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If you’re hosting a Kentucky Derby party this year, or if you just like to have sandwiches for dinner sometimes (like us!), I have THE BEST recipe for you! These little Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders are incredibly popular in our house, and they make regular appearances at parties throughout the year. They are a must-try!A side shot a of Kentucky hot brown slider on a plate with flowers in the background

How to Make Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders | 1-Minute Video

What Is A Kentucky Hot Brown?

The traditional Kentucky Hot Brown is an open-face sandwich with turkey and bacon (and sometimes with pimientos or tomatoes), smothered in a Mornay sauce.

What the heck is a Mornay sauce?

It sounds fancy, but it’s basically just a white béchamel sauce with Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses added.

Close up photograph of Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders on a spatula in a casserole dish.

But you know what? Open-face sandwiches coated in creamy sauce are not exactly party-friendly finger food. So instead, I took the same basic ingredients from the classic sandwich and turned them into something even more delicious.

My version of Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders are kid-friendly and can be consumed with your hands — no utensils required!

A close up of a tray of Kentucky hot brown sliders

These sliders are stuffed with turkey, bacon, diced pimientos, Gruyere (or Swiss) cheese, and a sprinkle of Parmesan. As if that’s not delicious enough, they are coated in a sweet, garlic butter sauce that makes them indescribably good.

Baking dish full of Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders

How to make Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders:

These party sandwiches come together in just minutes!

  1. Assemble the individual sandwiches with mayonnaise, turkey, bacon, pimentos (or tomatoes), and cheese.
  2. Arrange the sandwiches in a 9-inch square baking dish.
  3. In a saucepan, make a sauce with melted butter, diced onion, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. Pour the butter sauce over the sandwiches.
  4. Cover the dish with foil and refrigerate for several hours.
  5. Bake the sliders in a 350 degree F oven covered for 25 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for about 5 more minutes. Serve and enjoy!

What to serve with the sliders:

Enjoy these sandwiches for a regular weeknight meal with a side salad, fruit salad, potato chips or fries. If you’re hosting a Kentucky Derby party, here are a few more festive options that go well with the Hot Brown Sliders:

A Kentucky hot brown slider on a spatula getting lifted from a baking dish

Tips For Making Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders:

  • I used Gruyere and Parmesan cheese but any good melting cheese would do if you don’t have them on hand. Why not try provolone or sharp white cheddar.
  • Deli chicken can be used instead of turkey
  • Try adding a little mustard with the mayo of a little kick
  • You can make these in advance and keep them in the fridge for several hours before baking

This recipe makes 12 sliders, but I will warn you — they go FAST. Definitely make more of these little guys than you think you will need. They won’t last long!

A close up of Kentucky hot brown sliders on a plate

More easy party sandwiches that you might enjoy:

A spatula holding a kentucky hot brown slider

Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders

4.93 from 14 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Chilling Time 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings 12 sliders
Calories 291.6 kcal
Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders are a perfect Kentucky Derby party food or easy weeknight dinner!



  • Assemble one slider by spreading mayonnaise on the bottom of the roll.
  • Add a layer of turkey, then bacon (breaking it in half or thirds to fit on the roll), a few diced pimientos (or tomatoes), half a slice of Gruyere, and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Replace the top. Repeat with remaining rolls to assemble a total of 12 sandwiches.
  • Arrange sandwiches in a single layer in a greased 9-inch-square baking pan.
  • In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until tender.
  • Whisk in the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. Continue whisking until brown sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour butter sauce over sandwiches.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for several hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Bake, covered, 25 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown.



Tips For Making Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders:

  • I used Gruyere and Parmesan cheese but any good melting cheese would do if you don't have them on hand. Why not try provolone or sharp white cheddar.
  • Deli chicken can be used instead of turkey
  • Try adding a little mustard with the mayo of a little kick
  • You can make these in advance and keep them in the fridge for several hours before baking


Serving: 1sliderCalories: 291.6kcalCarbohydrates: 20.1gProtein: 11.7gFat: 19.6gSaturated Fat: 10.2gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 360.9mgFiber: 0.6gSugar: 8.1g
Keyword: hot brown sandwich, Kentucky hot brown
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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        1. Hi, Cari! I haven’t actually tried it myself, but another reader said that she has prepared them the night before and that they turned out fine. Enjoy!

