Everything-ish Bagels with Basil-Cream Cheese, Tomato Relish, and Zucchini

Let me tell you, if bagels had nutritional benefits I’d be eating them on the reg. Bagels are my family’s biggest weakness, they are an absolute must every day that we are visiting New York, and if we get them in Colorado it’s always by the dozen. We’re not the blueberry bagel, cinnamon cream cheese type of group, we have it down to a sandwich routine. Everything bagel, boar’s head ham, melted swiss cheese, sauteed onions and peppers, tomatoes, olive tapenade, dill pickles, lettuce, condiments of choice. Like I said, if only the calories didn’t count!! I decided to make my own one morning and they did not disappoint. I went with summertime flavors of tomatoes, balsamic, and basil paired with some fresh green veggies like zucchini and arugula. Super happy with this recipe, and I hope you give it a try too!



1 packet (7 grams) active dry yeast

400 g (3.25 c) all-purpose flour

100 g (0.75 c) whole-wheat flour

1 T brown sugar

2 t salt

0.5 t baking powder

1 T baking soda

0.25 c honey

1 egg

2 T poppy seeds

2 T sesame seeds

1 T coarse sea salt


1 c cherry tomatoes, quartered

0.5 c minced sweet onions

0.25 c balsamic vinegar

0.25 c olive oil

2 t salt

1 t fresh cracked pepper


8 oz cream cheese, softened

0.5 c finely chopped basil

0.25 c finely chopped parsley

0.25 c grated parmesan

1 t lemon zest


1 zucchini

3 T unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, smashed


Salt & pepper to taste


Whisk yeast with 1.5 c warm water (105-115 degrees, not hotter and not colder!) and let sit for 5 minutes. In the meantime, combine the flours, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder. Switch to the hook attachment (or get your muscles ready) and add the yeast mixture. Knead for about 5 minutes on med-low speed until it forms a dough ball. You may need to add more water or flour to adjust for the humidity, the dough ball should be barely sticky in the end. Grease a large bowl with olive oil and roll the dough ball around in it so it gets coated. Let the dough sit in the bowl for about 90 minutes under a damp towel to let it double in size. This may take longer, just keep an eye on it!

While your dough is resting, let’s make the toppings. Mix all of the ingredients together for the relish and let that sit for about 20 minutes in the fridge. To make the cream cheese spread, simply whip the cream cheese, herbs, parmesan, and lemon zest together until smooth. Season to taste and refrigerate. Once the relish has sat for about 20 minutes, strain off the liquid and place it into a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil and cook it for a few minutes until it thickens. Pour it over the relish and stir.

Once your dough has risen, cut the dough into even proportions for your bagels. I did about 6 with this recipe and the bagels were large. Shape each section of dough into smooth spheres, then make a hole in the middle. I randomly used the end of a candlestick wrapped in plastic to get a good-sized hole, but I didn’t punch the dough out, I just stretched it. Place your uncooked bagels onto a floured baking sheet under a damp towel and let rest for an additional 15-20 minutes. While you are waiting you can get a big pot of water going on the stove. Stir in the honey and baking soda and bring it to a boil. Have a greased baking sheet ready next to it for when you pull your bagels out. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

When the bagels have risen, pick one up off of the baking sheet (easiest if you use a bench scraper) and drop it in the boiling water. I recommend you do 3 at a time in the water. Try not to manipulate the shape too much and be careful when handling them. Have them in the water for one minute on each side and then remove (a skimmer or a slotted spoon works best), and place onto the greased baking sheet. Beat an egg with a tablespoon of water and brush each bagel’s top and sides with it. Combine the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and sea salt in a bowl and sprinkle them over the bagels. Bake them for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway. They should be nice and golden!

For your last step, slice the zucchini lengthwise into ¼-inch strips. Cut those strips in half horizontally so that they fit the sandwich nicely. Melt the butter in a saute pan on medium heat and add the smashed garlic cloves. Once the garlic starts to sizzle and change color, add the zucchini slices (you will need to do this in batches) and sear each side until nice and golden brown.

Now for the best part! To build your sandwich, slice the bagel in half and spread the cream cheese on each side. Put the zucchini on the bottom, followed by the relish and the arugula. Take a big ‘ol bite of that and say mmmmm. You just made bagels!