Making homemade pizza bagels in the air fryer is such a quick and easy snack/meal the whole family can get behind. Easy to do with both full-size and mini bagels, one little trick ensures your air fryer pizza bagels turn out crisp and not soggy at all.
As a child of the 90s, the Bagel Bites jingle might be permanently implanted in my brain. You know, pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, etc. etc. Sometimes it still runs through my head when I cruise down the freezer aisle of the grocery store.
Hopped up on nostalgia one day I bought a box to eat (as an adult) and found them to be...not great. The flavor was just not what my memories hyped it up to be. Good thing it's easy to make your own homemade mini pizza bagels!
Reasons to Love This Recipe
- Air frying the bagels before adding sauce and toppings is BIG in preventing mushiness.
- You can assemble and freeze them pre-cook to make them ultra convenient.
- It's easy to zhush flavors and the ingredients: gluten-free, dairy-free, etc.
- Adults and kids love them alike.
- And the obvious: when pizza's on a bagel, you can eat pizza anytime. 🙂
- Bagels: Either full-size bagels or mini bagels work with the same timing. This is a great recipe for using up slightly stale bagels.
- Olive Oil: For brushing the bagel halves to ensure they crisp up.
- Pizza Seasoning: Optional, but adds flavor. Use a pre-mixed blend or combine dried basil, oregano, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, etc.
- Pizza Sauce: Your store-bought favorite is great.
- Mozzarella: While I typically advocate for shredding your own cheese if you're able to for optimal melting, this is a speedy recipe where pre-shredded works just fine.
- Pepperoni: Optional of course, but can also be replaced with other cooked meats: crumbled Italian sausage, meatball slices to make a meatball pizza bagel, etc. And while they sell mini pepperoni, I just cut up regular-sized slices into small bits to mimic Bagel Bites.
- Pre-Air Fry. Brush the bagel halves with olive oil, then (optionally) sprinkle pizza seasoning. Air fry the bagels at 375°F without the pizza toppings until golden-brown and crisp, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add Toppings. Once "toasted", spread pizza sauce all the way to the edges, then top with cheese and pepperoni.
- Air Fry to Finish. Place the basket back in the air fryer and air fry again for about 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and toasty to your liking. This will take a shorter amount of time than the first round as the air fryer is now pre-heated and the cheese melts quickly.
Freezing Pizza Bagels
With either cooked or uncooked freezer pizza bagels, there's no need to thaw (though you can in the refrigerator if you prefer). You can air fry cook/reheat them right from frozen.
- Uncooked: Follow the recipe through adding the sauce and toppings. Place "dressed" bagels on a sheet pan in a single layer and freeze until firm. Then transfer to an air-tight container (or freezer bag with all excess air pressed out) with parchment paper between layers to freeze for up to 3 months.
- Cooked: Allow to cool to room temperature and then place in an air-tight container or freezer bag with parchment paper between layers to freeze for up to 3 months.
All air fryers have their quirks, with some cooking more quickly than others. Air frying frozen pizza bagels (uncooked or cooked) will likely only take 4-5 minutes at 375°F. Stay close by and check them early so they don't burn.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- If using a different meat in place of pepperoni, make sure it's fully-cooked as the toppings are only in the air fryer for about 3 minutes.
- These air fryer pizza bagels were made and tested in a Cuisinart toaster oven/air fryer combination. I do not preheat the air fryer.
- Try to leave a little room between each bagel when you fit them in the basket, but in my experience it's fine if some bagels are touching.
While it's not like your air fryer pizza bagels will fall apart or anything if you skip it, I highly recommend pre-air frying them. Air frying the oil-brushed and seasoned bagel halves until golden-brown and crisp creates a barrier so that they don't become soggy from the sauce, and also provides this really simple dish with extra flavor.
Nope! In my experience both regular-size and mini bagels air fried in the same amount of time.
More Easy Air Fryer Recipes
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Air Fryer Pizza Bagels
- 4 mini bagels halved (or 2 regular-sized bagels)
- Olive oil for brushing
- Pizza seasoning (dried oregano, basil, garlic powder)
- Pizza sauce
- Mozzarella cheese shredded
- Pepperoni or other fully-cooked meat optional
- Separate bagels into halves, then brush olive oil over the cut surfaces. Sprinkle with pizza seasoning.
- Spray air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray, then place the oiled bagels into it, cut-side up. Air fry at 375°F (190°C) for 4-5 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisped.
- Remove the basket from the air fryer and spread pizza sauce over the bagels. Then top with shredded mozzarella and pepperoni or other cooked meat.
- Air fry again for 3 minutes or so, or until the cheese is nicely melted. Serve right away.
- Uncooked: Add toppings and then freeze flat on a sheet pan. Once firm, transfer to a freezer bag or container with parchment paper between layers.
- Cooked: Cool to room temperature and place in an air-tight container or freezer bag with parchment paper between layers.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer