Team Cream – Bagel Grilled Cheese with Heirloom Tomatoes and Thyme Cream Cheese

I haven’t made a breakfast grilled cheese in a while and to tell you the truth, I’m quite sad about it.  We all hear how breakfast is the most important meal of the day so why the heck have I neglected this lovely mealtime for so long? In order to end this cycle of negligence I’ve created a super yummy and easy to eat-on-the-go breakfast themed grilled cheese! Forget about your typical breakfast and switch it up by rooting for TEAM CREAM! chhhaaaaayeaahhhh!!!!!!

Here’s what I used to switch it up:


-1 everything bagel
-1 handful of  baby hierloom tomatoes (sliced in half)
-2 pads of real salted butter
-1 tsp of fresh thyme
-2 heaping tbs of organic cream cheese (or less if you’re not obsessed with it like me)

So my beef with bagel sandwiches is that everything falls out all over the place when you try to cram it in your mouth.  Every time I eat one of these I find myself with food all over my face, hands, and clothes, and quite frankly it stresses me out.  So when I started to think about how I was going to build the perfect bagel grilled cheese I knew this was going to be the first and most important thing I had to address.  
I finally solved this problem by hollowing out my bagel! I found that it kept everything nice and neat and afterward, my clothes didn’t reflect the image of one of the regulars of Tompkins Square Park.  To do this, I cut the bagel in half and placed it on my cutting board flat side down.  From there, I took a serrated grapefruit spoon and started scooping out the top and bottom of the bagel. 

Once I removed all the excess bits of bagel, I smeared a ton of cream cheese into the crevices.  I am absolutely obsessed with cream cheese and I completely admit that I’m one of those gross people that pile it on super thick and then lick the rest off the knife. Gross, i know.  But anyways, if you’re still reading this and not on the same page as me, put on as much cream cheese as you can handle and start slicing your tomatoes in half.

Now gently push the halved baby tomatoes into the crevices of one side of the bagel.  The more snug you can get them, the better.  You don’t want the front of your shirt covered in tomato seeds, now do you?!

For the other half of the bagel, evenly sprinkle on 1 teaspoon of the thyme leaves.

Since the cream cheese acts like a glue onto the other ingredients, basically just pick up both halves of the bagel and mash them together!

At this point you’ll want to put a pad of butter into the pan and turn the heat to medium high.  Once the butter starts to melt and spread out, lay your bagel in and sort of rub it around in the pan.  This will help the butter to spread evenly onto your bagel.

After about 2 minutes on each side the bagel should start to form a golden brown crust. Once it’s like this take it off the stove-top and eat it!  If you’re in a rush, simply wrap this guy in some tinfoil and take off. It actually keeps pretty well for a grilled cheese. YAY!

So do yourself a favor and start your day by enjoying a wonderful breakfast. And remember, mornings suck less if you involve some tasty food. If you start your day like this (as Midlake put it) “mornings will be kind to you in the future“. Go team cream!




  1. Oh my goodness, that looks sooo damn good.

    I don't understand how you can refrain from taking a bite until after the photos. That's some extreme skill. In addition, of course, to your amazing grilled cheese making skills.

    I have to go try this now…


  2. we do not have the great nyc bagels that you have nor do we have the tomatoes! But we have bagel world and the rest we can find!! I want to make this as soon as the I can!!! Girl do you just sit up all night and think up these creations???? Well keep it up. WE LOVE THEM!!!!


  3. omg, this looks divine. I adore bagels with cream cheese and tomatoes which is such a classic meal. I never thought to grill them or hollow them out. definitely going to need to try this out soon! 🙂


  4. Just wanted to let you know that I am in LOVE with your blog. Grilled cheese is one of my ultimate favorite foods – so this blog is just…genius. I've tweeted about it, as well posted your site on my facebook.

    PS. I'm trying the buffalo chicken sandwhich this weekend!


  5. I was thinking the same thing Sheila. We dont have the delicious NYC bagels down in Fl. And I am just like you Kenzie when it come to cream cheese- bring it on. I made the buffalo chicken sandwhich a couple weeks ago and Jeremy and I both loved it. Keep the recipes coming 🙂


  6. interesting concept but this is how i'd execute:

    cut bagel halves into halves. using a pairing knife cut along the insides of the bagel keeping sure not to poke through to the other side. go once around the flesh on the big side of the bagel, and once around the hole. using your fingers, carefully 'brush' away the filler bread.

    do a 33.333333 mix of goat cheese, finely shredded applewood cheddar and whatever light flavored cheese you prefer (i'd go for a gouda). once you've picked your thyme, finely chop it along with one large basil leaf. then mix 90% of the cheeses with the thyme, basil, a little bit of sea salt and white pepper.

    quarter your tomatoes instead of halving them, and make sure to press seed side down into the cream cheese. otherwise it'll ooze out. sprinkle some salt on the tomatoes directly next, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the tomatoes. place the other bagel half on top creating a tight seal.

    2 ways to execute the finish:

    1. smear the outside of the bagel with butter and place in preheated oven for 10-15 at 475

    2. butter in a pan, baste your bagel with butter in pan as you're cooking on medium low heat.

    both of these will get a nice rich golden crust on your bagel while your insides remain in-tact and super gooey.


  7. you need to scoop out the bagel with the round side down, so you can keep all that “everything” flavor on the outside!!!

    places like essa bagel and murray's will scoop your bagel for you if you ask them to!


  8. Holy Cow!!!!! I Love me a Good Grilled Cheese with differant cheese's and homemade bread, but looking at this one, My World has just opened up to try the new thing in Grilled Cheese . This looks like it would be so creamy and just a bite of tartness to it. I am going to do this recipe


  9. I would definitely do like you and mix some other cheese(s) in with the cream cheese. It's not a grilled cheese without a couple different kind in my book lol. I might even add some chives to the mix or some crushed red pepper flakes. I would also put the sandwich in a buttered pan and crisp it on the stove 🙂 Sounds yummy!


  10. I found this post though Pinterest. The photo was so beautiful that I just had to come here to read the recipe! Love it! And love your site :-).

    I would like to invite you to share this post (and your other posts 🙂 ) on a new photo based recipe sharing site that launched in May. The idea is simple: all recipe photographs are published within minutes of submission. And, of course, the images link back to the author's site.

    It's called RecipeNewZ (with Z) –

    I hope you get a chance to visit and to share some of your delicious posts with our viewers. It would be a pleasure to have you on board 🙂


  11. Made this and its DELICIOUS! I love how simple it is and at the same time a fancy change of an otherwise normal grilled cheese. I think that it will be fun to play with different cheeses as another comment said, but overall, A+!


  12. I am exactly like you I love cream cheese, I will take a spoon and just scoop it off the package and eat..sorry didn't mean to gross anyone out. Oh well going to the store tomorrow and I will be enjoying grilled cheese bagel sandwhiches and who says they have to be for breakfast I think it will be good any time of day.


  13. I just found this on…I came to your website and I…I just…I love you. I just love you. This is HANDS DOWN the MOST. RAD. IDEA. EVER. I cannot wait to go to the grocery store (TONIGHT) and try this FOR DINNER. Yes, DINNER. THANK YOU!!!!!!!


  14. Just saw this on & OMG!! Going to son's for Father's Day & I'm gonna make this for him & his family. I also thought that maybe if I was careful cutting, that the top could be used for Eggs-in-a-Basket.


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