Back to School

Pizza Bagels are Back—For Lunch!

September  9, 2014

As a defiant response to Sad Desk Lunches, the Food52 team works to keep our midday meals both interesting and pretty. Each week, we'll be sharing our happiest desk lunches -- and we want to see yours, too.

Today: Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza

Maybe it's the smell of graphite in the air, or maybe it's the eight-year-olds with backpacks to their knees wobbling down the sidewalk. Whatever it is, there's something that has the Food52 staff reminiscing about Lunchables. We're not interested in the newer versions (with their "kabobbles" and their fruit smoothies). It's the cheese "pizza" -- that sponge crust spread with almost-ketchup and sprinkled with rubber-cheese -- that we miss.

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The glory of the Lunchable is that it allowed us -- though not this author, who was never granted Lunchables, no matter how many times she stomped her feet in the grocery store aisle -- to bring pizza to school. Lunchables might be a thing of the past (for us, at least), but the desire to eat pizza at work is real and present. 

With Bagel Bites (and that catchy tune that resassured us that it was normal to eat pizza at all hours of the day), things got a little better, and a little meltier. But now that we are fully-grown people, we need fully-formed bagels. No miniatures, please. 

Thanks to the pizza bagel, you can eat pizza at work without having to tote dough around in your bag (or order takeout). All that's needed is a bagel, mozzarella cheese (maybe some ricotta if you have it -- like you know we do), and tomato sauce (or even pesto). Melt the cheese however you can (preferably in a toaster oven, but sometimes you just need to use a kitchen torch), then ride the time machine back to the seventh grade -- but maybe stop for a Yoohoo along the way. 

What would you put on the pizza bagel of your dreams? Tell us in the comments!

Photos by James Ransom

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Denice
  • B.j. Hoehn
    B.j. Hoehn
  • Jeff Jeff
    Jeff Jeff
  • Melinda Flannery
    Melinda Flannery
  • amzz
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


Denice February 25, 2016
Don't forget the black olives! I'm fortunate to have a great toaster oven and work and foodie co-workers to drive crazy with the aroma of this sort of thing. And what's cool about this is if you're gluten free, there are commercially made GF bagels that are decent so you can have your pizza and eat it too!
B.j. H. January 12, 2016
jalapenos, mushrooms and onions are tops on my list!
Jeff J. November 8, 2014
Cinnamon raisin bagels make great tasting pizza over a regular bagel. Pepperoni in the middle to keep the sauce off of the sheet pan. Sauce, cheese and top away!
Melinda F. September 15, 2014
No toaster oven at work, so--handy purse torch?
amzz September 14, 2014
My 3 favs: basil & gorgonzola or banana or pepperoni, pineapple & jalapeno
ARay September 10, 2014
arugula! a more delicious version of a thing that a couple pizza spots here in Brooklyn do, the salad slice. And definitely spicy tomato sauce.
Jackie D. September 10, 2014
I love bagels. I live in Italy, an hour's drive northwest from Venice. I've looked all over in my area and can't find them anywhere! Where can I find bagels in Italy?
Sarah J. September 10, 2014
You could try making your own!
ATG117 September 9, 2014
I want this now.
Rachel C. September 9, 2014
Caramelized onions, but imagine that would be really, really difficult to pull off in my parent's ancient microwave (my childhood pizza bagel device of choice).
Sarah J. September 9, 2014
Oh my gosh, wow -- that sounds great. I used to eat my pizza bagels at the kitchen counter after school, right before embarking on an epic homework journey. My mom would make them under the broiler in the oven so that the bagel didn't get soggy in the microwave. I will forever associate the taste of pizza bagels with long hours of textbook reading (but in the best possible way).