Kentucky Hot Brown Dip

Southern Kitchen

Serves: 8 to 12

Hands On Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


8 strips applewood-smoked bacon

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups whole milk

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese

4 cups diced roasted turkey breast

Chopped chives, for serving

Toasted bread, for serving


Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Arrange the bacon on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cook until crisp, about 20 minutes. Let cool.

While the bacon is cooking, toss the tomatoes in a medium bowl with the oil. Season with salt and pepper. On a separate baking sheet, spread the tomatoes in a single layer and roast until slightly shriveled, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

Turn the oven to the broiler setting.

When bacon is cool enough to handle, chop into 1-inch pieces.

In a large ovenproof skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. When butter is foamy, whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly, until lightened in color, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the milk, nutmeg and cayenne. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese until melted and fully incorporated.

Stir in the diced turkey. Add diced turkey and stir to incorporate. Broil the dip until the top is golden brown and bubbly, 10 to 12 minutes. Top with the bacon, tomatoes and chopped chives. Serve immediately with the toasted bread.

About the recipe

The Kentucky Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich with sliced turkey, bacon and tomato covered in a rich cheese sauce. To serve a crowd, perhaps at a viewing party for that annual May horse race in Louisville, Kentucky, try offering the flavors of a hot brown as a dip instead. 

As a dip, we mix diced roast turkey in with the cheesy mornay sauce before topping it with crisp bacon and roasted tomatoes. We recommend using a hearty bread, such as a baguette, for serving, so that it can support the weight of the turkey-studded dip.

Feel free to purchase thick-sliced roast turkey from a grocery store deli to make the dip. You can roast the bacon and the tomatoes in the oven at the same time.