Like any baked good, bagels are best served hot and fresh from the oven. Buying bagels by the dozen can result in uneaten leftovers, but you don't have to throw them away to the birds or dump them in the trash. You can whip up some quick dishes using leftover bagels with some easy-to-bake recipes.
Slice up your bagels into thin, circular wedges, then bake them in the oven for homemade bagel chips. While pre-heating the oven to 350 F, lightly brush the bagel slices with olive oil or spray with a cooking spray. Bake until toasted to a golden brown, approximately 15 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with salt while cooling.
Tear up your bagels into bite-sized pieces to have a ready ingredient for bread pudding. Many varieties of bread pudding exist, but they all begin with cubes of bread. Sweet and plain bagels make good complements for the sweetness and heaviness of other bread pudding ingredients like sugar, milk, cinnamon and vanilla.
Serve up a variation on homemade croutons by substituting savory-flavored bagels for bread. Cut or tear up the bagels into roughly 1-inch cubes. While preheating the oven to 375 F, throw the bagels onto a lined cooking sheet or tray, then lightly drizzle with olive oil or your favorite non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with Italian-style herbs like garlic, thyme, rosemary or basil and just a pinch of salt before sticking the baking tray into the oven for approximately 15 minutes.
Cool off during the warmer months with a chilled gazpacho soup featuring chewy bagels in lieu of diced bread. Gazpacho recipes vary in terms of complication, but at its Spanish origins, gazpacho consisted of just a few simple ingredients: tomatoes, bread, garlic, olive oil, salt and vinegar. Regardless of the gazpacho recipe you choose, all the ingredients will need to soak together for at least an hour so that the bread can absorb the flavor emanating from the rest of the ingredients.
Be creative and substitute leftover bagels for any recipe that calls for day-old bread.