Bagel and Cream Cheese Strata

December 21, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: My family started the tradition of eating a bread, egg, and sautéed veggie strata -- that we've always called a frittata -- for Christmas morning breakfast many years ago. When I got married, I found my husband's family eats bagels with cream cheese and lox and/or smoked salmon for Christmas breakfast. This year I decided to combine the two traditions into a strata made with bagels, cream cheese, and salmon. The unique texture of bagels makes this a very sturdy strata, which is nice and hardy, but you can also use regular bread if you prefer a softer, eggier texture. fiveandspice

Serves: 8


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 cups cubed stale bagels
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced lox or crumbled smoked salmon
  • 2 tablespoons capers (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill (optional)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into half-inch cubes (as much as it's possible to cut cream cheese into cubes)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 teaspoon each salt and ground pepper
In This Recipe


  1. In a large sauté pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat until it is foaming. Add the red onion and cook until softened and starting to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Butter a large baking pan (9 x 13 or so) and layer the cubed bagels, the salmon or lox, the sautéed onions, the cream cheese pieces, and the capers and dill (if using) in the pan. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs with the half and half and the teaspoons of salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the bagels, etc, in the baking pan. Cover and let this sit for at least 45 minutes (you can also let it sit in the fridge overnight).
  3. When ready to bake, heat your oven to 350° F. Bake the strata until the eggs are set, about 45 minutes to an hour. Allow to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into it. Eat warm or at room temperature.

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