Kentucky Hot Brown Bake

kentucky hot brown bake

This is not your traditional Kentucky Hot Brown.  If you’ve ever had the real deal, then you already know that.  If you’ve never had a Hot Brown, here’s a description for you:  Turkey, bacon, tomato on toast, served under so much cheese sauce that you can’t find the sandwich.  Amazing!

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This bake is adapted from a recipe I found via Pinterest on Mr. Food for Italian Layer Bake.  I adapted the layers to make it a KY Hot Brown Bake.

This bake is easy to put together, although you do need to allow time for it to bake and set a few minutes before serving.  It’s delicious, with gooey cheese and bacon.  Everyone in the family loved this one.

Here’s what you’ll need: 

Kentucky hot brown bake

Kentucky Hot Brown Bake

Yield: 9 servings

Kentucky Hot Brown Bake

Ingredients

  • 8 oz package refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 lb. package smoked turkey lunch meat
  • 8 slices cooked bacon
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 4 eggs, beaten

Instructions

  1. Unroll the crescent dough and separate into 2 squares.
  2. Place one square in bottom of 8" pan that is greased or lined with parchment paper.
  3. Press dough to fit pan.
  4. Layer with half the turkey, bacon, cheese and tomatoes.
  5. Pour half the eggs over the top.
  6. Repeat the layers.
  7. Top with remaining dough square.
  8. Pour remaining eggs over top.
  9. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, covered with foil. Remove foil and bake another 20-25 minutes.
  10. Let sit at room temp for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Notes

This recipe is adapted from Mr. Food's Italian Layer Bake.

You will need about an hour total to bake and let it set after baking.

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Comments

  1. This looks incredibly tasty! I’ve done a similar version with French bread but this looks so much easier. Guess what I’m picking up to make for dinner tonight? :-)

    Great recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  2. this looks just wonderful. would yo mind if i make this and share my pictures on our blog but link it back to this post.?

  3. This looks so good. I just popped it in the oven! I can’t wait to take the first bite. :)

  4. What degrees did you put oven on for Kentucky Brown Bake

  5. Can you make this beforehand and let it set in the fridge until it’s time to cook ?

    • I would think you could leave it in the fridge for several hours before baking and it would be okay. I’ve never tried doing that though.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think that might mess up the dough

        • Anonymous says:

          My wife makes a similar recipe using sausage instead of the turkey every year for a Christmas Brunch and we almost always put it together the day before and bake it the next morning and it still turns out awesome.

  6. I made this and unfortunately the bottom came out soggy and it seemed like too much egg. Not sure what I did wrong :(

    • Hmmm, it does require a resting time after it bakes. I’m not sure what else it could have been. Sorry for that.

      • Rick Garner says:

        I would say the oven was not hot enough or the pan was a really heavy pan and should have cooked just a little longer.

      • JustMy2Cents says:

        Iv found with these types of recipes that call for any type of refrigerated dough, its best to pop the pan in the over for about 5 mins with just to bottom layer or dough. Removed then add the remaining ingredients. That often helps reduce the sogginess. Just a suggestion. ;)

        • I have found that using a glass dish for casseroles is more important than browning the crescent roll first. Mine was soggy but I used too much egg and we added more veggies and shrooms.

    • I had the same problem. I increased the temp to 365 and put it back in for 10 more minutes. Came out much better

    • Anonymous says:

      temp not hot enough

    • Anonymous says:

      Try maybe basting it heavily with egg instead of pouring and use maybe 2 instead of 4… Just a suggestion!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I just cooked it 5 minutes longer

  7. Hi there!

    Just wanted to let you know that I featured you and your recipe on my bog! Absolutely delicious!!

    -Tristan

  8. HI! I read the reviews and even the reviews from Mr. Food’s Italian Bake recipe. I want to make this but am hesitant about 4 eggs making it too soggy. I see in your photo it looks “wet” on the parchment paper. Is this from the eggs?

    What is the purpose of the eggs? Does it act as a binder? I want to try this w/ 2 eggs instead. Can you advise? Thanks!

    • It isn’t really “wet”. It is moist though and you do need to let it set for about 15-20 minutes before serving. It might work fine with only 2 eggs. I don’t think you could ruin it by using less eggs.

  9. I made this today…I used two packages of crescent rolls…one for the top and one for the bottom. I used leftover turkey from Christmas and crumbled the bacon. It turned out beautifully!! I cooked it for 30 minutes after removing the foil.

