Transform Your Breakfast Bagels Into A Better Dinner With This Trick

An everything bagel grilled cheese tastes delicious when your bagels are fresh, but once those doughy breakfast foods turn stale and hard, they kind of lose their appeal, and not even your favorite savory garlic cream cheese spread is going to save them. But not to fear. There is no reason to throw them out or use them as a doorstop. There are plenty of creative ways to use leftover bagels, including transforming your stale, chewy pieces into breadcrumbs that you can use the next time you are making diner-style chicken fried steak or air fryer jalapeño poppers.

Re-imaging bagels into breadcrumbs is a fairly easy process. First, you need to make certain they are completely dried out. For this, place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and let them get nice and toasty at around 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. It's best to chop them up into small cubes before you place them in the oven so after they cool, they can go straight into your food processor and be ground up. 

How to use bagel crumbs to transform your dinner

Once you have your ground bagel breadcrumbs, you can season them with whatever flavors you want, depending on the flavor of bagel you started with. An everything bagel is already going to be well-seasoned and may not need any additions; however, if you started with plain bagels, dried oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder, and salt are perfect if you want an Italian vibe. Or if you crave a spicier crumb, toast them with garlic, salt and Calabrian chilies. Either would be perfect for coating your gooey stringy mozzarella sticks or an upscale chicken piccata.

If you are looking for a sweet way to give your pan-seared pork chops with parsnip-apple puree a little bit of a makeover, try coating them with leftover cinnamon sugar bagel breadcrumbs and frying them instead. The sweet, warm, and fragrant elements of the cinnamon sugar will complement the puree in a flavorful way. And if you are working with leftover Asiago cheese bagel breadcrumbs, use these to coat your classic chicken tenders for a little umami flavor that grown-ups will love.