Pizza Bagel

I know, I know, everyone knows how to make a pizza bagel.  All you need is a bagel, sauce, cheese, a microwave, and boom, you have something delicious to eat.  But humor me for a minute while I explain.

In the Philadelphia suburbs, there is a little place called Delancy Street Bagels.  It sells bagels (obviously), and they’re good bagels, but that’s not what makes it so special.  It’s what they do with their bagels.

This place has amazing sandwiches that pile high tons of yummy things, is way to much to eat, and even comes with a pickle.  It’s perfect.  But the best, the absolute best thing on their menu is easily, hands down, the pizza bagel.  It’s so good, that I’ve heard New Yorkers, who take pride in both their pizza and their bagels, sing its praises.

So what makes this pizza bagel so special?  Why does it draw me to this place time after time?  It’s all in the cheese.  They use string cheese.  And I don’t mean those processed tubes a cheese that always seem to taste better when you do actually peel them into strings.  I mean real string cheese.

Luckily, you can find this stuff in the store.  I always see this particular brand of Armenian string cheese at my local Safeway.  If you enjoy pizza bagels, you have to try this stuff.  I’m telling you, it will change the way you look at the ordinary pizza bagel.

Now, I have two other things that I particularly like.  The first is, I like using tomato paste instead of sauce.  I like that it has all the same flavors, but more concentrated and less soggy.  I also sprinkle some za’atar on top of my pizza bagels.  It’s a Middle Eastern spice blend that I more or less got addicted to after spending a semester in Israel in high school.  When you order pizza in Israel, they give you these packets of za’atar to sprinkle on top and it really just takes pizza to a whole new level.  If you don’t have it, or you don’t want to invest in a large amount of it (because it only seems to come in obscenely large quantities), you can always sprinkle on some oregano instead and go the more traditional route.  Sadly, I made this particular pizza bagel at my parents’ house, where there was no za’atar.  Sigh.

Anyway, I know you know how to make a pizza bagel.  I know you don’t need me to give you a recipe because you totally already have your own.  But I’m going to share this one anyway.  And seriously, give this cheese a chance.  It really will change the way you look at an ordinary pizza bagel.

Pizza Bagel

Serves 1

1 bagel (preferably the big, fresh kind from the bagel shop)
3-4 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/2 log of Armenian string cheese
Sprinkle of za’atar or oregano (optional)

1.  Slice the bagel in half and lightly toast it (put it on one of the lowest settings).

2. Top each half of the bagel with tomato paste, then cheese.  Place the bagel on a pan or some aluminum foil and bake in a regular or toaster oven at 350F until the cheese has melted, about 10-12 minutes.  Then turn the oven onto broil for an additional 2 minutes, until the cheese has begun to brown.

3. Sprinkle your chosen herbage on top of the bagel and allow to cool until you can handle it.  Eat while it’s still hot.


17 Responses to Pizza Bagel

  1. Looking good! I feel my mouth starting to water for this recipe! Though I have had my fair share of pizza bagels, I will surely give this one a try. I would love to share this delicacy to my sister for her kids’ afternoon snacks. Really amazing! Thanks for sharing. I will be looking forward for more.

  2. shevy says:

    yum this looks delish! and zhaatar is my fav too…here’s a place you can buy in not an obscene amount- definitely worth the 3.79 🙂

  3. Justin loves english muffin pizza – I have a feeling once he sees these he will have found a new favorite!

  4. Andrea says:

    Now I know what I want for lunch. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  5. Peggy says:

    Oh these look amazing! I haven’t made a pizza bagel since I was a kid – I’ll definitely be on the lookout for that string cheese now though =)

  6. This looks so good. Can’t go wrong with pizza.

  7. Lacy says:

    Yum! This looks delicious. I’ve got to remember to try this out, such a quick and easy meal.

  8. Amalia says:

    These look like a dream made in heaven! The perfect pizza bagel, probably better than a lot of regular pizzas out there 🙂 And that cheese looks amazing, wow!

  9. These look so top notch!!! This is the gourmet of pizza bagels and I am glad you shared!!!

  10. Okay, this kicks the pizza bagels I made in home ec in middle school’s butt big time! I want one of these right now!

  11. @Sara – Safeway does have a website (, and the brand of string cheese I use is Sun-Ni. I know of a few other supermarkets that carry it. I hope you can find some near you!

    @Janet – how does the Bagelbites jingle go? When pizza’s on a bagel you can eat pizza anytime!

    @Kiri W, @ Eliotseats – Thanks! I highly recommend this combo. In fact, I think I’ll go whip up another pizza bagel right now for dinner…. 🙂

  12. Eliotseats says:

    This really looks delicious! I am going to try za’atar on pizza and look for some Armenian cheese!

  13. Now this is my idea of a good breakfast 😀

  14. Kiri W. says:

    I loooove pizza bagels, and your version looks fantastic. I can’t stop looking at that melty mozzarella! 🙂 Yummm.

  15. sara826 says:

    Ok. So i just ate lunch like ten minutes ago and now I am already hungry. That string cheese looks amazing. I don’t have a Safeway by me. Is there a website?

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