    • I made the recipe and used only 1.5 eggs and it already appeared wet when I brushed it. Also, I used one package of crescent rolls and next time would use two.

      My fiance liked this and called it a “Glorified Hot pocket”!!! I would probably make this again but with different fillings and less egg. Honestly, if it acts as a binding agent then one egg would suffice

  10. Anonymous says:

    You don’t have any ham in this recipe. A true KY hot brown has country ham, but often you see them made with regular baked ham.

    • You’re right! I didn’t put in the ham. You could add that, though it still won’t be like a traditional hot brown.

    • A true Kentucky Hot Brown doesn’t not have country ham, it has turkey. From The Brown Hotel’s website: In the 1920′s, The Brown Hotel drew over 1,200 guests each evening for its dinner dance. In the wee hours of the morning, the guests would grow tired of dancing and retire to the restaurant for a bite to eat. Diners were growing rapidly bored with the traditional ham and eggs, so Chef Fred Schmidt set out to create something new to tempt his guests’ palates. His unique creation was an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and a delicate Mornay sauce. Exemplifying our unending dedication to serving our guests, The Hot Brown was born!

      • Susan Overmyer says:

        You beat me to it Donna! I live in Louisville, where it originates, & country Ham has nothing to do with it, tho it is a rural Kentucky favorite in & of itself. Anyway, I’m excited about making this tonight, totally aware that it won’t be a hot brown replica, (which I assumed by the lack of a Mornay sauce). I think I will try 2 eggs, since I’m not a big fan of soggy bread, & will definitely let it sit!

      • Anonymous says:

        You are exactly correct my partner and I had the wonderful taste experience when we went down to bards town for the rockin giood time during the bourbon festival it was delisious

      • I have the original recipe from the Brown Hotel. It is awesome and I make it all the time.

    • Darlene b says:

      The Hot Brown began at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY (My home town) i the 1920′s. the true hot brown only has turkey, bacon, tomato plus the famous cheese sauce all on texas toast. The recipe above is more like a deconstructed hot brown.

  11. Made this last night for dinner and it was a big hit! Really delicious and easy to put together.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Just have to say, I am from Kentucky, and you can’t make a Hotbrown without Ham. And most Hotbrowns will have cheddar cheese and parm cheese too.

    • I’m from Louisville and I’ve never had a Hot Brown with ham. The original Brown Hotel recipe is with turkey.

      • Traci B. says:

        I’m from Louisville, too, and a Chef to boot – a Hot Brown does NOT have country or city ham in it – it’s turkey and bacon on toast, covered with a rich mornay sauce, then tomato and broiled – some people add some parmesan to the sauce and/or sprinkle it on top, but it is NOT a cheddar cheese sauce….

        • darlene b says:

          you guys are making me sooo homesick! I always try to get the hot brown at Bristol when ever I get back home – only they make theirs over croissants instead of toast. No matter how you make it bacon, cheese sauce is ALWAYS a good thing!

      • Anonymous says:

        Louisville chef. Check KY history. Tradition Hot Brown IS made with ham opreferably country)

        • you need to check again… several sources say…” A Hot Brown Sandwich (sometimes known as a Kentucky Hot Brown) is an American hot sandwich originally created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, by Fred K. Schmidt in 1926.”
          “The Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich of turkey and bacon, covered in Mornay sauce and baked or broiled until the bread is crisp and the sauce begins to brown. Many Hot Browns also include ham with the turkey, and either pimentos or tomatoes over the sauce, and imitation Hot Browns sometimes substitute a commercial cheese sauce instead of the Mornay.

          More common alternatives to the Hot Brown include using Cheddar cheese or American cheese for the sauce. Alternatives for garnishes include tomatoes, mushroom slices, and, very rarely, canned peaches. also…
          When Fred K. Schmidt created the Hot Brown, its sliced roast turkey was a rarity, as turkey was usually reserved for holiday feasts. The original Hot Brown included the sliced turkey on an open-faced white toast sandwich, with Mornay sauce covering it, with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, completed by being oven-broiled until bubbly. Pimento and bacon strips were then added to it. After its debut, it quickly became the choice of ninety-five percent of the customers to the Brown Hotel’s restaurant.[1][2]
          The dish is a local specialty and favorite of the Louisville area, and is popular throughout Kentucky. It was long unavailable at its point of origin, as the Brown Hotel was shut down from 1971 to 1985.”

