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Kentucky Hot Brown Dip

A dippable form of the classic Kentucky sandwich.
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Creamy, meaty, and cheesy — these are the elements that take an average dish from yum to wow in an instant lighting-like speed. Sure, we all have our standby casseroles and dips, but do you have something that covers all the bases and comforts the soul like this recipe for Kentucky Hot Brown Dip? Probably not. All of the elements of the classic bluegrass state staple are here and present but are in a meltier, cheesier dip form that’s meant for everyone to dive right in!

This legendary open-faced sandwich had its origins in the Brown Hotel of the 1920s, but it’s cemented itself into the culinary world since then. While the original sandwich is a tasty delight, prepping multiple sandwiches for a crowd is far from enjoyable. This Kentucky Hot Brown Dip takes the components of the sandwich and transfers it into a casserole dish to be baked up until gooey and melty, perfect for crackers and bread to be dipped in.

An aromatic base of onions cooks down in fat as the base of the dip.

The pinnacle feature of the dip (and the sandwich) is the Mornay sauce, which is just a fancy name for a roux-based white sauce. In a pot, melt butter and then whisk in flour, creating a roux. Whisking the roux for a few minutes removes the lumps from the flour and also eliminates that raw flour taste.

Next, slowly pour in the milk, whisking each addition, so it thoroughly combines with the roux.

When the sauce comes together, turn off the heat– this is where the real magic happens. Cream cheese, sour cream, nutmeg, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and one cup of cheese are whisked into the sauce, making it a decadent delight.

Fold in chopped-up cooked turkey breast and pour into the prepared pan. The dip gets a final coating of cheese, crumbled bacon, and sliced cherry tomatoes.

Pop the casserole dish into the oven, baking it until the sides are bubbling and the top is melted and golden brown.

There’s no waiting for it to cool — this is best served immediately!

The Mornay (now technically a béchamel with all of the cheese) is rich with added creaminess from the cream cheese and sour cream.

Bits of turkey, bacon, and tomatoes are spread throughout the dip, making for an interesting and delicious variety of textures and tastes.

The cheese gives the dip a luscious cheese pull that’s not only a site to see but is also downright packed with flavor. Come Sunday game season or holiday potlucks, no other recipe stands a chance against this!

Yield(s): Makes 12 servings

10m prep time

25m cook time

4.9
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Rated by 9 reviewers

Allergens: Milk, Poultry

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Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, very soft
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese, divided
  • 6 to 8 ounces turkey breast, cut into cubes
  • 8 strips of bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 teaspoons parsley, roughly chopped for garnish
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Crackers or bread, for dipping
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease an 8-x-8-inch baking pan with spray, set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter. Once melted, sauté onions until soft and slightly translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Once the onions are soft, whisk in flour, forming a paste. Whisk for 1 to 2 minutes to cook off the rawness of the flour.
  4. Add milk gradually, whisking continuously until the mixture thickens into a sauce, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Off of the heat add cream cheese, sour cream, nutmeg, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and 1 cup of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Fold in cubed turkey.
  7. Pour the dip into the prepared pan. Topping with remaining 1 cup shredded cheese followed by the bacon and cherry tomatoes.
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until bubbling and golden. To get the dip even more golden and crispy on top, broil the dip on high for 1 minute. Garnish with parsley, serve, and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from JCP Eats.