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Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches served from the side

The Hot Brown Sandwich Recipe

The Hot Brown Sandwich Recipe is a new one for me! Also known as the Kentucky hot Brown or the Louisville Hot Brown, this open faced sandwich originated in 1926 at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY.

Interestingly, this sandwich was once featured on the hit TV show ‘Throwdown!’ with Bobby where two Chef’s from the originating hotel competed and won against master Chef Bobby Flay.

I’m not really sure how my recipe would stack up against theirs, but if theirs is better, I Guaran-Damn-Tee ya, I wanna try em!

What is a Hot Brown Sandwich

I’m not gonna lie. The first time I heard the name I immediately thought of roast beef smothered with a mushroom brown gravy on a thick piece of delicious rosemary bread.

This sandwich is so much more and then some!

Hot Brown Sandwiches served looking from the top

The Bread

Let’s start this description from the bottom up. A thick cut piece of bread is a must. It has to hold up to the other ingredients and still be a well toast-able bread. If you aren’t local to the Lindale, TX area I suggest Sara Lee Brioche or a a thick cut Texas Toast.

If you are local to Lindale or our surrounding areas, the Italian Loaf and Rosemary Artisan Loaf from right here at Chicken Fried Kitchen work perfectly!

The Meat

The meat used on The Hot Brown Sandwich Recipe is Turkey, traditionally roasted. I decided to take that another step and used some leftover Cajun Smoked Turkey I had from a previous cook. Again, I don’t know how my recipe stacks up against the original, but this is delicious! The turkey is injected with a cajun butter injection, then seasoned to perfection and smoked with pecan wood. AMAZING on this sandwich!

The Sauce

Ooooh the sauce! This magnificent Mornay Sauce is spectacular especially after the Gruyere Cheese is folded in. It adds all the flavor in the world and is perfectly paired with the light smoke of the turkey. I want another plate just writing this! UGH!

The Toppings

The only other very simple ingredients here are the tomatoes and Bacon. I baked my bacon on a broiler sheet as I usually do. I also put the sliced tomato on the Cast Iron Griddle with some salt and pepper and cooked it a little bit before placing it on the sandwich.

The Kentucky Hot Brown

SO, there you have it. Those are the main ingredients to The Hot Brown Sandwich Recipe, born in Kentucky and smoked in Texas!

Lets Get to Cookin’

For the Mornay Sauce, preheat a medium sized cast iron skillet over medium heat. Next, melt the butter in the pan then add the flower stirring quickly to mix. Now begin slowly adding the milk to the mixture. Once everything is smooth and mixed remove from the heat. Add the Nutmeg, Salt, and Hot Sauce of your choice and stir.

Lastly, begin to slowly fold in the finely shredded Gruyere cheese.

Set aside and begin working on the sandwiches.
Hot Brown Sandwich on Cast Iron Griddle

First things first, get a cast iron griddle pre heated over medium heat and preheat your oven on broil. Place the tomato slices on the griddle, drizzle with olive oil and season with Salt and Pepper.

Once the tomatoes begin to soften, remove from heat and place your turkey on the skillet to get it warmed and a little bit crispy as well, about 10 minutes.

Next, place the cooked turkey in a separate bowl, butter the bread, and place that on the Cast Iron Griddle.

Allow that to toast a bit then top with turkey, tomato, and mornay sauce.

Place the entire cast iron griddle in the preheated oven set to broil and broil for about 3 minutes or until the mornay sauce is brown and bubbly.

Serve Hot and Enjoy!

If you’re looking for other amazing sandwiches, take a look at these French Dip Sliders!

The Hot Brown Sandwich Recipe

5 from 14 votes
Recipe by Chicken Fried Kitchen Course: Uncategorized


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The Hot Brown Sandwich Recipe is amazingly warm and comforting, while light at the same time. It’s perfect for leftover Turkey and with Gruyere Cheese.


  • Mornay Sauce
  • 2 Cups 2 Whole Milk

  • 1-1/2 Tbsp 1-1/2 Salted Butter

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Flour

  • 1 1/2 Cup 1 1/2 Gruyere Cheese-Shredded

  • Pinch Nutmeg

  • 1 Tsp 1 Hot Sauce

  • 1 Tsp 1 Black Pepper

  • Sandwiches
  • 2 Slices 2 Thick Cut Bread

  • Smoked Turkey – Chopped

  • 4 Slices 4 Thick Cut Bacon

  • 2 Slices 2 Tomato

  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 Gruyere Cheese

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  • Dried Parsley for sprinkling


  • Mornay Sauce
  • Heat Milk in the microwave for about a minute or until warm.
  • In a Cast Iron Skillet slowly melt butter while whisking in the flour.
  • Begin to add the milk slowly while continuing to whisk together.
  • Remove from heat and stir in Pepper, Nutmeg, and Hot Sauce.
  • Add Gruyere Cheese continuing to whisk and set aside.
  • The Sandwiches
  • Place tomato slices on a preheated Cast Iron Griddle, sprinkle with olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Remove tomatoes and add two slices of bread toasting both sides.
  • Top toast with turkey, tomato, Mornay Sauce, and then sprinkle with extra Gruyere Cheese.
  • Place entire Cast Iron Griddle under Broiler in the oven for about 3 minutes or until the cheese has began to brown.
  • Remove, plate and top each sandwich with two pieces of crispy cooked bacon.

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