    • sweetsandyc says:

      I, too, grew up in KY and even though the hot browns I had didn’t always include ham, some did. I like it better with honey ham, but that’s my personal preference. That’s the thing with any good recipe… tweak it, play with it… make it your own. I tend to like mine a little less wet so I put just enough Mornay sauce in the dish to make me happy… but leave extra on the side for those who want more. No complaints yet! :)

  13. Hot Dog Sally says:

    I doubled the recipe and used a 9×13. I only used two eggs total and it was perfect! Thanks!

  14. Mary Jane says:

    I made this tonight and it is very tasty. I used Garlic Crescent Rolls. I will be making this again!!!!

  15. HI! I tried this recipe tonight and it was a hit with the hubby! I’m a HUGE Hot Brown fan so I had to try it. I only used one egg and baked it without foil for 40 minutes. It was cooked perfectly. Thanks! – Amanda

  16. I made this tonight and it was great!

  17. Made this tonight. Decided to double it, which meant 8 eggs. Well I read some of the other comments after I had already added the eggs and got a little nervous. All that happened was it turned out more like a breakfast item instead of a sandwich. lol I still loved it, but will try with less eggs next time to see if it is just as delicious! Wonderful recipe! (oh I used provolone since I forgot the swiss….will have to try with swiss next time as well!)

  18. Donna Henderson says:

    Please, people. Relax. She’s already said it is NOT the true Kentucky Hot Brown Bake! Sounds wonderful whether you include ham or not!

  19. I made a version of this based SOLELY on your mouthwatering photo! It was delicious! http://redmittens.com/2013/06/17/kentucky-hot-brown-my-version/

  20. Made a veggie version of this with tofurky the other night and my s.o. said it was the best sandwich he’s ever had. Trying a variation tonight with roasted red peppers, feta and pesto. Smells delish! Tx for sharing this!

    • That sounds like a fabulous idea…some sun dried tomato would go amazingly well with that variation. Made with the full 4 eggs your idea would make a lovely Sunday brunch item. Mmm…I need to make this asap!!

  21. Chantel Skilton says:

    Hello, I can not eat eggs would you be able to make this recipe without them?

  22. I also don’t this with no egg and is awesome. Thank you so much for this incredible web site with recipes.

  23. I am going to make the KY hot brown for the 1st time today. Is it supposed to be eaten at room temp? What about leftovers, how long will they be good for and should I warm them before serving it? Thanks for the recipe!

  24. While it looked beautiful on top, I cut the first piece after letting it cool as instructed and the bottom did not look cooked at all. I don’t think it was because of the eggs-it just didn’t look cooked! I used 3 eggs instead of 4, I think I would just do 2 next time. I put it back in the oven with a piece of foil loosely over the top to see if that will cook the inside more without burning the top. It looks and smells delicious otherwise. I wonder if it would help to cook the bottom layer of crescent roll for 5 minutes or so before layering everything else on and cooking the full time?

  25. I made this tonight, only thing I did was used 2 pks. of crescent rolls. I Give this a 2 thumbs up, it was very Good and I will definitely will be making this again! Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  26. jenny holland says:

    want to try this but how do the left overs keep well?

  27. Hi there all.
    I am new to this site and would be grateful if I could have recipes that are suitable for me.
    I have high cholesterol, allergic to dairy products and shell fish; including bottom feeding fish such as sole, plaice, halibut etc.
    My GP has said that I need to lose weight too as I gave up smoking, due to asthma; caused by the allergies.
    As you can imagine I am finding hard to find foods to make tasty meals. Also foods that will satisfy sweet & savoury cravings. I love to cook so ope you can help me please. Thank You. Anita from UK

    • Anita, good luck with your new eating habits. I don’t specifically write for allergies and such, but you may find some recipes that will fit your needs.

    • My brother (a American) & my sister-in-law (a Scott) live outside of Glasgow- I visited – but before I went I was told by a friend to take some spices/seasonings with me – I am glad I did – Tesco doesnt have much but Asda did have a better selection and they were in small containers try to get a good selection – Try to find on the internet “spice mix recipes” to use on meats – take mince and add your own spices (garlic – fennel seed – peppers (sweet and hot) sage – etc) make patties – Also studies show white cannellini beans are specially good in helping lowering Cholesterol. Make more one pot dishes. I made this for them on a visit – Italian sausage links browned in olive oil and removed – (all to taste) added a bunch of Kale (cleaned stripped from center stem and chopped) onion – chopped garlic – small bit (1/3c) of water cooked till kale is wilted and tender – added drained can of cannellini beans – sliced links into thirds put back in and reheated them – They make this all the time! It’s easy – tasty – savory – filling and loaded with fiber!

  28. I made this tonight, it was fantastic!! Heard some debate over there shoulda been ham? No ma’am! Never heard of a Hotbrown with ham.
    Will make it again and again!

  29. Did you fry the bacon before adding it to the layers and cooking it in the oven?

    • darlene b says:

      I would cook the bacon before hand. thats part of the of goodness. the crispy bacon in all the melted cheese!

  30. I Love this website! Thank- you Wanda

  31. can I revise this w/ egg beaters, turkey bacon, and low fat cheese? Any adjustments to bake time, or should I just go for it?

    • I made this tonight with turkey bacon and it was good, but the bacon was pretty soft. Not crispy at all. But then again the whole thing was soggy. I think I will reduce the amount of egg next time. It’s good, just don’t expect crispy bacon.

      • Wayne Ventresca says:

        I read somewhere that pies should be baked on the bottom shelf of the oven: maybe the same for this.

  32. it calls for 4 beaten eggs, in 2 different layers. The picture shows top layer of egg as if it was to be like a clear glaze. Most of times i baked the entire, egg say as breakfast pizza, it comes out more like scrambled eggs.

  33. Elizabeth says:

    I did this with two pkgs of croisants. I think mine got a little soggy from the tomato. I also used basil leaves, sooooo good.

  34. This looks like a good recipe. On the soggy problem. It’s got deli meat and tomatoes in it. If you baked this without any egg you would have liquid from those two ingredients. You could try seeding the tomato and patting the turkey dry but they’re still going to produce some liquid.

    I think I’m going to add some sliced onion and roasted garlic when I try this.

  35. Wanted to introduce myself and try this great looking sandwich.

  36. It’s missing the best part of the hot brown, the Mornay sauce on top which is what makes it so good. This version is just a baked sandwich.

  37. Can you do this in the crockpot too?

  38. LaTrease M says:

    I made this last night and it was AWESOME SAUCE!!. and to answer everyone’s question about reheating. I reheated in the toaster oven for about 5-10 min I put foil on the toaster oven pan and it stuck. So just make sure you spray whatever you are reheating in with PAM. But other than that it reheats well

  39. This is delish! I tweaked the recipe a bit to accommodate what I had on hand. I used bacon, ham, and pepperoni along with provolone. Then, instead of multiple eggs, only used one egg on top of the final layer of crescent. It wasn’t a traditional Kentucky Hot Brown…but it was still delish!

    • Yeah you can tweek it anyway you want with the layers. Only had maple bacon so subbed it out for hard salami and it worked very well.

  40. Paulette says:

    This looks delicious! Will definately try it!

  41. Melissa says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! The only change I made was I used 3 eggs instead of 4 (about 1.5 per layer) and I put a little salt and pepper in the egg mixture. Will definitely be making this again. We are also going to make another variation using grilled chicken, basil, mozzarella, and tomatoes. Thanks for sharing this!

  42. Claudeia Grigor says:

    I am an American living in England and they don’t do the refrigerated crescent rolls …could you suggest an alternative? Thank you

  43. Anonymous says:

    How many eggs? I don’t see eggs mentioned in the ingredients. Also, I make something similar and instead if using crescent rolls you can break 6 pieces of bread, white, wheat or whatever kjnd you like and place in the bottom of lightly greased(oiled) pan.

  44. Crystal says:

    I make something very similar and call it a baked sandwich. I layer crescent rolls, salami, pepper jack cheese, ham, provolone, pepperoni, mozzarella, and egg and parmesan Cheese mixture and roasted red peppers. Then repeat the salami, pepper jack, ham and provolone. Top with the crescent rolls and a little more of the egg parmesan mix to brown the bread. I tent aluminum foil on top so it doesn’t stick to the bread. Bake on 375 for 40 minutes, uncover and cook 5-10 minutes more to brown the bread.

  45. I am gonna do this with a big twist and make like philly chees stk,,onions,,peppers and cheese….

  46. When do you cut it? Before or after you bake it?

    Thanks for the recipe!

