This breakfast bagel recipe is inspired by a café down the street from me that would sell the most over-the-top breakfast sandwiches I’ve ever seen. It was run by a bakery (Marsee Baking, for those of you in Portland), so you got your pick of bagels, from chonga to everything. An egg was standard, and then you got your choice of cheese, meat and veggies. But the best part, in my opinion, was the array of cream cheese options. They had smoked salmon cream cheese, which I often got, and then herbed cream cheese, and a bunch of others that escape me now.
That café is now under new ownership, but I attempted to recreate their legendary breakfast bagel sandwiches. I used Franz’s gluten-free bagels, which were impressively like their gluten-filled counterparts (and thankfully on sale). I opted for traditional bacon, but Canadian bacon or even turkey or ham would be great. Thick-sliced cheddar cheese provided the optimum level of meltiness. I happened to have an avocado on hand, but many veggies would work. Sprouts or a roasted red bell pepper sound especially good.
The added cream cheese, though, is what makes this breakfast bagel really stand out. I used added spring garlic (it’s not as strong as mature garlic), chives, thyme and rosemary. I found the rosemary overpowered the sandwich a bit, so I would stick with milder herbs like parsley and chives. But damn, was it good. The herbed cream cheese brings the sandwich together: It offsets the starchiness of the bagel and adds another layer of flavor. Next time I make this, I might whip up a chipotle cream cheese instead.
A word of warning: This sandwich tends to make a mess, especially with the avocado. You’ll want a napkin on hand for sure. After you’ve scarfed it down, there will (probably) be extra cream cheese. It makes a fantastic omelette filling or just a fancy bagel spread.
These breakfast bagels are perfect with my Chipotle Bloody Mary, or a nice big cup of coffee. Looking for more over-the-top breakfast options? Try my Chorizo Breakfast Tacos or my Rhubarb-Blood Orange Oatmeal. #Brunchathome never tasted so good!
Breakfast Bagel Sandwiches with Herbed Cream Cheese
For the cream cheese:
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder or fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh or dried herbs, such as chives, parsley or basil
For the sandwiches:
- 2 bagels, sliced in half
- 4 slices bacon
- 2 eggs
- 2 thick slices cheddar cheese
- ½ avocado, sliced
- ¼ cup herbed cream cheese, divided
- Heat cream cheese in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften it enough to stir. Chop herbs if using fresh, and combine herbs, garlic and cheese in small bowl. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cook bacon in sauté pan over medium-high heat, turning until bacon reaches desired doneness. Set aside on paper-towel lined plate to cool.
- Turn burner down to medium-low and pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon grease. Allow pan to cool for a minute or two, then return pan to burner. Drop eggs onto pan and fry on one side about 3 minutes, until eggs are just barely set enough to flip. Carefully slide a spatula under eggs, and flip one at a time, taking care not to break the yolks. Fry 1 minute more and place on bagel halves.
- Top each egg with a slice of cheese, and place all four bagel halves on a baking sheet. Bake 4 minutes. Cheese should be nice and melty.
- Top cheese with bacon and avocado. Give the remaining bagel halves a generous spread of herbed cream cheese and place the halves on top of that mountain of bacon-y, cheesy goodness.