This vegetarian broccoli quiche is comfort food at its best – with a flaky, buttery pie crust and a delicious cheesy filling. It’s easy to make, and absolutely delicious.
I swear I could eat this broccoli quiche every day of every week… and never get tired of it. With its crisp, flaky, buttery (and gluten free!) pie crust, and the cheesy filling, this has to be one of the best ways to eat your veggies!
This is rustic, simple comfort food at its best. While I know some consider quiche Lorraine to be a fairly fancy dish, to me it’s the very definition of cozy and indulgent. Plus, “fancy” implies some level of “difficult to prepare”, which couldn’t be more wrong.
You see, making a quiche – even if gluten free – couldn’t be simpler. And the result is simply to die for.
Before we get to the bits and bobs of making this wonderful quiche – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!
How do you make broccoli quiche?
We start with a blind baked (gluten free) pie crust. For this, I’ve used my go-to gluten free pie crust recipe, which I’m sure you’ve seen many times before, but you could easily make one with plain wheat flour if you don’t need it to be gluten free.
Now, before you ask: yes, you could use a shop-bought pie crust. But… why would you want to, when the homemade version tastes about a bazillion times better, and is a breeze to prepare?
The veggie part of the filling consists of some lightly steamed or fried broccoli florets and lightly caramelised chopped garlic. Steaming or frying the broccoli until it’s only just tender ensures that once the quiche is baked, the broccoli will have the perfect texture.
Next up, some grated cheddar cheese that we’ll scatter evenly across the broccoli. Don’t be shy with the cheese – a small mountain of it will just about do.
The “custard” part of the quiche is a mixture of eggs and milk, to which I like to add some thyme and pepper for an extra kick of flavour. I don’t recommend adding salt to the custard, as the cheese adds the perfect amount of saltiness to the broccoli quiche. (Trust me, the one time I added – just a pinch of – salt, I regretted it. But at least my water uptake was greatly improved that day!)
Once we’ve poured the custard all over the broccoli and cheese filling… that’s it! You could scatter some more grated parmesan over the top (because we all know that with cheese, more is more), but it honestly isn’t all that necessary. But, you do you – especially when it comes to cheese.
Once the broccoli quiche starts baking, the filling will puff up slightly and become that mouth-watering golden brown colour. It will fill the kitchen with an absolutely heavenly smell, and the probability of drooling is rather high.
In the end, what comes out of the oven is a caramelised, golden brown miracle of cheesy goodness. You might think I’m exaggerating now… I’m not.
What is the ratio of eggs to milk in a quiche?
Browsing the Internet, the question of the ratio of eggs to milk in a quiche filling gives a rather wide range of values. I’ve found that I get the best results with 1/4 cup of milk per 3 eggs, which is slightly less milk than many others recommend.
However, especially with vegetable fillings, such as broccoli, spinach or mushrooms, all of which are likely to release more moisture during baking, I find that this ratio gives the perfect filling consistency: smooth, delicate and neither too wet or too eggy/rubbery.
What cheese is best for quiche?
Short answer: whichever hard cheese you really really like. While the cheese flavour is by no means overwhelming, it’s certainly one of the stars of the quiche show – so better choose a cheese whose flavour you love.
I chose a mature Cheddar for this broccoli quiche, but other popular choices include Swiss Gruyere cheese and parmesan cheese. On the other hand, blue cheese crumbled into something like a butternut squash or spinach quiche can be absolutely divine.
Do you have to blind bake the pastry for quiche?
Yes. No maybe, no perhaps, no sometimes – yes. You definitely 100% need to blind bake the pastry (pie crust) when making a quiche.
The reason is simple: if you don’t, the moisture from the filling will be absorbed into the pastry and the result will be a sad-looking, floppy soggy pie crust. And trust me, that’s neither appealing nor appetising.
So whatever you do, don’t skip the blind baking step. You will see in my recipe below that I actually blind bake my pie crust in two stages, which guarantees perfectly flaky pie crust every single time, regardless of filling.
In the first stage, I bake the pie crust while it’s lined with baking/greaseproof paper and filled with rice (you can also use ceramic baking beans, or just some plain old dried beans). What’s more, I blind bake it at 390 ºF (200 ºC) for 10 minutes, and I place the tart tin with the pie crust onto a pre-heated baking tray.
The high temperature ensures that the pie crust doesn’t shrink too much once the baking beans or rice are removed, and the pre-heated baking tray helps the bottom of the pie crust bake more quickly.
In the second stage, I remove the baking paper and the rice/baking beans, reduce the oven temperature to 355 ºF (180 ºC) and bake the pie crust uncovered for a further 6 minutes. Overkill? Maybe. But baking the pie crust uncovered creates a “skin” on top of the pie crust, which additionally protects it from becoming too soggy.
