The Hot Brown


Not your average hot turkey sandwich, the Hot Brown was invented at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky to absorb the bourbon that guests would enjoy well into the night.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
4 servings


For the Turkey (Enough for 4 portions):

  • 2 pounds boneless turkey breast with skin on

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence

  • 1 teaspoon oil

  • 8 slices bacon

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

For 4 Hot Browns:

  • 8 slices white bread, toasted

  • 12 slices tomato

  • 8 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese, or to taste

  • 1 pinch paprika, or to taste

  • 4 teaspoons chopped Italian parsley, or to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  2. Season the skinless side of the turkey breast with 1/2 of the kosher salt and herbes de Provence. Season the skin side with the remaining kosher salt. Place turkey skin-side up into an oiled baking dish.

  3. Roast in the preheated oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the turkey registers 148 degrees F (64 degrees C), 45 to 60 minutes.

  4. Place bacon on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Remove turkey from the oven and let cool.

  5. Bake bacon in the hot oven until about halfway cooked, 10 to 15 minutes.

  6. Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Stir in flour until combined. Cook, stirring occasionally, until roux smells like cooked pie crust, about 3 minutes. Whisk in cream all at once. Cook until Mornay sauce is thickened and starting to boil, about 5 minutes. Immediately turn off the heat.

  7. Season Mornay sauce with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese until combined. Add nutmeg and stir briefly.

  8. Cut turkey into thick slices. Pull off the skin.

  9. Stack 2 bread slices on top of each other and trim off the crusts. Cut 1 slice into 2 triangles. Place bread in a small baking dish set on top of a sheet pan. Top bread with 3 slices of turkey. Place 3 tomato slices in between. Ladle 1/4 of the Mornay sauce all over and cover with 2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese. Sprinkle with paprika; lay the partially cooked bacon across the top. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 3 more servings.

  10. Set an oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven's broiler.

  11. Bake under the broiler until bacon is crispy and the tops are well browned, about 5 minutes. Place on napkin-lined plates and sprinkle parsley over each dish.

Chef's Notes:

Feel free to buy thick-cut deli turkey so you don't have to make the turkey yourself.

Substitute Parmesan cheese or a nice extra-sharp Cheddar for the Pecorino Romano if desired. Substitute cayenne for the paprika if preferred.

Instead of broiling, you can finish by baking in the oven at 475 degrees F (246 degrees C) for the same results. To cheat, you can cook bacon crisp separately, and just top the finished dish, but I think it tastes better if you brown with the bacon on top.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

1280 Calories
85g Fat
37g Carbs
89g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 1280
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 85g 109%
Saturated Fat 44g 220%
Cholesterol 400mg 133%
Sodium 2841mg 124%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 89g
Vitamin C 13mg 65%
Calcium 533mg 41%
Iron 6mg 34%
Potassium 1136mg 24%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.