Hot Brown

Hot Brown Horizontal

The hot brown is an iconic dish of Louisville, Kentucky. Created at the Brown Hotel in 1926, it satisfied many a guest hungry from a night of ballroom dancing. Chef Fred Schmidt was inspired by welsh rarebit and made his hot brown using turkey and a variation of mornay sauce. Built in 1923 at an unheard of cost of $4,000,000 dollars the luxurious Brown Hotel still serves them daily.

When to Make a Hot Brown

This dish is wonderfully delicious and easy to make, but we rarely roast a turkey at home. In fact, we do it precisely once a year on Thanksgiving and that’s when this recipe is indispensable. Our family has no fear of leftovers, because this is the perfect way to finish off the turkey. Regardless, we look forward to hot browns almost as much as the thanksgiving meal itself.

Truth be told, this is why we always choose a turkey larger than we need for our holiday dinner!

Making a Hot Brown


Make a thick blond roux with the butter and flour

Mornay sauce

Whisk in the milk and cream, bring to a simmer, remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Thin with milk if necessary.

with toast and tomato

Assemble the hot browns with toast and tomatoes

Hot Brown w turkey

Cover the toast with turkey

Hot Brown ready to bake

Cover it all with mornay sauce, add a little more cheese on top and bake until it begins to brown and bubble 20-30 minutes


Hot Brown

Baked Turkey on Toast covered in Mornay Sauce, garnished with Bacon

  • Author: TJ
  • Yield: 3-4 1x


  • 1012 oz roasted turkey breast – shredded (enough to cover the bread)
  • 5 slices toast – crusts removed
  • 2 roma tomatoes – quartered in wedges
  • 4 TBL butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 TBL flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup + 1 TBL of parmagiana-reggiano cheese – grated and divided
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 slices crispy bacon – garnish
  • Smoked paprika – garnish
  • 2 TBL loosely packed chopped parsley – garnish


Mornay Sauce

  1. Using a heavy bottom pot, melt the butter on medium heat and whisk in the flour until combined and cooked, about 3-4 minutes to make a thick blond roux
  2. Whisk in the cream and milk and heat until it begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes
  3. Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in 1/2 cup of the parmagiano-reggiano cheese and whisk until smooth
  4. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste
  5. Thin with milk if necessary and set aside to keep warm


Hot Browns

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Fry the bacon until lightly crisped and set aside to drain on paper towels
  3. Lightly toast the bread, slice two pieces into quarters diagonally and remove the crusts
  4. Chop the parsley and set aside
  5. Place three pieces of toast in the center of an oven proof dish. Place the diagonally cut halves on either end and on the top and bottom of the three whole pieces
  6. Cover the bread with the turkey
  7. Quarter the tomatoes and place above and tuck above and below the bread
  8. Cover the bread and turkey generously with the mornay sauce
  9. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of grated cheese over the top
  10. Place the dish into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown and bubble
  11. Remove from oven, arrange the bacon on top, garnish with the paprika and parsley
  12. Serve immediately