My New Favorite Sandwich: The Rachel

I did NOT just name a sandwich after myself.  Promise.

No, this sandwich is a real sandwich.  Made and sold at a real restaurant.  And I first learned about it from one of my favorite real foodies, Jane from This Week for Dinner.

As she shared, “The Rachel” is a simpler, lighter version of the Reuben sandwich.  Grilled bread hugging swiss cheese, turkey, cole slaw and a schmear of thousand island dressing.  That’s all there is to it.

And, you can throw it together in minutes … but if you want to take it up a notch, then make it with homemade dressings.

OH, MY SWOON…. there is nothing better than homemade cole slaw and homemade thousand island dressing.  And since they use basic pantry and fridge staples, they are very frugal to make whenever you have a hankering for this sandwich.

I tweak my thousand island dressing and give it a kick with Sambal Oleck — a chili paste you can find in the Asian food aisle of your grocery store.  It adds a great pinch of heat that pairs well with the cool and crunchy sweetness of cole slaw.

As for the cole slaw, that dressing is about as basic as you can get with mayo, vinegar and sugar.  I prefer using white balsamic or rice wine vinegars and a dash of poppy seeds.  YUM!

So, the next time you’re ready for a new grilled cheese sandwich, give the Rachel a try.  And get ready to fall in love.

The Rachel Sandwich … with a Kick

Ingredients Per Sandwich:

  1. 2 slices of Bread
  2. 1 slice of Swiss Cheese
  3. 1 slice of deli Turkey
  4. 1/4-1/2 cup of Poppy-Seed Broccoli Cole Slaw
  5. Spicy Thousand Island Dressing
  6. Butter


  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Butter one side of each slice of bread and place one of the slices into your skillet, buttered side down.
  3. Spread some of the Spicy Thousand Island dressing on the toasting bread (as much as desired) and then top it with the slice of Swiss cheese and the turkey.
  4. Carefully spread the Poppy-Seed Broccoli Slaw over the turkey and the top with the other slice of bread, buttered side up.
  5. Let the sandwich cook for a few minutes and then flip to let the other side toast.
  6. Remove when both sides are golden brown and serve immediately.

Recipe by Rachel Lacy, adapted from This Week for Dinner.


Poppy-Seed Broccoli Slaw


  1. 1 16-ounce Package of Broccoli Slaw*
  2. 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  3. 2 Tablespoons of Sugar
  4. 2 Tablespoons of White Balsamic
  5. 1 Teaspoon of Poppy Seeds


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the mayo, sugar, white balsamic and poppy seeds, whisking till fully incorporated.
  2. Fold in the broccoli slaw till completely covered in the dressing.
  3. Chill, covered, till ready to serve.


*Broccoli Slaw is a mixture of shredded broccoli and cabbage. I prefer it to traditional full cabbage slaws because it stays crispier in the fridge and provides a great texture for sandwiches (The Rachel or Pulled Pork Sandwiches).

You can make your own Broccoli slaw with a food processor or, to save time, it can also be found in your refrigerated salad section at the grocery store.

Recipe by Rachel Lacy


Spicy Thousand Island Dressing


  1. 1 Cup of Mayonnaise
  2. 1/4 Cup of Chili Sauce*
  3. 1/3 Cup of Sweet Pickle Relish
  4. 1/2 Teaspoon of Celery Seeds


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk all the ingredients together.
  2. Store in and air-tight container and chill till ready to use.


Chili Sauce is sold under the name “Sambal Olek” and can be found in the Asian aisle of your grocery store, usually with soy sauce and other Asian condiments.

Recipe by Rachel Lacy


  1. says

    I have been making these for years, and just called it a turkey reuben, whether I did it with kraut or slaw. Now I will think of you when I make one :)