Last Updated on January 15, 2024 by Carne Diem
Origin: North American, American
Method: Stove Top, Oven or SmokerJump to Recipe
Now that Thanksgiving is over if you are like me you enter the 1 week period of "what can I do with these leftovers?" While a traditional leftover turkey sandwich with all of the fixings is a perfectly good way to go, the last couple years we decided to go a slightly different route. Our Louisville Hot Brown sandwich is great year round, but really shines with some leftover smoked turkey. Whether you smoked a whole bird or even just a simple smoked turkey breast, this Kentucky favorite is begging to be tried.
Table of contents
Making the Louisville Hot Brown
The Hot Brown sandwich was created at the Brown Hotel in, (you guessed it), Louisville, Kentucky in 1926. The Louisville Hot Brown is an open faced sandwich topped with turkey breast, a rich mornay cheese sauce, bacon, and tomato and then cooked or broiled until golden and bubbly.
To make Kentucky's Turkey Sandwich you will need bread, turkey breast or deli turkey, bacon, tomato, shredded cheese, and paprika. You will also need to make a simple mornay sauce. A mornay sauce is a simple béchamel sauce with cheese added. It is easy to make and great over vegetables, in nachos like our Asiago Cream Nachos with Blackened Chicken and Chorizo, or as a creamy base for our Florentine Style Salmon Lasagna.
For the bread for our Louisville Hot Brown we chose a Garlic Texas Toast. As mentioned we prefer using smoked turkey breast but roasted or your favorite works well too. For the cheese for the sandwich we used white cheddar.
Making the Mornay Sauce
To make the mornay sauce you will need to make a roux. First, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan, over medium heat. Next, whisk in 1 tablespoon of flour. Continue to whisk continuously for about 2 minutes. Do not allow to burn. If you see dark flecks, the flour is burned, so discard and try again. You can do this step at a lower heat for a slightly longer time if you are having troubles with the flour burning.
Next, reduce the heat to low and start slowly whisking in the cream about a quarter of a cup at a time. Once the cream has been added, stir in the cheese and continue to heat over low heat until the cheese is all melted. For our Louisville Hot Brown Sandwiches we typically use a mixture of white cheddar and Asiago cheese. Be certain to reserve ¼ cup of the white cheddar to topping the sandwich.
Assemble and Cook the Louisville Hot Brown Sandwiches
Preheat your oven or smoker to 425 degrees.
Brown both sides of the Texas Toast for about 3 minutes per side.
Place the toast in a baking dish or baking sheet and top each piece of Texas toast with a thick slice of smoked turkey. Top with tomato and then top with mornay sauce.
Sprinkle with the remaining white cheddar and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. If you would like the tops of your Louisville Hot Brown Sandwiches a little more browned, you can place the sandwich under a broiler for a minute or two. Make certain not to burn the sandwich.
While the sandwich is baking, fry up the bacon slices to your desired doneness.
Once the Hot Brown is done baking remove each sandwich to a plate. Top each sandwich with some bacon slices.
Finally dust the top with a little paprika and parsley and serve while warm. If you love sandwiches as much as we do then be sure to try our other great sandwich recipes:
- Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich
- Uruguay's Chivito: The Ultimate Steak Sandwich
- Baltimore Pit Beef : Maryland Style Roast Beef Sandwich
- Tempura Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
- Grilled Picanha Sandwich
- New York Chopped Cheese Sandwich
- Dutch Oven Crumbly Burger: Maid Rite Style Loose Meat Sandwich
- Pizza Oven Meatball Grinders
Frequently Asked Questions
A typical Louisville style Hot Brown sandwich is a baked open faced sandwich consisting of turkey, bacon, cheese sauce, cheese, and often tomatoes.
Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. If you tried and enjoyed our recipe please share with others and please leave us a comment and review. We also love to see your pics so don’t forget to tag us @Carne_Diem_Culinary or #CarneDiemBlog. To be notified of future recipes please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, or sign up for our e-mail notifications. Until next time, Carne Diem!
Louisville Hot Brown Turkey Sandwich
- Sauce Pan
- Baking Pan
- 4 Slices Garlic Texas Toast toasted
- 4 Slices Thick Sliced Smoked Turkey Breast
- 4 Slices Thick Cut Bacon
- 1 Tomato sliced
- ¼ Cup White Cheddar Cheese shredded
- 1 Tablespoon Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 5 ounces Asiago Cheese shredded
- ¼ Cup White Cheddar Cheese shredded
Making the mornay sauce
- To make the mornay sauce melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan, over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, whisk in 1 tablespoon of flour. Continue to whisk continuously for about 2 minutes.
- Decrease the temp to low and slowly add in the cream, about ¼ cup at a time, stirring constantly after each addition.
- Stir in the cheese and mix until the cheese is melted. If the sauce is getting too thick, thin with additional cream or milk.
- Cover and keep warm.
Assemble and Bake the Hot Brown
- Preheat your oven or smoker to 425 degrees.
- Brown both sides of the Texas Toast for about 3 minutes per side.
- Place the toast in a baking dish or baking sheet and top each piece of Texas toast with a thick slice of smoked turkey. If using top with tomato and then top with mornay sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining white cheddar and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
- While the sandwich is baking fry up the bacon slices to your desired doneness.
- Once the Hot Brown is done baking remove each sandwich to a plate. Top with bacon and dust the top with a little paprika and parsley.
- Serve warm.