Kentucky Hot Brown Bites

Kentucky Hot Brown Bites – All the flavors of the sandwich in a bite-size treat. Turkey, bacon, tomatoes, mornay cheese sauce, and crescent rolls baked in a mini muffin pan. Perfect for your Kentucky Derby and holiday parties. This is a great recipe for leftover holiday turkey.

Kentucky Hot Brown Bites - turkey, bacon, tomatoes and mornay sauce baked in mini muffin pan - perfect for your Derby Day parties and leftover holiday turkey!

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Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich Bites

I had my first Kentucky Hot Brown at Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain in NYC last year. It was AMAZING! I knew I had to make my own version at home. Since party food is my favorite food, I made mini hot brown bites. We ate these for dinner, and there were no leftovers. This is a great way to use up any leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, and they would be the perfect addition to your game day party! Your guests will love them!

What is a Hot Brown?

A Hot Brown sandwich is an open-faced turkey sandwich topped with bacon, and tomato slices covered in creamy Mornay sauce and baked in the oven or under the broiler until the bread is crisp and the sauce begins to brown. It is sometimes called a  Louisville Hot Brown or Kentucky Hot Brown. It was created by Chef Fred Schmidt in the 1920s at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.

How to Make Hot Brown Bites

These bites are very easy to make. Start with making the mornay cheese sauce. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook for about a minute. Whisk in milk and cook until the sauce starts to thicken. Add Swiss cheese and stir until smooth. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Set aside.

Unroll the crescent dough and cut it into 24 squares. Press crescent roll dough into mini muffin cups. In a bowl combine chopped turkey slices and 1 cup of the cheese sauce. Spoon the turkey mixture into the muffin cups. Top each bite with diced tomato, chopped bacon, and parmesan cheese. Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown. Garnish with parsley and paprika, if desired.

Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • This recipe uses a mini muffin pan.
  • You can substitute cooked chicken and turkey bacon.
  • Can use leftover holiday turkey or Oscar Mayer Carving Board Roast Turkey.
  • White cheddar cheese or American cheese may be added to the sauce. 
  • These bites taste best the day they are baked. They are good hot out of the oven or cooled to room temperature.
  • You can make the cheese sauce in advance and refrigerate it overnight.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Kentucky Hot Brown Bites - turkey, bacon, tomatoes and mornay sauce baked in mini muffin pan - perfect for your Derby Day parties and leftover holiday turkey!

What to Serve with Hot Brown Crescent Bites

These bites are always a hit! It is one of my favorite ways to use up all that leftover holiday turkey. We like to serve this with a green salad or some breadsticks. It is equally delicious with pasta salad. This also makes a great appetizer for parties and potlucks. Add this to your menu ASAP! It is sure to become a favorite at your house too!

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plate of KY Hot Brown bites

Kentucky Hot Brown Bites

Yield: 24 bites
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Kentucky Hot Brown Bites – All the flavors of the sandwich in a bite-size treat. Turkey, bacon, tomatoes, mornay cheese sauce, and crescent rolls baked in a mini muffin pan. Perfect for your Derby Day and holiday parties. This is a great recipe for leftover holiday turkey. #derby #kyderby #turkey #sandwich #partyfood #gameday #crescentrolls

Ingredients:

Mornay Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
  • ½ cup coarsely grated Gruyère or Swiss

Kentucky Hot Brown Bites

  • 1 (8-oz) can refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 cup finely chopped turkey
  • 1 cup mornay sauce
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Mornay Sauce

  • Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in flour, and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. (Do not let the mixture brown.)
  • Add milk, whisking constantly. Bring to a low boil, and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes more. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat, and stir in cheese. Allow to cool slightly.

Kentucky Hot Brown Bites

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly spray mini muffin pans with cooking spray.
  • In a small bowl combine finely chopped turkey and 1 cup of mornay sauce.
  • Lightly spray a mini muffin pan with non stick cooking spray.
  • Unroll crescent rolls and press dough into one large rectangle. Cut rectangle into 24 squares. Press dough squares into muffin cups and shape up around the edges.
  • Fill each muffin cup with some of the turkey mixture. Top each bite with some diced tomato, bacon and parmesan cheese.
  • Bake 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Notes:

  • You will have leftover mornay sauce.
  • This recipe uses a mini muffin pan.
  • You can substitute cooked chicken for the turkey.
  • Can substitute turkey bacon for regular pork bacon.
  • These bites taste best the day they are baked. They are good hot out of the oven or cooled to room temperature.
  • You can make the cheese sauce in advance and refrigerate it overnight.

Steph

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plate of KY Hot Brown bites

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Comments

  1. Love this idea, is it possible to make these the day before and heat the day of a party? I am trying to do some things in advance.

  2. This looks good! I will have to try it especially since I am from Louisville, Kentucky the home of the hot browns. Thanks for giving us creative ideas for snacks and meals.

  3. Mandy – I used one piece per mini-muffin cup. You can try rolling the dough with a rolling pin to make it fit.

  4. Am I supposed to use two squares of dough per muffin cup or just one? Mine seem to barely cover the bottom of the muffin cup.

  5. Lisa – yes, cook the bacon first, but don't make it super crispy since it will continue to cook in the oven

  6. Steph – you are just so creative, especially with small bite items. We make and enjoy hot browns occasionally and this looks like a must try

  7. Oh, you are a woman after my own heart!! These look SO good! I've SEEN Bobby Flay in his "Throw-down" Food Network show with the two chefs who do this in the south, and I have ALWAYS wanted to make a Hot Brown. How lucky you had one at his restaurant! And your little bites look so delicious. Thanks for sharing!
    Best,
    Gloria

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