Smoked salmon (aka "lox"), capers, cream cheese and more, on a bagel? Yes please! This easy lox and bagels recipe satisfies.
Well, I guess this classic brunch favorite may not fall under the category of an actual "recipe" but I couldn't resist posting it anyway. I grew up eating lox and bagels often--and, well, I can't imagine life without them. 😉 And for clarification, the terms lox and smoked salmon are interchangeable here; "lox" is the Scandinavian term for brined salmon (which is often smoked as well.)
The beauty of lox and bagels is that really all of the toppings are optional. I love thinly sliced red onions and cucumbers, but feel free to leave one or the other out if you don't! (P.S. I highly recommend capers though.) 🙂
See recipe card below for exact quantities.
I love making these bagels and lox for brunch because they are so quick and easy! Just 15 minutes of prep time is all that's required.
I usually get the toppings all sliced first and ready first, and I like to use a really sharp chef's knife to slice the cucumbers and red onion nice and thin. (But thick slices are fine too...it's all good.) If you'll be serving everything on a big platter or bagel board so family or guests can make their own bagels, you can lay out the veggies and salmon, and arrange the cream cheese and capers in separate bowls.
Next, go ahead and slice your bagels and pop them in the toaster. Once they're all ready, simply spread a tablespoon or so of cream cheese on each bagel half, followed by smoked salmon, veggies and a little salt and pepper if you like. And voila! Smoked salmon bagels for all.
Here are a few substitutions you can use in this recipe:
- Smoked salmon - you could actually use any smoked seafood here and still have a delicious result; I particularly love smoked bluefish as well
- Gluten free - use gluten free bagels instead (I like Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free bagels)
- Dairy free - use a plant-based cream cheese and make sure your bagels don't contain any dairy products
- Toppings - feel free to mix up the toppings as you like or try new ones! I also love using sliced garden-fresh tomatoes or a little fresh dill laid over each lox bagel half
Super minimal equipment is required for this bagel recipe. Here is what I used:
- cutting board
- chef's knife
Assembled bagels and lox are best eaten immediately but could be stored in the fridge or a cool lunch box for a few hours.
They do not stand up well to freezing.
🎉 Top tip
Feel free to get creative with toppings! Whether you go minimal or crazy, it all works. Enjoy your lox and bagels, and whatever you top them with. 😉
"Lox" is actually a Scandinavian term for smoked salmon, while "bagels and lox" is a uniquely American Jewish creation that dates back to 1950s and 60s New York City.
Bagels can be served open-faced and topped with cream cheese, lox and other toppings, or presented on a bagel board or platter with the fixings arranged on the side for guests to top themselves.
Traditionally, smoked salmon bagels are topped with cream cheese, lox, capers, sliced onions and sliced cucumbers.
Once it's been opened, smoked salmon typically stays fresh for up to 4-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Lox and Bagels
- 4 bagels any kind, or GF bagels to make gluten free (I like Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free bagels)
- 4 ounces smoked salmon
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cucumber
- ¼ small red onion
- 4 tablespoons capers
- dash sea salt optional, to taste
- dash freshly ground black pepper optional, to taste
- Prep: Thinly slice the cucumbers and red onion. Slice and toast the bagels.
- Assemble: Spread about a tablespoon of cream cheese on each bagel half, followed by a slice of smoked salmon, a few cucumber and red onion slices and some capers. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
- Enjoy: Serve immediately, end enjoy!