Learn how to make a beautiful lox and bagel board with all the toppings! Wow your guests when you serve this for brunch and breakfast, with only 5 minutes of work.
This no bake bagel brunch board is the easiest solution for entertaining you can think of. Just toast up some bagels in the oven, put spreads in bowls, and without any cooking required, assemble a spread fit for kings.
As in my entertaining e-book, I love recipes that allow you to feed a crowd slowly, allowing them to go back again and again, sampling their favorites and having seconds and thirds. I also like things that don't require reheating or careful temperature monitoring (I have a very tiny and inefficient microwave, what can I do). And the best part is, nowadays I need entertaining recipes that adults and kids will love equally.
Enter, this lox and bagel board. It's the perfect brunch solution when you don't feel like cooking, yet still want to be seen as a great host.
So next time you're hosting brunch, buy good smoked salmon, excellent bagels, choose your favorite toppings, grab a big platter or cutting board, and go to town on decorations!
What is lox?
In case you're not sure what I'm talking about, lox is a type of smoked, cured salmon. It's made by lightly salting the salmon and then cold-smoking it for a few days. This process gives lox its unique flavor and texture - is a mild, slightly salty fish that can be eaten on its own or as part of a sandwich or other dish.
Lox is huge in Montreal, where I live, and it's strongly associated with Jewish food around here. Lox has become popular due to its versatility and convenience - it can be found in most grocery stores already prepared and ready to use in recipes like this bagel and lox spread.
Lox is famously served with capers, onions, tomatoes and cream cheese. It can be used to add an extra layer of flavor to salads, omelets, soups and other dishes.
When to serve this lox and bagel board?
The best time to serve a bagel board spread like this is for brunch or breakfast.
It's fancy, making people feel like they're in for a treat.
It's light enough that you won't go into a food coma, but filling enough that it can replace lunch.
And the best part is, you can leave it out for hours and nothing will go bad! People can just go on grazing at their leisure.
It makes for a great mother's day brunch addition.
Yet truth be told, sometimes I throw myself this delicious bagel spread (with gluten free bagels, of course) whenever I want a light dinner. It makes for a great grazing board for 1!
What you need to put together this bagel board
Lox slices - choose a pre-sliced, ready made smoked salmon, or make your own lox if you have a smoker.
Lebanese cucumbers - Lebanese cukes have more flavor and contain less water than the long English cucumbers. They look and taste much better!
large tomato - choose ripe red tomatoes or tomatoes in various colors for the best presentation
red onion - it has a milder taste and a nice color than the yellow onion.
Capers - these are important for adding some tang and flavor to your board.
Cream cheese - you can choose a selection of flavored cream cheese spreads, but always make sure you have a regular plain cream cheese available.
Bagels - as with cream cheese, it's best to have a collection of different bagel flavorings for your guests. Plain bagels are fine, but the best are sesame bagels or everything bagels. For a sweet option, add some cinnamon raisin bagels, too!
Lemon slices - these make for a great addition to the lox. I like to squeeze a bit of lemon on my lox bagel just before eating it - and I've been known to eat the entire slice.
Whole Boursin - this is my secret addition to the best salmon and bagel board of your life. Don't skip it!
How to assemble a bagel spread
Choose your serving dish
First, it's important that you choose the right serving dish for your spread, as it can make or break the entire presentation. If you are working with a large spread for many people, you can cover an entire table with kraft paper and lay the components straight on it!
But in most cases, you will want to choose a big platter or a large wooden or marble cutting board.
Fan out the salmon
You can roll lox slices into little tubes that look like flowers, but I like to just fan the slices out, slightly overlapping on top of each other. It makes for a yummy, effortless presentation.
Lay out the cream cheese spreads
Fill a ramekin with 1 cup of cream cheese. Always have a plain cream cheese option available, as it goes with everything. You can also add some flavored cream cheese spreads if making a spread for many people.
My special addition to an amazing bagel brunch spread is boursin cheese.It's more flavorful and airy than regular cream cheese - it honestly makes for an amazing combo with the salmon!
