Lox And Bagels

As an Amazon Affilate, I earn commission on qualifying purchases.

Lox and bagels are my family’s favorite breakfast for special occasions. We have lox and bagels for Sunday brunch, birthdays, and even Christmas breakfast. Since the popularity of the charcuterie board, I thought a lox board would the perfect way to showcase all the components of a lox brunch spread.

Smoked salmon board.

First of all, I won’t call it a lox and bagels “charcuterie board”, because it’s not. Charcuterie refers to cold, cured meat. Here’s more information on what is on a Charcuterie Board. (This post was originally published on December 26th, 2011).

vertical bagels shot.

How is lox different from smoked salmon?

“Lox” is the Yiddish word for salmon or “laks”. It traditionally comes from the belly of the salmon. While lox is salmon, it is not prepared the same way as smoked salmon. 

  • Smoked salmon is cured, then smoked, whereas lox is brined in salt to cure and preserve it. 
  • Cold-smoked salmon will have a texture similar to lox, but isn’t as salty.
  • Gravlax is Scandinavian cured salmon and is popular on traditional open-faced sandwiches. Gravlax is typically cured with citrus, spices, sugar, lots of fresh dill, and salt. All three types of salmon will work on a lox and bagel board, but each will have a somewhat different flavor profile. 
  • Because lox is cured in salt, it tastes saltier, smoked salmon will have a light smokey taste, and gravlax will be slightly sweeter. 
  • Nova lox is from Nova Scotia and is flavor combination of both lox and smoked salmon. Read about the differences between cured salmon here.

Lox is a little harder to find in the grocery store. To be honest, when we have lox and bagels, I usually just buy a pound or two of cold smoked salmon at Costco or Trader Joe’s.

closeup of salmon board.

What sorts of accompaniments go on a lox and bagel board?

I like to put a few non-traditional things items like sliced cucumbers, olive tapenade, and avocado in addition to the classic accompaniments. If some guests don’t like smoked fish, or if you have vegetarians, they can make a hearty bagel sandwich with all the extras.

Lox and bagel board.
  • Bagels of course! Have an assortment so that guests can choose their favorite type of bagel. I pick up a variety from the bagel shop. Poppy seed, pumpernickle, sesame seed, and garlic were used for this board. Split them in half and toast some of them ahead of time. 
variety of bagels.
  • Cream cheese. I like to serve a variety of spreads, from plain cream cheese to chive or scallion cream cheese spread, and vegetable cream cheese. 
  • Sliced tomatoes; beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes make a beautiful presentation.
tomatoes on a plate.
  • Red or purple onions. Sliced them thin. I like to use a mandoline.
sliced red onions.
  • Briny capers; these are a must and I always have them on hand. They’re delicious in Nicoise Salad and on Dover Sole.
  • Avocado. Nothing like creamy avocado on a lox and bagel sandwich!
  • Olive tapenade.
  • Fresh cucumber. While cucumbers aren’t necessarily traditional, we like the contrast of thinly sliced crisp cucumbers with smoked salmon.
  • Fresh dill.
lox and bagel sandwich.

My daughters spend a lot of time constructing their “perfect” lox sandwiches!

How much lox per person?

lox and bagel board.

This depends on whether the lox and bagel board will be the main focus of your brunch or just a component. A good rule of thumb is about  4 ounces of lox, and 1 1/2 bagels per person when served with other items. This Blintz Souffle Breakfast Casserole is a nice sweet option, and one of our brunch favorites. A bowl of fresh fruit rounds out this breakfast board. If you want to stretch your lox board, this Smoked Salmon Cheesecake will serve 16!


Lox and Bagels - an elegant breakfast that's perfect for holiday breakfasts and special celebrations.

How to assemble a salmon board

I love this large wood board which doubles for charcuterie, appetizers, and desserts.

  • Start with the salmon and place it down the center of the board. Use edible leaves, like fig or grape, to keep the salmon from getting on the board. But you could also use pieces of parchment paper.
smoked salmon on wood board.
  • Put the plain and flavored cream cheeses in small bowls and place them next to the salmon. I also use whipped goat cheese as my daughter is sensitive to cow dairy.
cream cheese and salmon.
  • Add the tomatoes and slices of red onions.
  • Fill in with the extras like tapenade, sliced cucumbers and capers. This little caper spoon is nice.
finishing the smoked salmon board.
  • Tuck fresh dill and lemon wedges into the empty spaces for color and garnish.
Lox and Bagels - the perfect celebration breakfast! Get the recipe on WhatAGirlEats.com

What to do with leftover lox or salmon?

If you have leftover salmon, try this Pasta with Smoked Salmon

Lox and bagel board.

Lox and Bagels Board

This lox and bagels board is perfect for a special occasion breakfast or brunch.
5 from 44 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch,
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people
Calories 632 kcal


  • 1 1/2 pounds smoked salmon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 large tomatoes sliced
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1/4 cup capers drained
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • 6 bagels assorted


  • Nutritional value is based on one bagel per person, 4 ounces of smoked salmon and 5 ounces of cream cheese per person, plus extras. Actual values will differ.
  • Flavored cream cheeses are not included in calculations.


Serving: 1personCalories: 632kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 36gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 1777mgPotassium: 715mgFiber: 6gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1175IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 90mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!



Similar Posts


  1. Sometimes we just need a photo, an idea, or a thought for inspiration- no recipe needed! This is perfect, Cynthia! Even though I’ve been to so many events with lox and bagels for breakfast, I’ve never had them at home.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. 5 stars
    When I was a child, my grandmother would often prepare lox and bagels. Back then, I didn’t really enjoy it. It’s amusing to consider the foods that I disliked as a child but have grown to appreciate 🙂

  3. Thank you for explaining what charcuterie is. I’m probably despised for having corrected people so many times, but it really gets old. I just saw a vegan charcuterie board, and there weren’t any fake meats. I’ve also seen a candy charcuterie board. Jeeez. Anyway, I love yours. Lox is something we always serve here. Even my 6 year old grand son loves lox! A very pretty display.

  4. 5 stars
    What a grand idea . I love lox /smoked salmon/nova lox so much.I have always put out just a big platter without making it so beautiful. My husband would love the addition of the olive tampenade. Love this idea.
    I love the green tea cup.

  5. 5 stars
    I’m from a “basic” bagel w/lox background. NEVER occured to me to put avacado, etc. on my bagel/lox combo. This is great. I will be making this board to bring with me for a family lunch next weekend! Awesome cheese choices as well!

  6. My favorite combo is cream cheese,tomato, lox with a squeeze of lemon, and red onion on a plain toasted bagel. I would add a dish of altoids to the table to deal wih the dragon breath afterward. “tea cup” “enter”

5 from 44 votes (40 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating