We’ve taken the classic flavors of bagels, cream cheese, red onion, capers, and smoked salmon and turned them into a make-ahead breakfast casserole. Just combine cubed bagels, cream cheese, chives, and a savory custard in a baking dish and let it hang out in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, bake the casserole until puffed and browned, then sprinkle on some salmon, red onion, and capers for an easy brunch dish to feed a crowd.
What to buy: We liked the extra punch of flavor that “everything” bagels added to this recipe. They’re typically topped with a mixture of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, onion, salt, and caraway seeds, and can be found in most bagel shops or the bread aisle at any grocery store.
Game plan: The assembled casserole needs to soak overnight before baking, so plan accordingly.
- Yield: 8 to 10 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 2 hrs, plus overnight soaking time
- Butter, for coating the baking dish
- 8 ounces cold cream cheese
- 1 pound “everything” bagels (about 4 to 5 bagels), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives (from about 1 bunch)
- 8 large eggs
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces sliced smoked salmon, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons capers, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with butter; set aside.
- Cut the cream cheese into 1/2-inch cubes, place them in a single layer on a large plate, and freeze for 10 minutes (this will make them easier to sprinkle into the casserole).
- Place half of the bagel cubes in an even layer in the prepared dish and sprinkle with half of the cream cheese and half of the chives. Repeat with the remaining bagel cubes, cream cheese, and chives; set the dish aside.
- Whisk the eggs in a large bowl to break them up. Add the milk, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine. Slowly pour the mixture evenly over the bread and cream cheese and press slightly on the bread to make sure it is mostly submerged. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to bake the casserole, heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Meanwhile, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature.
- Uncover the casserole and bake until it’s puffed, golden brown, and just set in the center, about 50 minutes. Remove the dish to a wire rack. Immediately scatter the smoked salmon, capers, and onion evenly over top. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.