Tilapia Reuben Sandwich Recipe

I think I could eat any meat in a Reuben style sandwich.  I love turkey, I love pastrami and corned beef—but, Tilapia?  Hmm.  Fish on a Reuben?  When the husband mentioned that he had heard about a Grouper Reuben—and that we should make a  Tilapia Reuben--I was a little hesitant to give it a try.  I just wasn’t sure how to make flavors work together in an edible fashion.  How should I prepare the fish to blend with the traditional Reuben’s sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing and rye bread?  With horseradish, mustard, and pretzels—of course.  Our Tilapia Reuben recipe was born.

Tilapia Reuben sandwich cut in half on a plate

Ingredients for a Tilapia Reuben
First for the Tilapia or Fish Cakes
1 lb. Tilapia or similar, mild, white fish, poached
2 Tbsp. Chopped Yellow Onion
¼ tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Dill Weed
3 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 Egg, Lightly Beaten
1/3 c. finely ground Mini Pretzels (about 20)

2 tsp. Olive Oil for frying the Tilapia “cakes”

Then for the Tilapia Reuben
1 ½ c. Sauerkraut, drained and warmed
6 Slices of Swiss Cheese,
8 Slices of Rye Bread
Butter (to spread on bread before grilling the Reubens)
Instructions for a Tilapia Reuben
Mix the tilapia or fish cake ingredients.  Combine the fish, onion, seasonings, mustard, horseradish sauce, egg, and 1/3. c. ground pretzels in a large mixing bowl.  Divide the fish mixture into four equal, cake-like patties.

Fry tilapia cakes and keep them warm.  Preheat oil in a non-stick skillet until hot—but, not smoking.  Over medium heat, fry fish cakes on each side until golden brown (about 2-5 minutes per side). Remove from heat and keep the fish cakes warm.

pinnable image for a tilapia reuben recipe

Prepare the rye bread—and pre-heat a griddle or grill pan.  Butter one side of each of the slices of rye bread.

Build the Tilapia Reuben and grill it.   Place a slice of rye bread, buttered side down, onto the griddle or grill pan, add ½ slice of Swiss cheese to the bread, then layer on one tilapia “cake”, ¼ of the sauerkraut, a Tbsp. of the Thousand Island salad dressing and a full slice of Swiss Cheese.  Top with a slice of rye bread, buttered side up.   Fry on each side until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. 

Serve.  Slice the sandwich in half and serve with additional Thousand Island salad dressing for dipping.  We usually serve with Broccoli Salad or Cole Slaw.

OR--Make it a Bunless Tilapia Reuben!

Bunless fried tilapia fish cake with swiss cheese, saurkraut & Thousand Island Dressing

My youngest daughter is not a huge sandwich lover--so she just melts cheese on the prepared fish cake, adds some saurkraut, and dips it into Thousand Island Dressing on the side!

Bread or no bread--the flavors are a hit!

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