The Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich is an open faced turkey sandwich on Texas toast drizzled with a Romano cheese sauce and topped with crispy bacon. Your Instant Pot cooks a frozen turkey breast in an expedited manner to use for this addicting sandwich.
Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich
Each week in 2020 I’m sharing a recipe inspired by one of the 50 states. So far I’ve covered Alabama, Louisiana, Utah, Minnesota, Colorado, Idaho, Hawaii, South Carolina, Illinois, Iowa, Alaska, New Mexico, West Virginia and Arkansas. (If you want to see all the “state recipes” listed in one place you can go here). Today I’m sharing a recipe inspired by The Bluegrass State–Kentucky.
When I think of Kentucky I think of the Kentucky Derby, Mammoth Caves, Kentucky Basketball, Louisville Sluggers, Kentucky Fried Chicken and now I will think of the Hot Brown Sandwich.
The Kentucky Hot Brown is a sandwich that started at The Brown Hotel in Louisville. According to their website, “In the 1920’s, The Brown Hotel drew over 1,200 guests each evening for its dinner dance. By the wee hours of the morning, guests would grow weary of dancing and make their way to the restaurant for a bite to eat. Sensing their desire for something more glamorous than traditional ham and eggs, Chef Fred Schmidt set out to create something new to tempt his guests’ palates. His unique dish? An open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and a delicate Mornay sauce. The Hot Brown was born!”
This sandwich is totally my jam. I absolutely loved it and would eat it everyday if I could. My kids and husband were also dying over it. You don’t have to use your Instant Pot for this recipe but I did because that’s how I roll. I used my Instant Pot to cook a completely frozen 3 pound turkey breast in just over an hour. The turkey turned about perfectly! I will definitely use this method to cook turkey breast in the future.
After the turkey is cooked and sliced I piled it on top of Texas toast and then slathered it in a white sauce with some tomatoes on the side. Don’t skip the tomatoes. In my opinion they are necessary to give the slight acidity to the dish. After all that you top it with crispy bacon and stuff it in your face. This is not a low cal dish but it is a high flavor, high happiness dish and these days that’s what I’m all about. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
More Instant Pot Sandwich Recipes…
Instant Pot Maid-Rite Sandwiches
Instant Pot Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich
Instant Pot Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwiches
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Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes (plus 15 minute NPR)
- Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
An open faced turkey sandwich on Texas toast drizzled with a Romano cheese sauce and topped with crispy bacon.
For the turkey:
- 1/2 tsp rubbed sage
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 (3 pound) frozen boneless turkey breast roast (I used Butterball)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
For the Mornay sauce:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 5 Tbsp flour
- 2 cups half and half
- 1/2 cup shredded Romano cheese
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
For the sandwich:
- 12 slices of frozen Texas toast, prepared according to package directions
- 12 slices of crispy bacon
- 3 roma tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes)
- Prepare your turkey: Pour 1 cup of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot. Place a trivet in the Instant Pot. In a small bowl stir together the sage, salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, rosemary and oregano. Place frozen turkey breast under warm water for 3 minutes to loosen the gravy packet from the turkey. Set aside the gravy packet. Rub the frozen turkey breast with olive oil. Then rub the spice mixture all over the turkey breast. Place the turkey into your Instant Pot on top of the trivet.
- Cook your turkey: Cover the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 50 minutes. When the time is up let the pressure release naturally for about 15 minutes then open the pot. Check the temperature the turkey should be close to 155 or 160 degrees F. Set the turkey on a platter or cutting board and loosely tent with foil for 10 minute. Check temperature of the turkey it should be up to 165 degrees F. Use a serrated knife to thinly slice your turkey.
- Prepare your Mornay sauce: Heat a sauce pan over medium-low heat on your stove (or you can use the saute function on your Instant Pot that has been cleaned out since cooking the turkey). Add in the butter and let it melt. Then slowly whisk in the flour until it forms a roux (thick paste). Cook the roux for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Whisk the half and half into the roux and cook over medium heat until the sauce begins to simmer (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the Romano cheese until the sauce is smooth. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
- Assemble and heat the sandwiches: For each Hot Brown, place two slices of toast in an oven safe dish – one slice is cut in half corner to corner to make two triangles and the other slice is left in a square shape – then cover with several slices of turkey. Quarter each Roma tomato and take 2 quarters and set them alongside the base of the turkey and toast. Next, pour about ¼ to ⅓ cup of the Mornay sauce over the dish. Sprinkle with additional Romano cheese. Place the entire dish in the oven. Suggested bake time is 10-15 minutes at 350º F. When the cheese begins to brown and bubble, remove from oven, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.
I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*.
- Category: Turkey
- Method: Instant Pot
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
I had to make some modifications based on what I had on hand but this was still one of the best recipes I’ve made in a long time. As a Kentuckian who has had many versions, this is better than most restaurant versions. Thank you so much for sharing this.
Wow Corey! Thanks so much for the glowing review. I’m so happy that you enjoyed this version!
I don’t eat eggs that even
There is texas toast in the freezer section that has to be prepared? I’ve only seen it in the bread aisle lol. I’d love to try this recipe but want to make sure I’m using the right ingredients.
It’s like garlic bread but with the texas toast bread. It’s so good!
I have stayed at the Brown hotel several times in the late 60’s and have eaten the Hot Brown sandwich there. Will definitely try this.
And did you love it?!