The battle of bagels for breakfast goes beyond a schmear of cream cheese.

Two chefs joined "GMA" to make bagels the star of a reinvented breakfast dish.

PHOTO: The hot brown bagel vs. the French toast-style bagel.
ABC News
The hot brown bagel vs. the French toast-style bagel.

Damaris Phillips shared her take on a Kentucky classic but used an everything bagel as the base to build layers of flavor with turkey, Mornay sauce, oven-dried tomatoes, bacon and cheese.

Chef Eric Adjepong went for a sweet twist with a pumpkin puree spiced custard to soak the bagels and cook-off just like French toast.

Check out the full recipes below and cook virtually from your own kitchen with either chef online.

Eric Adjepong’s Spiced Pumpkin Bagel French Toast

PHOTO: Eric Adjepong's spiced pumpkin bagel made French toast style.
Eric Adjepong
Eric Adjepong's spiced pumpkin bagel made French toast style.

Serves: 3 to 4


3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

4 eggs

2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 plain bagel sliced in half

Butter or ghee, for griddle


PHOTO: Chef Eric Adjepong made a spiced pumpkin French toast out of a bagel.
Eric Adjepong
Chef Eric Adjepong made a spiced pumpkin French toast out of a bagel.

Preheat an electric griddle to 350 degrees (a non-stick skillet set over medium heat also works fine).
In a mixing bowl whisk together milk, pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger until well combined. Pour into a shallow dish. Butter griddle and dip bagel into egg mixture (allowing a few seconds for it to absorb mixture. Rotate and coat opposite side.)
Transfer to griddle and cook until golden brown on bottom, then lift, butter griddle once more and flip french toast to opposite side and cook until golden brown. Serve warm with butter and maple syrup.

Click here to sign up for a virtual cooking class with Eric.

Damaris Phillips’ Kentucky Bagel Hot Brown

PHOTO: A Kentucky hot brown style bagel.
Damaris Philips
A Kentucky hot brown style bagel.

Serves: 4

2 everything bagels cut in half
1 pound cooked turkey, sliced
2 cups mornay sauce (recipe below)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup cooked bacon (lardons)
1/2 cup oven dried cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon everything seasoning


Preheat the broiler. Distribute the bagels among four 6-inch cast-iron gratin pans or 4-inch casserole pans.
Divide the turkey evenly among the pans.
Spoon the Mornay sauce over the turkey, then top with the tomatoes.
Sprinkle with the Parmesan and bacon and broil until golden and bubbling, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven, sprinkle with everything seasoning and enjoy immediately!

Mornay Sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
3/4 cup shredded gruyere
Salt and pepper


Add the butter to a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat.
Add the milk to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat.
When the butter is melted, add the flour and stir continuously so the roux doesn't scorch, about 2 minutes. When the milk starts to simmer, slowly add it to the roux, stirring continuously so lumps don't form.
Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 4 minutes.
Add the cheddar and gruyere and stir until smooth. Remove the sauce from the heat and season with salt and pepper.