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!

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


  • 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


  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.


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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  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 ?

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

  7. Hi there!

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


  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!

    • 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!

  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!

  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!

    • We ate it hot from the oven. We didn’t have leftovers, but you could warm it in the oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes or till hot. Or just stick it in the microwave.

  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.

  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?

  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.


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