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Mini Rueben Appetizers Made Skinny

Here’s a classic deli sandwich turned into a bite-sized appetizer. I love serving these whenever I’m having company over or even as a fun lunch. They would be terrific to serve while watching football, too! These little gems are so delicious and simple to make. You can prep them in advance and pop them in the oven, just before serving. Each skinny, mini appetizer is only 61 calories, 2 grams of fat and just 1 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS!  Get ready for rave reviews. Everyone loves them!

Mini Rueben Appetizers Made Skinny

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients For The Thousand Island Dressing:

⅓ cup Nancy’s Skinny Ranch Dressing or reduced-fat mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chili sauce or ketchup

2 teaspoons pickle relish

1 teaspoon mustard

¼ teaspoon paprika

Ingredients for Reuben:

1 cocktail loaf of rye bread

1 (16 oz) can sauerkraut, drained

½ lb lean pastrami or turkey pastrami, thinly sliced and quartered (see shopping tip)

6 slices reduced-fat Swiss cheese, cut into fourths

Mustard for dipping, optional


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, mix together all the Thousand Island ingredients.

3. For easy clean up, line a cookie sheet with foil. Place 24 cocktail rye on the cookie sheet in a single layer.

4. Spread each piece with 1 teaspoon of Thousand Island Dressing.

5. Place one piece of pastrami on top of each.

6. Add about 1 tablespoon of sauerkraut on top of that.

7. Add a small amount of dressing on top of the sauerkraut.

8. Top each with one piece of Swiss cheese.

9. Bake for about 8 minutes until cheese is melted. Place on a serving plate with a side dish of mustard, if desired,  for dipping.  Serve at once.

Makes 24 appetizers

Food Facts

Depending on who you talk to, the Reuben was invented in the early 1900s’ either at Reuben’s Delicatessen in New York City or by Reuben Kay at a hotel in Nebraska during a weekly poker game.

Sauerkraut is made by combining shredded cabbage, salt and sometimes spices and allowing the mixture to ferment.

Healthy Benefit

Sauerkraut is an excellent source of vitamin C as well as some of the B vitamins. It does contain lots of sodium but you can greatly reduce it by rinsing under water before using.

Shopping Tips

I found very lean uncured pastrami containing “no nitrites” at Trader Joe’s. You could also use turkey pastrami.

Most supermarkets sell cocktail rye bread. It’s usually found in the fresh deli section. You can also use regular rye bread.  Just cut 6 pieces into quarters before you assemble each sanwich.

Sargento and Alpine make reduced-fat Swiss Cheese. Most supermarket’s carry this type of cheese along with Trader Joe’s.  If you can’t find it, substitute reduced-fat Jarlsberg, mozzarella, or provolone cheese.

Serving Tip

Most people will want to eat 2-3 appetizers. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

Weight Watchers (
old points) 1
Weight Watchers POINTS

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 mini rueben appetizer
61 calories, 2 g fat, 5g protein, 5g carbs, 1g fiber, 303mg sodium, 2g sugar

FAT FACTS: for 1 appetizer using full fat ingredients
121 calories, 8.5g fat, 8g protein, 7g carbs, 0g fiber, 475mg sodium

Find more delicious recipes on Nancy Fox’s website, Skinny Kitchen

Nancy Fox

Nancy Fox is no stranger to the food industry. She founded Mrs. Beasley's, a gift-basket company featuring baskets full of decadent baked goods. It became the "hot" gift to give among the Hollywood community. 
Nancy later opened 2 low fat restaurants called Nancy’s Healthy Kitchen. Her line of reduced-fat cookies were featured on "Oprah's Favorites" gift show. Continuing her passion for cooking and baking Nancy created a recipe website called Skinny Kitchen. Each week she shares skinny recipes, cooking and kitchen tips, food finds and the healthy benefits of many recipes. There’s also nutritional facts and Weight Watchers POINTS on each recipe.

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