Pastrami Sandwich


My husband’s parents are from New York City, so he grew up enjoying pastrami sandwiches—a fixture of the Jewish delis found throughout the Big Apple.  I decided to try my hand at making them for my New York-themed Belmont Stakes watch party.  According to my husband, they were perfect!



8 slices rye bread

1 1/2 lbs pastrami (beef), very thinly sliced

8 slices Swiss cheese

Coleslaw (recipe follows)

Russian Dressing (recipe follows)

Cornichons or pickle slices, for garnish


1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Place two slices of bread on a cutting board with the bottom edges aligned.  Spread each slice of bread with Russian dressing.

3. Layer 1/4 of the pastrami on one slice of bread.

4. Place 2 slices of Swiss cheese on top of the pastrami, overlapping if necessary.

5. Spoon a layer of coleslaw over the cheese.

6. Place the remaining slice of bread, dressing-side down, on top of the sandwich.

7. Transfer the prepared sandwich to a baking sheet, then repeat this process with the remaining ingredients, making 4 sandwiches total.

8. Place the sandwich-laden baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sandwich is warmed through.

9. Remove the sandwiches from the oven and return them, one at a time, to the cutting board.  Using a serrated knife, cut the sandwich in half.  Spear a cornichon or pickle slice with a toothpick, then push the toothpick through one half of the sandwich to hold it all together.  Do this for the other half of the sandwich.  Repeat this process with the remaining sandwiches.  Serve immediately.

Makes 4 sandwiches 



Russian Dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise, such as Helman’s

2 Tbsp ketchup-style chili sauce, such a Heinz

1/2 Tbsp prepared horseradish

1/2 tsp hot sauce, such as Tabasco

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp kosher salt


Whisk the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.  Use immediately or store in a an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week



1 1/4 cup mayonnaise, such as Helman’s

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

2 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 small head of green cabbage, thinly sliced (about 1 lb)

1/2 small head of green cabbage, thinly sliced (about 1 lb)

1/2 medium-sized carrot, julienned

1/2 red bell pepper, julienned


Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk until the sugar dissolves.  Add the cabbage, carrot, and bell pepper to the bowl.  Toss to combine the ingredients and coat the vegetables in the dressing.  Cover and chill the coleslaw in the refrigerator for at least an hour before eating to allow the cabbage to wilt and the flavors to marry.


🥪 These make great sliders, too.  Either use party-sized rye bread or cut regular-sized slices cut in half.  Instead of slicing the mini-sandwiches in half, serve them whole, speared with pickle-topped toothpicks.



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