A scooped bagel is a bagel that has had most of the bread on the inside removed.

Some people believe that scooping out the inside part of bagels makes them healthier and supports weight loss. Others enjoy using scooped bagels for sandwiches to hold more fillings and be easier to eat.

This article reviews the basics of scooped bagels, as well as possible benefits and downsides.

a scooped bagel, toastedShare on Pinterest
Juanmonino/Getty Images

As the name suggests, the inside of a scooped bagel is partially scooped out. Typically, the bread in between the crust on both halves is removed.

Some bagel shops offer the option to have bagels scooped when ordering.

Meanwhile, other shops don’t endorse this practice, and may even oppose it. After all, scooping bagels could be seen as taking away from the food’s essence to some bagel lovers.

You can scoop bagels at home. To do so, follow these simple steps:

  1. Slice the bagel in half.
  2. Use your fingers, a spoon, or a fork to remove the desired amount of bread in between the crust on both halves.
  3. Enjoy your bagel with toppings or fillings of your choice.

Scooped bagels have had the bread in between the crust removed.

Since part of the bagel is removed in a scooped bagel, it has a different nutrition profile compared with an unscooped one.

There’s no definite amount of calories, carbs, or other nutrients in a scooped bagel. This is because the nutrition of bagels can vary widely, depending on size and type. How much is scooped out can also differ and affect the nutrition.

As a rough guide, it’s commonly estimated that the calories and nutrients in a bagel are halved when it’s scooped.

Here’s how the calories and macronutrients in a large plain bagel, a large plain bagel that’s been scooped, a small plain bagel, a small scooped bagel, and a slice of white bread compare (1, 2):

Large bagel (4.5-inch/11.4-cm diameter)Scooped large bagelSmall bagel (3-inch/7.6-cm diameter)Scooped small bagelBread slice (28 grams)
Carbohydrates68 grams34 grams36 grams18 grams12 grams
Protein14 grams7 grams7.3 grams3.65 grams3 grams
Fat1.7 grams0.85 gram0.9 gram0.45 gram0.6 gram

Most bagel shops sell bagels that would be considered large, or even bigger, while the bagels you buy at the grocery store are typically on the smaller side. Scooping out half of a large bagel likely makes it nutritionally comparable to a small bagel.


It’s difficult to estimate the nutrition of scooped bagels since it can vary by size, type, and how much is scooped out. Generally, scooping out a large bagel may decrease the calorie content by about half.

Scooped bagels may offer some benefits, depending on your circumstances.

For one, they are lower in calories than bagels that haven’t been scooped.

Eating fewer calories than you burn can lead to weight loss. So, those trying to lose weight may consider ordering a scooped bagel over an unscooped one (3).

Scooping out bagels also reduces the carb content, which may appeal to those with diabetes. Consuming fewer carbohydrates can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and support diabetes management (4).

However, it’s not necessary to choose scooped bagels to help with weight loss or diabetes management. If you don’t eat bagels often, choosing a scooped over an unscooped one is likely not going to make that much of a difference.

Maintaining an overall healthy eating pattern instead of focusing on the calories or carbs in a single food is a healthier and more sustainable way to approach weight loss and conditions, like diabetes.

If bagels are a source of enjoyment for you, then you can certainly find ways to incorporate them into a balanced eating pattern — even if you’re trying to lose weight or manage a health condition.

Here are some ideas:

  • Prioritize meals that include non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, like whole grains.
  • Within this eating pattern, balance bagel consumption with other foods.
  • If you’re having a bagel as part of a meal, choose half a large bagel or a whole small one instead of a whole large one.
  • Consider pairing bagels with a protein source, like eggs or peanut butter, and add veggies as a topping to make it a more balanced meal.

Scooped bagels are also appealing for reasons unrelated to nutrition.

Some people prefer to order scooped bagels for sandwiches. This is because large bagels, like the kind at most bagel shops, can be difficult to eat when loaded up with fillings.

Using a scooped bagel for a sandwich may make it easier to take bites. It may also hold more fillings than an unscooped bagel and prevent things from spilling out when you take a bite.


Scooped bagels are lower in calories and carbs than their unscooped counterparts. Some people also consider them better to use for sandwiches.

Generally, it may be best to limit your intake of bagels. They’re typically made with white flour and are a source of refined carbohydrates. Dietary recommendations for weight loss and diabetes encourage choosing mostly whole grains and high fiber carbs (4).

Plus, since a large part of a scooped bagel is removed, a lot of bread might go to waste.

If you still prefer to scoop your bagels, try using the leftover filling in one of these ways to prevent waste:

  • Turn it into breadcrumbs by toasting it in the oven, then pulsing in a food processor.
  • Make croutons by cutting it into squares, toss with olive oil and seasonings, and baking until crispy.
  • Use it to dip into soup.

What’s more, scooped bagels may not be ideal for certain preparations.

While the case can be made that they’re better for sandwiches, many people find that scooped bagels aren’t as enjoyable as unscooped bagels when paired with cream cheese or other spreads.

If you’re trying a bagel shop for the first time, and you order a scooped bagel, you may not get the full experience.


Scooped bagels can contribute to food waste. Plus, the culinary experience of eating a scooped bagel might not be the same as eating an unscooped one.

Scooped bagels, which have had most of the bread between the crust removed, may be appealing in some ways.

Since they’re lower in calories and carbs, some may think they support weight loss or blood sugar control. However, you don’t need to choose scooped bagels over unscooped ones to lose weight. Whole bagels can be incorporated into a balanced eating pattern.

Others like to order scooped bagels for sandwiches, because they’re easier to fill and eat. Ultimately, whether you prefer scooped bagels is a personal preference.

Just one thing

Try this today: Wondering if the claim that scooped bagels make better sandwiches holds true? Check out some bagel shops in your area to see if they offer scooped bagel sandwiches, or scoop a bagel at home to test it out.

Was this helpful?