Follow this method, and I promise you perfect quiche pastry every single time.
What vegetables are good in quiche?
In addition to broccoli, quiche fillings can be made with everything from spinach, Swiss chard and kale, to mushrooms, butternut squash and other vegetables of choice. Caramelised onions are absolutely divine (French onion soup quiche, anyone?) as are tomatoes (I’m thinking pizza quiche… yum) and even things like courgettes and carrots.
Honestly, most vegetables will work well in a quiche, so long as they don’t release too much moisture while baking, as that might make the filling too wet and runny. But never be afraid to experiment!
And… that’s it, friends! A simple recipe for a delicious broccoli quiche – that also reheats very well, either in the oven or the microwave. Although, let’s be honest, it’s not like there’ll be any leftovers.
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Vegetarian Broccoli Quiche (Gluten Free)
For the gluten free pie crust:
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup (125 g) plain gluten free flour blend (I've used a simple store-bought blend of rice, potato and maize flour with no added xanthan gum)
- 1/4 cup (25 g) coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- pinch of salt
- 7/8 stick (100 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into ~1/2 inch cubes
For the broccoli filling:
- 1 medium (or 2 small) broccoli heads, cut into bite-sized florets (3 - 4 cups of florets, ~250 g)
- 1 - 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper
For the "custard":
- 6 medium eggs
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) milk
- fresh thyme or other herbs of choice
- 3 1/2 oz (100 g) cheddar cheese, grated
For the gluten free pie crust:
- In a cup, mix together cold water and apple cider vinegar, and place them into the freezer until needed.
- Sift together the gluten free flour, coconut flour, xanthan gum and salt.
- Add the butter and toss it in the flour until all butter pieces are covered with it. Using your hands, pinch together the butter pieces and flour until you get a mix of fine pea-sized pieces and larger thumb-sized pieces.
- Add the ice cold water-vinegar mixture, 2 tbsp at a time, and mix the pie dough with a fork until it comes together. You will need 6 – 8 tbsp of water.The dough at the end should be slightly more damp/wet than typical pie crust because gluten free flour tends to absorb more moisture during baking, so we want to counteract that.
- Shape the pie dough into a disc (if needed, knead it slightly – but don't overwork it!), wrap it into cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
For the broccoli filling:
- Heat a skillet (with a lid) until hot, then add the olive oil, broccoli florets, a pinch of salt and a dash of water (this will create steam and cook the broccoli more evenly). Cover with a lid and let the broccoli cook for 2 - 3 minutes until slightly tender, but not soft.
- At this point, add the garlic to the broccoli, and cook uncovered for a further minute.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
For the "custard":
- Whisk together the eggs and milk until evenly combined, then add fresh thyme leaves and pepper. You don't need to add salt to the "custard", as the saltiness will come from the cheese.
Blind-baking the pastry:
- Pre-heat the oven to 390 ºF (200 ºC) with a baking tray inside. Get a 9 inch (23 cm) loose base round baking pan ready to have on hand.
- Roll out the chilled pie crust until it's 2 - 3 mm thin and at least 11 - 12 inches (28 - 30 cm) in diameter.
- Transfer the rolled-out pie crust into the baking pan, and arrange it so that it's snug with the base and sides. Cut off any excess pastry hanging off the edge – this is easiest by rolling a rolling pin over the top of the baking pan.
- Refrigerate the pie crust for at least 15 minutes, then prick the bottom with a fork and cover the pie crust with a piece of greaseproof/baking paper (this is easier if you first scrunch up the paper a few times) and fill it with baking beans or rice.
- Place the baking pan with the pie crust onto the hot baking tray, and blind bake at 390 ºF (200 ºC) for 10 minutes.
- Remove the pie crust from the oven, and reduce the oven temperature to 355 ºF (180 ºC). Remove the baking beans/rice and greaseproof/baking paper, prick the bottom of the pie crust again and return to the oven uncovered to bake for a further 6 minutes at 355 ºF (190 ºC).
- Remove from the oven. Arrange the broccoli in an even layer in the blind-baked pie crust, then sprinkle with the grated cheddar cheese and pour over the custard.
- Bake at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top and the middle no longer jiggles when you move the baking pan. During baking, the filling will puff up, but will fall and flatten out during cooling.
- Allow the quiche to cool in the baking pan for 5 - 10 minutes, then remove from the baking pan.
- Serve warm, with sides of choice. Enjoy!
Storage and reheating:
- The broccoli quiche is best eaten on the same day, but keeps well in a closed container in a cool, dry place until the next day.
- You can reheat the broccoli quiche in the oven (pre-heated at 355 ºF/180 ºC, for about 10 minutes) or in the microwave (about 1 - 2 minutes on medium-high setting).