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Quick & Easy Protein Bagels with 19g Protein

These protein bagels are absolutely delicious.

In fact, I’m willing to bet that you’d never be able to tell that they are secretly packed with 19g of protein!

Delicious Protein Bagel Recipe

These protein bagels can be whipped up and ready to eat in under 30 minutes and require only a few key ingredients, which has made them a staple in my weekend breakfast rotation.

Protein bagels are my take on the infamous “two-ingredient” dough that you may have seen for various other recipes out there.

Flour + Greek yogurt combine together to magically form a dough for bagels, bread, pretzels, you name it. The Greek yogurt creates the airiness that you usually need to use yeast to accomplish, making it a much quicker process than messing with yeast.

High protein bagels

This trick first burst onto the scene years ago as a Weight Watchers “hack,” but has since been used over and over in recipes.

I’ve used this technique for many of my own recipes, like my Bavarian Pretzel, Pita Bread, and Breakfast Bagel Bombs.

By using this combination of ingredients, it allows us to create a protein bagel that has the same amount of calories as a typical bagel, but with double the protein!

We actually have two versions here: one that utilizes unflavored protein powder to kick the protein content up even higher, and one that does not require any protein powder at all (but is still protein-packed).

Let’s explore them both.

 

Ingredients needed for protein bagels

The traditional “2 ingredient dough” consists of self-rising flour & Greek yogurt, but many people don’t have self-rising flour laying around.

Self-rising flour is simply all-purpose flour that has baking powder and salt added to it. When you use it in recipes, it eliminates the need for any kind of leavening agent because the baking powder is already included.

I know it’s not a super common ingredient, so we’re rolling with regular all-purpose flour in these protein bagels. Don’t worry, if you DO prefer self-rising flour, the recipe includes directions for either!

 

Protein bagels without protein powder (the original recipe)

These bagels are what I make most often since the ingredients are very minimal. If you follow this version of the recipe, you’ll have bagels with 180 calories and about 10g of protein.

For the original protein bagels, we keep things very simple. We need:

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt

Easy, huh?

If you have self-rising flour, you can simply omit the baking powder, then the rest of the recipe will be exactly the same.

 

Protein bagels with protein powder (new & improved recipe)

I was curious what would happen if I swapped out a little bit of the flour for unflavored protein powder.

Not only can you not taste the protein powder in the slightest, but it bumps the protein content of each bagel up to 19g!

The ingredients for this high-protein version are exactly the same, with one key addition. For this protein bagel recipe, we’re going to use one fewer serving of all-purpose flour, and instead add in a scoop of unflavored protein powder.

We don’t want to add too much protein powder because it will severely dry out the bagels, so one scoop is the limit here.

Unflavored Quest Protein

I used Quest Nutrition’s unflavored protein powder here, which is a blend of whey & casein protein.

I find that to work the best when it comes to baking, but since we’re only using a small amount here, regular whey should work just fine as well.

 

How to make protein bagels

Whether you choose to go with the original protein bagels, or the version with extra protein (my personal favorite), the process for making these protein bagels will be exactly the same.

Watch the quick 1-minute video below for a simple walkthrough (note that the video walkthrough will make 4 slightly smaller bagels), or keep scrolling down for some easy step-by-step instructions.

Step 1: Mix all your ingredients together in a ball until it becomes a dough. You’ll need to get in there with your hands for it to all come together.

Step 2: Break the dough up into 3 roughly equal-sized pieces.

3 Pieces of Bagel Dough

Step 3: Knead each ball of dough for about 30 seconds or so until they smooth out. See the difference in this photo between the bagel dough that I kneaded (on the right) and the one that I did not. It doesn’t need to be completely smooth, but we want to work out any large cracks in the dough.

Kneaded bagel dough

Step 4: Roll out each piece of dough into ropes. Once you form them into a bagel shape, you’ll be able to see if you need to roll them out longer. Pinch the edges together to create the bagel shape.

3 Formed Bagels

Step 5: Brush each bagel with an egg wash, then add the seasoning/topping of your choice.

Step 6: Air fry at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. After 8 minutes, flip the bagels to cook them for the final 2 minutes. As you can see in the below photo, the bottoms of the bagels are light, so flipping them for the final 2 minutes allows the entire bagel to have an even cook.

Protein bagels before flipping

Large protein bagels in air fryer

Step 7: Let the protein bagels sit for 10-15 minutes so they firm up inside, then slice and enjoy!

 

Even with the addition of protein powder into these bagels, the inside stays soft and tender, exactly the way a bagel should be…

 

How to make smaller bagels with fewer calories

The only problem (if you can call it that) with this recipe is that the bagels may be higher in calories than you might like.

Don’t worry, you can EASILY follow this same recipe to make 4 slightly smaller bagels!

Protein Bagels

Instead of forming 3 bagels with this recipe, make 4 bagels instead.

When you turn this recipe into 4 protein bagels, the calories will be slightly lower, and the protein will still be plenty high.

For 4 bagels instead of 3, each bagel will have 180 calories, 0g Fat, 30g Carbs, and 14g protein.

The bagels will be slightly smaller than a traditional bagel, but still plenty big! In fact, this is the size I chose to go with for my Cinnamon Crunch Bagels.

And don’t forget that you can get creative with the types of bagels you make, too. While I love everything bagels the most, sometimes I’m just in the mood for a sweeter alternative.

Cinnamon raisin bagels are vastly underrated, and I recommend you give them a try! Simply toss some raisins into your dough with a couple of dashes of cinnamon and you’re good to go.

Not to toot my own horn, but the interior of these bagels is just perfect. Normally high-protein baked goods are dry, but these bagels are as authentic as you could hope for.

And if you find yourself with leftovers protein bagels from this recipe, check out my Bagel Chips Recipe to put ’em to good use!

 

Protein Bagel Recipe

Quick & Easy Protein Bagels with 19g Protein

Yield: 3 Full-Sized Bagels
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Now you can have fresh, delicious bagels in under 30 minutes! We have two protein bagel options to choose from, one that utilizes extra protein powder, and one that doesn't. The protein powder version tastes just as delicious and packs 19g of protein, but without it you will still have a solid 12g of protein.

Ingredients

Extra Protein Version (19g protein per bagel)

Original Version (12g protein per bagel)

  • 180g (1.5 Cups) All-Purpose Flour (can also use self-rising flour)
  • 180g (2/3 Cup) Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder (omit if using self-rising flour)
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg for Egg Wash
  • Seasoning of Choice

Instructions

No matter which option you choose to go with, the process for making these protein bagels is going to be exactly the same:

  1. Add all your dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix them up.
  2. Add the Greek yogurt to the bowl, then use a silicone spatula to mix everything up. Once it starts to come together, use your hands to form it into a ball of dough in your bowl.
  3. Add the dough to a lightly floured surface.
  4. Break the dough into 3 roughly equal-sized pieces. You can weigh the dough and divide the weight by 3 if you want them to be exact, but I find eyeballing to do just fine. Knead each ball of dough for about 30 seconds until it smooths out a bit (we don't need to worry about kneading it for too long)
  5. Using your palms, roll out each ball into a rope. If you are unsure about the length, bring the edges together to form a circle to see if the bagel is large enough. If not, you can roll it out a little bit more. The bagel will expand as it cooks, but you'll still want it to start as a full-size bagel.
  6. Bring the edges together and pinch them to make sure the bagel stays formed. Continue for all 3.
  7. Preheat your air fryer at 350 degrees F for about 3 minutes. Preheating doesn't take long, but it really helps with the cooking process.
  8. Add your bagels to the preheated air fryer basket, then lightly brush each with an egg wash to help the seasonings stick, and to help them toast up nicely.
  9. Add the toppings of your choice, then air fry at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, flipping the bagels after 8 minutes to allow the bottoms to brown during the final 2 minutes.
  10. Remove from the air fryer and let the protein bagels sit for 10-15 minutes. Letting them cool is crucial to allow them to firm up inside before slicing.

Notes

  • No air fryer? You can bake these bagels in the oven at 375 degrees F for about 10-12 minutes.
  • If you want slightly smaller bagels with fewer calories, follow the same recipe but make 4 bagels instead of 3. Each bagel will have 180 calories and 14g of protein!
  • The amount of Greek yogurt you need may vary based on how liquidy the yogurt is, so feel free to adjust if needed. A little bit extra will work totally fine.
  • To make these dairy-free: I've found the best 1:1 substitute for Greek yogurt is Kite Hill Protein Yogurt. The resulting bagel has a more subtle flavor, but it works great.
  • The unflavored Quest protein powder I used is a blend of whey/casein protein. Since it's a small amount, using an unflavored whey should work as well. A plant-based protein will not work quite as well. To see how different types of protein powder affect bread recipes, check out my Ultimate Protein Powder Substitution Guide.
  • Don't try to get fancy and add extra protein powder to these or you will really dry your bagels out. Too much protein = dry and dense.
  • These bagels freeze very well for meal prep! Slice them up, freeze them, then toast them when you're ready to eat.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 3 Serving Size 1 Bagel
Amount Per Serving Calories 240Total Fat 0gCarbohydrates 40gProtein 19g

Did you make this recipe?

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James Jones

Friday 17th of June 2022

These are delicious. I didn’t have yogurt so I used sour cream instead, then I added some dark chocolate chips to the dough while I was rolling them into ropes. The texture is just like normal bread! And the flavor is great too. I also baked them in the oven instead of using the air fryer, but they still turned out great.

Tracy

Wednesday 18th of May 2022

Hi, I was just wondering if anyone has tried using whole wheat flour or any other type of flour besides all purpose or self rising flour? I made these without an air fryer using my convection setting on my toaster oven. A few tweaks need to be made but the recipe itself was great! Thanks for my protein boost, I missed buying protein bagels, now I don't have to. :)

Matt

Tuesday 24th of May 2022

You can definitely use whole wheat flour! Low-carb flours like almond flour or coconut flour don't work as replacements, but whole wheat flour would work just fine for these. Very glad you enjoyed the recipe :)

Alexandra

Wednesday 9th of March 2022

Hi Matt,

These came out great& supper tasty! I didn't have unflavored protein powder, but instead I did have unflavored protein pancake mix, which I don’t use because it taste too much like egg whites ( its a whey and egg-white protein blend). I used a little bit of bacon grease when I rolled and formed them and topped ours with shredded cheese. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

Bernard Zemsky

Monday 31st of January 2022

Will 2% yogurt work as well?

Matt

Tuesday 1st of February 2022

It definitely should. The thickness of Greek yogurt is what helps the overall texture, so some extra fat from the 2% should only enhance it even more.

Kara

Thursday 27th of January 2022

Can I use a regular non fat yogurt, or does it need to be greek yogurt?

Matt

Sunday 30th of January 2022

You should be able to! Greek yogurt yields the best results because it doesn't have a ton of liquid to it, but I've seen people use dairy-free yogurt successfully, so regular yogurt should work as well!

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