Hasselbacked Croque Monsieur Bagels Recipe

Throw custom to the wind and cut your bagel vertically, like a Hasselbacked potato, turning each slit into the perfect receptacle for slices of ham and cheese.

Photographs: Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Soaking the bagels in a custard softens them up and turns them into ideal vehicles for hot ham and melted cheese.
  • Butter in the bottom of the hot pan crisps the bagels from below, while broiled Mornay sauce makes a creamy, rich topping.

What do you get when you cut a bagel like a Hasselback potato, stuff it with ham and cheese, put it in the oven, and douse it all with creamy Mornay sauce before throwing it under the broiler to brown and char in spots? We don't know, either! But it's basically a very creative bagel croque monsieur, and we guarantee you, it's delicious.

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 2 servings

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  • 2 bagels

  • 1 cup (235ml) whole milk

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) Dijon mustard

  • 2 pinches freshly ground nutmeg, divided

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 8 thin slices Swiss cheese

  • 8 thin slices deli ham

  • 1 tablespoon (15g) unsalted butter

  • 1 recipe Mornay sauce


  1. Place a large cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Meanwhile, using a serrated knife, make about 7 vertical cuts in each bagel, making sure not to cut all the way through.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg, mustard, and 1 pinch nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Soak each bagel in the batter for 1 minute, then turn and soak the other side for 1 additional minute; make sure the custard seeps into the slits. Lift soaked bagels and let excess batter drip off, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

  3. Cut Swiss cheese slices to sizes that will fit inside the bagel slits. Wrap each cheese slice in an appropriately sized piece of ham. (Depending on how large they are, you may need to cut the slices of ham into halves or thirds to get them to the right size.) Wedge a ham-wrapped piece of cheese into each bagel slit.

  4. Remove cast iron skillet from oven and add butter. Allow to melt and foam, swirling pan so butter evenly coats the bottom, then add bagels, bottom side down. Transfer to oven and cook until cheese is melted and bagels and ham are browning in spots, about 10 minutes.

  5. Remove pan from oven. Switch oven to broiler mode and place oven rack in top position. Pour Mornay sauce all over the tops of the bagels, then cook under broiler until browned and charred in spots, about 4 minutes, checking frequently to make sure they don't burn. Serve.


Special equipment

Large cast iron skillet, rimmed baking sheet

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
867 Calories
44g Fat
68g Carbs
50g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 867
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 44g 56%
Saturated Fat 22g 108%
Cholesterol 182mg 61%
Sodium 3197mg 139%
Total Carbohydrate 68g 25%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 50g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 924mg 71%
Iron 5mg 27%
Potassium 736mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)