Kentucky Hot Brown Dip
Kentucky Hot Brown Dip is the cheesy appetizer recipe you need, whether you need Kentucky Derby snacks the Run for the Roses with a Kentucky Derby Day party, want to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey, or just looking for a gooey good new addition to your holiday menu. Everything you love from the classic Southern sandwich gets baked into a hot cheese dip recipe loaded with turkey, bacon, and tomatoes.
How to Make Kentucky Hot Brown Dip
Kentucky Hot Brown Dip takes the best parts of that traditional open faced sandwich – turkey, bacon, creamy goodness, and a few tomatoes for a fresh and acidic balance – and combines it all into one ooey gooey appetizer. The best part is, you really aren’t blowing your diet with this one – instead of a heavy cream and butter-based béchamel, I bring in the velvety texture with light cream cheese and Greek yogurt, and lots of flavor from Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar.
The horses and jockeys may be running for the roses this weekend, but come August 1st, I’ll be running for cheese. Well, maybe not literally, though I’m sure some cheddar will be consumed over the weekend, but I am so excited to be part of the Cabot Fit Team 2015. I am currently training to run my first 10K race – make that my first 10K and my first race, all rolled up into one – at the TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race in Cape Elizabeth, Maine on August 1st. I can’t tell you how excited I am!
You know I love all things Cabot cheese, so it means more than words can express how honored I am to be running with this group of ladies on behalf of Cabot Creamery Cooperative. While fitness has been a part of my life for quite awhile, my attempts at running have been in fits and spurts through the past several years. But in the back of my mind I’ve always had this nagging desire to fully commit and train for a race, which is why being part of the Cabot Fit Team is so ideal – the mission of the team is to increase awareness about the importance of wellness through nutrition and exercise.
While I try to keep my photos to just food and, since I can’t resist, my super cute boys, you may have seen me posting some personal achievements and sweaty selfies on Instagram. The reason for this is twofold, actually. The first a a leeeeetle bit selfish. As I said, I’ve attempted to be a runner, but never quite kept at it, my previous attempt being halted because of massive pain in my Achilles. The first few weeks of training were tough as I battled shin splints, soreness, my natural tendency to do too much too soon, and just getting my body used to it. I’m still working on my endurance and speed, and some days it’s a struggle to just go two or three miles. That’s when I start to doubt myself and feel like I’ll never make almost six and a half. Plus, the other ladies on the team do actually run regularly, they’ve run races, some have even done marathons. I’m the total newbie and don’t want to let the team down. So any virtual cheerleaders I can recruit are a huge help.
But the second is that I want to inspire all of you. You guys, I was the chubby kid most of my life. I was terrible at sports, and never lasted more than one season with anything I tried because I felt so pathetic. I hated gym class. In college, I’d follow up my occasional trip to the gym with a trip to pick up Chinese food in the student center. The only fruits and vegetables I ate for the longest time were bananas and corn before I finally started to accept apples and iceberg lettuce into my life. I didn’t start working out and making changes in my eating habits until I was out of college. Now I am 35, have two kids, and I am training for my first 10K. I know not everyone is a runner. I know people are busy. But making the choice to move our bodies a little and maybe have a salad or smoothie instead of a double cheeseburger or donut is just the first step. We can all take even small steps to make wellness a priority.
Beyond that, though, close to home and to my heart is my family. I hope to be an example to my boys that it is important to do things that are good for your body. You all know I try to feed them an overall healthy diet (though of course there is room for treats now and then). But I also want to encourage them to be active. The Bug is now taking karate and playing tee ball, and loving it. This summer we will be joining our community pool, and I try to take him and Little Dude for a walk around the block a few times a week. And you know what? I think it’s making an impact. The Bug has been asking why I keep getting up early to exercise and for for runs, and on our walk the other evening, The Bug started running ahead of me, calling back, “Mommy, I’m training for my race!”
This is why I run, and this is why I am part of Cabot Fit Team!
Of course, as I am training, I am trying to understand my body’s needs, and I am finding that even though I am not running marathons, I still need fuel, and especially protein. Which is why something like this is perfect…
Kentucky Hot Brown Dip is the perfect cheesy hot dip recipe for any party!
You may think about the Kentucky Derby for making this Kentucky Hot Brown Dip recipe, but it’s also perfect for using up a leftover Thanksgiving turkey and snacking on while watching football over the weekend. Or you can add it to your Christmas or New Year’s Eve appetizer menu. All you have to do is chop up that turkey, cook up some bacon, and stir it together with plenty of cheese. Pop it in the oven, and out comes a dish of hot, cheesy deliciousness.
While you can certainly spread this dip onto some crackers or slices of bread, instead load it onto some veggies and you can enjoy it as a protein-packed, low carb snack. Believe it or not, we actually had it over a salad for dinner. A small serving is actually super satisfying!
Here’s some more hot dip recipes…
Do you love the Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich? Check out this Cheesy Kentucky Hot Brown Quiche from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen. Swap out the bread and make a Hot Brown Baked Potato from Lemons for Lulu. Or turn it into finger food with Mini Hot Brown Sliders from Taste and Tell. You might also like my Kentucky Hot Brown Grilled Cheese!
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Here’s a few things to make this Kentucky Hot Brown Dip recipe…
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Takes the classic Southern open-faced sandwich and transforms it into a gooey hot appetizer dip.
- 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature (I used light)
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt I used nonfat
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 6 oz. about 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese, divided (I used Cabot Extra Sharp)
- 2 cups chopped cooked turkey
- one small tomato seeded and chopped
- 6 slices bacon crumbled
- 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese can also use parmesan
- Crackers sliced baguette, vegetables for serving
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a bowl, stir together the cream cheese, yogurt, nutmeg, 4 oz. (about 1 cup) cheddar, and turkey until thoroughly combined.
- Transfer to a glass baking dish and spread evenly.
- Top with tomato, bacon, the remaining 2 oz cheddar cheese, and the pecorino romano cheese.
- Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly, and lightly browned.
- Serve with crackers, baguette slices, and veggies for dipping.