How to Make Quiche
A step-by-step guide to the perfect brunch, lunch, or light dinner dish, including a dozen easy recipes
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I was an adult before I had my first slice of quiche. In my defense, I came of age during the “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche” era (seriously, it’s a thing). I’m not a man, but to my young mind, the jokes made quiche feel frivolous, lightweight. Plus, my mom’s cooking leaned solidly toward Eastern European Jewish. I’m pretty sure the only French food we ate was toast and fries.
But once I did taste quiche, I wanted more. The thick and creamy custard, which somehow has a light, almost delicate quality. The flaky crust. The endless variety of fillings. I mean, what’s not to like? It took a few more years for me to discover that, for as elegant and complicated as it looks, making quiche at home is surprisingly easy. It may take a while to get from mixing bowl to plate, but you’re only on the job for a few minutes — it spends most of the cook time either in the oven or cooling off.
Follow our step-by-step guide to see how easy it is to master the basic technique. Then check out some of the tastiest, most satisfying quiche recipes in the sections below.
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How to make any kind of quiche
No matter what you’re adding to the milk-and-egg mixture, the basic steps are the same
Step 1: Preheat oven
I probably don’t have to tell you that.
Step 2: Blind bake your pie crust
If you’ve ever watched The Great British Bake-Off, you know about the dreaded “soggy bottom” on pies and tarts. It’s easy to avoid, though, whether you’re using pie dough made from scratch or a refrigerated pie crust. Just bake the empty pie shell for 10 to 15 minutes, which gives it a head start. Before it goes into the oven, chill the crust in the pie pan for about 30 minutes, to make sure it doesn’t slump down the sides as the dough’s butter melts. Place the pie pan on a baking sheet, then prick the dough all over with a fork (a technique called “docking”). This prevents the crust from puffing up too much. You can get the same effect by topping the pie dough with parchment paper and adding pie weights or dried beans, but it’s not really necessary.
Piercing the crust with a fork before it blind bakes
Step 3: Gather your add-ins
That luxurious custard and flaky crust are great, but to my mind it’s the extras that make quiche fun. Each item you add contributes to the quiche’s flavor, and it also makes a nice textural contrast. Speaking as a person who loves to repurpose leftovers into something new, you can almost think of quiche as a catch-all. Got a few ounces of cooked meat or some extra roasted vegetables, maybe a few French fries? Chop them up and toss them in!
Cheese: Quiche almost always has some kind of cheese added to the filling, and it can be virtually any kind you like. My favorite is a mix of gruyere and Parmesan, but I’ve been known to use Swiss, cheddar, Monterey jack, mozzarella, and fontina, too. It’s also fun to add little dollops of goat cheese or feta crumbles.
Meat: Chopped-up meat makes a great addition. Use cooked or cured meats rather than raw — that protein won’t have time to cook thoroughly. Bacon is a classic, the key to quiche Lorraine (more on that below); or you can use diced ham; browned chicken, pork, or veggie sausage crumbles or slices; browned ground beef; even leftover steak or chicken.
Vegetables: I never make a quiche without veggies. You can use almost any kind you have on-hand — I challenge you to name one that wouldn’t work. Keep in mind, though, that many should be cooked before going in. Some, like tomatoes, spinach, and zucchini, have a high water content. Using them raw might keep your custard from setting properly. Others are so sturdy, they might not cook in the time it takes to bake your quiche. The solution: Roast or saute them, or chop raw vegetables into small pieces. You can even grate them. Green onions and shallots, chopped fine, add a nice oniony pop. Pro tip: Next time you have caramelized onions, make more than you need. They’re exquisite in a quiche.
Fresh herbs: This definitely falls into the optional category, but I love stirring a handful of finely chopped herbs into the custard. Thyme goes beautifully with mushroom quiche, for instance, and of course fresh basil complements tomatoes. When I have a lot of fresh herbs threatening to turn slimy in the crisper, I’ll add as much as a half-cup, finely chopped, and make them the star of the show.
Step 4: Prepare the custard
For the liquid, use dairy — usually whole milk and heavy cream, or you can use an equivalent amount of half-and-half. Whisk in large eggs and sometimes an additional yolk or two (that produces a truly rich custard), plus salt and black pepper.
Attention, health-conscious eaters: If the thought of all that saturated fat is making your arteries harden, take heart (pun intended). You can make a quiche with lighter alternatives. Use more egg whites than yolks and a mix of low-fat milk and nonfat Greek yogurt. With some clever tweaks, you can even make a vegan quiche! You’ll find an entire section of healthier recipes below.
