Casserole/Gratin

I Made Chrissy Teigen's Everything Bagel Casserole & Nearly Set My Kitchen on Fire

September 24, 2018

I'm not going to talk about why I love Chrissy Teigen. If you love her too, you'll already know why (her Twitter, for starters). And if you don't, well, I'm not saying that we can't be friends, but—actually that's exactly what I'm saying. (Here, you can go read about threaded spaghetti hot dogs instead.)

I am, however, going to talk about her latest cookbook: Cravings: Hungry for More, which was set free into the big wide world just a few days ago. In typical Chrissy fashion (I call her by her first name because we are, of course, friends—in my mind), this follow-up to her first Cravings cookbook is filled with simple, delicious recipes, adorable pics of baby Luna (just wait till you see her in a matching avocado one-piece), and many, many stories we can all relate to.

Speaking of relatable stories, I have one for you.

I told Chrissy the funniest inside joke right before this photo was taken. Photo by Me via "social media"

Of all the recipes in Chrissy's new cookbook, one in particular caught my eye: the Everything Bagel Breakfast Bake. It combined two of my great loves: everything bagels and the simple brilliance of a casserole. I had to make it. But after taking one look at the recipe, which calls for eight eggs and three everything bagels, I knew this was not a recipe designed for one person (although under certain circumstances I could likely finish it alone). So I invited over two of my friends—Yih-Jen and Alex—to help me make the recipe, plus extra-fudgy brownies (because brownies are never not a good idea).

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“I would have eaten your casserole anyway. Then send you on a time out for liking CT. ”
— Rita V.
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I set out to gather the ingredients the morning-of, a Sunday—and that's when things started to go south. I figured I would grab the everything bagels from my favorite bagel place near my apartment (the recipe says they're supposed to be at least a day old, but I spent all of Saturday watching the entire season of Maniac on Netflix, so obviously I was too busy to age my bagels). I arrived in any case to find a long line and zero everything bagels in stock. My second-favorite bagel place ran out of them just as I was about to get to the front of the line.

I don't have a third-favorite bagel place, but I found one a few blocks away that shares their space with a Nathan's Famous Hot Dog restaurant (take from that what you will) and had three everything bagels in stock. It probably helped that they looked pretty old.

The rest of the ingredients list was much easier to source.

I made sure to prep some of the ingredients—sliced the onions, thawed the frozen spinach, cubed the brick of cream cheese—before my friends showed up so that I could whip together the recipe as effortlessly as they do on cooking shows. I should have known better.

Things were going smoothly until the time came to put my bagel-stuffed casserole creation into the actual casserole dish—it was, of course, a bit too small to fit everything.

Just before topping with cheese and baking, pre-fire alarm. Photo by Me via "social media"

But I wasn't about to let that stop me, so I stuffed and smushed until the dish was filled to the brim, with a small bagel-y mountain in the center to boot. I carefully poured the egg-milk-half-and-half mixture (with a pinch of cayenne, too) over the bagels and veggies, and still managed to spill some onto my counter. No big deal. With nothing left to do but let it all bake in the oven for about 50 minutes, I thought I had crossed the finish line.

I was wrong.

About 15 or so minutes in, I started to smell something...burning. I opened my dinky oven to a cloud of thick smoke—the eggs had puffed up so much that they were spilling onto the bottom and getting singed by the flames underneath. The fire alarm started beeping and a gentle but assertive female voice kept repeating, "Fire. Fire. Fire." Since she wouldn't be quiet I asked Alex, who is very tall, to take out the batteries (don't worry, he put them back in before he left).

Whew. It took me about 20 more minutes in my smoke-filled apartment—despite the two air conditioners running, with a door and window open—to realize that I could just put the casserole dish on a sheet pan to catch the dripping egg juice. This helped a little, and about 30 minutes later (my friends had not run away in fear of their lives, surprisingly), the breakfast bake was ready to eat. With a golden, cheesy crust and crispy bagel edges, the near-death experience was worth the end result.

Brownies and melty vanilla ice cream, a treat for surviving the day. Photo by Me via "social media"

My friends mostly agreed: Alex described it as "a good mix-up of breakfast food" and "very satisfying/filling," though " too much of a pain to prepare for any old day." Yih-Jen loved "the cream cheese bits and the spinach," but "wished the everything bagel seasoning had come through more." (I blame the third-rate bagels for the latter.)

I will absolutely be making this recipe again, only next time with better bagels (I'll plan ahead) and a bigger casserole dish (maybe from her new Target collection!). And I'm not going to feel bad about almost setting my kitchen ablaze. It happens to the best of us—even Chrissy Teigen.


More of Chrissy's Cravings


Chrissy would *love* this magical coffee

What recipes are you craving? Tell us in the comments!

31 Comments

Sandy A. October 6, 2018
I was also thinking about the TJ's everything topping...I've not tried it yet, but I've heard it's a must try!!
 
