Kentucky Hot Brown Turkey Sandwich Recipe

Kentucky Hot Brown
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 4 Sandwiches (4 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
551 Calories
29g Fat
34g Carbs
38g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 Sandwiches (4 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 551
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 38%
Saturated Fat 14g 68%
Cholesterol 132mg 44%
Sodium 1662mg 72%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 38g
Calcium 497mg 38%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Kentucky hot brown sandwich has been a tradition since its creation in 1926. Fred K. Schmidt, a chef for Louisville's Brown Hotel, initially made the dish for patrons to enjoy after an evening of dinner and dancing. 

The open-face sandwich starts with a slice of toast. The toast is the base for layers of turkey, sliced tomatoes, a Parmesan cheese sauce (Mornay), and extra grated Parmesan cheese. Place the sandwich on an oven-safe pan or dish and broil it just until the cheese is bubbly and browned. For a traditional hot brown, place two strips of bacon on it just before serving.

This version uses a combination of Parmesan and cheddar cheese.

Make these sandwiches for a sandwich supper or luncheon, or prepare them for a game-day snack.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated, divided)
  • 8 slices toast (crusts trimmed)
  • 1 pound turkey (deli or leftover, cooked turkey, thinly sliced)
  • 4 slices tomato (more if small)
  • 8 strips bacon (crisply cooked and drained)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir until smooth and bubbly.

  3. Add milk, salt, Worcestershire sauce, cheddar cheese, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly.

  4. Cut the trimmed toast in half diagonally and place on a baking sheet (or use individual baking dishes).

  5. Arrange turkey slices on the toast and cover with hot cheese sauce.

  6. Top with tomato slices and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese evenly over the sandwiches.

  7. Place them under the broiler until hot and bubbly and lightly browned.

  8. Top each sandwich with two strips of crispy bacon, placed in the shape of an "X."

  9. Serve and enjoy!