Bagel Toppings with a Swedish Flourish
And the world’s best bagel is…Swedish. Not from Montreal or New York. Yep, you heard that right. Here are some bagel toppings that have been "sweedified" and are totally delicious.

Swedish Bagels

The bagel has a long history, possibly dating back all the way to the 13th century (or even longer). It may have originated in Syria where a similar bread is mentioned in a cookbook from the 13th century, but a bread with that name (and epic shape) was first made in Poland. From there, it made its way to the US and Canada and then, after that little detour, to Sweden.

So while the bagel today is associated most commonly with the US or Canada, it has an international history and is made to perfect in Sweden today. Our bakery, BAK, makes bagels by hand the old-fashioned way and the result is a gourmet bagel.

In honor of the delicious bagels we sell, we wanted to create some "swedified" versions of American classics, as well as some truly Swedish recipes for bagel toppings. Prepare to have your tastebuds tingling in anticipation of biting into these delights.

Bagels with Dill Spread, Avocado, and Capers
The topping for these bagels is made with one of Sweden’s favorite herbs—dill. It’s a flavor associated with summer and a refreshing flavor for your bagels, especially when combined with lemon juice.

The original recipe can be found on Tuvessonskan.

Ingredients (serves 4)

- 4 bagels
- ½ package frozen dill (about 20 g) (can also use fresh dill, of course!)
- ½ package cream cheese (100 g)
- Lemon juice, to taste
- Salt and black pepper, to taste


- Stir together the cream cheese and dill until well combined.
- Season with lemon juice, salt, and black pepper to taste.
- Chill the cream cheese until ready to serve (you can make it ahead of time or just before using it).
- Cut the bagel in half.
- Spread a thick layer of dill spread on both bagel halves.
- Slice the avocado thinly and place on the bottom half of the bagel.
- Top with thin slices of red onion, capers, chopped dill, and a little extra lemon and salt of desired.
- Finish with a few turns of the pepper grinder, then put the top on. Enjoy!

Bagels with Strawberry and Chèvre

Summery and flavorful, these bagels are inspired by French and Italian flavors as well as some very Swedish strawberries.

The original recipe can be found on Tuvessonskan.

Ingredients (serves 4)

- 4 bagels
- ½ package cream cheese (100 g)
- 100 g chèvre
- 1 tsp honey
- Salt and black pepper, to taste


- Using an immersion blender (or fork if you don’t have an immersion blender a.k.a. stavmix), blend the cream cheese and goat cheese until smooth.
- Season with honey, salt, and black pepper to taste.
- Chill until ready to serve (you can make it ahead of time).
- Cut the bagel in half.
- Spread a thick layer of goat cheese cream on both bagel halves.
- Add a layer of thinly sliced strawberries and plenty of fresh basil to the bottom half.
- Season with salt and pepper,put the top on, and enjoy!

Bagels with Herbs and Cream Cheese

If you like fresh herbs and want a vegetarian filling, this is quick and easy, yet tastes delicious. You can choose what herbs to use, but try mixing and matching. Don’t have fresh herbs available? There’s always Italiensk salladskrydda (a very Swedish thing…). Just remember that Italiensk sallads krydda is made of 50% salt, so you don’t need a lot...and should probably go half/half with plain Italian herbs, or Herbes de Provence.

The original recipe can be found on Tasteline.

Ingredients (serves 4)

- 1 bunch arugula
- 1 red onion
- 1 tomato
- 4 bagels
- Salt
- Black pepper
- 1/2 dl lemon juice
- 1 bunch fresh herbs
- 1.5 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 100 g Philadelphia cream cheese


- In a bowl, combine the Philadelphia cream cheese, crème fraîche, herbs, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Slice the tomato and red onion.
- Split the bagels and spread the cheese mixture on top. Top with arugula, tomato, and red onion. Close the sandwiches.

Tip: If you want a lighter bagel, you can use low-fat cream cheese and crème fraîche. You can also add sliced cucumber and exchange the tomato for sundried tomatoes.

Bagels with Brie and Salami (or Sundried Tomatoes)

This is distinctively Mediterranean in flavor and oh so delicious. Thankfully, we have great salami in Sweden, too.

The original recipe can be found on Köket.

Ingredients (serves 1-2)

- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 bagel
- Baby spinach (or other lettuce)
- 4-6 slices salami (or sundried tomatoes in oil if you want a vegetarian option)
- 2-3 slices brie cheese
- Salt
- Pepper


- In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, and honey.
- Toast the bagel or warm it in a toaster oven.
- Spread a handful of baby spinach (or other lettuce) on one half of the bagel.
- Top with salami and brie cheese (or brie and sundried tomatoes).
- Spread the mustard mayonnaise on top and season with salt and pepper.
- Top with the other half of the bagel.
- Cut the bagel in half and serve immediately or wrap in a paper bag for later.

