These vegan bagel bites are so easy and delicious! Great speedy dinner recipe or serve them as a fun appetizer at gatherings. Makes for a great dairy-free alternative to the classic frozen mini-pizza and kids love them!
Whether you are looking for a super quick and easy dinner idea or something fun to pack in your kids's lunch boxes or just a nice after school snack recipe, these vegan bagel bites will surely hit the spot!
And they are so much better than store-bought bagel bites you might already know!
Most homemade and boxed vegan bagel pizza bites are made of mini bagels, pizza sauce and vegan cheese threads, but I wanted something a little better than simply using processed vegan cheese, while still being speedy enough for a weeknight meal.
So, these mini bagel pizza came to life! They include chewy mini bagels and pizza sauce (or marinara sauce), but the cheese topping is made from scratch. But fear not! I promise the vegan cheese is super fast to prepare: blend together soft tofu + a few flavorful ingredients, that's all. Quick enough to be all done by the time the oven is warmed up.
They are so fun to make! Plus, a guaranteed hit at kid's birthday parties. Also makes for a tasty customizable appetizer or a perfect meatless Monday recipe that the whole family will love.
I love that this recipe still feels and looks like mini pizza snacks coming from a box that gives you an instant nostalgic comfort feeling, but much better-for-you with less salt, more plant-based protein and less processed ingredients. Everyone will love them, adults and picky kids!
Hope you give them a try! ❤️
Why you'll love this recipe
- Delicious dairy-free twist on the classic bagel pizza bites
- Healthier and cheaper than store-bought
- Great plant-based recipe for kids
- The homemade vegan cheese sauce can be made ahead
- Done in under 30 minutes
- Easy to customize: the toppings are all yours!
- Perfect for dinner, lunch or as an appetizer
Vegan mini bagels
You should be able to find mini bagels in the bread section close to the regular sized bagels. They often come in bags in a plain flavor, but you might be able to find some flavored ones as well, such as garlic or everything bagels. Be sure to avoid the cinnamon raisin ones though, ha!
Usually bagels are naturally vegan and made without dairy, so they should not be too hard to find.
I used the plain mini whole wheat bagels from the brand One Mighty Mill. You could also make your own vegan bagels for this recipe!
Simply choose your favorite brand! I usually aim for a pizza sauce a little healthier and that contains less salt since the cheese sauce is also very flavorful. You can also make your own pizza sauce or use marinara or pasta sauce if that's all you have, it will work!
Homemade cheese sauce
- Silken tofu: you will need the soft kind of tofu to make the cheese (often used to make sauces, dips or puddings). I love the silken tofu from the brand 365.
- Nutritional yeast: essential to provide a cheesy flavor to the sauce, don't omit it! I love the nutritional yeast from the brand BRAGG, which I find has the best flavor (I find some other brands to be too bland...)
- Dijon mustard: feel free to add more if you love that flavor, but I find that a little goes a long way for a cheese sauce.
- Lemon juice: provides a subtle tangy flavor to brighten up the cheese. White wine vinegar can be used instead.
- Cornstarch: helps the cheese sauce stay in place over the bagel bites while cooking. Arrowroot powder will work too!
- Spices: garlic powder, onion powder and a touch of chili powder add so much amazing flavor! You could swap the chili powder for paprika or chipotle pepper for a little heat.
How to make vegan bagel bites
First, pre-heat the oven to 350º.
Make the cheese sauce
While the oven is pre-heating, then quickly prepare the cheese sauce.
To make it, simply gather the silken tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and salt in a blender.
And blend until smooth! You will have to add a little water to reach a saucy consistency, but I recommend to blend a little and assess texture first, then add a little water until it looks like a smooth sauce that's on the thicker side. How much water you will have to add will depend on how much moisture the tofu retained, which varies between brands. I usually have to add 2-3 tablespoons.
Build the mini bagel pizza
Slice the bagels in half and distribute on a baking sheet.
Generously spread some pizza sauce over the bagels and then, drizzle a good amount of the cheese sauce over. You might have some extra sauce unused, keep it for another recipe!
You can also add some ground black pepper, red pepper flakes or dried herbs at this point, but I usually don't since our kids like them plain.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Once done, you can top with some fresh basil. Serve right away while still warm!
Watch how to make them
- You won't need a high-speed blender to make it as the silken tofu is already so easy to turn to a saucy consistency. Also, if you have a small blender or a smoothie blender, then use this, it works better to blend the small volume of cheese sauce. If you have a large blender container, then do like me and scoop the mixture back towards the blades using a spatula every once in a while.
- Spread more pizza sauce and cheese sauce over the bagels than you think you need! I find that these vegan bagel bites are better with more sauce as some of it tend to go through the dough and cook off. You don't want to end up with dry-ish bites!
Customize your vegan mini pizza
I am sure a lot of you will use this recipe for inspiration and change a few things up. I cannot wait to see how yours end up! Here are a few ways to customize them:
- Swap the bagels: I grew up eating mini pizzas my mom would make using regular square sandwich bread! So in a pinch, use that instead of bagels! Sliced english muffins or mini pita bread would also work well.
- Swap the pizza sauce: if you don't have traditional tomato pizza sauce, then you can also use pesto or vegan white pizza sauce. I would also totally use tomato paste and sprinkle some dried herbs and a little salt over if I don't have pizza sauce.
- Swap the cheese sauce: if you really don't want to make the cheese sauce, then you can also use store-bought mozzarella cheese treads instead. Although we are not huge fans of store-bought vegan cheeses, we have used the mozzarella from Violife and it was fine. You could also use my all-time favorite dairy-free cheese sauce instead: vegan white queso! Just omit the chiles and red pepper.
More plant-based topping ideas
Feel free to garnish your mini pizza with more goodness! Just be sure to dice the ingredients small so they fit well over the tiny bites. My favorites are:
- Dried herbs
Also, mock meat would work well in this recipe, although we don't use them very often. Try sliced vegan pepperoni or vegan beef crumbles.
Storage tips and how to make them ahead
These are better when just made and freshly baked as the bottom gets a little crispy and the cheese top turns soft and gooey. But, they also make for great leftovers!
You can make a batch ahead, bake them, let them cool down a bit and store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Try to separate them with parchment paper.
Reheat for a few minutes in the oven (mini toaster ovens are great for that!) or you may use the microwave for a few seconds (although they will get softer in that case). Also, they are delicious cold too!
More vegan quick dinner recipes to try
- Chickpea patties
- Quick kale sesame noodles
- Tofu and bok choy stir-fry
- Gochujang creamy pasta
- Vegan tray bake
- Lentil walnut tacos
- Green pasta sauce
- Quick sticky tofu
- Simple garlic tahini pasta
- Flatbread bruschetta
I hope you like these mini bagel pizza as much as we do! If you try them, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how they were. Your feedback is so helpful!
Vegan Bagel Bites (Mini Pizza)
- 6-8 vegan mini bagels
- 1 ½ cup pizza (or marinara sauce)
- handful of fresh basil - for topping, optional
For the quick vegan cheese sauce (or store bought vegan mozzarella cheese)
- 8 oz silken tofu - I used half of a 16 oz package
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp chili or paprika or chipotle powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2-3 tbsp water - to thin out as needed
- Pre-heat the oven to 350º.
- In a blender, combine and blend all the cheese sauce ingredients until smooth. You will have to also add 2-3 tablespoons of water to help blend the mixture and create a saucy consistency.
- Slice the bagels in half and place over the baking sheet.
- Then, generously spread some pizza sauce over the bagels and drizzle the vegan cheese sauce over. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Once done, add some fresh basil over, if desired, and enjoy while still warm.
- Feel free to garnish your pizza with more toppings such as mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, etc. See blog post for more ideas!
- You can keep leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3 days and reheat in the oven for a few minutes.