Do Bagels Have Eggs? Are They Vegan?

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Bagels are one of the most consumed dough snacks in the market. 

They are the perfect breakfast item for every age and are a godsend for people who are always on the go. Bagels can be found on street corner kiosks, vending machines, restaurants, and of course, at home.

But with an increasing number of people opting for a vegan diet, bagels can be a confusing food.

Are bagels vegan? Do they have eggs? It turns out, traditional bagels are made without eggs as they are just a mixture of sugar, yeast, water, salt, and flour, so they are completely vegan.

With that said, there are also some varieties of bagels that contain eggs or other non-vegan ingredients. How does one go about checking for vegan bagels and what is the best way to make vegan bagels at home?

Read on to find out more!

What’s In A Bagel?

Bagels are yeast-risen doughnut-shaped rolls that are popular because of their taste, convenience, and versatility. Bagels are usually paired with several breakfast items and are most popularly had with a cup of coffee. 

The origin of this bread delicacy goes back to the 16th century when a baker in Vienna, Austria accidentally gave birth to the idea of the bagel by baking a circular dough as a tribute to the king of Poland. 

There are also other counts of bagels that go even further back in time. For example, bagels have been mentioned in a 13th-century Arabic cookbook that describes a ring-dough that is first boiled in water and then baked. 

Bagels are usually topped or covered with seeds or other toppings to make them even more irresistible.

While mainstream bagels use a very ingredient-heavy bagel recipe, the humblest version of the bagel only contains a mix of flour, water, sugar, salt, and yeast

This mixture makes one of the most basic versions of the bagel, which can be either had on its own or can also be cut in half and turned into a sandwich.

Bagels are found in many households but are also famously sold in many regions around the world.

Bagels come in many varieties, so if we are just talking about the plain old simple bagel recipe then that is virtually always going to be vegan-friendly.

However, it turns out that some manufacturers and bakers will even add a bit of egg to their bagels to change their texture. 

Some people swear that a bagel made using egg makes all the difference in the world while others think that it would be rather blasphemous to use anything other than the traditional recipe. 

The truth is, everyone has their own spin on the recipe and while most of the basic ingredients remain the same, there will still be a lot of discrepancy in how they are made and what they are made with.

There is also an important distinction that we have to make here. Typical bagels and “egg bagels” have a huge difference when it comes to their taste, texture, and the way they break apart when cut in half.

Egg bagels are mildly yellow, puffier, and softer than regular bagels. They can also be slightly sweeter than your typical bagel.

Many people like this type of bagel because of how porous it can be—which means that you can have it with many hot beverages.

Egg bagels are available in markets, bakeries and they are so simple that you can even make them at home. 

Remember, plain bagels don’t have any fat or protein in them—but when you add yolks and egg white to the mixture, it adds a lot of fluffiness and softness to the dough which makes it texturally different from normal bagels. 

Fortunately, many brands offer vegan bagels that have more or less the same benefits

These bagels can be found in most superstores and can also be ordered online. Street corner vendors may even offer vegan and gluten-free bagels too.

When in doubt, we recommend that you check the back of the packaging or ask the vendor for more information about the bagel. 

“Vegan Bagels”

If you think all bagels are vegan then think again. Even though many people think of bagels as bread, the commercial variety may be far from it when it comes to being vegan.

Here is a list of ingredients that some commercial bakeries may use to make their bagels taste “better”.

Traditional BagelsCommercial Bagels
Bread improvers

A traditional bagel is usually 100% vegan since it is made using vegan ingredients but when it comes to commercial-grade bagels that are mass-produced for multiple taste palettes, then things get a bit out of hand.

To make matters worse, some small bakeries may not even list the nutritional information for their products which makes it even harder (and maybe even deceptive) for customers to pick the right product.

Since many people think of bagels as bread, they will consume it without giving it a second thought. 

If you are the type of person who looks closely at the back of the packaging then it would be a good idea to opt for supermarket brands or well-known brands or kiosks for your daily fix.

Always ask the vendor about the ingredients and toppings so that you are sure about what you’re consuming.

Some bakers will use non-vegan alternatives to improve the taste and texture of their products. For example, instead of using water, some bakers may use milk or sweeten their bagels using honey too.

Furthermore, there are also additional ingredients that many people might miss.

Case in point: preservatives and conditioners. Bakers use all sorts of conditioners or bread improvers to make their products better. When it comes to these ingredients, one must be careful since they can also be sourced from animals.

One example would be the use of L-cysteine, which is a bread improver used to condition the dough and make it softer and texturally pleasant.

This conditioner is an amino acid that may also be sourced from chicken feathers, thereby rendering the entire bagel non-vegan. 

Small things like this make all the difference which is why you should always talk with the supplier to learn more about what bagel is right for you.

