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There’s no need to boil the pasta! Just dump-and-bake these simple ingredients for an easy Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole that’s loaded with turkey (or chicken), bacon, tomatoes, and a creamy sauce. It’s the perfect dish for weeknight dinners and Derby Day celebrations!
We love Derby parties around here! My mom’s birthday always falls during the same week as the Kentucky Derby, so I’ve grown up celebrating the event with family and festive food.
Whether we’re enjoying Derby Day Bourbon Brownies or Slow Cooker Bourbon Barbecue Bites, it’s a fun excuse to indulge in Southern food and to gamble a little bit.
Keith always sets up a betting pool, so even the little guys get excited to watch the race and cheer for the horses. The men in this house will find any excuse to wager some money!
What’s In This Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole?
Since the Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich is a classic in Louisville, I decided to turn the same flavors into a simple one-dish casserole that would be ideal for Derby Day potlucks or quick dinners.
The pasta in this Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole replaces the bread in the sandwich, while the turkey (or chicken), tomatoes, bacon, cream sauce and cheese are still left in tact. The end result is a cozy, crowd-pleasing comfort food dinner that’s a delicious twist on the original!
How to Make Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole | 1-Minute Video
So go ahead, grab a Mint Julep, put on a fancy hat, and get ready to watch the horses run! With quick and easy Southern fare like this Dump-and-Bake Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole, you can enjoy the races, celebrate with friends, or just enjoy an easy night off from the kitchen!
More Delicious Casseroles To Try:
- Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole
- Taco Pasta Casserole
- Southern Squash Casserole
- Ham and Noodle Casserole
Dump-and-Bake Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole
- 1 16 ounce package uncooked rotini pasta
- 1 22 ounce jar Alfredo sauce (about 2 ½ cups)
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups diced roasted turkey or can substitute with cooked chicken
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, NOT drained
- 1 cup cooked diced bacon
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Optional: fresh chopped herbs such as basil, oregano, and parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425F (220C).
- In a large 13 x 9-inch baking dish, stir together uncooked pasta, Alfredo sauce, chicken broth, turkey, garlic, tomatoes, and bacon. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes.
- Uncover; stir. At this point you should check the pasta to make sure that it is al dente (firm but just about finished cooking). If it’s still too hard, cover the dish and return to the oven until pasta is al dente. Then move on to the next step.
- Once pasta is al dente, sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan over the top. Bake uncovered for 10 more minutes (or until cheese is melted and pasta is tender).
- Garnish with fresh chopped herbs, if desired.
Derby parties sound so fun! I’ve never been to one, but what a fun thing to celebrate, especially when delicious food is involved. Love the looks of this easy casserole. It has all of my favorite ingredients, and I love how easy it is to make!
Thanks so much, Gayle! You’re right — you can’t go wrong with this combination of ingredients!
Love to try this how can i use less sodium and can it b frozen?
Hi, Dorothy! Most of the sodium is coming from the alfredo sauce, the broth, and the cheese. To decrease the sodium, I would definitely use low sodium broth (or better yet, make your own). You can also look for a lower sodium Alfredo sauce (I’m not sure of specific brands), OR I know that some readers have used homemade Alfredo sauce (which would allow you to control the amount of sodium in the dish). You can decrease the amount of cheese by cutting the mozzarella back to 1/2 cup as well.
To answer your second question, yes — I think it would work well as a freezer meal. You can either freeze it BEFORE baking or after baking — that’s totally up to you. As with any frozen pasta casserole, the texture of the pasta may change a bit, but it will still be good. 🙂
Can you omit the canned tomatoes or will that mess it up?
Hi, Michelle! Yes! You can definitely omit the tomatoes, but you’ll need to add a bit more liquid to make up for the lost juice from the can. I would just add an extra 1/4 cup (or so) of the broth and you should be all set.
Love to try this how can i use less sodium and can it b frozen?
Kentucky Hot Brown is a major favorite around this house, so how happy am I to find this dump and bake version??? HAPPY! 🙂
We love it too, Kate! Thanks so much for stopping by!
I always see umpteen recipes for traditional hot browns every year and forget about them as quickly as they disappear~right after the race!! This recipe calls for things in my pantry and freezer or fridge and it’s so easy!! I always buy chicken thighs and breasts on sale, cook them then bag them in 2 cup portions and freeze them for even quicker meals!!
Hi, Judy! That’s awesome — I’m so glad that you might give this recipe a try (even after the race)! 🙂 I also like the idea of buying the chicken when it’s on sale, cooking it, and then freezing them in smaller portions. So convenient!
I had no idea what a “Hot Brown” was – but this looks incredible! We’ll definitely have to try it!
Thanks, Kristy! I hope that you get to try it! Your Southern hubby would probably love it! 🙂
Looks delish! Can’t say i’ve ever been to a derby party but I can only image!
Thanks so much< Mary Frances! Derby parties are fun -- festive, but no pressure for a big fancy holiday!
I’m going to try this recipe this week, but was wondering if you have baked it before then froze it for a later quick meal?
Absolutely delicious! Made this for the derby tonight. Took your suggestion and added the fresh herbs on top. Also put a couple dashes of hot sauce on top of each bowl (since the traditional sandwich has some). So good! Thanks for sharing ????
I had this at a friend’s house and loved it. I’m going to make it and would like to also put shrimp in it. What do you think?
Hi, Marilyn! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the sliders! You can really take the same general idea and use a variety of different ingredients. I think that cooked shrimp would be a delicious addition!
I asked this same question on another one of your recipes; have you made this with gluten free noodles? Do you have any idea how to adjust the amount of broth used in the recipe? Thanks!
Hi! I have never cooked with gluten-free noodles, so I’m not familiar with the way that they work in recipes like this. That said, I’ve heard from other readers that they’ve used GF noodles with good luck. I read somewhere that GF pasta tends to absorb more sauce than regular pasta, so you might want to increase the liquid slightly. Again, I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for sure. 🙂
Hello, I plan to make this wonderful casserole for a dinner party this weekend. Question: I want to assemble it an hour or two ahead and cook it when the guests arrive when we’re having drinks and apps. Do you think the pasta get too mushy sitting in the cold liquid waiting to go in the oven? Thanks a lot, Greg
Hi, Greg! I think it will be totally fine if it sits for an hour or two. I wouldn’t leave it overnight (or for an extended period), but that short amount of time should be fine. Enjoy!
Hello. Thanks a lot. I’ll let you know how it goes. Cheers!