Joan O. October 6, 2018
I want to make almost every thing in this book and have made quiet a few recipes already. I always make some kind of breakfast casserole and fruit salad for Christmas breakfast and have this one marked for this year. Love your story.
 
icharmeat October 4, 2018
I could google, but since it is in this recipe, i think there is no harm in asking here: what is an "everything bagel"?<br />thanks in advance. please be kind, i live on the west coast where most of us probably don't know what makes a bagel a good bagel much less an everything bagel.
 
Stephanie October 4, 2018
It's a bagel with all the things on top of all the other bagels. One bagel with poppyseed, onion, sesame seeds, etc. My brain just broke I can't think what else is on top but, you get the idea.
 
Courtney W. October 4, 2018
It’s a bagel topped with dried minced onion, dried minced garlic, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and salt. It’s OMG delish!! Trader Joe’s makes a great Everything Bagel sprinkle and it’s delish!! Add it to your cream cheese or wet the top of you bagel sprinkle the topping and heat! You can’t go wrong with “everything”
 
icharmeat October 4, 2018
thanks Courtney and Stephanie. I get it now. I appreciate the reply. I like all of those toppings but I'd never considered them all on one bagel. Somehow, it seems...forbidden?
 
Courtney W. October 5, 2018
If you find one... get it! It’s like the best ever!!
 
Stephanie October 5, 2018
Forbidden tastes the best :)
 
Courtney W. October 4, 2018
It sounds delish!! I love CT and Giada! What’s wrong with these people???!!! My cookbooks are on Amazon order and I will make this with your suggestions in hand!! Thanks to you!
 
Sue October 4, 2018
Sounds like a great use of bagels. I would have cut the recipe in half to allow it to fit the pan better.
 
Jen L. October 4, 2018
My friend experience sounds exciting I'm ready to be spontaneous I'll definitely be interested I love to cook been so long since I put any effort
 
sue October 4, 2018
Nothing is a failure if you learn something from the experience. Hint: always put the casserole on a baking sheet. <br />I learned that one very young when my mother left me to bake a blueberry pie she had made using one of those pre-made crusts in a flimsy aluminum pan. It was amazing how quickly a hot pie in an aluminum pan can buckle and hit the floor! <br />Mom. I loved you, but no, you forgot to tell me about the baking sheet.
 
Maggie J. October 4, 2018
there is not one original recipe in that entire book. EVERY single one is taken from someone else's recipe and she added something small and stupid to make it seem like it is "her" own. I mean, salted corn flake topping? I am sad that Food 52 is even acknowledging this book. :(
 
B October 4, 2018
I came here to say this. Well done.
 
FS October 4, 2018
This recipe is a bit like a strata, I guess. It would have worked better if the egg mixture had soaked in a bit ... and if you'd used a bigger pan. Sigh ... I've made all those mistakes too, so I will only add this: always put a lined sheet pan under any casserole dish. You know why.
 
Rita V. October 4, 2018
You busted my bubble. There. In my mind, we were friends. I'd even adopt you. Until you confessed love for CT. I'm too old. But you could only make it worst if it were Giada. If you love Giada, I'll leave you. I divorced Giada after her already big head got bigger. SIGH! Where are the days of more "human" humans? That's ok. I would have eaten your casserole anyway. Then send you on a time out for liking CT.
 
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Erin A. October 4, 2018
Rita, you're breaking my heart! I hope we can still be friends <3 even though I do love CT...and Giada :0
 
I U. October 4, 2018
Were you drunk like Chrissy when you made it?
 
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Erin A. October 4, 2018
Nope! This near-catastrophe happened while I was stone-cold sober.
 
Joy C. September 28, 2018
Trader Joes have an "everything but the bagel" seasoning that you could top the casserole with !
 
Wendy R. September 27, 2018
Aren’t you supposed to let it sit for a few hours, like bread pudding? I think that would make for less bubbling over if the egg mixture is absorbed by the bread.
 
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Erin A. September 27, 2018
You absolutely are! And I totally agree that would've prevented less bubbling, but I didn't have time to prep this the day before otherwise I definitely would have let everything soak up more. Luckily, it still tasted great!
 
Laurel H. September 25, 2018
You could even add Trader Joe’s everything but the bagel seasoning on top for extra everything bagel taste!
 
RHo September 27, 2018
I came here to make this exact comment ;)
 
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Erin A. September 27, 2018
Yesss, that TJ's seasoning would have been a game changer here.
 
Claudia T. September 25, 2018
Sounds delicious! I too believe I'm secret friends with Chrissy Teigen. Or her mom, anyways.
 
tia September 24, 2018
I think King Arthur Flour sells Everything Bagel seasoning. I bet that would amp things up!
 
Author Comment
Erin A. September 27, 2018
That is such a great idea! I'll have to try it if I can't get my hands on good quality bagels again next time.
 
Katie September 24, 2018
Did you use a standard 9x13? That's what I was planning on but it sounds like it need a new plan.
 
Author Comment
Erin A. September 24, 2018
I did not! I used a 9x9 dish, and it was just a littleee too small—and slightly problematic haha. The recipe actually calls for a standard 9x13 dish so that should work perfectly!
 
Katie September 24, 2018
Okay, great! Thanks!<br />