just in case
- Use a spatula to help you remove the cheese shell off the pan
- Work quickly and efficiently so the cheese hardens on the muffin tin
I used an inverted muffin tin and layered two slices of Swiss over the inverted muffin cup. This Helped make sure the holes in the Swiss were all covered, but you would probably not have to do this with shredded cheese.
Use your hands to form the cheese shell around the cup or use a second greased muffin tin to push over the top to help them form. Let them cool for about 15 minutes so they retain their shape and then pop them off gently and place on the inside of the tin to build them.
Layering and Filling-
You can do this a few different ways, I just simple places a spoonful of sauerkraut in the bottom of the cup, added a little dressing, then topped with the crispy corned beef. If they get cool at this point and you want to serve them hot, keep them in the muffin tin and pop em in the fridge. Then warm them slightly in the oven until heated through before serving.
I like to add another drizzle of thousand island over the top and a little bit of chive for a pop of color. Serve them out of the tin or place on a platter or plate for serving.
Love yourself some keto friendly Irish inspired recipes? Check these out too-
Make sure to bookmark or Pin this recipe for later! They’re a perfect snack or appetizer and look so adorable too. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Reuben Swiss Cheese Cups (Keto/ Low Carb)
- 12 Slices Swiss Cheese
- 1/3 LB Sliced Corned Beef
- 3/4 cup Sauerkraut Rinsed and Drained
- 1/2 cup Mayo
- 2 tbsp Sugar Free Ketchup
- 2 tbsp Pickle Juice
- 1 tbsp Diced Pickles
- 1 tbsp Minced Onion
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- In a bowl, combine the mayo, ketchup, pickle juice, diced pickles, and minced onion. Mix well and taste test to see if it needs more salt and some pepper. Set aside and let the flavors marinade.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Prep a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper. Lay 6 slices of Swiss spaced out on each sheet and set aside. Do not bake yet!
- Sliced the corned beef into small pieces and saute until crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside. Cook the sauerkraut to warm it through in the same pan and to reduce any leftover liquid. Remove and set aside.
- Grease the bottom of a muffin tin. Bake the cheese slices for 6-7 minutes until the middle is very bubbly and the edges lightly brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool for just 1-2 minutes. Letting them cool to long results in it not taking shape!
- Use a spatula to place one slice over the bottom of a muffin cup, overlap with a second slice. Repeat until you have made 6 cups. Use your hands to mold it over the cup or place another muffin tip over the top to help the shapes form. Let them cool.
- Once cooled, fill your cups with 1-2 tbsp. of sauerkraut, a little dressing, a few more tablespoons of the cooked corned beef, and then drizzle with a little more dressing. I garnished with some chives.
- Serve warm at room temperature. You can pop them off the bottom of the cups and place them on the inside of the muffin tin for easier filling/ shaping once they begin to set. Rewarm (in the muffin tin) in the oven on low heat as well if needed before serving.