18 Awesome Bagel Toppings for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Build a better bagel any time of day!

Claire Onidi By
Claire Onidi
Passionate about food and pastries since always, Claire spends most of her time in the kitchen to develop new recipes. She is French but lived many years abroad.
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Updated January 1, 2023

For a well-“round”ed meal, layer on these amazing bagel toppings! There are tons of sweet and savory options on this list to satisfy any palette.

amazing bagel toppings

Bagels are more than just ring-shaped bread. In fact, there’s a special cooking process!

To get a perfect bagel, you first make an enriched yeast dough. Next, you boil it for a few minutes before you pop it in the oven.

Boiling the bagel is essential because it gives the ring a shiny exterior and a dense, chewy interior.

Originally, bagels come from central Europe. Some people claim they were invented in the late 1600s in Poland, but we don’t know for sure.

The name “bagel” traces its roots to Middle High German. In this language, “böugel” means “bracelet” or “ring.”

This word became the Yiddish “beygel,” and from there became the familiar name we know today. But bagels didn’t even arrive in America until the late 1800s, when they were brought over from Europe by Jewish immigrants.

There are lots of toppings you can put on your bagel, including classic cream cheese and smoked salmon. But think outside the box with cinnamon sugar, avocado, bacon and eggs, or even pizza toppings!

amazing bagel toppings recipe

01. Caramelized Onion Cream Cheese

Take your cream cheese game to the next level with these savory seasonings. Although onions can take about 45 minutes to caramelize, it’s worth the wait!

Once they’re cooked, simply add the onions and other ingredients to softened cream cheese.

This topping is great by itself on a toasted bagel. Or, pile on smoked turkey or bbq pulled pork.

02. Avocado

Avocado toast is the new hip breakfast — but it’s even better on a bagel!

You can just layer avocado slices directly on a toasted bagel. But the extra toppings in this recipe, like paprika and sesame seeds, will make your dish extra special.

And for a filling breakfast, top each bagel half with a fried egg.

03. Blueberry Cream Cheese

For me, the best bagel toppings are different types of flavored cream cheese. And while I usually prefer savory ones, this blueberry cream cheese is incredible.

With fresh fruit, lemon juice, and honey, this recipe has the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. Plus, the spread has a silky texture when you mix it up.

04. Breakfast Bagel

Skip the diner and make your own breakfast bagel sandwich! This meal will give you the fuel you need for your day.

The trick for perfect eggs is to add a bit of water to the hot pan and then cook them quickly with the lid on.

And while I prefer this sandwich with cheddar cheese, you can use any slices you like!

05. Turkey and Swiss Bagel

Start your day off right with a bagel stuffed with turkey sausage, Swiss cheese, and sauteed spinach.

To make your morning easier, serve garlic spinach the night before and use the leftovers on your bagel. As well, you can substitute turkey sausage with kielbasa, chorizo, or crispy bacon.

06. Pizza Bagel

Snack on a childhood classic with this pizza bagel recipe! It’s simple to make, and it will make you smile with every bite.

Layer tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite toppings like pepperoni slices. Then, air-fry the bagels for just a couple of minutes.

Plus, these homemade bagels taste so much better than the frozen bites!

07. Ham and Cheese Bagel

This ooey-gooey-melty bagel sandwich is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or anything in between! And if you want an even richer sandwich, you can spread a thin layer of mayo on both sides of the toasted bagel.

While the author recommends using whole wheat bagels, I love this sandwich on an onion bagel.

08. Smoked Salmon

Recreate this Jewish deli classic with just a few simple bagel toppings.

Stack plain cream cheese, smoked salmon, cucumbers, onions, and capers on your toasted bagel. Then, enjoy the salty and savory flavors!

For quicker prep, you can use a pre-made flavored spread. But I prefer this simple cream cheese recipe because the lemon and dill brighten the whole dish.

09. Steak, Egg, and Cheese Bagel

When you’re really hungry, try this McDonald’s copycat steak sandwich!

And for a quick kitchen hack, you can turn last night’s dinner into this morning’s brunch. Simply slice leftover steak into thin pieces to build a perfect bagel.

I serve this sandwich on an everything bagel because the extra seasonings make the flavors of the filling pop.

10. Mozzarella, Pesto, and Tomato Bagel

Enjoy a classic Italian salad with this Caprese-style bagel! Sweet cherry tomatoes, creamy mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil are a refreshing combination.

Instead of pesto sauce, you can also drizzle balsamic reduction over your sandwich. But when I do this, I like to dab some olive oil on the toasted bagel so the sandwich isn’t too dry.

11. Asiago Jalapeño Bagel Burger

Whether it’s a bagel burger or a burger bagel, it’s a delicious combination!

It’s a simple idea: swap a bagel for a classic burger bun. But it takes your sandwich to a whole new level.

Don’t forget a side of fries!

12. Egg Salad

This salad is a quick and easy lunch that’s packed with protein. It’s also a great addition to a school lunch box.

And if you want to serve this sandwich for breakfast, add some bacon bits and a slice of cheddar for a bacon, egg (salad), and cheese bagel.

13. Chicken Parmesan

Lighten up an Italian classic by baking instead of frying. In this recipe, you coat chicken cutlets in panko crumbs and bake them in the oven.

Then, you can toss the crispy chicken on top of your favorite bagel with marinara sauce and extra melted mozzarella. Yum!

14. Tuna Salad

Deli salads make great bagel toppings because you can prep them ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator.

Tuna salad is particularly easy because you don’t have to cook anything! Just open a can of tuna, add some crunchy celery and condiments, and stir it up.

15. Apple Butter

When you cook applesauce for a long time, magic happens! The sugars in the apples start to caramelize, and your sauce turns into a rich and silky fruit butter.

I love to spread this apple butter directly on a cinnamon raisin bagel. But it’s also very delicious to make a sandwich with half apple butter and half cream cheese.

16. Hazelnut Spread

Satisfy your sweet tooth with homemade Nutella. This spread is simple to make, and it’s keto-friendly!

The author mentions that if you don’t have a high-speed blender, you can use jarred hazelnut butter. But I also like to experiment with other nuts, including almond or peanut butter!

17. Peanut Butter Granola Bagel

Peanut butter granola is a classic combo in breakfast cuisine. And on top of a bagel, it adds the perfect crunch.

For an extra breakfast-y touch, spread Greek yogurt instead of cream cheese on your bagel. Then, sprinkle the granola and a drizzle of honey on top.

18. Poached Egg

This elegant breakfast bagel is a fun alternative to Eggs Florentine. Instead of a boring English muffin, you can use your favorite flavor of bagel.

And for an even more decadent dish, pour on the Hollandaise sauce!

18 Awesome Bagel Toppings for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner


  1. Slice your bagel.

  2. Pile on the toppings.

  3. Take a big bite!

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