Crustless Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche

I love quiche, but I rarely eat it because the crust can be such a gut bomb. But! Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, authors of the wonderful cookbook KEEPERS, have an amazing recipe for a crustless quiche. It’s healthy and delicious. Here’s how to make it…

Crustless Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche
By Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, authors of KEEPERS (which just won the IACP award for 2014!)

The chicest mom Kathy knew growing up (think Jackie O with a platinum bob) made a version of this dish. That was in the ‘70s, when quiche was all the rage, but in our minds, it defies trend. She was a busy woman, so she skipped the crust and often baked the filling in individual ramekins in advance.

Aside from blanching the broccoli, the quiche can be assembled in minutes. If you prefer to use frozen broccoli, there’s no need to blanch it; just thaw and pat dry.

Recipe: Crustless Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche

Makes one 10-inch quiche

You’ll need:

Unsalted butter for greasing the pie dish
3 cups small broccoli florets (from about 1 large head of broccoli)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup heavy cream
6 large eggs
Pinch of nutmeg, preferably freshly grated

Preheat the oven to 350F, with a rack in the middle position. Butter a 10-inch glass pie dish, then set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and season it generously with salt; it should taste like seawater. When it returns to a boil, add the broccoli and gently boil, stirring once or twice, until just crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, then thoroughly pat dry and scatter over the bottom of the pie dish. Scatter the cheese evenly over top.

In a 1-quart measuring cup (see tip below) or medium bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, eggs, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste until smooth, then pour over the cheese. Bake until the custard is just set in the center, 35 to 40 minutes. (Don’t worry if the center is a little trembly; it will cook a little more as it rests.) Let cool slightly before serving.

TIP: For convenience, we use a four-cup measuring cup to measure all of the ingredients for the quiche, ending with the custard, which we whisk right in the cup. First, measure the broccoli, then the cheese. Next, measure the 1 cup milk, add enough cream to reach 1 2/3 cups, then add the eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Whisk together, then pour the custard into the dish.

Thank you, Kathy and Caroline! Your book is so great.

P.S. More best recipes, including a Bloody Mary and a lazy egg sandwich.

(Recipe by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, authors of KEEPERS. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)

  1. My husband loved this recipe except I had to use cheddar cheese, added creole seasoning and ground red pepper.

  2. This sounds amazing. Thanks for posting this up. Something different to try as well.


  3. I just made this earlier this morning. It was amazingly good! I really enjoyed this recipe and its so simple! I did a combo of cauliflower, broccoli and ham…and sprinkled bacon crumbles on top before placing in the oven. I actually made this for the bf so he could have a fast breakfast in the morning and it was hard to keep him from eating it for his dinner tonight. Excellent recipe, followed it to a T and it came out great. Thanks so much!

  4. Made the quiche this weekend and everyone loved it! I also added shallots. Was delish!

  5. From one of your older readers…..yes, popular back in the 70’s when I believe the saying “real men don’t eat quiche” started….(but my husband eats it and he is a real man!)……sadly, for my figure, I think the crust is the best part!

  6. That looks really good, but for me the gut bomb quality of a quiche comes from the heavy egg, cream, and cheese portion of the dish :) I think the crust gives it a nice buttery crunch. I’d eat it either way though! For me the key is cutting a small slice and having some greens and a fruit salad on the side…or a two slices and a muffin and just accepting that you are going to feel unpleasant for the next hour.

  7. oh my, this sounds so good! thanks for sharing :)
    xo, cheyenne

  8. I would definitely call this a frittata…either way this is the best way to use up random leftovers! You should make mini ones and save them in the fridge for weekday breakfasts.

  9. Ooo, what a great recipe, and it is totally toddler friendly too! Am going to try this…and hope the little one loves as much as I know I will! Because…you know, getting a toddler to eat is sometimes so….bleargh.

  10. My mum used to make something like this all the time. She also tore up peices of stale bread and put them in. I think the problem with traditional quiche is not the gut-bomb of the crust but the time to make it!

    This idea is perfect, it’s a great way to use leftovers and the ‘quiche’ is great for next day lunches too!

  11. I recently ate an ENTIRE pie crust…RAW. It’s my favorite secret indulgence. There’s just something about the texture. Talk about a gut bomb!

    Thanks for this recipe. I needed something to make for dinner tonight and I just so happen to have all these ingredients. Yay!

  12. You know, you can make practically any quiche crustless! The bakery Specialty’s only has little crustless mini quiches for breakfast, and my husband and I often use a lazy crustless quiche as an easy way to use up eggs, vegetables, or meats that aren’t a large or exciting enough serving to make into a dish on their own.

  13. Love the frittata! Always versatile. Always delicious.

  14. I just want to say that you’re a woman after my own heart describing a dish made with whole milk and heavy cream as “healthy.” ;) I’m more of a ham and asparagus quiche girl, but it looks good!

  15. I also thought crustless quiche was a frittata? Also, skim milk substitute for heavy cream and whole milk might not set, so I’ll stick with my Weight Watchers asparagus, egg white, sweet potato onion frittata.

  16. I have this cookbook and love every recipe I’ve made from it so far. Their coconut chicken curry recipe in the book is amazing and tastes like something you would get at a really good restaurant!

  17. I love the “a little trembly”! Great description. :-)

  18. I like to make a crust out of frozen hash browns…so easy and yummy!

  19. What? The crust is a delicious part of any respectable quiche! All the French women here in Paris (and men) eat quiche almost daily with a side of salad; it’s the perfect bistro lunch. No talk of “gut bombs” here…. Still enjoy your blog, though. :)

  20. Joanna, your posts always seem to be completely in stride with my life! This is the PERFECT recipe to use up some of the things in my fridge before I move! I was trying to think of what I could do with all of that broccoli, cheese, and eggs, (in all honesty I thought “I need to get that cheese Pizza out of the freezer… maybe I’ll throw some broccoli on it?”… this is a FAR superior idea!!

  21. also do wuth the crust, because I’m kind of a crust girl (also in bread related issues)

  22. Ah, but the crust is the best part!

    This quiche sounds wonderful all the same :) thanks for the recipe.