The best way to make sure that you always get a vegan bagel would be to buy it from a known source.

Or, the next best thing would be to make it yourself at home! 

Vegan Bagel Recipe

Making bagels at home is easy and since it doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, it’s a very approachable way to get acquainted with the art of baking too. 

To get started, gather the following ingredients:

  • 21g of fresh or dry active yeast
  • 320ml lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 500g of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoon oil (canola) 


  1. In a bowl, pour in 100°F lukewarm water (about 80 ml) and mix in the yeast and the sugar. Give it a good stir and let it sit for about 5 minutes or until it has foamed. 
  2. In a large bowl, using a sift, mix in the salt and flour. Then create a well and pour in the yeast mixture and oil.
  3. Give the mixture a light mix by covering all the yeast and oil with the flour. Then add the remaining water to the mixture and mix until it starts to turn into a dough. 
  4. Knead the dough using either a stand mixer or your hands. You will have to knead it for at least 10 minutes or until the dough becomes soft and uniform. Do not knead it for more than 10 minutes or the dough may stiffen and become less airy. 
  5. Get a separate large bowl and spray or brush in some oil. Place the dough into the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Make sure the bowl is at least 2 times bigger than the dough. Place the dough in the bowl and let it rise for about 45 minutes.
  6. When the dough has risen, simply pat it down to get all the air out and place it on a dough mat. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and then round all the pieces to make 8 dough balls. Place the dough balls over parchment paper and let them rise for about 12 minutes. 
  7. Boil water in a large pot and set your over to preheat at 420°F. 
  8. Now, make holes in the dough balls either by hand or by using a circular tool. You want the dough circle to be at least 1.5-2 inches wide so that it doesn’t close as the bagels cook. 
  9. Place the doughnut-shaped bagels in the pot with boiling water for about 45 seconds. Do not place all the bagels at the same time, you would want to give them space so that they cook evenly without bumping into each other. Once done, take them out and place them on the parchment paper.
    • If you want to add any toppings, now’s your chance!
  10. Finally, place the bagels in the preheated oven at the middle rack for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Once done, allow to cool and enjoy your vegan-friendly bagels! 

This recipe is one of the easiest to follow and once you get into the habit of making these bagels, you can experiment with more vegan ingredients to add to the flavor and texture of the bagels.

Trust us, this basic recipe will be perfect for any bagel fan. 

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Vegan bagels are easy to find if you know what you are looking for. Please never hesitate to ask the vendor for information on the ingredients.

A good establishment will always be able to answer all your queries and even help you find the right bagel for you. 

Make sure that you are aware of bread conditioners and improvers. Always look at the back of the packaging for more information about the ingredients.

You may also check and compare different bagel brands to learn more about what is the best bagel for you. 

Our recommendation would be to at least try to make vegan bagels at home.

They are super easy to make and once you get a hang of it, you’ll be making them every other week. Just make sure to follow the above recipe and you should be good! 

Remember, you will be needing vegan ingredients so you can pick and choose any favorite vegan brand when it comes to the individual ingredients in the above recipe.

We also recommend that you use a neutral oil like Canola to make the bagels since it’s vegan and will provide just the right amount of fat.


While traditional bagels are supposed to be vegan, many bakers will opt for non-vegan ingredients to appeal to the masses and to texturally improve their products. 

The fact that some small-scale bakers offer bagels without mentioning the nutritional information about their products is alarming and something that you should always keep in mind.

It’s usually the smallest and innocuous ingredients that turn out to be non-vegan, like L-cysteine-based bread improvers.

It’s best to ask about the bagels and to always be in the know. Remember, the next best thing is to make bagels at home and our recipe above should suffice the needs of any bagel lover!

Related Questions

Now that we’ve gone over vegan bagels and how to make your own, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!

Are bagel toppings non-vegan?

Usually, vendors that offer vegan products will not use non-vegan ingredients or toppings but it is always a good practice to ask about the products that you consume.

You can also look at the back of the packaging of the bagel that you purchase from the market for more information. 

Can you make vegan bagels in a day?

Yes, vegan bagels can be made in under 2 hours. The dough doesn’t need to rest overnight and can be used immediately after just 45 minutes.

The bake time for bagels ranges from 20-25 minutes. This includes an initial boiling time of around 1 minute as well. 

How many calories are in vegan bagels?

A traditional vegan bagel recipe, like the one listed above, will have about 261 Kcal, 45g carbs, 7g protein, 5g fat in one bagel.

This does not include the toppings, since seeds or other ingredients can also significantly impact the nutritional profile of the bagels. 

Can bagels be sweetened using honey?

Yes, bagels can be sweetened using honey but they will not remain vegan since honey is considered to be non-vegan because it comes from bees. 

Up Next: 9 Best Low-Calorie Flours

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