Reuben Balls with Thousand Island Dressing

For me, these balls are a lot like the recent NFL combine – during the off-season you gotta find next seasons talent, or at least make it bearable until Fall.  I’m ever on the hunt for perfect gameday fare – and I, ladies and gentleman, have struck culinary gold!

From the fabulous dudes at The Meatball Shop in New York City, this balls are all that you want in a portable snacking device, and everything that you love about the most fabulous sandwich on the planet.

I highly recommend checking out their shop and their site.  A website with ball jokes and ball recipes? I’m in!

As soon as they were gone it was requested that I make them again.  I’d say that’s a pretty decent stamp of approval.

This picture in no way conveys their awesomeness.  You get everything – the saltiness of the corned beef, the bits of rye bread, melty Swiss cheese, the crunch and taste of the Caraway seeds, and the fat from the pork all combine to form the most perfect bite.  It’s pure pleasure in ball form!

While the balls are cookin’, a must read – The Meatball Shop Cookbook.

Reuben Balls with Thousand Island Dressing

For dressing:


1 c mayonnaise

1/3 c ketchup

1/3 c sweet gherkin pickles, chopped

1/3 c whole milk

2 t salt

2 t caraway seeds


Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

For meatballs:


1 lb corned beef, finely diced

1 lb ground pork

1 c chopped sauerkraut (squeezed to remove as much liquid as possible)

1 lb Swiss cheese, grated with a large box grater

1/2 t salt

1 t caraway seeds

2 slices rye bread, finely diced

5 eggs

2 tbl olive oil


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly blended.

Drizzle olive oil into a large baking dish (9 by 13 inches), coating the entire surface evenly (use your hand to spread the oil).

Roll the mixture into round 1-inch meatballs, packing the meat firmly.

Place meatballs into the oiled baking dish so they are lined up evenly in rows and each is touching their neighbor.

Roast meatballs in oven until firm and cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Allow meatballs to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tray.

Serve with Thousand Island dressing.

8 thoughts on “Reuben Balls with Thousand Island Dressing

  1. Man, you had me on this one until I saw the addition of pork. I’m always on the lookout for good meat dishes that don’t include pork, and I thought I’d found one. Why did you decide to add pork to this dish, for the moisture of it? I mean, I realize how popular pork of all forms is today–it finds its way into everything including desserts, but for the non-pork consumers of this world, that is most frustrating.

    Well, forgive me for sounding off here, your reuben balls recipe sounds amazing. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen the most fabulous sandwich on the planet include any kind of pork ingredient. I guess my comment will be pretty unpopular, but there, now I’ve said it. You do have a clever looking site and it’s fun to read. Good luck to you!

    • Hi Naomi, thanks for the comment. I got the recipe from the Meatball Shop, and I believe their decision to use pork is based on its high fat content, without flavor that would take away from the corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and bread.

      I understand that many people would shy away from this because of the pork, so I’ve tried to come up with a substitution that I think will retain the original concept as best as I can. I think use a high fat ground beef, 85-15, with the addition of an egg and possibly a few tablespoons of oil would work great. Also adding another piece of chopped rye might do the trick. I think, in addition to the high fat content, the pork aides in binding the ball. I think the egg, oil, bread combo might do the trick while still providing you with a delicious Reuben ball!

      Thanks again for checking me out, and never hesitate to comment!

  2. While the recipe sounds enticing, of more interest to me is the photograph of my Grandma’s dishes. These are a “Currier and Ives” type pattern that were sold as a premium when you shopped for your groceries at the A&P store. I always helped Grandma save her receipts and total them up and then we’d go off to the store to choose the next piece. We have most of what is left at our lake house and they are such a memory of my childhood. The A&P that we shopped at is also gone. Another childhood memory is when the Chicago mafia blew the front door off, and the grocery store closed. Terrorism isn’t new to this era!

  3. Made these tonight for my hubby, and he loves them! Pork and all 😉
    Tastes just like a Reuben. I served them on dinner rolls. Delicious!

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