A bagel platter is a fun way to feed a crowd for brunch! Toasted bagels, homemade vegetable cream cheese and lots of fresh toppings assembled on a board make it so easy for guests to help themselves. Perfect for Easter, Mother’s Day, and other holiday celebrations.
Bagel Platter with Vegetable Cream Cheese
During the spring months, there seems to be a lot of reasons to indulge in brunch and not the kind that requires waiting in line at a restaurant because, I don’t know about you, that is about the last thing I want to do on a weekend morning. So, whether it’s Easter, Mother’s Day, or a college or high school graduation celebration weekend this bagel platter loaded with lots of fresh bites along with homemade vegetable cream cheese is an easy and fun way to feed a crowd.
How to Make Vegetable Cream Cheese
And it starts with a homemade vegetable cream cheese, which may leave you wondering why you would make your own when you can just buy a tub at the store. I know, I used to think that, too, until I learned that not only is it easy to make, but you can customize based on your tastes and what you have on hand.
- It starts with room temperature cream cheese and I must stress the “room temperature” part because it makes it so much easier to whip up the spread. It’s best to make it in advance because then all the flavors have time to mix and mingle. I like to leave the cream cheese out overnight and make it in the morning.
- For the vegetable part, I like to use red onion, carrots, celery, and fresh herbs like chives and parsley.
- A food processor makes easy work of this vegetable cream cheese. First, process the vegetables until they’re finely chopped. Next, add the cream cheese and chopped herbs and process it until the spread is combined and smooth.
- If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the veggies by hand and, if your cream cheese is really soft (leaving it out all night will ensure this happens) you can combine the cream cheese with the veggies in a bowl with a spatula.
- Cover the vegetable cream cheese and chill it for up to two days before serving.
How to Make a Bagel Platter
The cream cheese on its own with a toasted bagel is delicious all on its own but for special brunch occasions, it’s fun to make a simple bagel platter that guests can dip into and top their bagels with all sorts of fresh bites. Because you make the vegetable cream cheese in advance the only thing you need to do the day off is toast the bagels and assemble the platter. I used a marble board but a sheet pan or wooden cutting board are great choices to use as a platter. Here are a few things I like to include:
- Toasted everything bagels
- Sliced seedless baby cucumbers
- Slice radishes
- Sliced smoked salmon
- Carrot and celery sticks for dipping
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A bagel platter is a fun way to feed a crowd for brunch! Toasted bagels, homemade vegetable cream cheese and lots of fresh toppings assembled on a board make it so easy for guests to help themselves. Perfect for Easter, Mother’s Day, and other holiday celebrations. Make this spread up to two days in advance to allow the flavors to develop.
For the Vegetable Cream Cheese
- 1/8 of a red onion (cut the onion in half and then each half into quarters, so you have 8 wedges. You only need 1 unless you really love onion, in which case add more!)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled
- 1 medium celery stalk
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
For the Platter
- Everything bagels
- Carrot sticks
- Celery sticks
- Smoked salmon
- Sliced radishes
- Seedless baby cucumbers
- Finely chop or shred the onion, carrot, and celery either by hand using a box grater or in a food processor fitted with a chopping blade.
- Transfer the chopped vegetables to a medium bowl and stir in the herbs and salt. Next, add the cream cheese and stir all of the ingredients together until all of the veggies and herbs are evenly distributed. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
- To serve, place the vegetable cream cheese in the center of a platter, cutting board, or sheet pan. Place the toppings and bagels around the cream cheese. Include small forks and knives to make it easy for guests to serve themselves.
I like to leave the cream cheese out all night on the counter and make the spread in the morning.
If you use a food processor, be sure to cut the carrot and celery into chunks.
Nutrition estimates are for the vegetable cream cheese only.
- Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
- Calories: 205
- Fat: 19.6g
- Carbohydrates: 4.6g
- Fiber: 0.5g
- Protein: 3.7g
Post and photos updated from the archives. First published May 2015.