This pizza bagel recipe transforms the classic after-school snack into a quick, easy, and healthy(ish) meal for any weeknight.
Steam some broccoli or mix a salad while the mini pizzas bake, and dinner's on the table in 20 minutes. Plus, it's simple enough for even the littlest ones to help make. Just put the sauce, cheese, and toppings in bowls and let everyone assemble their own!
Healthier Pizza Bagels, Step by Step
20 minutes 20 minutes.
With some simple nutritious upgrades, this is a meal you can feel good about serving any night of the week.
- Assemble the bagels, sauce, and cheese.
If you can, buy freshly made whole wheat bagels from a local bakery or bagel shop. The ones you find in the bread aisle of your grocery store are usually loaded with preservatives, which counteract the health benefits of whole grains. Next, make your own sauce. (My go-to recipe contains only tomatoes, garlic, salt, and a little olive oil.) Or, choose a pizza sauce that contains zero added sugar and only ingredients you recognize. And, finally, buy your cheeses in blocks and shred them yourself. This pizza bagel recipe is super quick to make, so spending a minute or two at the cheese grater is worth it to avoid those chemical anticaking agents found in pre-shredded cheeses.
- Add a boost of nutrients to the sauce.
My young son, Jack, has a super-human ability to spot "salad" (a.k.a. green leafy vegetables) in any dish I make, no matter how finely I chop it. So, in order to avoid the drudgery of watching him pinch green flecks out of his meal when he should be eating, I've learned how to keep "salad" incognito.
One of the easiest ways to trick Jack into eating spinach and kale is by mixing it into his favorite pizza sauce. If you have a picky eater in the house, feel free to use this idea for any vegetable you want them to eat more of. For example, stir in some finely shredded sweet potato or riced broccoli or cauliflower instead of the spinach and carrot.
- Hide healthier toppings under cheese.
For this batch, I kept it simple with thinly sliced turkey pepperoni, but you can use as many toppings as you like. These pizza bagels are a delicious way to sneak extra veggies into your loved ones' bodies. (And no, I don't mean only kids; there are plenty of adults who resist eating veggies, too.)
Looking for more super-quick weeknight recipes?
Check out my collection of meals that can be made in less than 30 minutes.
Healthier Pizza Bagels
- Large rimmed baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Box grater
- 4 regular-size whole wheat bagels, split
- ¾ cup No-Cook Marinara Sauce or no-sugar-added store-bought pizza sauce
- ¼ to ⅓ cup finely grated carrot and/or very finely chopped spinach, kale, or other leafy green
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Your favorite toppings: Turkey or regular pepperoni slices, cooked and crumbled sausage; halved or sliced olives; thinly sliced or chopped red onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, etc.
- 6 to 8 ounces low-moisture mozzarella and/or cheddar cheese, shredded (I like to use half mozzarella and half aged Cheddar cheese)
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
- In a medium bowl, mix the finely grated carrot and/or spinach into the pizza sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings with more salt and pepper if needed.
- Place the bagel halves on the prepared baking sheet, cut-side up. Spread a spoonful of the sauce on each bagel half, then add toppings and cheese.
- Bake the pizza bagels for 7 to 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted completely and is beginning to brown in spots.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Serve the pizza bagels hot with salad or steamed veggies on the side.
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