These Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders feature layers of turkey, tomato, bacon, and a delectable white cheddar Mornay sauce and all are sandwiched between buttery toasted slider buns. These are so scrumptious and perfect to fix for a game day appetizer or easy dinner!

Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders on a white plate.

I live in Kentucky where the Kentucky Hot Brown originated and where versions of this iconic recipe have surfaced among several bars, grills, and restaurants throughout the years. Nowadays, many of us like to make a mini appetizer version of the recipe.

Kentucky Hot Brown History

The original Hot Brown recipe was created in the Brown Hotel in Louisville Kentucky in the 1920s. Chef Fred Schmidt wanted to create a more elaborate dish than the usual ham and eggs for hungry guests. That’s when he came up with an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon that was covered in a delicate Mornay sauce. He named it the Hot Brown!

To read more about the history of the Hot Brown and the Brown Hotel read this article. It’s very informative and you will also see the original recipe for the Kentucky Hot Brown.

Prepping the bacon

The hardest thing about making these Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders is prepping the bacon if you can call that hard. Here’s all you do to prep the bacon…

  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Arrange bacon slices side by side on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the bacon is cooked through.
  5. Transfer to paper towels and pat dry.
Slices of bacon waiting to be baked in the oven for Kentucky Hot Brown sliders.
Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders.

Mornay Sauce

The original recipe for the Kentucky Hot Brown calls for making a Mornay Sauce made with Pecorino Romano Cheese. Some people don’t like the sharp salty taste of Pecorino Romano cheese, my husband being one of them. Therefore, I used sharp White Cheddar Cheese in my Mornay sauce. It has a great flavor and melts wonderfully.

What is Mornay Sauce? Mornay sauce is a cheesy thick gravy-like sauce. It’s made by making a roux from butter or some other type of fat, whisking in flour, and cooking for a couple of minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Then cream and seasoning get added, followed by shredded cheese.

Homemade cheese sauce for Kentucky Hot Brown sliders.

Assembling the sliders

  1. Butter the bottom half of each bun.
  2. Place a slice of turkey on each bun, (cut each slice into 4 pieces first)
  3. Place a tomato slice on top of the turkey.
  4. Place about 1 tablespoon of the Mornay sauce on top of the tomato.
  5. Crisscross 2 bacon pieces on top of the Mornay sauce.
  6. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of the bacon.
  7. Place the top of the buns on each and brush with butter.
Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders.

More easy mini game day appetizers from some of my fellow food bloggers…

Smoky Cheesy Cream Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers with Bacon

Easy Baked Cheeseburger Sliders

Easy Beef Meatballs

Italian Sausage Meatballs

If you make this recipe please rate it, and leave a comment below on how you liked it. I love getting your feedback! 🙂

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Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders on a white plate.

Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders

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  • Author: Cindy @mycountrytable
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 sliders 1x
  • Category: Appetizers/Sandwiches
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


These Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders feature layers of turkey, tomato, bacon, and a delectable white cheddar Mornay Sauce and all of it gets sandwiched between buttery toasted slider buns.


Units Scale


Mornay Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 ounces shredded white cheddar sharp cheese (from a bar)

Butter for Buns

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg


  • 12 slices of bacon
  • 12 mini slider buns
  • 12 slices of turkey
  • 3 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 ounces of shredded white cheddar sharp cheese (from a bar)


Mornay Sauce

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the flour and a couple of tablespoons of the milk.  Whisk vigorously with a fork or whisk for about 2 minutes until the rawness has time to cook out of the flour.  The mixture will look clumpy looking and separate but don’t worry.  It will smooth out when you add the rest of the milk.  Add the remaining milk, nutmeg, and paprika.  Whisk until the mixture has thickened but smooth.  Remove from the heat and add the shredded cheese.  Mix gently until the cheese melts.  Set aside.

Butter for Buns

  1. Melt the butter in a microwave.  Mix in the paprika and nutmeg.  Do this right below assembling the sliders.


  1. Bake the bacon:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a large shallow baking sheet with parchment paper.  Arrange the bacon pieces side by side on the baking sheet.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes until done.  Reduce oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the bacon from the oven and pat dry with paper towels.   Break each piece of bacon in half.  Set aside.
  2. Assemble the sliders:  Place the bottoms of the buns in a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Using 1/2 of the melted butter, brush the bottoms with the butter.  Now assemble:  (1) Cut each turkey slice in half, place the halves together and cut in half again, making 4 pieces.  (2) Place 4 cut pieces on each bun.  (3) Top the turkey with a tomato slice. (4) Top each tomato slice with a tablespoon of the Mornay sauce. (4) Crisscross 2 pieces of bacon on top of the cheese. (5)  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the shredded cheese on top of the bacon.  (6) Place the top buns on top and slightly press down. (7) Brush the bun tops with the remaining butter.  You might have to microwave the butter a few seconds to re-soften it.
  3. Bake:  Bake the sliders for approximately 10 minutes until they are heated through and the tops are slightly toasted.
  4. Serve immediately.
  5. They are best if served the same day.  Refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 day.


  • Cook time includes bake time for the bacon.