Add the veggies
I love seeing all the different veggies get added to the salmon board - it honestly amps up the entire presentation and makes you really want to just dig in there! Arrange the cucumber slices, tomato slices, onion slices and lemon slices in different clumps around the board.
Add capers in small bowls around the board.
When you are ready to serve the bagel board, that's the time to add in the bagels! Toasting them closer to serving ensures they stay warm and chewy inside, and get that golden brown uniform crust you want to see in your brunch photos.
To toast the bagels, set the oven to the broil function, and lay out the bagels facing down. Slide the baking sheet into the oven on the lowest rack - this is important to prevent the bagels from burning! Toast bagels into the oven upside down for about 4 minutes, constantly checking them to prevent them from catching fire.
Serve bagel board
With your bagels toasted, it's time to serve that gorgeous board you've been working on for the last... 10 minutes! Add the bagels to the board, right side up, and serve something memorable and beautiful to your guests (or just to yourself).
Storage & Make Ahead
You can store leftovers in airtight containers in the fridge for 2 days.
You can also assemble the board a few hours ahead and wrap it carefully in plastic wrap. It is not recommended to make it more than a day ahead because the tomatoes and salmon will dry out, and the bagels will harden.
You can whip your cream cheese for a more elegant, light and airy spread.
Substitute the sliced smoked salmon for a few scoops of tuna salad and add olives for a Middle Eastern bagel board. Add an Israeli salad to the spread.
Switch the salmon for a few different cheeses if making this into a vegetarian bagel spread.
You can also add the following additions:
- avocado slices
- fresh herbs like dill and parsley
That's how I normally have it 🙂 I can't eat gluten, so I serve my regular bagels on the side and fill the board only with GF bagels.
Yes! Simply omit the lox. Then it becomes a lovely cream cheese bagel board.
Absolutely. Omit the lox, and replace the boursin and cream cheese for vegan boursin and a vegan cream cheese of your choice. I'm a big fan of tofutti better than cream cheese, and the vegan boursin is just to die for!
If you love low carb bagels and lox
Try my smoked salmon salad with gluten free bagel chips for a healthy lunch option.
Tried and loved this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below! Your reviews mean a lot to me, so if you've got any questions, please let me know in a comment.
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Lox and Bagel Board for Brunch
- big platter OR
- butter knives
- 8 Lox slices
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers
- 1 large tomato
- ½ purple onion
- ¼ cup Capers
- 1 cup Cream cheese
- 4 bagels or gluten free bagels
- ½ Lemon sliced
- 1 Whole Boursin
- Choose the right serving dish for your spread. I recommend a big platter or a large wooden or marble cutting board.
- Fan the salmon slices so that they're slightly overlapping on top of each other.
- Fill a ramekin with 1 cup of cream cheese.
- Lay out the boursin cheese straight on the board, or inside a ramekin.
- Arrange the cucumber slices, tomato slices, onion slices and lemon slices in different clumps around the board.
- Add capers in a small bowl.
- To toast the bagels, set the oven to the broil function, and lay out the bagels facing down. Slide the baking sheet into the oven on the lowest rack - this is important to prevent the bagels from burning! Toast bagels into the oven upside down for about 4 minutes, constantly checking them to prevent them from catching fire.
- Add the bagels to the board, right side up, and serve the lox and bagel board.
- avocado slices
- fresh herbs like dill and parsley
This was so easy to throw together and absolutely delicious, too! We had family over and they all enjoyed it immensely. Thank you!
This was a huge hit at our monthly brunch. I loved that I didn't have to cook! Your tips and photos really helped me make it look nice, too!
This bagel board was a hit at our monthly family brunch! Such a great idea for morning gatherings with friends.
This is my kind of brunch! I totally impressed the inlaws with this brunch board and the best part is, it was hardly any work! Genius idea!
Sherry L Ronning says
What a great brunch meal idea! I loved the ideas for your bagel board and plan on making this for my next brunch gathering.
Oh yes....my memories came back from my childhood. This is the best brunch you can have! Big Love!
I love the idea of a bagel board; I have never seen it before. With salmon and creamy cheese, it was yummy. Thanks
I added the squeeze of lemon and it gave it such a refreshing little boost, perfect to start the day with. Great little tip!