Perfect for brunch or weekend breakfast, an open-faced smoked salmon bagel is filled with fresh and savory flavors! Toasted bagels smeared with a homemade herb cream cheese spread and topped with smoked salmon, garden-fresh cucumbers, and onions for the most satisfying breakfast or brunch!
Smoked Salmon Bagel
Smoked salmon bagels are a favorite in cafes and brunch restaurants and for good reason. A perfectly chewy, toasted bagel, smothered with a cream cheese mixture of herbs and fresh lemon, and topped with smoky salmon, crunchy cucumbers, crisp onions, fresh tomatoes, creamy avocados, and tart capers is a delicacy. The contrast between the flavors is key to the unique flavor profile of this ultimate breakfast sandwich!
What is the difference between smoked salmon and lox?
Salmon can be prepared by a method of either hot or cold smoking. Cold-smoked salmon, the kind we use for this recipe, is dry-cured in salt to remove moisture and is then smoke-cured at a temperature of at or below 80℉. Hot smoked salmon is soaked in a wet brine and is smoked at a higher temperature, giving it a smoky taste. Lox, on the other hand, is not smoked but is only cured in a salt brine.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Cheaper than cafes. Smoked salmon bagels cost an arm and a leg at brunch spots. Make it at home for a fraction of the price yet even better flavor!
- Unique flavor combo. The bagels are full of different flavors and textures that marry so well!
- Quick, filling breakfast. The sandwiches will fill you up but are easy to assemble, especially if all the ingredients are pre-prepped.
- Customizable. Easily substitute for ingredient options that you love, including the spread and veggies!
Smoked Salmon Bagel Ingredients
The ingredients for this salmon lox bagel recipe complement each other so perfectly.
- Bagels- use your favorite, freshly homemade or store-bought bagels. Plain or everything bagels will work.
- Smoked salmon- choose an organic, high-quality, cold-smoked salmon for the best results.
- Vegetables- use a combination of thinly sliced cucumber, avocado, tomato, and red onion.
- Capers- find these edible flower buds from the Mediterranean plant Capparis spinosa at any grocery store.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.
Cream Cheese Spread
While you can use regular cream cheese spread in a time crunch, you won’t regret taking the extra step to make a whipped, herby cream cheese spread! It’s full of fresh, earthy flavors from the fresh dill, garlic, and lemon juice. Whipping together the cream cheese and heavy whipping cream results in a buttery smooth, airy texture that you’ll want to layer onto the chewy bagels.
How to Make Smoked Salmon Bagels
The salmon cream cheese bagel recipe is such a simple breakfast idea with intense, rich flavor.
- Prep the spread: In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, ground garlic, freshly chopped dill, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Chop veggies: Slice the cucumber, onions, tomato, and avocado. Tip: For the most aesthetic presentation and to enjoy a bit of everything in every bite, slice the ingredients thinly.
- Prep bagels: Slice and toast the bagels. Spread a bit of cream cheese onto each bagel half. Tip: Don’t overdo the cream cheese, so that it does not overpower the smoked salmon.
- Top bagels: Top each half of the bagel with cucumber, tomato, avocado, salmon, onion slices, and briny capers
- Serve and enjoy, friends!
Substitutions and Variations
Feel free to play around with toppings and leave off ingredients that you don’t love.
- Homemade bagels: Store-bought bagels may be a quicker option, but you won’t regret trying the homemade bagel recipe! The bagels come out chewy with a crisp outer shell- you’ll make it on repeat!
- Different spread: Pick a store-bought flavored cream cheese for a recipe shortcut, or spread plain cream cheese if you choose.
- Lox: Though Lox differs slightly from smoked salmon, you can use it in the breakfast bagel!
- Different toppings: Sliced radishes, arugula, or even thinly sliced olives can be used as toppings.
The bagels are satisfying on their own but also pair well with different sides.
- Bagel bar: Serve the bagels charcuterie style in a bagel board spread. Chop up the ingredients and serve on a platter to allow family or brunch guests to self-assemble their bagels as they like!
- Smoothie: Serve a bagel with salmon with a fresh fruit smoothie on the side.
- Fruits: Fresh fruit will nicely contrast the savory flavors in the sandwich and satisfy a sweet tooth.
- Cup of coffee: The bagels are perfect with a cup of joe. Try pairing it with a classic cold brew coffee or iced caramel macchiato.
Easily prep the breakfast in advance by chopping all the vegetables, making the lemon herb cream cheese spread, and making the bagels (if you’re using homemade bagels). Then, quickly assemble just before enjoying!
You can serve these as open-faced sandwiches, or add the top half of the bagel for more calories to keep you full for longer if desired.
If you have leftover salmon, you may definitely use it in the salmon bagel. Air Fryer Salmon, the quick Pan-Seared Salmon, or even Grilled Salmon would all be great leftovers for a salmon sandwich.
Store & Freeze
- Storage. While the bagels are best enjoyed fresh, they will store for one day in the fridge, covered well with plastic wrap, or in an airtight container.
- Freeze. We do not recommend freezing these breakfast bagels. For a freezer-friendly breakfast, give our ham and cheese croissant sandwiches a go!
More Breakfast Sandwich Recipes
Smoked Salmon Bagel
- 2 bagels cut in half
- 4 oz smoked salmon
- ½ mini cucumber sliced
- ¼ sliced red onion sliced
- 1 small tomato sliced
- ½ ripe avocado sliced
- 2 tsp capers
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 tsp heavy whipping cream
- ½ tsp ground garlic
- ½ tsp fresh dill
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ⅛ tsp salt
- pinch of black pepper
- In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese, whipping cream, ground garlic, freshly chopped dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Toast the bagels then spread a quarter of the cream cheese mixture onto each bagel slice (you should have four slices total).
- To each bagel slice, add some salmon, cucumber, onion, tomato, avocado slices and capers.
- Serve and enjoy, friends!
Homemade bagels: Plain or everything bagels can be used for the recipe. Make homemade bagels for an extra fresh breakfast.