By Renae Frey

How to Make Delicious Kentucky Derby Hot Brown Sandwiches

Are you having a Kentucky Derby Party? Are you serving a crowd? I have the best Kentucky Derby Sandwich Recipe.

Hey Friends!

Welcome! I am so glad that you are here. I always enjoy our time together. Have you ever gone to the Kentucky Derby? It is so much fun. More than 140 years old, the Kentucky Derby is steeped in tradition. Can’t go to the Kentucky Derby? Why not have a Derby Party. Today, I am sharing How to Make Delicious Kentucky Derby Hot Brown Sandwiches. Come on, I’ll show you.

tradional kentucky hot brown sandwiches, mint julep, horse figurine, How to Make delicious Kentucky Derby Hot Brown Sandwiches meta-Are you having a Kentucky Derby Party? Are you serving a crowd? I have the best Kentucky Derby Sandwich Recipe.
How to Make delicious Kentucky Derby Hot Brown Sandwiches

What is a Hot Brown Sandwich?

A traditional Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich with turkey and bacon that is then covered in Mornay sauce and tomatoes, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and baked or broiled until the bread is crisp and the Mornay begins to brown. Invented at the Louisville’s historic Brown Hotel nearly 100 years ago. This traditional Sandwich is a classic in the Bluegrass state and at the Kentucky Derby. I took the liberty of using the top and bottom of a Hawaiian roll. It is much easier to eat as a sandwich and the sweetness of the rolls adds another layer of flavor. I also chose not to add tomatoes, as the crowd that I was feeding doesn’t really like tomatoes. Feel free to make this recipe fit your families likes.

kentucky hot brown sandwich ingredients, trophy, tartan plaid cloth napkin,
How to Make delicious Kentucky Derby Hot Brown Sandwiches.

Here is what you will need to make your Hot Brown-Hawaiian rolls, sliced turkey, bacon slices, sharp white cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, butter, milk, tomatoes, fresh parsley, flour, garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Don’t let this list of ingredients intimidate you, this recipe is so quick and easy to make. Your friends and family are going to love it.

What is The Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, almost always on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The competition is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of one and a quarter miles at Churchill Downs.

Churchill Downs is a horse racing complex famed for hosting the annual Kentucky Derby. It officially opened in 1875 and was named for Samuel Churchill, whose family was prominent in Kentucky for many years.

white sharp heddar cheese, fresh parsley

Step 1: Grate cheese and chop fresh parsley.

hot brown sandwiches in a baking dish

Step 2: Butter a baking dish. Place the bottom half of King’s Hawaiian rolls in the dish, top with sliced turkey.

What are some Kentucky Derby traditions?

The long-standing Derby traditions are the drinking of mint juleps (an iced cocktail consisting of bourbon, mint, and sugar), the wearing of ornate hats by female spectators, and the raucous partying that takes place in the track’s infield, as well as eating the classic Derby food. The Kentucky Derby was long ago dubbed “The Run for the Roses.” For the garland, more than 400 of the red flowers are sewn on a green satin blanket and draped around the neck of the victorious horse in the winner’s circle.

See the YouTube “How To” video below.

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Mornay sauce ingredients
The ingredients for the Mornay sauce.
Mornay sauce, How to Make delicious Kentucky Derby Hot Brown Sandwiches. Are you having a Kentucky Derby Party? Are you serving a crowd? I have the best Kentucky Derby Sandwich Recipe.
How to Make delicious Kentucky Derby Hot Brown Sandwiches.

Step 3: Make the Mornay Sauce.

Step 4: Make butter sauce.

Warm traditional hot brown sandwiches

Step 5: Top turkey with Mornay sauce, bacon and tomatoes. Add tops of rolls. Spread the tops with butter sauce.

Step 6: Bake until golden brown.

tradional kentucky hot brown sandwiches, mint julep, horse figurine
How to Make delicious Kentucky Derby Hot Brown Sandwiches

Hot Brown Sandwiches

Serving Size:
9 sliders
45 minutes


  • Hawaiian rolls, package
  • 1 lb. Turkey
  • 8 Slices Bacon, cooked slices or crumbled
  • 1 c. Sharp white cheddar cheese,
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 5 T. Butter
  • 1 c. Milk
  • 2 Tomatoes, sliced or diced
  • 1/2 t. Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 T. Flour
  • 1/4 t. Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 t. Nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter a baking dish.
  3. Add in the bottom half of the rolls.
  4. Fold turkey onto roll.
  5. Place a medium sized saucepan on medium heat. Melt 1 T. butter. Slowly stir in flour. Mix well.
  6. Slowly whisk in milk, until smooth.
  7. Stir in salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  8. Cook until sauce thickens.
  9. Remove from heat. Stir in cheeses until smooth.
  10. Add Mornay/cheese sauce onto turkey. It’s more than fine to let it pour over the roll.
  11. Add tomatoes, bacon and tops of rolls.
  12. In a small bowl, melt 4 T. butter. Add garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.
  13. Brush tops of rolls with butter sauce.
  14. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese sauce is bubbly.
  15. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes until the tops of the sliders are golden brown.
  16. Enjoy.

These delicious sliders are so good with a classic mint julep. Check back next week for the recipe. For a beautiful Kentucky Derby tablescape, see post here.

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No perfection here, just real life.

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5 thoughts on “How to Make Delicious Kentucky Derby Hot Brown Sandwiches”

  1. Renae, anything on a Hawaiian roll with bacon gets a seal of approval. I will have to try adding bacon to my sliders the next time. It sounds so yummy!

  2. Joanne

    These sound delicious! I have never heard of these before though I have definitely heard (and watched!) the Kentucky Derby.

  3. Renae,
    These sound so delicious. I’ve pinned for a future Kentucky Derby Party. I’d love to share a link on my Sunday, Dirt Road Adventures. Thanks so much.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this post. I really appreciate you. Hugs to you.

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Renae Frey

Beautiful interiors don’t have to come with an outrageous price tag. My style is what I like to call Vintage French Farmhouse, I love mixing decorating styles, especially opposites like the glitz of a chandelier dripping in crystals with a chair upholstered in worn aged leather. Refined, yet not too formal-but, livable, elegant traditional design, adding warmth and vintage elements.

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