Hot Brown Turkey Sandwich

Kentucky Hot Brown with a California Twist: The Ultimate Leftover Turkey Sandwich!

Calling all leftover turkey enthusiasts! The holidays are over, but that doesn’t mean the deliciousness has to end. Today, we’re diving into a recipe that transforms leftover turkey into a decadent and oh-so-satisfying creation: the Kentucky Hot Brown!

This iconic open-faced sandwich boasts a rich history dating back to the 1920s, originating at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. The original recipe featured slices of turkey and bacon layered on Texas toast, smothered in a creamy mornay sauce (a béchamel sauce enriched with cheese), topped with crisp bacon and fresh tomato slices. It quickly became a local favorite, and its fame has spread across the country ever since.

The Beauty of the Hot Brown: A Leftover Turkey’s Dream Come True!

The Kentucky Hot Brown is a brilliant solution for the post-holiday dilemma of what to do with all that leftover turkey. It elevates your precious leftovers from a simple sandwich filling to a star ingredient in a show-stopping dish. The rich mornay sauce and crispy bacon add layers of flavor and texture, making this sandwich an absolute delight.

🎬 Watch How to Make This Recipe

Want to see this recipe come to life? Check out this video where I walk you through the entire process, step-by-step!

California Twist: Sourdough Steps Up the Game!

While the classic Hot Brown uses white Texas Toast, I’m putting a California twist on this recipe by using sourdough bread. Sourdough’s tangy flavor profile beautifully complements the creamy mornay sauce and smoky bacon. Plus, the chewy texture of sourdough adds another layer of interest to the sandwich. Of course, feel free to use your favorite bread!

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Photo of Hot Brown Turkey Sandwich Recipe

Hot Brown Turkey Sandwich

Recipe by Jason Hill –
This Kentucky Hot Brown Turkey Sandwich recipe is a great way to use up your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. This classic hot brown sandwich, made popular by chef Fred Schmidt at the Louisville Brown Hotel, is a 1920s classic. It's an open-faced turkey sandwich, topped with Mornay sauce, bacon, tomato and fresh parsley, and then broiled to perfection. 
It's one of the best leftover turkey recipes you'll find!
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2


  • 4 slices cooked bacon
  • 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup romano cheese grated (plus more for garnish)
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 2 ounces flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Leftover turkey or roast chicken
  • 1 tomato sliced
  • 2 slices sourdough bread

Mornay Sauce

  • 2 ounces butter
  • 2 ounces flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup romano cheese grated (plus more for garnish)


  • Make a mornay sauce by cooking the butter and flour in a saucepot for 2-3 minutes, or until you notice a nutty aroma.
  • Slowly add heavy cream, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. When it bubbles, whisk in the cheese. Add white pepper and salt to taste.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Layer bread slices with desired amount of leftover turkey and tomato slices. Toast 4 minutes in a toaster oven.
  • Top with the mornay sauce and some extra grated cheese. Broil open-faced sandwiches until browned in toaster oven or broiler.
  • Top each sandwich with 2 slices of bacon and minced parsley. Enjoy!
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Keyword sandwich, sauce, turkey
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AboutJason Hill

Hi, I’m Jason Hill, host of YouTube’s “Chef Tips” series. I graduated from culinary school in 1998, and gained my experience working the lines in Southern California. I launched my cooking videos in 2007. I love sharing quick and easy recipes that get people back in the kitchen.

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