Run for the Roses Appetizer: Mini Kentucky Hot Browns

Mini Kentucky Hot Browns

Are you ready for “The Run for the Roses”? Post time for the Kentucky Derby is 6:34 p.m. ET today, and Mini Hot Browns are just the right size appetizer to enjoy along with “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports”.


The Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich of turkey and bacon, covered in Mornay sauce. Made famous in the 1920’s by the chef at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, this mini-version is a quintessential Derby Day party food!


You can make your own Mornay sauce or use a short-cut with a ready-made Welsh Rarebit creamy cheddar cheese sauce you can find in the freezer section of your grocery store. These Mini Kentucky Hot Browns are crowd-pleasing bite you can scale up or down for a crowd or yourself and enjoy in front of your television while cheering on your favorite horse. Don’t forget to wear your fanciest hat ;)


Mini Kentucky Hot Browns, recipe courtesy Celebrate Magazine

Serves 24


24 (2-inch) round slices white bread

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 (10-ounce) package prepared Welsh rarebit sauce

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1⁄4 pound thick-cut smoked deli turkey, cut into bite-size pieces

24 slices Roma tomatoes

1⁄4 cup loosely packed chopped parsley

2 teaspoons smoked paprika



Preheat oven to 400°.  Brush both sides of bread rounds with melted butter. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly golden. Microwave Welsh rarebit sauce according to package directions. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Microwave for 1 minute longer, stirring well to blend.


Spoon cheese sauce on top of toasted bread rounds. Sprinkle with bacon. Layer 2 pieces turkey and 1 slice tomato. Sprinkle with parsley and paprika. Serve immediately.


 To make ahead for your Derby watching, assemble as directed, without tomato and parsley and refrigerate. When ready to serve, place in preheated 350° oven on a parchment lined baking sheet for 5 – 10 minutes or until warmed through. Top with tomato and parsley and serve. You can find a printable recipe, HERE.


Serve these Kentucky Hot Browns with a Sweet Tea Julep, a marriage of two classic Southern drinks, the mint julep and sweet tea!

Sweet Tea Julep6

I pulled out my Old Kentucky Home scale to serve up these Mini Hot Browns. . .


The Stephen Foster ballad, “My Old Kentucky Home” is performed by the University of Louisville Marching Band as the horses make their way from the paddock to the starting gate, and has been a Derby Day tradition since 1936.

And for a sweet ending, serve up some Mini Derby Pies, a Bluegrass-inspired recipe, baked in a muffin tin! These mini pies are a winning trifecta of pecan pie, chocolate and a touch of Kentucky Bourbon!

easy bourbon whipped cream border

Top your Mini Derby Pies with Easy Bourbon Whipped Cream, ready in 20 seconds!

Derby Truffles

Or enjoy a Derby Truffle (or two!)

 Rich, easy, and can be made ahead

You’re welcome to join me at an  Off to the Races Derby-inspired Table,  with plaid and roses plates, Mint Julep Cup vases filled with azalea blooms and sprigs of mint.


Don’t you love the names of some of these horses? Some of my favorites at the starting gate today are Suddenbreakingnews, Oscar Nominated, Exaggerator, My Man Sam, and last but not least, Cherry Wine ;)

Mini Hot Browns

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis MondayThe Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us WednesdaysTablescape ThursdayFeathered Nest Friday

 Foodie Friday and Everything Else Link Party

  25 comments for “Run for the Roses Appetizer: Mini Kentucky Hot Browns

  1. Tracy
    May 7, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Your creativity and love of beauty are so inspiring! Thank you so much for making my day!

  2. May 7, 2016 at 7:12 am

    I want to come to your house for the Derby Mary! The hot browns using Stouffer’s Welsh Rarebit are quite brilliant, and the tomato topper looks just like a rose :) I would love a frosty julep and a luscious little pecan pie or bite also please! We always love those exciting 2 minutes in sports, and are looking forward to the race this afternoon, have fun!

  3. Lynn Schantz
    May 7, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Mary, you have been truly blessed with your talents. Have a happy “Run for the Roses Day”.

  4. franki
    May 7, 2016 at 8:28 am

    THAT SCALE….is a winner!!! franki p.s. as well as ALL those blue ribbon treats!!

