How Many Bagels Per Person?

Whether you’re having a big breakfast get-together or having a few people over for brunch, it’s always tough to know how much your friends are going to eat at a gathering. Here’s a helpful guide when it comes to how many bagels you’ll need per person.

Each person will need around one bagel. Because bagels are sold in quantities of either six or twelve, to find the number of bags of bagels needed for any gathering, count the number of people who are going to be in attendance, divide it by six, and then round up.

But that’s just for store-bought bagels, if you’re getting bagels catered you might need to do a little bit more work. Plus, what do you do if you have a guest who’s a real bagel fiend? Or one who wouldn’t touch a bagel with a thirty-foot pole?

How Many Bagels Will One Person Eat?

Bagels are a relatively filling bread product, meaning that most people won’t need a lot of them to be satisfied. The consensus among caterers and party planners alike is that you won’t need more than one bagel for each person in attendance. However, you might know one of your dear friends who has a history of eating a great number of bagels.

Sesame seed bagel on wooden table
Sesame seed bagel on wooden table

In a small group of one to ten, this person might be worth taking into account and setting out one or two more bagels than you have people can be good if you know someone like that is coming.

In larger groups that are less predictable, this is not necessary. Even if one or two people are overtaken by their primal urge to feed on boiled bread, they will likely be offset by a number of guests who are fairly bagel-shy. Some guests are sure to eat only half a bagel or even no bagels at all.

This means that the number of bagels you actually need will tend to average out to one per person, especially if you provide non-bagel options. Even if you are having a bagel-themed party, non-bagel offerings are probably worth investing in case one or more of your guests can’t have gluten.

How Many Bagels Do You Need To Buy?

Now, this is the hard question. Unless you’re ordering from a caterer that will allow you to order by the person and not by the dozen, you’ll need to do a little bit of math for this one. First, determine whether your chosen bagel distributor sells donuts by the dozen or by the half-dozen.

If that distributor is your local grocery store, you’re likely to be buying your bagels by the half-dozen. If this is the case, you’ll need to buy your bagels in groups of six. This will mean that unless your guest list is divisible by six, you’ll end up with a few more bagels than people.

Variety of fresh bagels at a bakery
Variety of fresh bagels at a bakery

To figure out the number of bags you need, divide the number of guests you have by six and round up. Then you can figure out how many bagels that is by multiplying the rounded number by six again.

For ten people, you’ll end up with twelve (two bags). For twenty, you’ll need twenty-four (four bags). For fifty, you’ll have to get fifty-four bagels (nine bags). And if for some reason you want to get grocery story bagels for one-hundred people, that will end up being one-hundred-and-two bagels, which turns out to be seventeen bags.

If you’re buying from a nicer bagel place like Einstein Bros, you’ll probably get your donuts by the dozen. For maximum efficiency, plan to invite guests in groups of twelve to avoid difficult math. If this isn’t an option, you can go through the same math for half-dozens to figure out the number of dozens you’ll be buying.

For ten or twenty guests, there are no changes, although if you have seventeen guests you might need to get twenty-four bagels to have one per person.

For thirty guests, you’ll need thirty-six bagels (three dozen). For fifty, you’ll need sixty (five dozen). For eighty-four, you’ll need eighty-four bagels (exactly seven dozen.) For one-hundred people, you’ll need one-hundred-and-eight bagels (nine dozen).

However, buying this many bagels will likely leave you with a tremendous number of leftovers. If your guests want them you can send a few of them home with extras, or, if you’re very ambitious, you can keep them all for yourself to eat over the next couple of days.

If you can find a caterer who can get you exactly the same number of bagels as you have guests, then that’s probably optimal for groups of higher than twenty-five people or so. A good rule of thumb is that if you feel weird about buying the number of bagels that you’re buying you might want to consider catering as an option.

Number of PeopleNumber of Half-DozensNumber of Dozens
102 (12)1 (12)
204 (24)2 (24)
256 (36)3 (36)
509 (54)5 (60)
10017 (102)9 (108)
20034 (204)17 (204)

How Many Bagels Should One Person Eat?

If you’re trying to figure out how many bagels you yourself should be eating, the answer will depend on a couple of things.

If you plan on eating bagels regularly, you’ll probably want to stick to about half a bagel each day. While bagels aren’t very big, they are incredibly dense in calories. Most store-bought bagels have about three hundred calories per bagel, which even for a full-grown man is about a tenth of the suggested daily calorie intake.

Top view of freshly baked bagels with assorted flavors
Top view of freshly baked bagels with assorted flavors

If bagels are all you’re eating, then it’s probably fine for you to eat several in a day. But to keep healthy you’ll probably want to add other foods to your diet as well.

If bagels are a regular part of your diet, then you should compliment them with proteins or fruits and vegetables, along with healthy fats. Fortunately, there isn’t anything about bagels aside from their calorie density to make them especially bad for you, which means that there isn’t any real reason to cut them out of your diet entirely unless you’re gluten intolerant or avoiding carbs.

If you’re eating the bagels as part of a special occasion, it seems wrong to prescribe a certain number of bagels for your special day. However, as noted earlier, a donut is about a little over a tenth of the average daily calorie intake, so you probably shouldn’t eat more than about eight?

That number is assuming that you only eat bagels that day and the heaviest topping you use is a light cream cheese. If you want to use normal cream cheese or drink anything other than water that day, you should decrease the max number of bagels on that day to six or seven.

Of course, this would be utterly unsustainable as a lifestyle. But as a challenge or a weird treat, this is probably the highest number of bagels that a person could reasonably eat without hurting themself.

What About Mini-Bagels?

The question of what qualifies as a mini-bagel is a difficult one to answer. Bagels of sizes from 43 calories to 250 calories are all marketed under the monicker of mini-bagels, meaning that it’s impossible to give a recommendation for the number of mini-bagels you need without knowing the actual company producing the bagels.

What To Serve With Bagels

Delicious sandwich bagel with bacon and cream cheese on rustic wooden table
Delicious sandwich bagel with bacon and cream cheese on rustic wooden table

You can’t just serve bagels at a party. WIthout some tasty bagel toppings, this is a recipe for disappointed guests. Similarly, you should probably provide more toppings than just plain cream cheese, in case any of your guests are on a diet or have more refined bagel pallets that require something more to satisfy.

Specialty Cream Cheese

You can get a surprising amount of mileage out of a couple of specialty cream cheeses. Popular offerings include strawberry and other fruit-based flavored cream cheeses, salmon, onion, scallion, and reduced-fat cream cheese. Having these on offer can turn a simple bagel bar into a fun bagel experience.


Everything bagel with cream cheese, lox, and onion
Everything bagel with cream cheese, lox, and onion

If you aren’t from New York, you might not know what Lox is or why you would put them on a bagel. Lox is a kind of cured salmon cut into extremely thin strips and commonly served with bagels. Salmon is a tasty and quite healthy fish that compliments the bagel’s density.


Jams or jellies can be a great option for people who like their bagels on the sweeter side, and can also compliment rolls and other bread-based foods later on in the evening, which means that if you have the guests for more than one meal the Jam can be refrigerated between the two and used again if there’s any left.

Nut Butters

Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter can all be great toppings on a toasted bagel. Just be careful not to spread them too thick, since they tend to stick to the roof of the mouth.

Bacon and Other Meats

Maybe a bagel sandwich is in order? Bacon goes with a great number of things, and bagels are not excluded in this. Of course, bacon can be expensive for a lot of people. However, if you want your guests to have the option of making a bagel sandwich you can provide any kind of lunch meat. Whatever fits your budget!


Bagel with hummus, avocado slices, spices, green onion, tomatoes, and sesame seeds
Bagel with hummus, avocado slices, spices, green onion, tomatoes, and sesame seeds. Close up.

Avocado toast is a bit of a meme in the modern world, but the reason people eat it is that it tastes good. Avacado is a healthy option that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for health, and that’s great for lots of people who might be worried about overeating or poor nutritional value. Plus, it’s great on a bagel with lox.

Banana or Other Fruits

Sliced bananas or strawberries go really well on a sweet bagel, but they can also compliment a more savory bagel as a side, making them a must-have for any bagel bar. Other fruits that can go with them are oranges, grapes, or even plums if you’re feeling adventurous.

Sandwich Toppings

Tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, mayonnaise, some dijon mustard. You don’t have to a bagel sandwich for these to be great in combination with the other things on this list. They might not seem like a great idea to put on a bagel by themselves, but in conjunction with the others


Hummus may seem like it’s coming out of left field here, but it comes in a huge number of varieties and can offer a light savory option that isn’t avocado and also doesn’t ask for any more toppings. It’s simple, it tastes good, and people will probably enjoy it.

The benefit to having a lot of different toppings is that you don’t need to have as much of any individual topping, since different people will want different things and when one-topping runs out people can move on to the next one.

The disadvantage is that some people might get stressed out if they have too many different choices in front of them. So why not add even more choices?

What Kinds Of Bagels To Buy

The obvious choices here are plain bagels and everything bagels, and these are must-haves. If you’re getting nothing else, just get plain bagels and let the guests take it from there. Otherwise, these are the two most important varieties to make sure that you have.

Variety of homemade baked bagels on steel baking sheet rack countertop
Variety of homemade baked bagels on steel baking sheet rack countertop

Cinnamon-raisin bagels are also a great option with a unique sweet flavor that goes well with neutral or sweet toppings. Other sweet bagels that you could replace them with include chocolate chip or blueberry.

Alongside everything bagels, jalapeno bagels and cheese bagels are great options for savory bagels. If you’re ordering from a specialty store you’ll probably have even more options to select from, and it’s up to your taste (and you’re wallet) to determine how many kinds of bagels you choose to sample.

You may also want to provide a gluten-free option. Canyon’s Bakehouse, Udi’s, and Schar all produce quality gluten-free bagels. If not a lot of people end up eating gluten-free bagels, you can always distribute them among the people who needed them afterward.

And that’s it! All of the information that you could ever imagine wanting about bagels!

Anna Silver

Anna Silver is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to new go-to original recipes. Inspired by her grandmother’s love of cooking, Anna has a passion for treating the people in her life to delicious homemade food and loves to share her family recipes with the rest of the world.

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