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Smoked Turkey Bagel

Smoked Turkey Bagel- Taking inspiration from the classic bagel and lox, we’re swapping seafood for smoked turkey in this reimagined brunch sandwich.

February 25, 2023 by Nicole Collins

Do you realize I’ve posted over 600 recipes on this website?

That means we’ve had over 600 conversations about who knows what.

And we all know my memory ain’t what she used to be…so, the likelihood of me talking about a topic more than once in 600 conversations is HIGH.

I’m sure we’ve talked about my dislike of smoked salmon here before, because we’ve done a salmon bagel sammie recipe using roasted salmon instead of smoked salmon. That conversation would naturally make sense.

But we haven’t talked about the fact that I gave smoked salmon another chance recently, because I really, REALLY wanted to experience that traditional bagel and lox style sandwich. So a friend and I went to Jewish deli a couple weekends ago, ordered all the things, and she ordered the smoked salmon sandwich so I could try it.

Just in case anyone was curious, it’s still a “no thank you” for me.

But, then I got this idea. What could I used that has a smoky component but isn’t salmon at all. And, that’s how we got to today’s recipe.

So today, we’re making a Smoked Turkey Bagel!

This little bagel sandwich situation is pretty much everything I’ve ever wanted out of a (non bacon, egg, and cheese) bagel sandwich. We have an herbaceous cream cheese spread. We have crispy fresh veggies. We have just a kiss of smoked deli lunchmeat. And we finish it all off with pops of salty little capers.

Does that sound like a dream, or what?

Let’s talk bagels for a second. I love a bagel for sure, but let’s be honest. Bagels can be overwhelming. The amount of bread in one bagel is generous, to say the least. And then if you want to load stuff up on top or inside of the bagel for a sammie, you basically have to dislocate your jaw for everything to fit at once. No. Thank. YOU. So for this sammie, we’re using mini everything bagels! It’s everything we love about a bagel in a miniature, approachable size. Now if you can’t find mini bagels, of course you can use a regular sized bagel. But, your jaws will thank you if you do find them.

Next, we need a schmear. You guys know how I feel about whipped cream cheese. It’s top tier excellence in the cream cheese world in my opinion. So, that’s what we’re starting with. We’re going to add a little extra pizazz to the cream cheese by mixing in some fresh chopped dill and some garlic powder. That’s it! Mix her up, spread a healthy layer all over our toasted bagels. And, it’s time to top our sandwiches.

We’re making these open faced sammies, so we’re going to stack up both halves of our bagel. We need some thinly sliced cucumber, thinly sliced tomato, thinly sliced red onion, and some capers to finish it off. We’re going for the same vibes as those smoked salmon sandwiches. But for this sandwich, we’re going to ditch the seafood and use some smoked deli turkey instead.

My biggest issue with smoked salmon is the texture. But having recently had it again, that sucker is salty too! And I like salt, but it was just too much for me. So when I was thinking of what kind of protein would work in the exact same environment, smoked deli turkey seemed like the best answer. It can be thinly sliced. The flavor is nice and mild with just a kiss of smoke. And, it’s easily accessible at a fairly inexpensive price point. It was the perfect solution.

Once we have everything piled high on our bagels, we can finish them off with a pinch of black pepper and another sprinkling of dill; and it’s time to eat.

These bagel sammies are everything I always dreamed they would be. They’re crisp, and fresh, and light, and savory, and comforting, and colorful, and just everything! Literally...(cause they’re on everything bagels…get it?) And, I love that this opens the door up for people that can’t or won’t eat smoked salmon like me. Now, everyone can join the party! And honestly, the turkey is just a formality. I love these just as much with no meat at all if you’re looking for a veggie option too.

Alrighty, then! That’s all we’ve got for today.

Until next time…let’s eat!


Smoked Turkey Bagel

Serves: 4 Print


  • 8 oz whipped cream cheese

  • 2 tbsp dill, chopped, plus more for garnish

  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder

  • ½ cucumber, thinly sliced

  • 8 slices deli smoked turkey

  • 2-3 campari tomatoes, thinly sliced

  • ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 tbsp capers

  • 4 mini everything bagels, toasted

  • Black pepper, to taste


  1. Make the dill cream cheese: To a mixing bowl, add cream cheese, dill, and garlic powder. Mix well to combine.

  2. Assemble the bagels: Arrange toasted bagels, cut side up, on serving platter. Schmear with cream cheese mix. Top with turkey, cucumber, tomato, red onion, and capers, evenly divided between each bagel. Season with black pepper, to taste. Garnish with dill, if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe notes:

*If you can’t find mini everything bagels, you can use 2 regular sized bagels.

*I like to use a mandoline to thinly slice the cucumber and red onion. These sandwiches are delicate, so we want to keep everything nice and thin.

*If you want to make these a little heartier, feel free to double the turkey.


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