  47. Looks so good! Need easy recipes that taste great.

  48. Anonymous says:

    A Hot Brown uses chicken, not turkey. Never has.

    • Your information couldn’t be any more wrong. As folks get a craving for a Hot Brown they might take some liberties (as this reciepe does with crescent rolls) & make a variation of it depending on what they have on hand, be it ham, chicken, roast beef, cheddar cheese, etc. So you may have had a similar treat that used chicken and they may have “called it” a Hot Brown & they can call it whatever they want but I can assure you of this: From inception the only meat on a Hotel Brown/KY Hot Brown has ALWAYS been turkey.

  49. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand how u do the crescent rolls to fix this I need a visual lol

    • You will unroll the can of crescent rolls, but leave it all in one big sheet of dough. Once it’s all unrolled, separate it into two large squares. These two pieces of dough will become the top and bottom of the bake.

  50. [email protected] says:

    I used shredded Mexican cheese, refrigerated pizza crust (only because I grabbed the wrong tube) and did not cover with tinfoil. This was not soggy at all. Itis quite good.

  51. Just made this and yum! Omitted the tomatoes (due to allergy) and served them fresh on the side. Made it in a 9″ pan with all of the bacon in the first layer and it came out perfectly! I had mine with some honey mustard-so very, very good. Will definitely make again. Thank you!

  52. ashley rose says:

    Only issues with recipe is use room temperature tomatoes because if you use them from the fridge u need to bake longer in order for the egg in the first layer to cook threw. Instead of Swiss cheese I used a shredded blend of cheddar and Mozzarella it turned out even better than with the Swiss

  53. V.M. Brown says:

    Looks good, but why will it only print out in some unrecognizable foreign language?!

  54. First of all, I love the name.
    Secondly, as much as I love cheese, your version looks crazy good.
    I cannot wait to try it. Thanks!

  55. dee drantz says:

    Just came from a long trip in Tennessee and Kentucky! Loved it there! Going to try this to reminisce about it and all that food out there!

  56. This looks so scrumptious! What kinds of cheese can you replace the Swiss cheese with?

  57. Anonymous says:

    I’m making it to night :)

  58. Louisvilletc says:

    I’m from the home of the hot brown. Thought this recipe looks good so I just gave it a try. The instructions are horrible. The crescent rolls are too small for an 8″ pan so I did mash it to fit the bottom put all the ingredients in & tried to make the too layer for but of course it didn’t. This was a huge waste of time! Stick the the original, it’s better!

  59. Almost done! I increased my temp a little, nd used salami, turkey, and ham..nd i also used two cans of rolls…cant wait!

  60. Making this for dinner tonight. My husband has already requested that I email him the web page so he can make it the fire station. I’ll be interested to see what they do with it, they don’t leave recipes alone…ever! (and it usually turns out pretty darn good too)

  61. Scottie says:

    - bacon – turkey + ham= gold!

  62. I made this for dinner tonight, Kids and husband loved it. Will definitely make again.

  63. Eggs in a Hot Brown????!!!!???? Louisville what do you think about that?

  64. looookkk,kkkkssssss sooooooo gooooooddddd………and I’m with the other guy go on not a blog that loves negative people this is for happy loving people with good ideas on bffood. …..go happiness

  65. I make a version of this without the eggs, and use Ragu Four Cheese sauce in addition to itallian blend shredded cheese.

  66. Just made this, only two eggs needed, I think 4 wouldve made it sloppy. I also used two cans of crescent rolls, one I dont wouldve covered it enough on top. Husband liked it, will make again!

  67. Anonymous says:

    Made it last night, amazing! Thank you for sharing (my husband thanks you too.) Only change to the recipe I did was that I cooked the whole package of bacon :)

  68. Ruby2437 says:

    I made this for dinner tonight. It was good! Super easy too

  69. A lot like a baked Monte Cristo. Omit tomatoes add raspberry jam on center layer. Dust with powdered sugar when slerved

  70. I just made this and after taking it out of the oven and letting it sit for about 10 minutes, I cut it and my eggs were still raw. I have it back in the oven now.

  71. Looks good!!!

  72. Made this tonight. Only did 2 egg whites, which seemed plenty,and 365° oven. Did 2 crescent packages and 9x 13 glass dish. It was a hit for sure!

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