Traditional Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Bagels

The traditional lox and cream cheese bagels—so easy to make, so delicious.

The original recipe can be found on Royal Greenland.

Ingredients (serves 4)

- 4 slices smoked salmon
- 4 bagels
- 1 package Philadelphia Light cream cheese (200g)
- Cream (optional)
- Chives (you can use dill instead, if you prefer)
- 1 red onion
- Pepper
- Salad (optional—little gem or butterhead salad, baby spinach, ruccola/arugula, or even endives if you like a touch of bitter, work great)


- Chop the chives (or dill).
- Split the bagels and toast them.
- Whip/stir the cream cheese with a bit of cream and the chives.
- Let the toasted bagels cool slightly and spread on a generous layer of the cream cheese.
- Place the bottoms of the bagels on four plates (perhaps on a few nice salad leaves) and place the salmon slices on top. Feel free to fold them a little decoratively. Place a slice of red onion on top and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.
- Add the tops and serve immediately.

Want to try something Swedish? Use pepparrots färskost (cream cheese with horseradish) instead of cream cheese with herbs. You can buy it in a tub, or grate some horseradish and add to Philadelphia cheese (or whatever brand you prefer!).

You can also check out this video by BAK (the bakery supplying our bagels) for a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel with rowan-berry capers (rönnbärskapris)

Roast Beef and Sauerkraut…or Remoulade

Roastbeef and sauerkraut is a traditional American bagel, but roast beef with remoulade sauce and toasted onions (sometimes pickled cocktail onions, too), is a traditional topping for smørrebrød. And why not add a touch of potato salad? 

In other words, if you don’t fancy sauerkraut, you might want to try the more Scandinavian version!

As for the American version, there are actually legends surrounding it. It’s been named a “Reuben style bagel,” but where did the name “Reuben” come from? That is the question.

There are two legends circulating:

Omaha, Nebraska–Reuben Kulakofsky: Reuben Kulakofsky, a grocer, supposedly requested a sandwich with corned beef and sauerkraut at his weekly poker game at the Blackstone Hotel in the 1920s. The hotel owner's son, working in the kitchen, created the Reuben with Swiss cheese and thousand island dressing on rye bread. This version gained popularity and was added to the hotel's menu.

New York City–Arnold Reuben: Another contender is Arnold Reuben, the owner of Reuben's Delicatessen in New York City. Accounts suggest he created the "Reuben Special" around 1914, possibly for an actress coming into the deli late at night. This version might have included ham, cheese, coleslaw, and dressing.

The truth? We may never know. Unfortunately, there's no definitive answer to who invented the Reuben. Both stories lack concrete historical evidence, but there are clues…

Menu Mention: The first documented menu mentioning a Reuben sandwich appears in 1934 at a Nebraska hotel chain, possibly influenced by the Omaha story.

New York Popularity: However, Reuben's Delicatessen in New York City was a well-known spot for sandwiches, and the Reuben was certainly popular there by the 1940s.

Just as there’s no way of proving where the Reuben bagel came from, there’s no one way of making it. Some people exchange the corned beef for pastrami, roast beef, or even turkey. Others remove the sauerkraut. You do you. 

Original recipe for the below from Delicious Magazine.

Ingredients (serves one)

- 1 bagel, halved
- 50g swiss cheese, thinly sliced
- 100g roast beef, thinly sliced
- 50g sauerkraut, drained
- Small pinch caraway seeds, lightly crushed (optional)

For the Russian dressing

- 1 cornichon, finely chopped
- ½ shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tsp horseradish sauce or cream
- 1 tsp caster sugar

Worcestershire sauce

- Smoked hot sauce (optional)
- Pinch hot paprika


- In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the Russian dressing until well combined. Set aside.
- Heat the grill to medium-high. Toast the bagel, then spread the bottom half of the bagel with a generous helping of the Russian dressing. Top with the cheese and put back under the grill for 1 minute or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Working quickly while the bread is still hot and the cheese melted, pile on the roast beef, followed by the sauerkraut. Sprinkle with a few caraway seeds (if using) and a little more Russian dressing, if you like. Put the bagel lid on top and eat straight away, fingers dripping with oozing loveliness.

Ideas for Other (Swedish) Bagel Toppings

Where bagel toppings are concerned, the sky's the limit. We suggest you look at this video from BAK. The sky truly is the limit! 

For some very Swedish ideas for bagel toppings, consider:

- Skagenröra (shrimp salad made with mayo/crème fraîche) on a bed of lettuce
- Seafood salad on a bed of lettuce
- Smetana or Keso with Caviar of Kalix (or other type of caviar), red onion, and dill
- Fried chanterelles on cream cheese
- Brie with cloudberry jam on a bed of lettuce
- Meatballs and beetroot salad on a bed of lettuce
That's just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many more ways to make a bagel taste divine. Stay creative, and keep exploring. And if you invent the perfect Swedish bagel topping, do let us know!