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A cheesy quiche loaded with veggies, baked in a low-carb, gluten free, and deliciously seasoned cauliflower crust.
Many years ago, I was dying to try out this cauliflower pizza crust I had seen all over the place.
Being a baker, my brain constantly thinks in recipes– my bookmarks, notes in my phone, and scribbles in the margins of my planner are filled to the brim with recipe titles and ideas (real life Pinterest, over here).
My brain is also constantly thinking in indoor cycling songs and workout playlists, but that’s a completely different problem I have.
While pizza toppings never quite made it onto my cauliflower pizza crust, turning that crust into the bottom layer of a quiche turned out to be one of the best blogging decisions I ever made.
In fact, just 2 months after I originally published this post, Huffington Post picked it up and plopped it into a roundup of recipes using cauliflower in unconventional ways.
Needless to say, this post has gotten so much traffic over the years from that post, so, in turn, it has received some pretty great reviews from folks who have made it.
I thought that six years later was a good time to finally update the post with fresh photos and an updated, clearer set of instructions.
The same great recipe, just easier to understand!
I have written before that I adore savory breakfast.
Give me sausage, egg, and cheese on a biscuit or an everything bagel, you can keep your pastries and French toast (except these sourdough cinnamon rolls can stay… Mmmkay?).
If you aren’t interested in the cauliflower crust, you may certainly bake this in a store bought pie crust, my favorite homemade pie crust, or go with one of my tried and true methods and leave it crustless.
Just skip the part about the crust and head over to the guts and glory, but if I were you, I would give this a try.
It really surprised me, not only that it was fairly easy to make, but that it gave a really good flavor and texture to the quiche overall.
WHAT YOU NEED FOR A GREAT CAULIFLOWER CRUST
All you need for the crust is
•a large head of cauliflower
•some grated Parmesan
•and some spices
Good news– you need all of that (minus the cauliflower) for the quiche, so you might as well go all out and try something new.
You’re going to cut up your cauliflower, removing all of the stems and working with just the florets, and pulse all of it in your food processor (this is the food processor we own and love) until it resembles cornmeal.
After processing, you should have about 2 cups of “cauli-flour” (I crack myself up).
Throw this mixture into a microwave safe container, and cook it in the microwave for 5 minutes (no need to add water).
After it’s done cooking, try to get over the fact that it smells like you-know-what, and let it cool for at least 10 minutes.
Trust me, you don’t want to leave this part out, because the next step involves squeezing out all of the excess water, and you don’t want hot lava pouring down your hands and arms (not that I know this from experience, I am super patient and always wait the entire 10 minutes before I start squeezing…).
While you’re waiting for the cauliflower to cool, blend your cheese, egg, and spices, and maybe start chopping up the vegetables for the quiche filling.
SQUEEZE OUT ALL THE MOISTURE
Once your cauliflower is cool, ball it up in a strong kitchen towel and squeeze like you’ve never squeezed before. There will be a ton of water in that bad boy… Seriously, a ton.
And when you think you’re finally done squeezing, squeeze some more, because you’re not. You want absolutely zero liquid left in your cauliflower crust.
Once it’s all dried up, throw it in with your egg mixture and get your hands in there (or a spatula) to mix it all together. From there, you can sort of flatten it and put it right into your pie dish, spreading it out evenly like you would a pie crust.
Once it’s all in, bake it for about 15-20 minutes, or until the edges brown and the overall color is browning as well.
While my crust baked, I started to sauté my vegetables (seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper).
ALL THE VEGGIES!
For this recipe, I used frozen chopped spinach. I went this route because
1) it’s easier than sweating down a bunch of spinach
2) it’s already chopped and
3) it comes in a 10oz block which was the perfect amount I needed for my quiche.
Just make sure that once your spinach is defrosted, you squeeze out the water just like you did with your cauliflower (again, make sure it’s cool enough for you to do so if you thawed it in the microwave).
After all of the vegetables are cooked, it’s time to whip up the simple spinach and vegetable mixture, layer it in the bottom of the baked cauliflower pie crust, and sprinkle the cheese right on top of that layer.
For my cheese, I like to shred my own off the block and use a creamy blend of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack.
The eggs, milk, salt, and pepper get whisked together in a bowl and then evenly poured on top of the cheese mixture.
Although we typically dig right in once it’s finished baking, we find the best taste to be after it has settled a bit in the fridge. The flavors marinate together better and, surprisingly, the crust gets crustier.
PERFECT FOR ANY MEAL
This quiche is the perfect breakfast, although if we’re being honest, we have had it for lunch AND dinner. So it never lasts long in our house!
The quiche itself is perfectly cheesy, speckled with sweet vegetables, and blends nicely with the boldly seasoned cauliflower crust (which taste-testers can usually tell is different, but aren’t exactly sure in what way, and still delicious).
Change up your vegetables, play around with your cheeses, but certainly do not be intimidated by this “crust.” It might surprise you and your next breakfast guests!
If you’re interested in any other recipes that would go nicely with this low carb crust for quiche, check out any of the following quiche recipes on my blog:
•crustless mushroom & tarragon quiche
•crustless caprese quiche
BONUS: this is actually a keto cauliflower pie crust, so if you’re looking for one of those, BINGO!
Plus, it’s lasted the test of time here at FAF. And I don’t think it’s going anywhere any time soon!
Cheesy Vegetable Quiche with Cauliflower Crust
- 1 medium head of cauliflower
- ½ cup (45g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 10-ounce package (283g) frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained
- 1 large bell pepper chopped
- ½ of a yellow onion chopped; about ⅓ cup
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 4 large eggs
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 cup (240g) milk any
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 ounces (114g) shredded cheese
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF (232ºC). Spray an 8″ or 9″ pie dish with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Cut cauliflower into pieces, removing as much stem as possible and keeping the florets. Rinse the florets in a colander, place in a food processor, and pulse florets until they resemble corn meal.
- Place processed cauliflower in a medium size microwave safe bowl and cook in the microwave on high for 5 minutes. Remove from microwave, set aside, and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- After cauliflower has cooled, use a strong kitchen towel to wring out all of the moisture. I will sometimes use two different towels separately to get out as much moisture as possible. Transfer dry cauliflower back to bowl.
- In a small bowl, blend together Parmesan cheese, egg, and spices. Add to cooled cauliflower and mix together with a spatula or your hands.
- Transfer cauliflower to pie dish, smoothing it out with your hands, making sure to spread it evenly to cover the bottom and the sides of the dish.
- Bake crust for 15-20 minutes until edges are brown and overall crust starts browning. Allow to cool on wire rack while you prepare the filling.
- Decrease the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Blot or squeeze out as much moisture as you can from your thawed spinach. If you heated your spinach to thaw it, make sure it is cool enough to handle. Put dry spinach in a large bowl and set aside.
- Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Cook mixture for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, or until tender. Spoon the cooked vegetables into the bowl with the spinach. Stir to combine and allow to cool.
- In a medium size bowl, preferably with a spout, whisk the eggs, egg whites, milk, salt, and pepper until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
- Spoon spinach and vegetable mixture into cauliflower crust, top with shredded cheese, and pour the egg mixture evenly on top of cheese layer. Place a pie shield or foil around the exposed crust to prevent from burning.
- Bake quiche for 40-42 minutes or until filling is set. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before serving. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator up to 4 days, or in the freezer up to 2 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight and bake at 350°F (177ºC) until warmed through, about 25 minutes.
Love quiche? Try my Crustless Caprese Quiche next!
Need some sweet go to with your savory? Try Cinnamon Chip Scones with your quiche!
Or maybe you want a sweet yet still healthy addition to your breakfast…