  5. Ellen Stillabower
    May 7, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Love, love a hot brown..these are so simple and pretty too!! So is that table with the tartan and roses..this is where some of my Christmas tartan/plaid comes in handy!! Off to the races!! 🏁🏁🏁

  6. May 7, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Mary, I’m humming My Old Kentucky Home now and imagining myself at your (gorgeous!! ~~ maybe my favorite of all your fabulous tables ~~ ) derby table with a mint tea julep and these appetizers. I’ll definitely save room for a mini pecan pie, then we will cheer on our favorite! I’m putting my money on that beautiful horse in your photo. Such a sweet face! Whipped cream is always a good idea, for anytime, so I think I’ll try the bourbon version next time. Thanks for the inspiration! Linda

  7. May 7, 2016 at 8:43 am

    I am having a derby party today, including mini-hot browns, different recipe! Also cucumber sandwiches, pickled shrimp, deviled eggs :) Kentucky Burgoo with biscuits for after the run, with derby pie for dessert. Hoping we all enjoy that famous 2 minutes in sports tonight! Jackie in Ohio

  8. Becky
    May 7, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Everything sounds so delicious! Your table settings are always beautiful and this one is no exception. I think the scale that says old Kentucky home is fabulous. Enjoy the race.

  9. Jacklyn carney
    May 7, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Mary, I love your post today, I know u will enjoy your derby day, I hope the sun is shining down there, cheers!

  10. Sue Bingeman
    May 7, 2016 at 9:40 am

    I love the table cover – the blue floral with the pink ruffle! Any information on that? I’m thinking I could make one myself. Everything looks wonderful as always. Enjoy you day!

    • May 7, 2016 at 9:43 am

      Thanks Sue! It’s a dish towel I found at HomeGoods several years ago :)

  11. May 7, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    There’s about 10 minutes to post time Mary, wish I had one of your sandwiches to nosh on! Have a great weekend:@)

  12. May 7, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Mary, this is a winning table for certain. Love the beautiful horse you show. Is this beauty on the property next door? I had plans to spend time at my friend’s horse ranch this weekend, but had to change my plans. It is always a treat to be around these magnificant creatures.

  13. May 7, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    I completely missed the race, Mary, as I’ve been too busy racing after my 18 month granddaughter,who I’ve had since Thursday until Monday. Oh my, I would’ve loved each of your yummy treats for they look so good! However, right now I’m already in bed and I’ll be snoozing before too long. 😴

  14. May 8, 2016 at 9:55 am

    What a fantastic post, Mary…I learned SO MUCH from this one! The food looks delicious & thanks for the recipes.
    Beautifully presented, as always.

  15. May 8, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I’m not much of a horse racing enthusiast but could be persuaded to enjoy the occasion at your Derby Party…How fun …wait for me to find my fanciest hat (I’m afraid it will be a gardening one) and I will be thrilled to join you!

  16. May 8, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    I pinned away…what a great recipe for the Hot Browns as an appetizer…..The food, the table, the drink, a perfect way to celebrate The Derby. Thanks for giving us lots of history that is involved with The Derby. Learned a great deal!
    Thanks Mary!

  17. May 10, 2016 at 12:00 am


  18. Kathy T
    May 10, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    I would love to sit down and eat right now! The food looks soooo good and your table settings are so beautiful. AND the backdrop of your table-in my dreams…

  19. Cyndi Raines
    May 10, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Mary, you inspired me to have a Derby brunch and we had so much fun. My husband is from Kentucky so it was a good excuse to have a brunch on Derby day! I have a vase that is the shape of a trophy cup so I took your lead and went to our local grocery and bought a dozen red roses and white baby’s breath for a great floral arrangement! I was so pleased with how it turned out. This may become an annual event!

    • May 11, 2016 at 5:17 am

      How fun Cyndi! I hope know your Run for the Rose brunch was delicious too :)

  20. Kathy G
    May 15, 2016 at 12:32 am

    Beautiful Nice quick appetizer for a quick prep and another keeper for tomatoes from garden Thanks Mary

  21. June 7, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    love your horse pic! i was raised on welsh rabbit, english thing, thanks for the memories!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: