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)
1255 Calories
67g Fat
99g Carbs
65g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 1255
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 67g 85%
Saturated Fat 36g 178%
Cholesterol 267mg 89%
Sodium 2673mg 116%
Total Carbohydrate 99g 36%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 65g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 1732mg 133%
Iron 7mg 37%
Potassium 552mg 12%
*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.)