An easy-to-make cornmeal crust really elevates this simple spinach quiche. You may never go back to a regular pie crust.
Why you’ll love it: Although a quiche may sound fussy, it’s really a very easy main dish that is suitable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s great reheated, too.
How long it takes: Just over an hour
Equipment you’ll need: medium-sized bowl, pie dish
Servings: 6 to 8
My mom always made a spinach quiche really similar to this recipe when we were having a “breakfast for dinner” type meal. I don’t recall ever having quiche for breakfast but I know it appeared at many brunch occasions.
I have such fond memories of eating this spinach quiche. I think it was my mom’s go-to recipe when she didn’t have meat thawed out, or if it was getting toward the end of the week before she grocery shopped. If mom didn’t happen to have Swiss cheese in the fridge, she’d use whatever she had on hand.
What I particularly love about this quiche recipe is the cornmeal crust. You really have to try it to know what I’m talking about. Because the (very forgiving) pastry is made with a combination of flour and cornmeal, the crust has a crunchier texture and doesn’t taste as rich as regular pastry.
The cornmeal pastry, along with lots of fresh green spinach, creamy Swiss cheese, and a rich egg filling, makes a memorably delicious quiche. It’s basically a dream come true in a pie pan.
About this spinach quiche
- The pastry is easy to roll out. If you’re like me, you don’t like to spend time fussing with tricky pastry. That’s one of the reasons why you’ll love this quiche recipe. If it falls apart a little, or a hole appears where isn’t supposed to be, or it isn’t centered quite right, no problem. The consistency of the pastry dough is a bit like homemade play-dough. It’s easy to press out and squish together any problem areas. Bonus: It doesn’t need to be chilled before rolling it out.
- Quiche is a (fairly) healthy vegetarian meal. With lots of eggs, cheese, and milk, quiche is high in protein and calcium. The spinach adds lots of veggie power. A slice of this quiche runs about 326 calories (but I admit, we usually eat 2 slices).
- This recipe is easy to adapt to your family’s preferences. Don’t care for spinach? Try broccoli or asparagus. Not a fan of Swiss cheese? Cheddar is great. Like bacon or ham in your quiche? Go for it.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Be sure to refer to the recipe card below for specific measurements, complete instructions, and nutrition information.
- Cornmeal: Choose regular grind all-purpose yellow cornmeal. It’s usually found near the baking supplies and often used to make cornbread or cornbread muffins.
- All-Purpose Flour: Combining the cornmeal with flour keeps the pastry from becoming too crumbly and difficult to work with.
- Butter: It’s best to use unsalted (sweet) butter when you bake. The butter should be chilled; leave it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
- Eggs: Four large eggs are the foundation of the creamy custard filling. They are nutritious and delicious.
- Milk: Although you can use low fat milk, whole milk or 2% will give you the best results.
- Swiss Cheese: Shred your own for the best flavor and texture. Pre-shredded cheese has anti-clumping additives that inhibit melting. You’ll mix the shredded cheese with a couple tablespoons of flour to keep the cheese from sinking to the bottom.
- Spinach: There are two options you can choose from. Use fresh baby spinach leaves and sauté them briefly or use a package of frozen spinach, thawed. Personally, I think the fresh spinach has better flavor than frozen.
- Nutmeg, Salt, Pepper: Simple pantry seasonings that really enhance the flavor of the quiche.
How To Make Spinach Quiche
Make the pastry. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, and salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Sprinkle in the water while tossing the mixture with a fork. You may not need it all. Once the pastry dough holds together and begins to form a ball, use your hands to gather it together and shape a firm ball.
Roll the pastry out. Place the pastry ball on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle it with additional flour. Roll out the pastry with a rolling pin until it’s the right size for your pie plate. Fold the round in half and gently place it in the pie dish; unfold and position. Crimp around the edges to form a decorative (or not) edge.
Arrange the spinach in the crust. It’s important that the spinach is somewhat cooled off before you add it to the crust. Be sure all the liquid has been pressed out.
Add cheese. In the same bowl you used to make the crust, toss the shredded cheese with a couple tablespoons of flour. Evenly spread the cheese/flour mixture over the spinach.
Make filling. Once again in the same bowl (easy clean-up!), whisk the eggs until they are blended. Add the milk and seasonings. Whisk well to combine. Pour the egg mixture into the pie pan.
Bake. Carefully transfer the quiche into a preheated oven on the center rack. Bake until the quiche tests done. Bake time depends a bit on the size of your pie dish. If your quiche is shallower, it will need less time to bake.
Serve. Allow the quiche to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing it. It can be served warm, room temperature, or even cold.
How To Tell If A Quiche Is Done
To test if your quiche is done, insert a knife in the center. It should come out clean. The quiche may look a bit wobbly in the center but it will continue to set as it cools. Ideally, it should cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
What To Serve With Quiche
Muffins and breads are always a good idea. I have many muffin and quick bread recipes. Triple chocolate banana muffins are always a hit and my apple cinnamon muffins are perfectly yummy, too. Try my snickerdoodle bread with layers of fragrant cinnamon or pumpkin struesel bread.
If you’re looking to add meat to the menu, cook up a batch of bacon or sausages. Baked bacon and air fryer bacon are easy options. Did you know it’s very easy to make your own breakfast sausage patties? Try pork and apple sausage with tender bits of shredded apple and fragrant spices.
Often the crust is pre-baked to avoid a soggy crust. It’s just not necessary with this recipe though. The quiche is started out with the oven at a higher temperature and then the oven is turned down for the remaining time. The crust turns out perfectly crisp.
Yes, using milk is a good way to cut down on fat and calories. I like to use whole milk but 2% works fine, too. The quiche will still be rich and creamy.
It’s probably a bit overcooked. If the eggs cook too long, the proteins bind together, leaving a watery substance. Another possible factor is that the vegetable you added contributed excess moisture, especially if it wasn’t drained well.
More Quiche Ideas and Recipes
- Use a different veggie. Change it up with broccoli, Swiss chard, asparagus, sautéed mushrooms, even corn.
- Add meat. Substitute bacon, diced ham, or sausage for the veggies.
- Sub in a different kind of cheese. Pretty much anything goes here. Use what you happen to have or experiment with different cheeses for unique flavor variations.
- Broccoli quiche: If you’re loving this cornmeal crust, make sure to check out my roasted broccoli quiche. It’s one of my favorites — I’m addicted to roasted broccoli.
- Gluten-free crust/no crust: My second favorite quiche crust, a gluten-free alternative, is made with layered sweet potatoes in this bacon and cheddar quiche with sweet potato crust. So yummy! We also really love this crustless quiche.
Make Ahead Ideas
- Make the crust: The cornmeal crust can be made up to a day ahead. Either refrigerate it as a ball in a plastic bag or roll it out, put it into the pie pan, cover and refrigerate.
- Prep the filling ingredients: Shred the cheese ahead of time, too. You can even cook the spinach ahead of time. It will be a breeze to get this quiche in the oven!
Storage & Reheating Tips
- Refrigerate: Let the quiche come to room temperature before covering it. Leftover quiche can be stored in the fridge for up to four days.
- Freeze: Freeze individual slices of quiche in freezer-safe containers for up to three months. Perfect for a quick meal when you don’t have time to cook!
- Reheat: Spinach quiche is really great reheated in the microwave (15 second intervals). Don’t overheat it; it seems to heat up rather more quickly than you would anticipate.
For the Crust
- ½ cup cornmeal
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Combine cornmeal, ¾ cup flour, and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium sized bowl. Cut in cold butter, using a fork or pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle water in while tossing the mixture with a fork, and continue to stir lightly until dough can be shaped into a ball.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Fit loosely into a 9-inch pie pan (see note), fluting edges. Don’t worry if the crust falls apart a bit. Just patch up any holes with extra dough. Put the pie pan in the freezer while you prep the spinach and grate the cheese.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat a tablespoon of water and sauté spinach until wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain spinach well, pressing out excess liquid. Cool slightly before spreading it evenly over the bottom of the crust.
- In the same bowl you used for the pie dough, toss cheese with 2 tablespoons flour. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the spinach.
- In the same bowl, lightly whisk eggs until blended. Add milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; whisk to combine. Pour egg mixture into crust.
- Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350°F and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and set in the middle. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Quiche can be served warm, room temperature or cold.
- Let the quiche cool for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges. Quiche can be served warm, room temperature or cold.
- A 10 oz. package of frozen spinach can be substituted for the fresh spinach. Thaw completely. Press out excess liquid before adding to crust.
- If desired, substitute a different vegetable for the spinach, or add ham, bacon, or crumbled sausage.
- For best results, use a clear glass or metal pie dish rather than a ceramic pie dish.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.