Good thing it’s Friday, because I’ve got an incredibly Indulgent Smoked Salmon and Bagel Breakfast Casserole to rock your weekend!
That’s right, I’ve taken just about everything that goes into your favorite bagel breakfast – we’re talking cream cheese, chives, smoked salmon, the works – and turned it into a tasty casserole that will feed a crowd. I mean, what’s not to like about that?
To be honest, I’ve been wanting to make something along the lines of an Indulgent Smoked Salmon and Bagel Breakfast Casserole for a looooong time, but have been struggling to find just the right excuse to make it – or enough people to feed it to. So when my Santa Barbara Foodie Gals decided it was time for our first picnic of the warm weather season, and a brunch picnic at that, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to test this recipe out on a critical yet incredibly appreciative crowd.
We opted to hold our season opener of a picnic at the Santa Barbara Mission Rose Garden, which is probably one of the most beautiful open, public spaces you’ve ever seen. It’s our favorite spot for picnics, with a large, open grassy area framed by a lush rose garden and our own historic mission, which still functions as a church today. If you’re ever in the Santa Barbara area and looking for some scenic spots in addition to your eating and drinking, this Rose Garden (along with the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, home to the Sunken Gardens) are not to be missed.
We had quite the spread at our SB Foodie Gals get-together, and my Indulgent Smoked Salmon and Bagel Breakfast Casserole was a huge hit (although not the only star of the show as quiche, mimosas and donuts were also in attendance.) Needless to say, I got the approval on the recipe so I’m super excited to share it with you today!
You know I’m the hugest fan of balanced living and whole foods eating whenever possible, so you should also know I’m not messing around when I call this dish indulgent. Gluten, dairy, cheese, CARBS – we’ve got it all in this bad boy, hence my emphasis on enjoying it only once in a while, in great company. It’s a dish that can serve a crowd, so it would be the perfect addition to an otherwise balanced brunch menu. In fact, a fresh fruit salad and crudité platter would be the perfect accompaniments!
I roughly based this Indulgent Smoked Salmon and Bagel Breakfast Casserole recipe on my savory bread puddings, however I increased the quantities of certain things to account for the crazy absorption rate of the bagels (and to make it a bit more egg-y and “breakfast-like.”)
When it comes to bagels, feel free to use whatever flavor you prefer to pair with your lox. I used a combo of onion and pretzel, but I also think everything bagels, rye, salt or even plain would be just fab here.
Also, I baked the casserole pretty much right after I assembled it, but I’m venturing to guess that prepping it a little bit in advance (maybe even the night before?) might be a VERY smart idea. After all, after everything is mixed together and loaded in the casserole dish, your Indulgent Smoked Salmon and Bagel Breakfast Casserole is pretty much “set it and forget it,” and who doesn’t want that when you’re trying to entertain a crowd?
This make-ahead casserole is loaded with bagels, smoked salmon, cream cheese and all your other favorite bagel toppings, and is perfect to serve a crowd!
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 9 bagels (your choice of flavor), cubed
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed and softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1 additional cup for topping
- 12 eggs
- 1 cup milk of your choice
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 4 ounces smoked salmon, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus 1 additional tablespoon for topping
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour melted butter into a 15-quart baking dish and turn to coat dish. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except the 1 cup of Parmesan and 1 tablespoon of chives for topping.)
Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish and sprinkle 1 cup grated Parmesan over top.
Bake in 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, or until eggs are fairly set (they may continue to cook a bit after removing the casserole from the oven so don’t fret if they’re still a tiny bit runny.)
Let cool slightly and sprinkle on additional tablespoon of chopped fresh chives before serving.