Everything Bagel with prosciutto, red onions and cream cheese

Breakfast to Please Everyone

Transform a simple bagel into a variety of breakfast options with these ideas. It’s magic for your mornings!

What’s the best way to create an easy morning meal that will put a smile on everyone’s face without becoming a short-order cook? Start with a basic foundation that everyone loves: the bagel. At Panera Bread® bakery-cafes, you’ll find a variety of sweet and savory flavors to suit your family’s diverse tastes. The Whole Grain Bagel, crafted from spelt, millet, flaxseed, and other wheat flours. Sweet tooth satisfiers like French Toast, Cinnamon Crunch, and Chocolate Chip. Wake-up-your-taste-buds bagels like the Everything Bagel and the Sesame Bagel variety. And, of course, the savory Asiago Cheese Bagel, perfect for pairing with a quickly scrambled egg.

Once you’ve chosen your bagel, there are many flavorful possibilities. Here are some ideas for taking your basic bagel to the next level - while still getting out the door on time, courtesy of Tom Gumpel, head baker at Panera Bread.

Toast it properly. “I’m a New Yorker, so toasting is always the way to go,” Tom says. According to him, toasting properly means that you shouldn’t take the job lightly. Literally. “Toast your bagel like you mean it!” he says. “Well-caramelized bagels always taste better than the blond versions.” Pop it in the toaster while you pack your bag or check your messages, and you won’t lose a precious minute. Top your toasted bagel with a delicious, reduced-fat Panera Bread cream cheese, such as Honey Walnut, Veggie, Wild Blueberry, or Chive & Onion.

Start with the basics. For finicky kids—or 40-year-olds—keep things simple, Tom advises. His busy-morning standby is “a toasted Panera Bread Whole Grain Bagel, smeared with my favorite peanut butter and sliced bananas.” If your family is resistant to trying whole grains, offer them one of Panera Bread’s Plain Bagels. Kids who love PB&J also might like cream cheese and grape jelly on their bagel.

To slowly introduce new tastes, try cutting a few types of bagels into eighths and serving with a variety of toppings. With these appetizer-sized bites, your family might be more likely to try new flavors.

Or go gourmet. “The perfect breakfast has to be a toasted Everything Bagel with plain Neufchâtel, topped with cold gravlax, capers, and red onions,” Tom says. This recipe combines those comforting bagel carbs with some protein and fat to help keep you fueled until lunchtime. To make it easier to assemble in the morning, pre-chop the onions and keep them (in a plastic container) near the capers and salmon in the fridge.

Bake kid-friendly chips. Tom likes to thinly slice some Panera Bread bagels with a serrated knife and turn them into chips. (You can do this at night, while you’re making dinner.) Simply lay the bagel slices on a cooking sheet, and brush a little olive oil on them. Sprinkle them with salt (if desired) and bake in a 350°F oven until golden brown. Store the chips in a plastic bag, and grab a few in the morning to dip in your favorite spread. They’re also great as a snack later in the day with hummus, salsa, or guacamole.

Assemble a breakfast panini. “Panera bagels and the panini machine are a match made in bread heaven,” Tom says. “A Plain Bagel with cured ham and Vermont cheddar cheese is to die for. Add a fried egg or scrambles, and you have a hearty breakfast entrée.” Tom says he especially enjoys experimenting with less traditional fillings, when time permits. His favorite to date? “A farm-fresh fried egg, Gruyère cheese, spinach leaves, roasted peppers, and onions on an Asiago Cheese Bagel put through the panini grill. It’s simply indulgent!”