Back before the days of dairy-free cream cheese alternatives, I was craving bagels and lox. Rather than go without, I decided to get creative with the creamy spread. I slathered each half with smashed avocado, topped them with smoked salmon, and sprinkled on some capers and red onion. A new favorite was born.
California-Style Bagels and Lox – No Cream Cheese Alternative Needed!
To this day, I still use avocado instead of cream cheese on savory bagels. And most restaurants are able to accommodate an avocado swap – putting bagels and lox back on many menus for dairy-free diners! But I find it must less expensive to make at home.
Sometimes we enjoy the bagels open face, and sometimes I make them into full-on sandwiches. If you are making this recipe sandwich-style and don’t like dry bread on top, I recommend either a grainy-mustard or a thin layer of mayonnaise (vegan for egg-free) on the top half of the bagel.
I originally shared this easy recipe way back in 2006, but I’ve recently given the post and the recipe a big update!
Special Diet Notes: California-Style Bagels and Lox
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free optional, nut-free, peanut-free, and soy-free. Just be sure to choose your bagels wisely!
- 1 small ripe avocado
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 to 4 ounces smoked salmon
- 2 savory bagels, sliced (gluten-free, if needed)
- 2 rings thinly-sliced purple onion
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 2 to 4 slices tomato
- 10 thin slices cucumber
- Handful baby spinach
- Top the bottom half of each bagel with sliced or smashed avocado. Optionally sprinkle the avocado with the lemon juice and black pepper.
- Layer slices of the smoked salmon on the avocado. Top with any of the Optional Toppings that you like, or have on hand. Sandwich them with the top of each bagel.