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Kentucky Hot Brown Skillet Dip

The classic Louisville Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich gets a makeover! All the best parts of the open face turkey sandwich transformed into a bubbly, cheesy, Hot Brown skillet dip that is perfect for watching the most exciting 2 minutes in sports on Derby Day!

Cheesy dip on  a cracker

Before we get to the skillet dip, we need to talk about the famous sandwich!

What is a Kentucky Hot Brown?

This unique dish was born in the 1920’s at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky by chef Fred Schmidt.

Dreamt up like so many of my recipes, late at night after a night of dancing and partying, it is elegant comfort food!

Instead of the hotel guest’s usual after dancing fare, Chef Schmidt presented them with a toasted open-face turkey sandwich, topped with bacon, fresh tomatoes, and a creamy Mornay sauce.

Even thought I am a sucker for bacon, the cheese sauce ties it all together.

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overhead picture of cracker dipping in a skillet

What is the Hot Brown recipe?

To make the classic Hot Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich, you start by making the Mornay sauce. A creamy classic béchamel sauce is made with Pecorino Romano cheese instead of Gruyère cheese.

Then roasted turkey is sliced and piled high on a thick piece of Texas Toast. A tomato is cut in half and added to the dish. The Mornay sauce is poured over the turkey and toast and placed under a broiler.

Once the Hot Brown is bubbly and golden brown, the dish is removed and topped with a couple slices of bacon. Roasted turkey, creamy cheese sauce, and BACON!!

The Hot Brown is famous all year long, but because of its birthplace, it’s also a popular dish to serve at the Kentucky Derby!

For more insider tips & tricks, and a candid behind the scenes look follow me on social media! Check use out on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter (yes, people still use Twitter, LOL!)

How to Make Hot Brown Dip

First: Mix the cream cheese, chopped turkey, shredded cheeses, bacon, and sour cream until combined.

Second: Spread into an oven proof skillet. Top with more cheese!

Third: Bake in the oven until warm and bubbly.

Fourth: Remove from oven and top with parsley, more bacon, and fresh tomatoes. Enjoy with crackers!

For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.


Not only can you make the hot brown into a dip and a skillet dip that you can make in advance and then cook and serve it all in one skillet, but you can also bake it into bread bowls. 

Mini Bread Bowls to be exact. I want to give you all the options available so you can make the best choice for you Derby party. And who’s mouth doesn’t start watering at the mention of cheesy bread bowl dips? I know I do!

After I whipped up a batch of this Hot Brown Skillet Dip, I kept a few servings out of the skillet and spooned it into a hole in the dinner roll.

A little extra cheese sprinkled on top of the dip and a bread cap on top, I baked them in the oven until golden and bubbly.

Bread bowl with top being pulled off

Forget the open face sandwich route, these dinner rolls became the best mini bread bowls filled with creamy hot brown dip. Pulling off the top revealed gooey cheese and a hot dip.

Can I use a different cheese?

You can, mozzarella is super melty but I would recommend a nuttier cheese like Gruyère or Asiago.

Do I have to make it in a skillet?

No, you can add the dip to a casserole dish or a full size bread bowl and bake it like that.

Can I make it ahead of time?

You can make the dip up to a day in advance.  Any longer and you would want to leave out the tomatoes and add them just before baking.

Can I freeze it?

You can freeze the dip but the texture might vary a little afterwards.

Bread Bowl with top being removed and cheese stretching

Kentucky has a rich food history, so there is no shortage of classic Derby Foods that have been served for years.

Derby Pie, Benedictine Sandwiches, Beer Cheese, Bourbon Balls, Country Ham Biscuits, and Burgoo are always served and the recipes are rarely changed.

kentucky derby food ideas collage

Kentucky Derby Foods

Looking to host a Kentucky Derby Party? Here is a list of Kentucky Derby food ideas and some cute decorations!

Among them are my Derby Pie Bites, Derby Pie Brownies, Derby Pie Cheese Ball, and Derby Pie Dip!

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

dip on a cracker with text"hot brown skillet dip"

Rich, smoky, gooey, meaty, toasty, melty, and perfect for the middle of the night or the middle of the day!

Hot Brown Skillet Dip with a hand dipping a chip in it

Cheesy Hot Brown Skillet Dip

This Hot Brown Skillet Dip is the best parts of the open face turkey sandwich transformed into a bubbly, cheesy, skillet dip that is perfect for Derby Day!
4.63 from 24 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Savory Dips and Spreads
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 256kcal
Author: Jennifer Stewart


  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 6 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 6 ounces turkey cooked and diced
  • 6 strips of bacon cooked and chopped fine
  • 2 Roma tomatoes diced small
  • 1/4 cup Romano cheese grated
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/4 cup parsley fresh, chopped fine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • crackers and dinner rolls for serving


Hot Brown Skillet Dip

  • Set aside 2 ounces of sharp white cheddar cheese, a little parsley, a tablespoon of the chopped bacon, and a few tomatoes pieces for garnishing.
  • Combine the cream cheese, remaining sharp white cheddar cheese, remaining bacon, turkey, sour cream, Romano cheese, remaining tomatoes, paprika, dried mustard, remaining parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Spread the dip in an 8-inch cast iron or oven-proof skillet.
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.
  • When bubbly and golden brown around the edges, remove the skillet and garnish with bacon, parsley, and tomatoes.
  • Serve warm with crackers or toasted baguette.

Hot Brown Mini Bread Bowls

  • Bake the dinner rolls per package instructions.
  • Cut a round section off the top and hollow out most of the bread in the center.
  • Combine all the dip ingredients as above, reserving little white cheddar cheese for topping later.
  • Scoop into the dinner rolls.
  • Sprinkle the tops with cheese and replace the dinner roll tops on the rolls.
  • Bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges are starting to brown,
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  • Serve warm with a Mint Julep or and Oaks Lily!



*If you love this recipe, please leave me a comment and rate it with 5 stars. Thank you!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 397mg | Sugar: 2g

This recipe inspired by this one.

© Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

Recipe Rating

25 Amazing Kentucky Derby Dessert Recipes to Try at Home

Tuesday 23rd of June 2020

[…] Cheesy Hot Brown Skillet Dip – Get Recipe At Taketwotapas […]


Saturday 15th of June 2019

Hells Bells this was Incredible! You nailed the essence of the classic and made it amazing in a dip! Going to keep this on a regular cocktail hour roTATIONS!

Michaela Kenkel

Monday 20th of May 2019

I had never heard of the sandwich, and now I have to say, I will be making this dip STAT. The way you put it in those rolls??!! OMG!! Cheese lovers DREAM COME TRUE!


Friday 3rd of May 2019

Your recipe directions do not make sense. You say to combine cream cheese, sharp white cheddar cheese, turkey, sour cream, Romano cheese, paprika, dried mustard, parsley, salt & pepper. The next step says to reserve some bacon, parsley & a few tomatoes but you do not say what to do with the rest of these ingredients. Spread the dip in an 8 inch cast iron or oven provf skillet and top with remaining cheese. What remaining cheese. If you want us to reserve & spread with remaining cheese you need to say so in your ingredients. I am sure that this recipe will be very good but if you are going to share your recipes you need to me more complete and accurate


Thursday 17th of March 2022

@Jennifer, Thanks the recipe makes so much more sense. I actually made the dip the first time and everyone liked it.


Saturday 4th of May 2019

I am sorry that the recipe instructions were not clear enough. I have gone in and revised the instruction section and I hope that it is easier to read. I hope you give the dip a try because it is very good.

Kylee from Kylee Cooks

Monday 29th of April 2019

Ohhhh, I need this cheesy gooey goodness in my life, stat. Do I really have to wait for Derby Day, or can I just eat this... today?