• Prep Time
    1 hour
  • Cook Time
    25 to 30 minutes
  • Serving
  • View

This sandwich-casserole is inspired by the Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich. A Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich is an open faced turkey sandwich smothered in Mornay Sauce. According to Wikipedia: A Hot Brown sandwich (sometimes known as a Louisville Hot Brown or Kentucky Hot Brown) is an American hot sandwich originally created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, by Fred K. Schmidt in 1926. It is a variation of traditional Welsh rarebit and was one of two signature sandwiches created by chefs at the Brown Hotel shortly after its founding in 1923. It was created to serve as an alternative to ham and egg late-night dinners. The Peppermill Restaurant in Metairie, Louisiana serves a similar sandwich (that I like) but it is awfully heavy with a thick layer of gloppy cheese melted over the top. My rendition is lighter, with a pretty little Bechamel blended with Parmesan cheese and grated white cheddar melted over the top. A generous sprinkle of chives and scallions is absolutely necessary.

Speaking of grated cheese, I used to shred cheese in my Kitchenaid food processor.  But lately, I have been using an old fashioned box grater.  It is easier to clean and there is something therapeutic about grating cheese by hand.  Get one at

This dish was fun to make and delicious with a glass of white Burgundy. I had to MAKE myself stop eating it right out of the casserole dish. I named it a two faced turkey melt because when I toasted the bread, it was crispy on one side and soft on the other. That’s because I have a cheap but cute polka dotted toaster that produces duplicitous toast… but guess what! I liked the two textures and so I’m keeping the toaster just for this dish. Obviously, you can change the ratio of cheese to Bechamel, or you could add more or less turkey (or you could add ham) or you could toss in mushrooms or even arrange tomato slices on top. But this is the way I like this dish.  The photos below are by Derek Cashman and they show The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.  Now I want to go there!

UPDATE AS OF AUGUST 14, 2023:  I made this dish over the weekend, and it was so good that once again I couldn’t stop eating it.  The bacon was Oscar Mayer thin cut bacon cooked on the Pink Pig Traeger pellet grill until done but not over crisp (because you’re going to cook it some more in the casserole). I used a very generous sprinkle of chives and scallions over the white sauce, and a hunk of extremely good white cheddar cheese.  And using a box grater for the cheese made for easy clean up.  You can get one at Amazon:


Turkey Melt


    Step 1

    Toast the bread and cut it in quarters and line the casserole dish.

    Step 2

    Arrange the sliced turkey over the bread.

    Step 3

    Pour the Bechamel with Parmesan over the bread and turkey. To make the Bechamel, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Pour in the milk slowly, whisking constantly. Add the nutmeg. You want a thick Bechamel but you can thin it with more milk to get the consistency you want. Add the Parmesan and stir well.

    Step 4

    After the Bechamel Sauce goes on top of the casserole, spread the white cheddar cheese on next.

    Step 5

    Sprinkle the scallions and chives on top of the casserole. Save some chives to garnish the finished dish.

    Step 6

    Bake until bubbly at 350 to 375 degrees. This should be about 25 minutes. Add the bacon on top of the casserole about five minutes before you remove the casserole from the oven.

    Step 7

    Sprinkle the reserved chives over the casserole and serve!

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