Kentucky Hot Browns

In need of a little comfort? Tuck into the classic knife-and-fork sandwich, or turn the hot combo into a tart, or a decadent topping for biscuits, cornbread, or pan-friend cheese grits—yummm!

Mary Allen Perry
Kentucky Hot Browns
Try our recipe for classic Kentucky Hot Browns or a decadent variation of this Southern dish.
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Recipe: Kentucky Hot Browns

The History of Kentucky Hot Browns 
In the 1920s, dinner dances at Louisville’s Brown Hotel drew more than 1,000 guests. During band breaks, hungry revelers refueled on chef Fred Schmidt’s late-night eats. His signature? The Kentucky Hot Brown, a pillowy cushion of toasted bread topped with sliced turkey and an avalanche of Mornay sauce—all broiled until golden brown. Crisp bacon strips and tomato added the final flourish.

Hot Brown Variations
Because of the popularity of Kentucky Hot Browns, numerous variations of this Southern dish have been made. Including more Southern classics like cheese grits, cornbread, and biscuits, these are all must-try hot brown recipes.