This easy homemade everything bagel seasoning blend takes less than 5-minutes to make. All you need are sesame and poppy seeds and dried, minced garlic and onion.
Homemade everything bagel seasoning stores well for a long time and is so good on everything bagels (or any homemade bagels, really), soft pretzels, all kinds of eggs, avocado toast, and can be added to so many fun snacks like these everything bagel Goldfish crackers!
- DIY Everything Bagel Seasoning Blend
- What Goes In Everything Bagel Seasoning
- The Role of Salt in Everything Bagel Seasoning
- How to Make Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Storage Notes
- The Perfect Everything Bagel Seasoning Ratio
- Ways to Use Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Where to Buy Quality or Bulk Ingredients
- The Murky Origins of Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Recipe FAQ
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
DIY Everything Bagel Seasoning Blend
After so many years of using store bought everything bagel seasoning blends, I've finally begun making my own. While I know many of you will continue using store-bought blends, I did want to share my easy everything bagel seasoning recipe here for anyone who is interested.
Making your own everything bagel seasoning at home is a great way to save a bit of money. Yes, you have to buy the ingredients in larger quantities, but you can make a lot more everything bagel seasoning for your dollar than if you buy it ready made.
It also means that you can control the ratio for just the right amount of garlic and onion flavor and crunch from the sesame and poppy seeds.
More importantly — when you make DIY everything bagel seasoning, you can choose whether or not to include salt.
What Goes In Everything Bagel Seasoning
Have you ever wondered what is in everything bagel seasoning? You only need four key ingredients, though some people sometimes include their own extra additions! See recipe card for quantities.
- Sesame Seeds - Sesame seeds are white in color and have a subtle, nutty flavor and a chewy texture. You can buy them in the spice section of most grocery stores, but you can often find them at a lower price in the "International" aisle or online.
- Poppy Seeds - Black or blue poppy seeds work just fine here. They don' thave much flavor, but add a nice crunch. They can be a bit pricey — I definitely recommend shopping around to find a good price for the amount you need.
- Dried Minced Garlic - Make sure you get minced dried garlic, not chopped garlic or garlic powder.
- Dried Minced Onion - Make sure you get minced dried onion, not chopped onion or onion powder.
Other everything bagel seasoning ingredients that you can include or substitute:
- Black Sesame Seeds - You can replace up to half of the regular white sesame seeds with black sesame seeds.
- Tri-Color Sesame Seeds - This is a mix of plain white sesame seeds, toasted white sesame seeds, and black sesame seeds. You can substitute this in entirely in place of the white sesame seeds. One thing to note: If you're using your everything bagel blend as a topping that gets baked, the plain sesame seeds will end up getting lightly toasted anyway.
- Caraway Seeds - Caraway seeds are not typically found in everything bagel seasoning; they are the signature nutty, slightly sharp flavor in rye bread, but some people have been known to include a small amount (1 tablespoon) in everything bagel topping.
- Fennel Seeds - Fennel seeds are not typically found in everything bagel topping, but if you like that herbal, anise-y, slightly licorice-y taste, you can add a small amount (1 tablespoon) to your everything bagel blend.
- Salt - Flaky sea salt, pretzel salt, kosher salt, etc. It's really up to you and how you plan to use your seasoning blend! I recommend adding salt on a recipe by recipe basis. Start with a small amount and adjust as needed. You can always add more salt but you can't take salt out!
The Role of Salt in Everything Bagel Seasoning
Most store bought everything bagel seasoning blends include salt. This is great if you're planning to sprinkle it over eggs, avocado toast, soups, snack dips, etc. Salt adds a ton of flavor and just tastes good.
My base recipe for homemade everything bagel seasoning is made without salt, not because salt is scary or bad (it's not, it's delicious and we love it), but because I want to choose how much and what type of salt to add to it on a recipe-by-recipe basis.
In baking, salt does more than just add flavor. It can change the way yeast behaves in dough. And when you use it as a topping for breads and doughs, the salt will draw moisture out of the dough causing it to go stale faster.
There are so many different types of salt you may want to include, depending on how you plan to use your everything bagel topping.
If you're making everything bagel pretzel bites, use pretzel salt. If you're sprinkling everything bagel topping on avocado toast, you might prefer flaky sea salt. If you're making classic everything bagels, I recommend leaving the salt out altogether.
Since I usually make a big jar to keep on hand whenever I need it, keeping my everything bagel seasoning salt-free makes it so much more versatile!
TIP: When buying pre-made everything bagel seasoning, you can check salt content by looking at the ingredients list. The earlier on the ingredients list salt appears, the more salt is in the mix. Spiceology makes a salt-free everything bagel seasoning. I also like King Arthur Baking Company's Everything Bagel Topping, which features salt last on the ingredient list. Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel Topping, in comparison, includes salt second on the ingredient list.
How to Make Everything Bagel Seasoning
Making everything bagel seasoning is so easy, it hardly needs a recipe. You'll basically combine all of the ingredients in a bowl or jar and give them a really good stir or shake to make sure they're evenly combined.
Because the ingredients have different weights and shapes, you'll notice that by just shaking them together, some have a tendency to sink to the bottom or rise to the top.
To get an even distribution of garlic, onion, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds when you use your blend, I recommend giving it a good stir with a whisk or spoon before you use it.
Store homemade everything bagel seasoning in an airtight jar or container. It will stay good for at least 6 months when stored properly. Sesame seeds have oils in them that can go rancid and smell bad when not stored properly.
While your DIY everything bagel blend can last longer than 6 months, after 6 months you may notice the quality and taste of the ingredients beginning to degrade. Always give your everything bagel blend a sniff test before use if you're not sure!
The Perfect Everything Bagel Seasoning Ratio
The best part of making your own DIY everything bagel topping is that you can control the ratio of ingredients.
I tested a few different ratios before landing on my perfect combination — 1 part garlic, 1 part onion, 2 parts poppy seeds, 2 parts sesame seeds. That's ⅛ cup each of dried minced garlic and dried minced onion and ¼ cup each poppy seeds and sesame seeds. This recipe will make about ¾ cups of everything bagel blend.
Play around with it and taste as you go. Maybe start with ⅛ cup of each and then add more sesame or more poppy seeds 1 tablespoon at a time. (⅛ cup = 2 tablespoons).
I found that when I used equal parts of everything, the garlic and onion flavors were way too strong. But you may prefer it that way!
TIP: To taste test your blend, spread a bit of cream cheese or butter on a cracker and sprinkle with everything bagel topping.
This is also when you can decide if you want to add salt to your base everything bagel seasoning blend or not.
Ways to Use Everything Bagel Seasoning
The uses for DIY everything bagel seasoning are endless. Here are some of my favorites:
- Everything Bagels. I use this salt-free everything bagel seasoning in my easy everything bagel dough AND on top of the bagels. It helps give the dough a great garlic and onion flavor to really emphasize the everything bagel flavors I love.
- Soft Pretzels. Finish your favorite frozen or homemade soft pretzels or soft pretzel bites with a sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning. You can even add it directly to your pretzel dough!
- Eggs. Sprinkle a pinch over your fried eggs with a bit of salt and pepper to add crunch and flavor! Also great on poached eggs, scrambled eggs, deviled eggs, or hard boiled eggs.
- Goat Cheese. Roll a log of goat cheese in everything bagel seasoning for parties, cheeseboards, or appetizers!
- Avocado Toast. Sprinkle over mashed avocado on toast with flaky salt and a few dashes of hot sauce. Instantly level up your avo toast without breaking the bank.
- Bread Topping. For crusty no knead breads or sourdough breads, sprinkle everything bagel blend into your brotform/banneton/proofing basket so that it sticks to the top of the bread during its final rise. For other bread loaves, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with everything bagel blend before baking. Also so good sprinkled over homemade focaccia bread!
- Macaroni and Cheese. Boxed mac and cheese is one of my favorite low-energy dinners, and a sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning and bacon bits overtop makes it feel like I put in a lot more effort than I actually did.
- Vegetables. Cook your favorite roasted or steamed vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, carrots, green beans, or brussels sprouts with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, then sprinkle on some everything bagel blend to finish.
- Hummus. Add a tablespoon of everything bagel seasoning to your favorite hummus to add extra garlicky flavor and lots of crunch!
- Chicken. Use everything bagel blend plain or mixed with bread crumbs to make a crust for oven baked chicken breasts!
Where to Buy Quality or Bulk Ingredients
When it comes to buying spices, seeds, and seasonings it's really up to you how much money you want to spend for quality vs. buying in bulk. Spices and seasonings can expire and while they won't necessarily be bad for you or hurt you you if you eat them, they will lose their flavor and potency over time.
To save money, you can buy larger quantities of spices at places discount stores like Ocean State Job Lot or Ollie's ($1-2 per ~4 oz bottle). But those spices have probably already been sitting around for a while by the time you get them. I'll be honest — I used some of these while I was testing my everything bagel blend and they worked just fine! But you might notice your everything bagel topping loses its flavor faster.
For higher quality options, there are plenty of reputable brands like McCormick and Simply Organic, and reputable online spice retailers like World Spice Merchants, Burlap & Barrel, Spiceology, Spicewalla, and Nuts.com where you can find everything you need.
At the grocery store, sesame seeds can often be found in larger quantities for a lower price in the International aisle — which is also where you're more likely to find black sesame seeds.
The Murky Origins of Everything Bagel Seasoning
It's hard to say exactly where the specific blend we know of as everything bagel seasoning first appeared. In a 2019 Gastro Obscura article, Dan Nosowitz noted everything bagel as "a very recent culinary tradition, barely 40 years old, with a slow rise to prominence. There probably wasn’t a single everything bagel in San Francisco until the 1990s."
It's no surprise how these particular flavors ended up being combined into a single bagel topping. "These particular toppings ended up in bagel shops, and eventually on the everything bagel because the bagel’s ancestor had used those toppings for thousands of years," Nosowitz wrote.
Several different people have taken credit for creating what we know of today as an "everything bagel" blend over the years. Some guy named Dave Gussin says he came up with the name "everything bagel" as a teenager working in a bagel shop in 1980, and his story is the one you'll see cited most often. But in a recent issue Snack Stack newsletter, Doug Mack dug into the conflicting everything bagel origin stories and found a mention of an "everything bagel" at a different bagel shop in a news archive as early as 1977.
Unfortunately, we may never know who truly gave everything bagel seasoning its name — but we do know it tastes dang good on so much more than bagels!
You can, but you don't have to. If you're using the seasoning without baking it (e.g. over eggs, avocado toast, etc.) toasting it in a dry pan for a few minutes until fragrant can help bring out the flavors and add some complexity. If you're using everything bagel topping on something that will be baked (e.g. on bagels, pretzels, bread, etc) the oven will toast it anyway. No need to toast it before use!
You can't go wrong with a classic plain bagel, but it's also good on chewy egg bagels, my homemade roasted garlic bagels, and with a sprinkle of pretzel salt on pretzel bagels!
5-Minute Everything Bagel Seasoning Blend
- ¼ cup sesame seeds (can replace up to half with black sesame seeds)
- ¼ cup poppy seeds
- ⅛ cup dried minced garlic (or garlic flakes)
- ⅛ cup dried minced onion (or onion flakes)
- Combine sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried garlic, and dried onion in a bowl or jar. Stir or shake well to combine.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. When using, add salt as needed based on the recipe.
- To taste and adjust your homemade everything bagel seasoning, sprinkle some on a cracker spread with cream cheese or butter. This will help you decide if it needs more of any ingredient or what type of salt to include!
- Stir well before use — poppy seeds tend to settle in the middle or bottom of the jar, it can be hard to get even distribution by shaking it.
- You can replace up to half of the sesame seeds with black sesame seeds, or all of the sesame seeds with a tri-color sesame seed blend.
Wow! What a great deep dive into this subject! Thanks for putting it all together, not sure why it hadn't occurred to me to do this before. I love that you can customize this, I'm partial to caraway seeds!