This baked Reuben crescent ring appetizer is chock full of the delicious flavors that we all love in a classic Reuben sandwich but served in a fun, appetizer form. Buttery, flaky crescent roll dough is wrapped around tender corned beef, sauerkraut, cheese, and 1,000 Island dressing, Russian dressing or our homemade dressing. Then, it's baked to golden perfection.
It's always a big hit!
I've loved Reuben sandwiches my entire life. From the first time I had one as a child, I was hooked. Those delicious flavors all combining was a flavor explosion in my mouth.
Tender, salty corned beef combined with tangy, sweet sauerkraut, the dressing, and all that melty cheese on toasted rye bread...
Wow. It hit my tastebuds so hard that they never recovered. I've been hooked on the flavors in Reuben sandwiches ever since.
I've made hundreds of Reubens over the years. I can't get enough of them, and neither can my family. I've made them the classic way.
I've used different bread. I've used different cheese. I've done everything I could do to switch them up and keep them fresh. I even made Reuben sliders.
I was running out of ways to make variations on the Reuben theme.
Then, one day while I was at a potluck, I was eating a crescent ring appetizer, and it came to me. Put the Reuben flavors into a crescent ring! And that's just what I did. Let me tell you, it's delicious.
Tracing the History of Reuben Sandwiches and Crescent Rolls
This baked Reuben crescent ring appetizer combines all the zesty flavors we love in a Reuben sandwich with the flaky, buttery crescent roll crust that we enjoy so much in both sweet and savory crescent rings.
It's an absolute match made in appetizer Heaven, but without either of these foods, I'd have never thought to make my Reuben-filled crescent creation.
History of Reuben Sandwiches
The Reuben may be a classic sandwich, but it actually hasn't been around that long. Food historians think that the Reuben was created sometime in the early 1900s, but even though that's a recent food invention relatively speaking, no one really knows who invented it.
There are two competing claims to the Reuben throne, and to this day, food historians haven't been able to confirm which of them, if either, are correct.
In one version, Reuben Kulakofsky invented the sandwich sometime in the 1920s. In another, the sandwich was created in 1914 by Arnold Reuben. They both sound plausible, and they might even both be true. We'll probably never know, though.
Reuben Kualkofsky's Claim
This story asserts that Reuben Kulakofsky, a grocer in Omaha, Nebraska, asked for a sandwich made of corned beef and pastrami at his weekly poker game which was held in the Blackstone Hotel from 1920 through 1935.
The story goes that the son of the Blackstone’s owner, Charles Schimmel, made the first Reuben for Kulakofsky. The sandwich became a local hit with it was put on Blackstone’s menu, and that fame spread when a former employee of the hotel won the national sandwich idea contest with the recipe.
The Reuben's Delicatessen Story
In this version of the Reuben story, it was created by Arnold Reuben, the owner of Reuben’s Delicatessen, in New York City.
According to this version, Arnold Reuben created the “Reuben Special” around 1914 when the famed Broadway actress, Marjorie Rambeau visited the deli one night for a snack when the cupboards were low on everything.
Arnold Reuben created the sandwich with what he had on hand, and thus, the Reuben was born.
History of Crescent Rolls
Crescent rings are simply appetizers that are created by unfolding refrigerated crescent roll dough, arranging the resulting strips in a ring, and then folding them over some sort of sweet or savory filling.
I have actually not been able to find out when or where crescent rings were invented, but I can definitely tell you the history of crescent rolls.
Food historians aren’t sure of exactly when crescent rolls were invented, but most believe that it was sometime during the thirteenth century. They’re a variation of the more basic kipferl, an Austrian biscuit baked into a crescent shape.
Unlike kipferl, which is a biscuit, crescent rolls are pastry. They are believed to have evolved from kipferl around 1838 or 1839 when August Zang, an Austrian artillery officer, opened a Viannese Bakery in Paris.
Baked Reuben Crescent Ring Appetizer
This baked Reuben crescent ring appetizer is absolutely delicious and incredibly easy to make. You can make your own corned beef and sauerkraut, or you can go the ultra-easy route, and simply buy both to create a deliciously easy appetizer that you can cook up in no time.
It only takes five ingredients to make this delicious baked Reuben crescent ring appetizer. All of these are readily available at your local grocery store, and they're all ready-made.
- Shredded corned beef
- Sauerkraut, drained
- Crescent rolls
- Pepper Jack cheese
- 1,000 Island dressing, Russian dressing or our homemade
Look at how simple those ingredients are! You can find corned beef and sauerkraut already made at your grocery store, and of course, there are dozens of brands of dressing if you don't want to make homemade and varieties of crescent rolls in the refrigerated section.
For Homemade Sauerkraut
If you want to try your hand at making homemade sauerkraut for this recipe, you absolutely can. It, too, is a super easy recipe with a simple ingredient list.
This recipe became so popular we decided to give the recipe its own post for you to check out.
- Apple cider vinegar
Making the Crescent Ring
Making this baked Reuben crescent ring appetizer is just as easy as the ingredient list. It's a simple matter of mixing, stuffing, wrapping, and baking.
The entire process only takes a few minutes of prep and a few more of baking, and you've got yourself a delicious appetizer that has everyone coming back for more.
You'll find the full recipe complete with amounts and baking time at the end of the post, but this overview will give you an idea of just how easy it is to make this recipe.
- Combine corned beef, sauerkraut, and dressing.
- Separate crescent roll dough triangles and lay each triangle overlapping the next until you've formed a circle on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray.
- Add a layer of cheese and then a layer of corned beef mixture.
- Fold the crescent roll dough over the mixture, tucking the tips underneath the bottom of the ring.
- Baked until lightly browned.
Pretty easy, right? There's very little work involved to create something that tastes so good.
Making Homemade Sauerkraut
Making the sauerkraut for this baked Reuben crescent ring appetizer is just as easy as the rest of the recipe. It only takes a few steps, and it's a real snap.
- Combine coleslaw and salt.
- Simmer apple cider vinegar and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the coleslaw mix and cover with a lid.
- Cook for 10 minutes until tender and almost clear, stirring every couple of minutes to prevent burning.
- Remove the lid and cook for another 2 minutes to let the remaining moisture evaporate.
- Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature.
- Press out the remaining moisture before mixing it with the corned beef.
What ingredients are needed for this recipe?
- Shredded corned beef
- Sauerkraut - Recipe provided below for a quick and easy sauerkraut. You may also use canned sauerkraut.
- Crescent rolls - I used Pillsbury brand, as it is a personal favorite, but your favorite brand will work as well.
- Pepper Jack cheese - It is traditional to use Swiss cheese but Pepper Jack is a wonderful difference in changing the flavor up and adding to the spice.
- Dressing - 1,000 Island, Russian dressing or our homemade
Serving the Baked Reuben Crescent Ring
This baked Reuben crescent ring appetizer is a welcome addition to any function or get-together. Serve it up for a weekend party or movie night. Bring it to a potluck.
It makes a fantastic appetizer at any holiday get-together. No matter where you choose to serve it, it's always a winner, and it's always as easy to serve as it is to make.
Just set out a tray with this crescent ring on it and a bowl of the dressing of your choice in the center, and let everyone enjoy. Just don't let them double dip!
Storing the Crescent Ring
This crescent ring will keep well in the refrigerator for up to five days in an air-tight container. For longer storage, you can freeze the crescent ring for up to two months.
Simply cut the crescent ring into individual pieces, wrap them in cling wrap, and then store them in an air-tight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bags.
To reheat the crescent ring, allow it to defrost in the refrigerator and then reheat it in the oven to get it warm and crispy again.
Give This Reuben Crescent Ring a Try
This bake Reuben crescent ring appetizer is one of the best finger foods you'll ever eat, and it's one of the easiest you'll ever make. It all comes together in less than 10 minutes.
After that, you'll just bake it up and chow down! Serve it to family and friends for any occasion you can think of from special events to afternoon snacking and everything in between. It's so good, I know you'll find yourself making it again and again.
More Reuben Goodness
If this post has you hungry for more delicious Reuben everything, you're in luck! I've got some more great recipes that involve everything we love about Reuben sandwiches from sauerkraut to corned beef.
Reuben Crescent Ring with Sauerkraut
- 2 cups corned beef, shredded
- 1 cup sauerkraut, drained check out our homemade sauerkraut
- 3 tubes crescent rolls
- 8-10 slices pepper Jack or swiss cheese
- ½ cups thousand island dressing, Russian dressing or our homemade dressing, plus more for dipping
- Get out and measure all of your ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prep a baking sheet by spraying it with baking spray and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the corned beef, sauerkraut and dressing and mix.
- Open cans of crescent dough and separate the triangles along the perforated lines. Lay each triangle overlapping each other about ¼” in a circle on the prepped baking sheet.
- Fold cheese in half and lay each piece, slightly overlapping each other on top of the crescent dough ring.
- Evenly spoon the corned beef mixture onto the cheese.
- Take the thin ends of the crescent roll and fold over the corned beef mixture.
- Tuck it in underneath the bottom of the crescent dough. Place into the preheated oven.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until it is lightly browned.
- Serve immediately.
- Enjoy every bite!
- Don't forget to dip in our Reuben Dressing.
- In a large bowl, combine the coleslaw and the salt. In a medium sauce pan, combine the apple cider vinegar and sugar. Let simmer over medium low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add in the coleslaw mix and cover with a lid. Let cook for about 10 minutes until tender and almost clear. Stir every couple of minutes to prevent burning. Remove the lid and let cook for an additional 2 minutes so that the remaining moisture evaporates. Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature. Express any remaining moisture before using in the reuben crescent ring.
- You may also use canned sauerkraut if desired to save time.
- Pepper Jack cheese - It is traditional to use Swiss cheese but Pepper Jack makes a wonderful difference in changing the flavor up.
- Dressing - use thousand island, Russian or our homemade.