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The Legendary Kentucky Hot Brown -TSLCThere is nothing like a Kentucky hot brown from the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.   A Louisville tradition worldwide.  The Louisville hot brown has been featured in every major magazine and newspaper from Southern Living to the Wall Street Journal. The recipe below is how I make my hot brown.  You can read about the hotel and get the original recipe here:  The Hot Brown at the Brown Hotel.

Ingredients (Makes Four Hot Browns):

1 ounce real butter or about 2 tablespoons

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 pint of heavy cream

1/4 cup (plus extra cheese to sprinkle over hot brown) Pecorino Romano Cheese or can use fresh grated parmesan cheese

Sliced roasted turkey breast (I just use however much I would want on a sandwich)

Salt and Pepper to taste (I like a lot of pepper on mine)

4 slices Texas Toast with the crust trimmed off

8 slices bacon, cooked till crispy or however you like it

4 Roma Tomatoes, cut in half or can use regular tomatoes



In a saucepan, melt butter and whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste (roux). Cook for two minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk in heavy cream and cook over medium heat about 3 minutes until mixture begins to simmer. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese until the sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For each Hot Brown, place one slice of toast in an oven safe dish and cover with slices of turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Next, pour one fourth of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.

The hot brown from the Brown Hotel is always served at Kentucky Derby Parties each year and is a truly original Kentucky recipe.

Note:   If you don’t have individual baking dishes that can go under the broiler, a metal pie pan works great or you can put several in a large baking dish and put under the broiler at one time.  Some recipes add sliced ham along with the turkey.


Don’t Forget to Pin!  kentucky-hot-brown

If you like this recipe, you might also like:

Ham, Potato and Broccoli Casserole

Creamy Cauliflower Casserole

Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese

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  1. Pingback: Derby Day Roundup - Julias Simply Southern

  2. Terri Fant says:

    Can you use 1/4 c. Of corn starch instead of flouer?

  3. This sounds so good. I have never had this. I will be making it. Thank you!

  4. I recognize Bybee pottery anywhere! (I only have two individual ovals, and they aren’t ruffled, so I make my hot browns two at a time in regular ovals, because we have too many people living at home, still!) Hot browns are favorites in our house, and I will be trying your recipe as soon as my tomatoes get ripe!

  5. I’m a FL gal fixing the Hot Brown for the first time tomorrow for our KY friends and my KY husband. What else do you serve with it? Thanks! I love your site and all the good recipes!

    • The Southern Lady says:

      You could serve a veggie of some kind, you already have your bread in the hot brown or just the hot brown and a salad. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you so much and so happy to have you on the site.

  6. I was lucky enough to have a Kentucky Hot Brown at the Brown Hotel in Louisville! It was so delicious. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  7. Had never hard of it. No idea if you could get one in Texas or not. Have never seen the frozen Texas toast here. Could go to our small grocery here and get the Texas bread in a loaf.

  8. All Kentucky state parks offer this dish but they also add country ham to it.

  9. Hot Brown,on 4th street in 1971.On pass from Ft.Knox..I bet they are still as great now , as they were 40 years ago.

  10. Kimball Bergeron says:

    We’ve made the Kentucy Brown the day after Thanksgiving for years.
    Thanks for sharing. They are delicious.

  11. barbara blackburn says:

    Is the turkey / ham from a deli or can this be from left over baked ham and/or turkey.

  12. Thank you for sharing! I had the pleasure of trying my first authentic KY Hot Brown at The Brown Hotel this past week. It was amazing! I can’t wait to try your recipe.

  13. Kimberly Bumpas says:

    I have seen this recipe before but didn’t save it and it was lost to me. I recently received numerous vintage small baking dishes from my grandmother , they would be perfect for this! I’m definitely trying this recipe asap! Thank you!

  14. Should you toast the Texas toast first? The only Texas toast I have ever seen in my area is in the freezer section and either comes with cheese on it or butter and garlic.

    • I used the frozen toast, too, Mary because that is all I can find here. You could use any kind of bread you like and toast it or use the frozen. I let mine thaw some and it was fine when you put it under the broiler. I did not toast it first but if I use some other kind of bread I do toast it first.

  15. Thelma Dawson says:

    I am baking some Rye bread for the first time, what could I use instead of a pastry cloth?

    • You can substitute parchment paper or a silicone mat if it says to use it for rolling out the dough. Parchment paper can be bought in a roll at the grocery just like wax paper.

  16. msippigurl says:

    Looks DEEELISH, and I love that baking dish, what a beautiful presentation! Gotta make this soon. Thanks for sharing the tip for reducing the sauce ingredients by half.

    • The dish is Bybee Pottery. They are no longer in business but you can find it lots of times at flea markets. It will always be marked with a BB on the bottom. I have collected it for years. Thank you for your kind comment on the presentation. Have a great weekend.

      • Thank you, Judy, for the info on the dish. I will look around online for it. In the meantime, guess I’ll have to make my sandwiches in something else! BTW, I absolutely looooove your “FRIED CABBAGE WITH SAUSAGE”! I would have never dreamed that tomatoes, cabbage, and smoked sausage could taste soooo good together!! No more plain ole cooked cabbage for me. :))

      • Cora Lea Gaither says:

        Love the pottery.

  17. What a great share, Judy! I have never heard of the Legendary Kentucky Hot Brown. The photo and the ingredients look and sound so good! Pinning! Thanks for the great share for this weekend!

    • Cora Lea Gaither says:

      State Tradition during the Derby but is good anytime. Every time I went to Louisville, I had to go to Brown Hotel to get one. We can’t find half the ingredients I am used to cooking with and I miss simple things like Vidalia onions, silver queen corn, half runner beans or any bean that looks like they have beans. Hot Browns rank up there not quite even with My Old Kentucky Home, but would be in the top 10.

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