Light Hot Brown Sandwiches, with Buffet Style Oven Baked Bacon

Light Hot Browns

I truly do think the leftovers are the best part of any Holiday dinner, and here’s one of my favorite ways to use them. While traditionally made with turkey, Hot Browns are great made with either turkey or ham. As a matter of fact, when I make Hot Browns, I can usually count on an extra teenager or two hanging around until dinner is served. That’s ok with me – I’d rather have them at my house!

Light Hot Browns

Light Hot Browns

I often take liberties with the Hot Brown, making with either leftover ham or turkey.  I don’t always stick with the traditional tomato, either, and sometimes sub in asparagus. Although not shown in the photo, above, a small sprinkle of cheese over the top before broiling doesn’t do the Hot Brown any harm at all~trust me on this!

There is something about broiling a sandwich like this that makes it feel more like a meal and less like a snack. Just add a small salad, pickles or a crunchy slaw, and you’ve got a budget meal on your hands.

Hot Brown Sandwiches (light)

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

  • 6 slices bread (toasted or not)
  • 12 ounces sliced ham or turkey, thinly sliced
  • Vegetable layer:  Use slices of tomato 1/4 inch thick, or cooked asparagus (this is a great place to use any left over from, say, an Easter when you’ve served Asparagus or tomatoes off a crudite platter)
  • 9  12 slices bacon, cooked – you could omit this if you’re working with ham, but it’s wonderful with the turkey
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 4 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated, save a few sprinkles for the top
  • 1 tablespoon Sherry
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)

Make cheese sauce:  Melt butter, add flour, whisking and cook about one minute.  Slowly add milk and cook, stirring till quite thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cheese, Sherry, salt and onion powder.

Assemble sandwiches:  Preheat broiler. Arrange bread on large cookie sheet. Top each with two ounces turkey or ham, two slices tomato or asparagus, a sprinkle of pepper, bacon, then cheese sauce. Sprinkle a bit of cheese on the top, if desired. Sprinkle paprika over the top, if desired.

I often use three pieces of bacon for every two sandwiches – I don’t like it “hanging” over when it is broiled, so I remove the extra and piece together on one of the sandwiches.

Broil till lightly browned and serve piping hot. Serve with crunchy slaw, pickles or a salad.

From the kitchen of


Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe for saving money/time and managing this recipe on a budget.
  • Follow my Strategies – You’ll see them all explained on the upper left tab of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.

Nutrition:  (based on ham, tomato variation with the bacon – about 30 calories less if made with turkey.)

Per Serving: 431 Calories; 23g Fat (47.3% calories from fat); 25g Protein; 32g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 71mg Cholesterol; 1362mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 3 Fat.

Put Your Own spin on it:

No reason you can’t vary this in anyway to suit your own tastes!  Different meats, cheese, vegetables – it’s hard to go wrong.

My Pay Off:

Hopefully I’ve gotten my kid to eat a tomato or some asparagus – but even better, I’ve completely transformed a leftover into something new, delicious and filling.

Recipe made April 2012 for $3.47, remade February 2014 for $4.32.

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