The Best Protein Bagels with Caramelized Vidalia Onions

6 protein bagels

Missing your bagels but watching carbs? I have the solution for you!  This air fryer protein bagel recipe with caramelized Vidalia onions has all the fluffy goodness and taste without the carb overload.

I’m thrilled that it’s Vidalia onion season. These onions, with their unique sweetness and high fiber content, are a culinary delight. Grown in the sandy soil of Southeast Georgia, they develop their distinct flavor without the need for added sugar. The caramelized Vidalia onions in this recipe add a unique sweetness and an extra boost of delicious flavor that will leave your tastebuds craving for more.

Health Benefits of Onions

This recipe, packed with four sweet and delicious Vidalia onions, is a nutritional powerhouse. Onions are rich in flavonoids and alk-cysteine sulphoxides (ACSOs), which contribute to their health benefits. These compounds have been linked to various health benefits, making this meal a superfood choice. 

vidalia onions for protein bagel

Flavonoids, such as anthocyanins, and flavonols like quercetin, are antioxidants that contribute to the colors of onions—reds and purples in some and yellows and browns in others. ACSOs are responsible for onions’ distinctive flavor and smell, which are released when the enzyme alliinase acts on these compounds.

Vidalia onions are full of vitamin C, fiber, and flavonoids and are associated with many health benefits. These substances may help reduce cancer risk, prevent blood clots, reduce asthma symptoms, and have antibiotic effects. 

Shuman Farms

Buying your Onions from family-owned Shuman Farms has extra benefits. They practice sustainable farming practices, such as water conservation, reducing soil erosion, and responsible pest and disease control.

This air fryer protein bagel recipe is perfect for pregnancy, postpartum, PCOS, and any time in life. I use oat flour, which is high in fiber and offers a nutty flavor. You can also use fine almond flour to go extra low carb.

What makes this recipe so great is that it’s loaded with protein from cottage cheese, high in fiber from the oats and onions, and SUPER filling. Oats are great postpartum because they are a known galactogue, meaning they help promote milk production.

6 protein bagels

Protein Bagels with Caramelized Vidalia Onions

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes
Course Breakfast
Servings 6 servings
Calories 154 kcal


  • 1 Air Fryer


  • 1 cup oat flour or almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup 2% cottage cheese I used Good Culture
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2 Vidalia Onions
  • optional: everything bagel seasoning, sesame seeds


  • Caramelize the Onions: Heat oil over low heat in the same skillet. Add Shuman Farms Vidalia onions and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, add a pinch of salt and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and caramelized.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, Vidalia onions, and salt in a large bowl and whisk well. Add the strained cottage cheese and mix with a fork or spatula until it looks like small crumbles.
  • Using clean hands, work in the bowl and knead the dough. It should be tacky but not stick to your hands. If it does, add more flour.
  • Divide into 4-6 balls. If you want mini bagels, make 6 balls. That is what I did. Roll each ball into 3/4-inch thick ropes and join the ends to form bagels.
  • Top with egg wash and sprinkle both sides with seasoning of your choice.
  • Spray the air fryer basket with oil. Transfer the bagels to the basket in batches without overcrowding, and air fry at 280F for 15 to 16 minutes, or until golden. There is no need to turn.
  • Let cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting.


Serving: 6servingsCalories: 154kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 9gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 511mgPotassium: 248mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 56IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 139mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Ginger Cochran is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, functional medicine practitioner, Certified Diabetes Educator & Care Specialist, Certified Wellness Coach, Certified Exercise Physiologist, and owner of Nutritious Ginger, an integrative and functional nutrition practice focusing on full body self-care and nourishment. Ginger’s primary specialty is women’s health, with a special emphasis on gestational diabetes, weight management, infertility, digestive wellness, and overall health + happiness.
Ginger serves on the board of director for the Nutrition Care Manual by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.