    1. I made these for our rowing crew’s annual weekend getaway…everyone loved them and wanted the recipe. I used a good turkey bacon and they were delicious!

      1. 5 stars
        I made these for a derby party last year and everyone asked if I would bring them again this year! Such a hit with adults ans kids! Plan on making multiple batches and Sam’s Club has everything you need (except for pimentos-got those at Target)!

  1. These look really yummy! I found your post in the Show Stopper Saturday Link Party 🙂

  2. 4 stars
    I have never heard of hot brown, these look so delish and since they are a finger food….I must try!

  3. Another one of your posts has caught my eye(stopping by from Life Created Tuesday)!! These look delicious, just pinned it!

  4. Hello! I came across your recipe as I was searching for a dish to bring to an Oaks day brunch and this is perfect! Since the party is in the morning, I was wondering if the sandwiches would be ok to soak in the mixture overnight?

    1. These are the perfect brunch sandwiches! I’m so glad that you’re going to make them. I’m serving them at a Mother’s Day brunch in a couple of weeks, too.
      I’ve never tried to leave them in the sauce overnight, so I’m not exactly sure how they would turn out. My suggestion would be to just err on the side of caution and let them sit for less time rather than for so long. I’d hate for your bread to be too mushy if they sat for too long. Again, they might be fine — I’m just not sure. If you can make them early in the morning and then even just let them sit for an hour or so, that would still be good. Or, you could prepare the sandwiches the night before and then just pour the sauce over top really early in the morning (and go back to bed if you want!). Hope that helps! Enjoy!

    2. I’ve made something similar to this and let it sit overnight, and it was fine! Can’t wait to try THIS version!

    1. Hi Michelle! Duh – sorry that I forgot to include the pimientos in the recipe instructions! Thanks for pointing that out! I updated the recipe now. 🙂 You just include a few of the diced pimientos inside the sandwich with the bacon, cheese, and meats — however many you like!

  5. These look so yummy! Please come share at the Anything Goes linky, if you have not already. I love Gruyere cheese.

  6. Have you used dices or sliced tomatoes instead of pimento cheeses in the sliders before? I’m thinking of making this for Derby day but was leaning a bit toward a more traditional hot brown.

    1. Hi, Katie! I haven’t used tomatoes before, so I’m not exactly sure how they would do. I think it would probably be fine, but just remember that you’re going to bake these in the oven, so the raw tomatoes will not stay crispy and fresh — they might get a little bit mushy. I’m sure the sandwiches would still taste great, though! It just depends on your preference. 🙂

  7. Blair, thanks so much for sharing these at Treasure Box Tuesday- sharing on Facebook this morning at 11:00 CST! 🙂 Gorgeous!

  8. I made these last night for our annual Derby party and they were AMAZING!! My only regret is that I didn’t make more of them!!! These are Going on our regular dinner rotation 🙂 thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi, Jenny! That’s so great! Thanks for letting me know, and I’m glad that you liked them. They’re a favorite in our house, too. 🙂

  9. My mother-in-law made these hot brown sliders this weekend and they were delicious. This recipe is a keeper for our next Derby party and others. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi, Diane! Thanks so much for letting me know. They are in the regular rotation at our house, too! In fact, I’m making them this weekend for another party at our house. 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    Hi Blair,

    Awesome! I served them with an orange cranberry relish I had left over. Outstanding!


  11. A traditional Kentucky Hot Brown DOES NOT have pimentos. It does have ham and tomatoes in addition to the turkey and bacon.

    1. Hi, Cari! I definitely think that they are best served warm! That said, our family has been known to eat left-overs at room temp and they are also delicious!

  12. 5 stars
    I made these today for lunch for my parents and daughter, and everyone absolutely loved them! This will definitely be one of my go-to dishes from now on!! I didn’t have any tomatoes but would have definitely used them instead of pimentos since that’s the ingredient in the original Hot Brown created by the Brown Hotel here in Louisville. A lot of restaurants here in Louisville serve the Hot Brown, and they all use tomatoes. They get layered under the cheese sauce and are baked right along with everything else. Yummy!

    1. Hi, Becky! I’m glad that you liked the recipe! I didn’t realize that tomatoes were more traditional…learn something new every day! Thanks for your feedback. 🙂

  13. Just found your site thanks to Twitter and I must say I’m loving your recipes! Each one looks equally delicious and I can’t wait to make my own gluten free versions. Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. I’ve made these twice now. My family loves them. We had a few cadets over this past weekend and they proclaimed they were, “amazing”! Thank you!

  15. I want to make these sliders for a bowl party we are going to attend, but I have several questions: (1) My slices of turkey are much too big for the rolls; do I slice the turkey (same for the piece of bacon) and stack it or do I fold, refold, refold, and fold again. (2) The only Gruyere I could find was in block form — how thick a slice so I use on each slider. (3) I don’t see how the finished sliders will fit in a 9 x 9 pan since the rolls are in 9 x 7 package before they are stuffed (I realize that you are going up rather than out), but is the plan to jam them in there so that they must be cut out? Thanks Sara Lou

    1. Hey, Sara Lou! I’m so glad that you’re planning to make these. You will LOVE them. 🙂 Here are my answers:
      (1) You can do either with the turkey, but don’t stress too much. Just use your judgment and put however much turkey on each roll that you think looks good. You can’t really mess that part up. If you just want to use half of a slice instead of stacking it high or refolding it a bunch of times, that would work great, too!
      (2) I would just slice the cheese as thick or thin as you like it. Too thick and it might get a bit messy when it melts, but again — this is pretty flexible so just do it however you think it looks good. As thin as you can slice, would be great. Kind of like the thickness of a slice of American cheese? Hope that helps! You could also buy slices of Swiss cheese if you can’t find the slices of Gruyere. The two cheeses are pretty similar. Heck, the sliders would even be delicious with cheddar, American, or provolone cheese!
      (3) They fit tightly in the pan, but you don’t need to cut them out. You just want them close enough to each other so that they are all touching each other. I haven’t had a problem fitting them, so hopefully you won’t either. 🙂
      Let me know if you have any other questions!

    1. Hi, Teresa! I haven’t personally tried making them the night before, but several other readers have done so and reported back that it worked well! I would definitely give it a shot. 🙂 Enjoy!

  16. hi there! What’s the reason for such a long refrigeration time? Mine are actually in the fridge now. It’s been an hour.

    1. Hi, Jay! That timing is flexible. Some readers have made the sandwiches as far in advance as the day before and they said that they turned out great. If you only have an hour, that will work too! The longer time just gives the flavors more time to come together and it allows the sauce to soak into the bread some so that when the sandwiches bake the bread is packed with flavor, crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside.

      Like I said, the recipe is forgiving, so you can feel free to bake them when you need them…even if it hasn’t been quite as long. Believe me…you’ll still love them! 🙂

  17. This recipe was awesome. I didn’t have any pimentos on hand, so I used roasted red peppers. Amazing! Thank you for sharing.

  18. Have you ever made these and then held them until serving in a warm oven? I would think keeping them warm for 30 minutes or so should be fine. Thoughts??

  19. 5 stars
    Have you ever made these and then held them in a warm oven until guests arrived? If so, do you think an hour is too long?

    1. I should also add, though — they’re good at room temp, too. So if they sit on the counter in a warm dish for 30 minutes they will be fine as well!

  20. 5 stars
    These hot browns are seriously the best thing, EVER. As a Florida transplant from Kentucky, I am always trying to find ways of bringing a little bit of home into my coastal life. I host a Derby party every year and these little golden bits of heaven are always the hit of the party. They are seriously all everyone talks about. They are so requested and drooled over that I now make them for every party we host. Well done and thank you for sharing this amazing recipe.

    1. Chelsea! Your kind comment totally made my day! I’m so glad that you love them and that they’re a little taste of home! 🙂

  21. I Love this recipe so much, that our community is planning a Derby Day party, and we hope to serve
    these mini sliders to approximately 60 people. We would like to make at least 120. Our biggest concern is how to serve them, and how to keep them warm. We would NOT be serving them until almost 3 hrs after they are baked. We have no oven at our club house. Have you ever served a large number of sliders, and how did you keep them warm? Have you ever served them stacked on top of each other in
    a large dish? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Nancy

    1. That’s wonderful, Nancy! I’m so glad that you will share these sandwiches with your friends!

      I’m not sure that I have any great advice for keeping them warm. I would bake them as late as possible, and then keep them insulated and wrapped (maybe in towels? or one of those insulated cooler bags?) — anything that will help retain the heat inside the dishes. Honestly, though, these sandwiches taste great at room temperature! We’ve served them that way at parties and they’ve been devoured!

      I think that you can definitely serve them stacked on top of each other if you arrange them in the dishes that way after they come out of the oven. I don’t think that you would want to bake them in double layers, but you can certainly transport them that way and they would be fine. Hope that helps, and have fun!

  22. OH MY! I made these for my daughter’s Kentucky Derby Bridal Shower Soiree! What a hit! Everyone loved them! Thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe. Just wanted to comment to let others know how they worked out. I made the sandwich and the sauce the night before. However, I foiled the sandwiches and stored the sauce in a covered glass bowl in the refrigerator over night. The next morning I warmed the sauce in the microwave and evenly spooned the sauce over the sandwiches, replaced foil and refrigerated them until the bridal shower at 2:00 pm. They were perfect. Careful to watch the last 5 minutes and not started chatting with guest……or they may get a little too brown! LOL they were still great great! I 4x the recipe, so all worked out. I hope this helps…..and she’s off!

    1. Hi, Julie! I’m SO glad that you and your guests enjoyed these! They are such a great party food, and that bridal shower theme sounds so fun!

      Thanks for sharing your smart prep-ahead tips, too!

  23. I’m from Georgetown Ky and I make ones similar to these every year…only mine have real tomato slices and a thin layer of ham. But I am going to make them usimg the kings Hawaiian bread you suggest is this recipe soon. My husband and kids love these too! They pair great with the mint julip drink for Derby parties! ????

  24. 5 stars
    Excellent! Took these to a party, and it was everyone’s favorite. I didn’t use as much bacon as in the recipe (just a half slice, or third slice of thick bacon). Made a batch of in a 15×10 pan. Just made another batch for my family in 13×9 pan and was able to squeeze 20 in there. Baked them at home, and took them to the party half an hour away, and they were perfect. They were even good at room temperature. Will make these again and again for parties.

  25. Blair,
    It looks like a great Recipe, I was looking for the Video and couldn’t find it . I enjoy watching videos on how to cook different recipes . I am looking forward to making tes sliders , Thanks for Sharing many great Recipes ..

    1. Hi, Edward! The video should automatically pop up on the bottom righthand corner of your screen (on a desk top) or on the top righthand corner of the screen if you’re looking at the post on a phone or other device. It might take a minute or two of scrolling for the video to appear. Hope that helps, and enjoy the sandwiches!

  26. I love turkey! I’m so surprised I haven’t tried these yet! They’ll definitely go on my list of recipes. Thanks!

  27. 5 stars
    I’ve always been a food lover and a cook at home for 10 years now all while growing up in southeast KY, native to the hot browns and Southern food here… I just have to say that this is a recipe you can follow exact and it be absolutely the best thing I’ve tasted. My mom makes these around holidays and I think she uses the same recipe. I’m telling you guys, try it. That sauce you pour over these are addictive. If I was on death row, this will be my last supper. Oh my…

  28. I want to make these this weekend and just have a question. Does pouring the sauce over the top of the buns make the bread mushy?

  29. These were a huge hit at my Kentucky Derby party today! Almost everyone asked for the recipe! I will be using this recipe for the 2022 derby and other future parties! Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Hailee! I’m so glad that they were a success and that they added to the fun at your party. 🙂

  30. 5 stars
    Wow – these were a HUGE hit at my derby party! The only slight change I made was using pecorino romano instead of the parmesan. Absolutely delicious!

  31. I made these for a derby party last night and they were ridiculously good. I tried the original as written and made up a vegetarian version (tomato, shiitake mushrooms, pimentos) and loved both.

    1. That’s great, Erin! I’m so glad that they were a hit. I love the idea of making a vegetarian version with mushrooms. Sounds delicious!

      1. You can cook them right away; the rolls just won’t absorb quite as much of the buttery goodness. Either way is fine, though!

  32. I made these for last year’s Derby and holy cow what a hit! I’m making them again this year, but I thought the sauce was a little light, I’m going to double it for a single recipe and then just stop when I’m comfortable. 🙂 Bacon is in the oven now…assembling and getting Derby-ready soon! Time for a margarita, though! (5/5) 🙂

    1. Thanks, Michelle! I hope that you love them. You can’t go wrong with more sauce. Have fun Derby-watching!