As we came to the end of summer, I was running out of creative ideas for what to feed the kids for lunch every day. We are all growing tired of the standard kid fare, which often includes yogurt, a side of fruit, or a cheese stick alongside some chicken nuggets, peanut butter sandwiches, or macaroni and cheese. Truth be told, my children don’t always appreciate the “benefits” of having a food writer for a mom – ahem, leftovers and obligatory taste-testing – and often prefer I keep it simple or make a regular run to the Burger Bus in Old Town Kenai, which is a local and family favorite. But it was time to mix it up and get creative before we all had to swear off corndogs and quesadillas forever.

One thing everyone in the family can agree upon is bagels. So, I decided to make some turkey bacon bagel melts, customized with everyone’s favorite toppings. Each of the kids’ melts were slightly different, no tomato here, no avocado there, skip the mustard on that one. This recipe is easily customized to include your favorite meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Mine had the works complete with smoked gouda and cheddar cheeses and green onions. For a spread on the bagel, I kept it simple and used mayo mixed with a touch of mustard, which turned out to be perfect.

Turkey Bacon Bagel Melts

turkey bacon bagel

Toasted turkey bacon bagel melts with gouda and cheddar, tomato, green onion, and avocado.

Yields: 4 melts

  • 2 plain bagels, sliced in half, and toasted
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 4 slices smoked gouda cheese
  • 8 slices turkey
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 4 slices bacon, crisp cooked
  • 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced

Preheat broiler to high. Place the toasted bagels cut side up on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and mustard until combined. Spread the mustard mixture evenly onto the four toasted bagel halves. Place a slice of gouda cheese onto each bagel, followed by two slices of turkey. Place the tomato slices next, seasoning them with salt and pepper. Top the tomatoes with the bacon slices, then distribute grated cheddar cheese over top of each bagel. Sprinkle with green onions. Place the pan under the broiler and cook until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Remove the bagel melts from the oven and garnish with avocado slices. Serve promptly.

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