Kentucky is known for many fine things. Horse racing. Basketball. Bluegrass. Bourbon. The color blue. But how about Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches? This legendary open faced turkey sandwich is well-known throughout the state as being one of the best things to ever appear on a plate. We had to give it a shot for the ultimate Kentucky Tailgate.
Once you try this recipe, let me know what you think…but we nailed it. These Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders are so good. Yummy turkey, buttered buns, fresh ripe tomato, cheese gravy (yes, I said CHEESE GRAVY), and bacon.
You can thank us later.
SEC Tailgate Special | The University of Kentucky
Football season is our FAVORITE time of year. We love the weather, the crowds, the crazy football action, and of course, the food! This year, we created a tailgate recipe for every team in the South Eastern Conference.
Our goal: to capture the spirit of each school’s team and make a fun and delicious recipe using local flavor and flair. So we put our football differences aside, and researched every school.
If you have ever been to an SEC Tailgate, you know that food is the only thing that brings opposing fans together. (Besides the fact that we all want to beat Florida.)
If you don’t follow college football or aren’t a fan of the SEC…that’s totally ok. The SEC Tailgate recipes are still awesome for your next party. Or a Tuesday. (We won’t judge.)
Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders | Kentucky Tailgate
To truly appreciate this recipe you have to read about the history of the Kentucky Brown Sandwich. This recipe was created and first served at the Brown Hotel in Kentucky. (Bonus, they share their original recipe. This is what inspired us to make these sliders.)
Well, the original recipe AND our friend Jon inspired us to make these.
He’s a crazy Wildcats fan, and he has already promised me that Kentucky will beat Tennessee this season. (I have a screen shot of the actual text to hold him to it.)
The first thing we did was work on our cheese sauce. Our sauce is just a little different than the traditional Mornay sauce used by the Brown Hotel. Ours is more of a cheese gravy. White Cheddar Cheese Gravy!
We hereby make Cheese Gravy a thing. A really, really good thing.
Now it is time to assemble your Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders. Super easy. You can do this in a baking dish or in a disposable aluminum foil pan.
Mix up a little butter and spices and butter your buns.
Next, add a nice layer of turkey. You can use deli turkey, leftover turkey, whatever you like. Add a slice of tomato to each slider, and top with some cheese gravy. (No worries, you will have enough left over for dipping!)
Criss cross each slider with a strip of cooked bacon, sprinkle with additional cheese, and top with the bun. (Bacon instantly makes tailgate food legit, by the way.)
More butter (yes, always more butter), and to the oven!
You are now officially the hero of your Kentucky Tailgate Party. (Better make a double batch!)
Try more of our SEC Tailgating Recipes here:
These are hot and melty, just the right portion, and once you get an extra dip of cheese gravy…so good!
Pro Tip: These also make a great BREAKFAST!
Hot Kentucky Brown Sliders | Kentucky Tailgate
For the White Cheddar Gravy
- 1 TB butter
- 1 1/2 TB all purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- A pinch of black pepper
- A pinch of nutmeg
- A pinch of paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 ounce white cheddar shredded
For the Sliders
- 12 slider buns
- 12 - 16 oz sliced turkey
- 2-3 to matoes sliced
- 12 slices bacon cooked
- 4 TB butter plus additional for serving if desired
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
- White Cheddar Gravy
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium sized sauce pan, melt 1 TB of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until smooth and bubbly. Stir constantly. Slowly add the milk, whisking until smooth. Stir in a pinch each of black pepper, nutmeg, and paprika. Heat to a low boil, stirring frequently until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Remove from heat and add the cheese. Stir until melted. Set the White Cheddar Gravy aside.
- Melt butter in a small bowl in the microwave. (Heat in 5 to 10 second increments until completely melted. Stir in 1/4 tsp of nutmeg and 1/4 tsp of paprika.
- Place the bottom half of slider buns in a baking dish. Brush the buns with half of the butter mixture.
- Place a layer of turkey on the buns, then a slice of tomato. Top the tomato with about 2 tablespoons of the cheese gravy. Break each bacon slice in half, and criss cross over the gravy. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of white cheddar over the bacon, then top with the top half of the slider buns.
- Brush the remaining butter and spice mixture on top of the buns, then place in the oven uncovered for 15 - 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the tops are golden brown.
- Top with additional butter (optional), and serve with the remaining White Cheddar Gravy.