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Food & Recipes

Bagel Dip Is a Toss-Together Savory Snack That’s Creamy + Easy to Make Ahead

It has all of the flavors of a loaded bagel — minus the mess of trying to eat it!

The word “dip” often makes us think of buffalo chicken or spinach and artichoke flavors, but those aren’t the only options. Bagel dip is a new favorite as it’s a creamy spread packed with the savory essence of beloved bagel fillings. From smoked salmon to everything bagel seasoning to fresh dill, mixing these ingredients into a cream cheese base creates irresistibly light and flavorful dip. It’s also easy to make this spread ahead of time and serve it with chips or veggies as an evening snack or party appetizer. Keep reading to learn how to make a batch of bagel dip that puts a fun spin on this starter!

What is bagel dip?

This dip starts with a base of cream cheese and, sometimes, sour cream or mayonnaise for added creaminess and tang. Then, ingredients like capers, fresh herbs, smoked salmon or sesame seeds are mixed in to replicate the savory flavors of a loaded bagel.

3 tips for making tasty bagel dip

Bagel dip can contain just a few ingredients or several, depending on how complex you want the flavors to be. Still, consider these three tips to whip up a delicious dip with pantry staples.

1. Opt for whipped cream cheese for a fluffier dip.

Using whipped cream cheese will give your dip a more luscious and airy consistency. Plus, a serving of whipped cream cheese contains about 50% less calories and fat than regular cream cheese. “Whipped cream cheese has just 50 calories and 4½ grams of fat per 2 tablespoon serving,” Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD, a registered dietitian nutritionist at the Health Insiders, says.

2. Add an acidic ingredient for a balanced flavor.

Paige Gilmore, food writer and recipe developer for Stripes & Willows, notes that “adding some acid like lemon juice or white vinegar” can help balance any pungent or earthy ingredients in the dip. Adjust the amounts of lemon juice or vinegar according to taste.

3. Give the dip time to rest in the fridge.

Once fully combined, allow the dip to rest in the fridge covered for at least 2 hours. This gives the flavors time to meld and keeps the dip chilled.

What to serve bagel dip with

Since bagel dip is thick and flecked with ingredients, crunchy dippers like bagel chips, crackers or toasted bread slices are sturdy options that will hold the spread. Sliced carrots, cucumbers and celery also provide a nice crunch and are lighter choices for having multiple servings of the dip. Ultimately, having an array of dippers served alongside your bagel dip offers plenty of choices to make each bite tastier than the last!

2 delicious bagel dip recipes

Below, you can find two simple bagel dip recipes that resemble the flavors of popular varieties like onion and the everything blend. Think of these dips as your morning bagel transforming into a cold snack that your taste buds will surely love.

Caramelized Onion Bagel Dip

A recipe for Caramelized Onion Bagel Dip

Our test kitchen’s bagel dip recipe uses rich and sweet caramelized onions that are kissed with wine for extra decadence. 


  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 onions, diced
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 (8 oz.) container regular or whipped cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • Toasted bread slices


  • Yield: 12 servings
  1. Heat oil in pan. Once heated, add onions, sugar and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, 15 minutes. Add ¼ cup white wine; cook, stirring, 30 minutes. Remove caramelized onions from heat and cool around 10 minutes.
  2. Mix cooled onions with cream cheese, sour cream and garlic until fully combined Cover and chill 2 hours or overnight. Serve with toasted bread. 

Everything Bagel Dip

A recipe for Everything Bagel Dip

Gilmore shares her bagel dip, which features a vibrant mix of seasonings, fresh herbs, capers and smoked salmon for a tangy and smoky spread.


  • 1 (8 oz.) container regular or whipped cream cheese, room temperature 
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, juiced + zest from ½ of the citrus
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh chives + 1 Tbs. (for topping)
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill + extra whole fronds (for topping)
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbs. everything bagel seasoning + 1 tsp. (for topping)
  • ¼ tsp. granulated sugar
  • Crackers, sliced veggies or chips

Additional toppings:

  • 1 (4 oz.) packet cold smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. capers, drained
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives


  • Yield: 12 servings
  1. In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, lemon juice and zest, garlic, 1 Tbs. chives, 2 Tbs. dill, onion powder, everything bagel seasoning, salt, pepper and sugar.
  2. Spoon mixture into clean serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Remove from fridge and allow to sit at least 30 minutes before serving to soften dip if it’s stiffened.
  3. Top dip with smoked salmon, capers, dill fronds, 1 tsp. everything bagel seasoning and fresh capers. Serve with chips, sliced veggies or crackers.

For more delectable dip recipes, check out the stories below!

This ‘Lazy’ Cannoli Dip Is Sweet, Creamy Perfection — Ready in Just 10 Minutes!

Cheesy Pretzel Dip Will Be Your New Favorite Snack — Secret Ingredient Makes It Amazing

This High-Protein Buffalo Chicken Dip Will Curb All Your Other Super Bowl Food Cravings 

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