Kentucky Hot Brown

5 from 2 reviews

Kentucky Hot Browns are pure comfort food – an open-faced turkey sandwich topped with sliced tomatoes, bubbly cheese sauce and crispy bacon. Mom added unique touches to the original hot brown recipe – yellow Cheddar cheese and sliced ham – making our family’s version unique, and we think even more tasty. Note that the recipe can easily be scaled up or down, depending on desired portion size as well as number of portions.



Cheese Sauce



Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper (a quarter-sheet pan works well).

Cheese Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 3 minutes.
  2. Whisk in milk, raise the heat to medium, and continue cooking, stirring, until very thick.
  3. Stir in cheese and continue cooking, stirring, until the cheese melts.
  4. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Set aside and keep warm.


  1. Place toast slices in one layer on prepared baking sheet.
  2. Put 2 slices of turkey and 1 of ham on each piece of toast (fold slices in half if large).
  3. Place 2 slices of tomato on top of each sandwich, overlapping if needed. foil lined baking sheet pan with Kentucky Hot Browns, no cheese sauce
  4. Spoon cheese sauce over top of all.
  5. Top with 2 slices of bacon on top of each sandwich, making an “X” shape.
  6. Bake until sauce bubbles, around 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.


Variation on baking pan: these sandwiches can also be prepared in a rimmed baking dish or in individual gratin dishes.

Tip on fixing runny cheese sauce: Hot Brown cheese sauce needs to be fairly thick, in our opinion. If yours is runny, here’s how to fix it – in a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon flour with 1 tablespoon of the sauce. It will form a paste. Slowly whisk in 1 tablespoon water, just until smooth (no lumps). Add another tablespoon of water if needed. Slowly whisk flour mixture into sauce and cook, over medium-low heat, until thickened.

Keywords: hot sandwich, turkey, Mornay sauce

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