Indulgent Smoked Salmon and Bagel Breakfast Casserole

Good thing it’s Friday, because I’ve got an incredibly Indulgent Smoked Salmon and Bagel Breakfast Casserole to rock your weekend!

A hearty dish of Indulgent Smoked Salmon and Bagel Breakfast Casserole is delicious, easy to assemble and sure to feed a crowd at brunch!

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.

One little piece of this Indulgent Smoked Salmon and Bagel Breakfast Casserole is all you need at brunch to start your day off on the right foot!

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!

There's quite a bit of deliciousness in a hearty slice of this Indulgent Smoked Salmon and Bagel Breakfast Casserole!

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.

A boatload of bagels form the base of this tasty smoked salmon breakfast casserole, perfect to serve a crowd for brunch!

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 Indulgent Smoked Salmon and Bagel Breakfast Casserole is the perfect make-ahead dish to serve at your next brunch!

Indulgent Smoked Salmon and Bagel Breakfast Casserole
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

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!

Course: Breakfast
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour melted butter into a 15-quart baking dish and turn to coat dish. Set aside.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except the 1 cup of Parmesan and 1 tablespoon of chives for topping.)

  3. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish and sprinkle 1 cup grated Parmesan over top.

  4. 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.)

  5. Let cool slightly and sprinkle on additional tablespoon of chopped fresh chives before serving.

Sweet with Heat Yam Casserole

Well, hello again!

Sweet with Heat Yam Casserole | CaliGirlCooking.com

I know it’s been a few weeks, but I hope you still remember me and this little thing called a blog that I’m trying to get off the ground. I have to say I have gained a new admiration for all of my fellow food bloggers out there. Finding time to cook, be organized enough to write about and photograph what I cook, and then get it all on to a computer while fulfilling my social obligations, full time job, and staying in shape (both physically and mentally…Tell me how you all do it! Pretty please?

For now, I am convinced that the more I force myself to [in the words of Nike] “Just do it” the easier it will become. True? I hope?

Anyhow, one of my favorite things about my blog is being able to share my recipes with all of my friends and family. It’s a way for me to pass along what I’ve learned in the culinary world to everyone I love (that includes you, virtual friends!) with one easy URL.

A couple of months ago, right when I was getting back into the blogging groove, I asked friends what they wanted to see featured in a post. My good friend Masha immediately responded and said she wanted a good recipe for candied yams. This seemed like a good challenge for me, especially since we are in that season of pumpkins and yams and casseroles and giving thanks and all that goodness. I have never been a huge fan of the traditional candied yams/sweet potato casserole, so I began researching and looking for ways to spice things up (pun intended, sorry.)

Sweet with Heat Yam Casserole | CaliGirlCooking.com

I liked a little bit of sweetness, but have never been able to get past marshmallows on anything except hot chocolate and s’mores. Boom, maple syrup. I knew this would add a great, homey sweetness yet not be overwhelmingly cloying.

Next, I knew there needed to be an element of crunch. Pecans are a classic, and I love ‘em, but I wanted something more. I saw a recipe that used Rice Krispies in the topping, which intrigued me. Since I already had some Multigrain Spoonfuls in my pantry (and hey! They’re multigrain! Score one point for the healthy folk!) I decided to use those instead. I figured the nuttiness of the multigrain cereal would pair perfectly with the toasted pecans.

Now I had the sweet and the crunch, and to add just one more element of mouth tickling surprise, I wanted to add some nice and subtle heat. Hello, cayenne!

One of the best things about this casserole recipe is that it’s TOTALLY adaptable. Not a fan of spice? Leave out the cayenne. Want more sweet to balance out the spice? Add more maple syrup. The possibilities are endless, folks. My favorite kind of recipe.

Let’s jump right in!

Sweet with Heat Yam Casserole | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

Yams are rinsed and diced. We like to leave the skin on to really give the dish that “rustic” taste and look. Same reason we want to roast our yams instead of steaming/boiling them. We love that roasty, toasty flavor, don’t we? Glad we can all agree on that. Salt and pepper can never be forgotten.

Now that are yams are nice and soft and ROASTED, we throw them into our trusty food processor. Get the cayenne, butter and maple syrup up in there as well. We want these things to all be the best of friends.

 

But wait! Stop food processing before all the yams are silky smooth. We want to leave a few chunks in there for good measure. This adds to the “rustic” theme we’re going for, right?

Next all of this chunky smooth deliciousness goes into our baking vessel. Spread it nice and evenly in there.

Sweet with Heat Yam Casserole | CaliGirlCooking.com

Now’s the time to get our crumble on. Mix up the pecan-cereal-brown sugar-butter deliciousness and sprinkle it on. Work it.

Sweet with Heat Yam Casserole | CaliGirlCooking.com

Into the oven we go. And 20 minutes later you won’t even want to think about any other component of your Thanksgiving dinner but this casserole. Serve it up nice and warm. I won’t even tell if it doesn’t make it on to a plate. Spoon –> Mouth –> Yum and done.

Sweet with Heat Yam Casserole | CaliGirlCooking.com

Sweet with Heat Yam Casserole

Yield: Serves 8-10 as a side dish

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place diced yams on rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. I had to divide my yams into two batches to fit on the baking sheet. Drizzle two tablespoons melted coconut oil over first batch of yams, season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 20 minutes, or until yams feel soft when poked with a fork. Remove first batch of yams from oven and repeat entire process with second batch of yams.
  3. Once yams are done roasting, add to food processor (you can also use a high powered blender or a hand mixer.) Add cayenne, 5 tablespoons of melted butter and maple syrup. Turn on food processor and puree/pulse until smooth but with a few chunks still remaining.
  4. Pour yams into baking dish [I use a cast iron baking dish that’s approximately 11 inches x 5 inches, with some good depth to it. You can really use any dish that will fit the yams and give you good service area for the topping.] Spread evenly, set aside.
  5. Place pecans on baking sheet in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes to toast. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  6. Combine cereal and pecans in a Ziploc bag and use a mallet to pound into small, even pieces. Pour into small mixing bowl and add 6 tablespoons melted butter and brown sugar. Stir to combine.
  7. Sprinkle but and cereal topping over yams. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove, let cool slightly, and enjoy!

Notes

Author’s Note: In the interest of time and Turkey Day fast approaching, I wanted to get this recipe out to y’all. BUT, when I make it again for my parents on Thanksgiving, I am totally planning on adding some crispy pancetta to the mix to up the sweet-salty-spicy trifecta. I’ll let you know how my experiment goes and please fill me in on any other fun variations you do with this recipe!

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