Bagels aren’t just for breakfast anymore. They’re the perfect way to re-purpose leftovers and they please even the pickiest eaters. Here’s how to make an awesome bagel pizza.
Hold up. Before you double check to make sure you didn’t inadvertently land at fratguyfood.com, let me explain.
Bagels are a perfectly legitimate thing to eat for dinner. They’re carbs, which will keep you fuller longer, and they come in a huge variety of flavors: whole wheat, onion, everything, blueberry. Not to mention they’re pretty much universally liked, so even the pickiest eaters in your life will find a kind to enjoy.
Even so, this isn’t your average bagel pizza. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to take these babies to the next level. First, I brush the outside of each half with olive oil and sprinkle it with garlic salt. It creates the perfect crunchy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside bite. Second, I turn the broiler on for the last minute or so of the baking process to really melt the cheese and meld the flavors.
The bagel pizza I made for these photos is a quick take on my jalapeño popper pizza. It’s one of my favorite ways to pizza-up a bagel, but it’s certainly not the only way to do it. I also enjoy a classic pepperoni version with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.
Really, though, the bagel can just be a vehicle for whatever you want to put on it. Any sauce, no sauce, any cheese, no cheese. It’s the perfect way to remix your leftovers; I’m envisioning fajita fixings piled high and sprinkled with cheese, or last night’s sauteed veggies.
However you plan to rock your bagel pizza, make sure to follow the instructions below for maximum awesomeness.
How to Make an Awesome Bagel Pizza
one bagel, split open
1/3 cup shredded cheese, divided (I use a cheddar blend; pepperjack would be great)
cream cheese (about 2 tablespoons)
Begin by roasting the jalapeño. If you prefer to use a raw jalapeño- or want to save time- simply seed and dice it and skip to the third paragraph. To roast it, cut the top off and slice the jalapeño in half. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and the white pith. Put the pepper cut side down on a baking sheet or in an oven-safe dish and place under the broiler on an oven rack in the highest position.
The point is to blacken the whole outside of the pepper, so it’ll take several minutes. Since you’re actually aiming to burn it, you don’t have to worry about setting a timer; just peek at it every few minutes. When the jalapeño is charred, remove it from the oven and transfer both pieces to a zip-top plastic bag. Leave the pepper in the bag for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove it and peel off the charred skin. Dice the jalapeño into small chunks.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Brush the outside of each bagel half with olive oil (you don’t have to bother with an actual brush; I usually use my hands). Sprinkle with garlic salt and place the bagel cut side up on a baking sheet. Spread each half with a thin layer of cream cheese.
Take half of the shredded cheese and sprinkle it evenly on the two bagel pieces. Add the diced jalapeño and remaining cheese. Dust a small amount of garlic salt over both bagel halves.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cheese is melted. Switch on the broiler for just a moment- watch your bagel; it can burn quickly- to melt the cheese more and brown the edges of the bagel. Serve immediately.
How will you top your bagel pizza?