Step 5: Put it all together
Here, you can take whichever approach you like. Many recipes have you stir the add-ins into the bowl with the egg mixture, then pour it all into the par-baked crust. When you do that, you may have to distribute the solids to make sure there’s a little in every bite. I prefer to scatter the cheese, vegetables, and/or meat onto the crust and carefully pour the custard on top. Cover the exposed crust with pie shields or strips of aluminum foil to prevent burning, and bake quiche.
Pouring the custard over the mix-ins
Step 6: Let it rest
When the quiche comes out of the oven, you’re going to want to dive right in. Don’t! The custard is cooked, but it needs time to set. If you remove a slice now, the filling will collapse to fill the empty space. Give it a half-hour at room temperature.
Meaty quiche recipes
There’s just something about a smooth custard studded with bits of meat. Most often it’s some kind of cured pork, as you’ll see here.
Think of quiche Lorraine as the quiche that started it all. It’s considered an all-time classic brunch dish. Pour a handful of ingredients into blind baked pie dough, and sit back as it bakes up into a savory, creamy, salty, dream. Gruyere cheese lends a hint of nuttiness (swap in Swiss cheese for a milder custard), and crumbled crispy bacon adds smokiness and texture.
A buttery, from-scratch crust in a deep pie pan helps to make this quiche special. Once the pie dough is par-baked, you just scatter diced ham, chopped chives, and shredded Parmesan cheese on top, then pour in an extra-rich custard made with heavy cream, whole eggs, and egg yolks. Bake until the custard is set, and serve with salad greens tossed in a vinegary dressing.
With browned breakfast sausage providing a morning vibe, this quiche would make a terrific do-ahead brunch dish. You can reheat it, or serve at room temperature. Two kinds of shredded cheese — mozzarella and cheddar — keep things nicely gooey.
Did you ever have a day when you just want all the meats? Bacon, sausage, and ham fill up the pie plate (use a store-bought, refrigerated pie crust to make things easy), with chopped green onions for a little sharp contrast. Use whatever kind of cheese you like here — the original recipe used a combo of Swiss cheese, Parmesan cheese, and cheddar cheese.
Vegetable quiche recipes
I love putting veggies in my quiche. It still feels indulgent (creamy custard, hello?), but the additional colors, flavors, and nutrients turn a slice into a balanced meal.
With crisp-tender broccoli, green onions, and cheddar cheese in every bite, this could win over people who think they don’t like that controversial vegetable. There’s no pre-cooking of the broccoli, either, since you’re chopping it small — you won’t find an easier quiche to make.
My super-picky kid had a Popeye phase when he was about four years old. He’d eat spinach and watch his itty-bitty biceps pop. Spinach quiche, made with quickly sauteed baby spinach, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella, will delight both Popeye-obsessed preschoolers and adults looking for a simple, sophisticated breakfast, lunch, or light dinner.
Caprese salad — fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil — makes a great appetizer, but I usually want something more substantial for a main course. When you add those elements to a classic custard made from large eggs, whole milk, and heavy cream; pour the whole thing into a par-baked pie crust; and bake; that does the trick. A drizzle of balsamic just before serving is perfection.
Sauteed vegetables — onion, red pepper, spinach, and asparagus — thyme, and two kinds of cheese (Gruyere and cheddar) make for a beautiful, colorful, flavor-packed quiche. Yes, this has a little more prep time than some other quiche recipes, but it’s so worth it.
Health-conscious quiche recipes
With all the saturated fat you get from heavy cream or half-and-half, cheese, and eggs — not to mention the buttery crust — quiche is hardly a health food. But it’s easier than you might think to make versions that work for folks watching their carbohydrates or cholesterol.
Puree tofu, cashew milk, nutritional yeast, and seasoning, and you wind up with a vegan custard that tastes almost like the real thing. This spinach-red pepper-mushroom quiche hits all the right notes, but with far fewer calories and fat — and impressive amounts of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and calcium.
This crustless quiche has so much going on in the flavor department, you might find yourself going back for seconds, even thirds. And with only 90 gluten-free calories per serving, that’s just fine. The clever custard features large eggs and egg whites, low-fat milk, and nonfat Greek yogurt, while mild mozzarella and sharp, salty feta crumbles provide deliciously cheesy heft.
This easy quiche recipe yields something that’s almost like a frittata. Sauteed veggies meet up with beaten eggs, goat cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Bake the crustless quiche in ramekins on Sunday, then reheat and enjoy a mini quiche for breakfast on busy weekday mornings.
As a person who’s not counting carbohydrates but is watching her saturated fat intake, I love the idea of lining a pie dish with hash browns instead of pie crust. It makes an irresistibly crispy base for the egg mixture, tons of veggies, and diced ham.
More eggy dishes
Try your hand at these other egg-inspired recipes.