This recipe for Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole is comfort food at it’s finest. It will please your entire family (including picky-eaters), but the flavors are impressive enough to serve at dinner parties … maybe with a Derby theme?
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If you’ve never experienced a Hot Brown, then you are in for a real treat. The Hot Brown is an open-faced turkey sandwich that is smothered in a cheesy Mornay sauce (similar to an Alfredo) and topped with tomato and bacon.
I’ll wait while you wipe the drool off your smart phone …
Hot Browns were invented in Louisville Kentucky at the Brown Hotel and they are legendary around here. You can find a link to a traditional Hot Brown, as well as some more info on the history HERE.
Tips for making Hot Brown Casserole:
- The recipe calls for thickly sliced roasted turkey. This is a GREAT way to use up leftover turkey, but to save time I’ve used Oscar Meyer carving board turkey as well as roasted chicken.
- If you can’t find Romano cheese or if you can’t find it at a good price, you can substitute with Parmesan or a Romano-Parmesan blend.
- I HATE tomatoes. I mean absolutely despise them. But, I can totally eat them in this dish. I slice them as thin as possible and make sure that they are pretty well roasted before eating. Even my super picky kiddos eat them in this dish without complaint. Trust me on this one.
- This recipe freezes really well. To do this, I complete all the steps in the recipe right up until it’s time to bake the assembled casserole. At this time just wrap it up tightly and pop it in the freezer. When you are ready to cook just allow it to thaw and then follow the instructions in the recipe card for baking.
Be sure to check out these other great recipes:
- Mint Juleps | Keto, Sugar-Free
- Upside Down Pizza Casserole | Keto, Gluten Free
- Chicken Parmesan Casserole | Keto, Gluten Free
- Chicken, Broccoli and “Rice” Casserole | Keto, Gluten Free
- Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Pork Chops | Keto, Gluten Free
- Kentucky Derby Pie | Keto
- Bourbon Balls | Keto, Sugar-Free
Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole | Keto, Gluten Free
For bottom “bread” layer:
For the sauce:
- 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cups Heavy Cream
- 3/4 cup shredded Romano cheese
- pinch ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the bottom “bread” layer:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and great a 9×13” dish.
- In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the mozzarella cheese, Romano cheese, and cream cheese. Microwave for 30 second intervals stirring in between each, until the cheeses are all melted and well incorporated.
- Add the almond flour, baking powder, and the egg. Stir until the mixture is uniform and all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Spread evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Place in preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until top is beginning to brown. Remove from oven and set aside. (keep oven on)
For the sauce:
- While the bottom layer is cooking, prepare your sauce by melting the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Once butter is melted, whisk in the heavy cream and Romano cheese. Continue cooking over medium high heat, stirring constatly, just until it begins to boil then reduce to a simmer.
- Continue stirring frequently, making sure that the bottom isn’t sticking, until the sauce has thickened. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.* If you over-thicken the sauce, whisk in a bit of unsweetened almond or cashew milk until it reaches the desired consistency
- Next, evenly distribute the turkey over the bread layer. Top the turkey with the thinly sliced tomato, then the pour the sauce over everything doing your best to make sure the entire dish is covered.
- Place the dish into the hot oven and cook for 10-15 minutes – or until sauce is bubbly and the edges of the tomatoes are starting to appear roasted.
- Remove from the oven, top with bacon strips and sprinkle with additional Romano cheese. Return to oven and cook and additional 5-10 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Immediately top with chopped parsley and paprika. Enjoy!