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What to Serve with Bagels

15 Side Dishes and 24 Topping Ideas

If you’re looking for toppings and side dishes to serve with bagels, you’ll want to provide a variety of different flavors. All of these ideas are perfect for any occasion from bridal showers and baby showers to Mother’s Day brunch or breakfast on Christmas morning.

plate of bagels

You can make the bagels the star of the meal. It’s a great way to let everyone make their perfect breakfast or brunch. A large platter of bagels with some toppings and sides makes meal prep super easy.

Each of the posts linked below offers a printable recipe card. Everything I’ve listed is impressive but easy to make.

Classic Breakfast Food

Sliced bagels have reached critical mass across the country because they’re so versatile. You can add any topping to them or serve them alongside a plate of bacon and eggs for an easy breakfast.

Your overnight guests will appreciate waking up to a bagel brunch board served with a bloody Mary. It’s always a good idea to offer a variety of drinks to go with the meal.

Next time you have friends over for coffee and tea, serve a platter of fresh bagels with little bowls of bagel toppings. You can also have a bagel bar with toppings for plain bagels.

If you have a cocktail party, you can have a variety of charcuterie boards, including one with fresh bagels. The best thing about serving bagels is that they go with almost anything else you serve.

plate of bagels

Whether you offer these homemade bagels or pick them up from your favorite bakery or grocery store, you can make special occasions even better by offering a platter of bagels and lots of side dishes and toppings. 

Bagels in Different Flavors

When I’m serving more people than just my husband and me, I like to have more than one type of bagel. I highly recommend choosing a variety of different flavors if possible.

Also consider picking up some mini bagels for those who only want a few bites.

Here are some bagels that most people seem to enjoy:

  • Sesame seed bagels
  • Poppy seed bagels
  • Whole wheat bagels
  • Plain bagels
  • Onion bagels
  • Cinnamon raisin bagels
  • Everything bagels

Bagel Toppings

Basically, anything you can spread, slice, or scoop can be a bagel topping. Use your own imagination and creativity to come up with some unique ideas. 

Remember that the best bagels are the ones that taste good to the people eating them. And everyone has their own favorite toppings and spreads.

Here are some of our favorite bagel toppings:

  1. Plain cream cheese with fresh dill (or any kind of herbed cream cheese
  2. Rich cream cheese with full fat (or vegan cream cheese)
  3. Homemade butter
  4. Peanut butter
  5. Olive oil
  6. Cheddar cheese
  7. Goat cheese
  8. Avocado slices 
  9. Homemade guacamole
  10. Lox 
  11. Smoked salmon
  12. Crunchy red onion
  13. Capers
  14. Tomato slices
  15. Homemade marinara and cheese to make a pizza bagel
  16. Bagel seasoning (everything bagel, salt, fresh black pepper, variety of fresh herbs, etc.)
  17. Chocolate chips
  18. Pumpkin butter
  19. Chocolate chip fluff dip
  20. Sweet strawberries
  21. Apple slices
  22. Assortment of berries
  23. Chocolate ganache (from Out of the Box Baking)
  24. Buffalo chicken dip (from Back to My Southern Roots)

Make the process easy for people by serving sliced bagels. Then all they have to do is add the items they want to the top of a bagel.

I like to over both sweet and savory options. You might be amazed by what different combinations people add to their bagels.

Delicious Side Dishes to Serve with Bagels

Add a selection of side dishes so you can satisfy a variety of taste buds. Also remember that some people like a chewy fresh bagel, while others like a crunchy, golden brown bagel. 

So if you have a popup toaster or toaster oven, set it up beside the selection of bagels. This enables people to toast their own.

Here are some fabulous sides to serve with bagels:

Chicken salad in a bowl

1. Chicken Salad

You can make this super easy chicken salad with leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, or even canned chicken. It’s a favorite around here because it’s delicious and can be served so many different ways. I even encourage you to add some of your favorite seasonings to make it your own.

2. Smoked Whitefish Salad

This smoked whitefish salad recipe from The Spruce will satisfy bagel lovers who only want the very best authentic bagel sides. This is the perfect pairing to go with chewy bagel halves.

bowl of egg salad

3. Egg Salad

Yes, I’m “southernizing” my bagels by adding an egg salad side dish. One of my favorite ways to enjoy it is to spread it over each bagel half. Or you can eat it on the side with lots of fresh veggies. Delicious!

4. Tuna Salad (from Julia’s Simply Southern)

This is one of the best tuna salad recipes out there. Try this yummy tuna salad recipe from Julia’s Simply Southern, and you’ll see what I mean.

2 plates of egg bites

5. Egg Bites

Make a batch or two of these wonderfully flavorful egg bites and set out a basket of them. It’s an easy way to put protein on the bagel board.

bowl of cinnamon applesauce

6. Cinnamon Applesauce

This applesauce is perfect for spreading, dipping, or simply eating with a spoon. Let your guests decide how to eat it.

Plate with turkey sausage, eggs, and toast

7. Homemade Turkey Sausage

You’ll be blown away by how easy it is to make your own turkey sausage. I love the fact that I can make it as mild or as spicy as I want.

Vegetable frittata on a plate

8. Quick and Easy Frittata

I make this frittata in my rice cooker. After all, it’s a heating vessel with a lid, and that’s basically all you need for this amazing dish.

Baked grits casserole on a plate

9. Cheese Grits Casserole

Here’s another southern dish to add a little something extra to your bagel brunch or breakfast. If people like grits, they’ll love this dish. If they’ve never tried them, they’ll wonder where grits have been all their lives.

Fruit, yogurt, and granola in a parfait dish
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

10. Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

You can never go wrong with this easy side dish. I like colorful fruit added to yogurt to make the whole spread look more appetizing. I highly recommend setting out enough cups of this delicious dish to encourage everyone to take one.

vegetable omelet with salsa

11. Vegetable Omelet

You can make a batch of vegetable omelets in advance and refrigerate them. Then before it’s time to serve them, wrap them and stick them in a warm oven for just a few minutes.

Ham and Egg Muffin Cups with a side of fruit

12. Ham and Egg Muffin Cups

Similar to egg bites, these ham and muffin egg cups start with a cradle of ham. Then you load them up with eggs and other delicious foods to make them super yummy.

small plate of bacon and cream cheese stuffed tomatoes on a bed of spinach leaves

13. Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Itty bitty stuffed tomatoes are absolutely delicious and fun to eat. Place a bunch of them on a bed of lettuce and watch them disappear.

pineapple rings

14. Air Fried Pineapple Rings

I love grilled pineapple rings. So when I thought about how easy it is to “grill” food in my air fryer, I stuck some in there. And I sure am glad I did. They are just as wonderful yet much easier!

air fried bacon wrapped asparagus on a plate

15. Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Asparagus is such a great vegetable. Wrap it in bacon, and you’ll see eyes rolling back from the irresistible flavor.

Serve Bagels to Brunch and Breakfast Fans

Most people feel that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Make it extra special by offering a fun assortment of bagels and everything to go with them.

Serve bagels with all of the sides and toppings at your next party. Just make sure you have extra bagels for your family to enjoy the next day. 

I like to put the bagels in baskets with bowls and plates of sides and toppings around them. However, if you have a big crowd, spread everything out to prevent crowding. Maybe you can have sweet bagels on one side of the table and savory bagels on the other.

Coffee Smoothie with a Cherry
Coffee Smoothie

Make sure you have a choice of beverages. Coffee, tea, fruit juice, and water are all good. One of my favorites is this coffee smoothie.

If you’re serving cocktails, I think it’s best to stick with one specialty, like mimosas.

Please feel free to share!