A pizza bagel is a type of snack food, or a light lunchtime meal. It is a bagel with pizza toppings on each side, that is eaten open-faced. Pizza bagels are especially popular with kids, and are often given as an after school snack; they may be purchased pre-made and simply heated up, or they may be made at home with a little extra effort. Simple toppings such as tomato sauce, melted cheese, and pepperoni are among the most popular additions, as they help make the bagels actually look and taste like miniature pizzas.
In general, a plain bagel is used to make this fun-to-eat treat, though a whole wheat or multigrain bagel can also be used to make it slightly healthier. The tomato sauce for the top can be purchased at the store or homemade; many people find it easiest to simply purchase jarred sauce in order to make a pizza bagel, especially if it will be made as an after school snack. As in most pizza recipes, the most common cheese used for the topping is mozzarella, but any type of cheese can be used. The pizza bagel is then assembled and simply toasted for a few minutes to heat it through and to melt the toppings.
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Some people like to make a pizza bagel a little more flavorful with the addition of extra ingredients, particularly if it will be eaten for lunch. Fresh vegetables such as broccoli or peppers may be added, and olives are also a popular topping. Pepperoni, pieces of chicken, or even crumbled, pre-cooked ground beef or sausage can also be added to make the pizza bagel more filling. Virtually any toppings that could be placed on a pizza can also be added to this dish. Some find that sprinkling on some spices such as oregano, onion, and garlic can also make it more flavorful.
These bagels are typically pretty messy, so they are eaten open-faced. Anyone who wants to turn a pizza bagel into a bagel sandwich should typically only apply toppings to one side of the bagel. Some packaged versions of pizza bagels are designed to be eaten on the go, so some people purchase these options if they know they won't be able to sit down and eat it. Some of these packaged choices are also made with flavored bagels, such as onion or garlic bagels, or even have cheese baked right into the dough.