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The Best Way To Store and Keep Bagels Fresh

Wondering how to keep bagels fresh? Here’s the best way to store bagels to extend their shelf life so you can enjoy them much longer!

There’s nothing better than a warm bagel to start off your day!

Whether you like your bagel with cream cheese or lox or prefer something sweet, bagels are a popular food item in pantries across the country.

Unfortunately, fresh homemade bagels or ones from the bakery don’t always last long enough to get through an entire bag.

And no one wants to eat a moldy bagel!

Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to make your bagels stay fresh longer.

So, here’s how long bagels last, how to keep bagels fresh with proper storage, and creative recipes to help you enjoy them even more!

How long do bagels last?

One whole and one sliced fresh bagel on wooden cutting board with cream cheese.

Before we tackle how to keep bagels fresh, let’s talk about how long bagels typically last.

A bag of store-bought bagels will usually last about a week or to the best by date.

The shelf life of bagels from a bakery is usually shorter. Fresh bagels can last 5-6 days but may start to stale or harden within 48 hours if not properly stored.

How to Store Bagels to Keep Them Fresh

Whether you have store-bought bagels or fresh ones from your local bagel shop, you’ll need to know how to keep them at their optimal freshness so you aren’t throwing wasted food away.


You can keep store-bought bagels in their original packaging if there are no tears or holes. Be sure to remove excess air from the bag before placing them in your pantry.

If the original bag is compromised, you can store the bagels in a plastic bag, with extra air squeezed out.

You can also freeze store-bought bagels in their original packaging or a plastic bag to use as needed.

Fresh (Homemade or From the Bakery)

Large fresh bagel propped up on a white and silver toaster on wooden table.

If You Plan to Eat Them Soon

If you’re going to eat your fresh bagels within 48 hours, you can leave them on the counter at room temperature in a rolled paper bag or bread bag. This will shield the bagels from losing too much moisture, too quickly.

Bagels eaten within 48 hours will still be relatively fresh, but might be a little chewier.

If you know your bagels will sit for more than a couple of days, you can add an extra layer of protection by putting the rolled-up paper bag in a plastic bag with excess air removed. Warm bagels will go soggy in the bag so make sure they’re completely cooled before storing them!

You may notice some staleness as the bagels get closer to the week mark, but you can revive them in a couple of easy steps:

  1. Refresh stale bagels by spritzing them with a little water.
  2. Then lightly toast or bake them in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Just be sure there are no signs of mold growth. If you see any white or blue mold spots, throw them away.

Long-Term Storage

If you buy too many bagels or want to save some for later, you can keep them in the freezer for 3-4 months.

Freezing bagels is very easy, but you’ll need to do it as soon as you get the bagels to keep them tasting the best.

Simply, pre-slice the bagels (if needed) before storing them in an airtight bag.

A plastic resealable bag like Ziploc is your best bet. Be sure to squeeze as much air out as possible and make sure it’s sealed all the way to avoid freezer burn.

Tips for Thawing

To thaw a frozen bagel, simply throw it in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes. Or, you can use a conventional or microwave oven.

For the latter options, spritz the bagel with a light mist of water and pop it in the oven for 3-5 minutes at 475 degrees. Or, put the bagel wrapped in a damp paper towel in the microwave for 20-30 seconds on low power.

Once you defrost a bagel, you won’t be able to refreeze it, so only take out what you need at a time.

What Not to Do

Here’s what not to do when storing bagels. The following practices will make your bagels go bad more quickly:

  • Refrain from putting bagels in the fridge. This can make your bagels go stale quicker.
  • Don’t use aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Tightly wrapping your bagels and using foil or plastic wrap will cause them to lose their crisp crust and chewy center.
  • Don’t wait to store excess bagels in the freezer. Bagels left out for a couple of days and then frozen will not taste as fresh as those frozen right away.
  • Avoid over-buying bagels unless you plan to use your freezer.

Creative Ways to Enjoy Fresh Bagels

The most classic way to enjoy a bagel is to smear it with cream cheese or a cream cheese substitute. But, there are lots of more creative ways to enjoy bagels, too!

So many great options!


Several assorted fresh bagels with blueberries, oats, and seeds in one single layer on tan cloth.
How long will bagels stay fresh?

Store-bought bagels usually last about a week in the pantry. Fresh bagels can last 5-6 days if properly stored (room temperature in a paper or plastic bag with excess air removed).

How do you defrost frozen bagels?

You can defrost frozen bagels by putting them directly in the toaster, using a conventional oven (lightly spritz with water and bake 3-5 minutes at 475 degrees), or in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.

Should you cut bagels before freezing?

Yes! Slice your bagels before freezing so they’re more easily defrosted when needed.

Where is the best place to store bagels?

The best place to store fresh bagels is on the countertop or in the pantry at normal room temperature, or the freezer if you don’t plan to eat them within a week.

Don’t store bagels in the refrigerator as they will stale quicker.

Want More?

If you liked this post, you’ll love these yummy bread and muffin recipes to add to your breakfast rotation: