Crustless Broccoli Quiche

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Crustless broccoli quiche is the perfect low-carb breakfast to start your day! The recipe is easy, and sauteing the veggies adds tons of flavor that complement the creamy custard filling.

serving a slice of crustless broccoli quiche
Table of Contents
  1. Broccoli preparation
  2. Crustless quiche vs. frittata
  3. Cheese selection
  4. Saute the vegetables for better flavor
  5. How to make the egg custard filling
  6. Layer the ingredients
  7. The importance of baking temperature 
  8. Serve this with
  9. Crustless Broccoli Quiche Recipe

Who says eating your veggies has to be boring? This crustless broccoli and cheddar quiche is delicious and easy to share. It also makes for effortless morning meal prep. For maximum flavor, I season and saute the vegetables before baking with the eggs.

Without the structure of a pie crust shell, I designed the recipe so that the egg mixture would be firm enough to cut into slices but tender in texture. Shreds of cheddar cheese melt and infuse its flavor into the dish for a tasty breakfast or brunch.

broccoli florets and red onions sautéing in a skillet

Broccoli preparation

I use fresh broccoli and cut the florets down into small pieces, about ¾-inch in size. Bite-sized chunks cook quickly and are easier to eat. You can use frozen broccoli, however, make sure to defrost and shake off as much moisture as possible. They are typically blanched (partially cooked) before freezing, so their texture will be softer than fresh.

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Crustless quiche vs. frittata

Both are similar in that they use a savory egg base to create a sliceable structure. Quiche usually contains dairy products like cream or milk for a smooth souffle-like texture, whereas frittatas may not. Quiche typically bakes in a pie dish, while the frittata ingredients cook and bake in the same skillet.

Cheese selection

Use sharp cheddar cheese to add more depth in flavor. The additional aging yields a slightly tangier and complex taste. The shreds melt and help bind the ingredients together. Other cheeses like low moisture mozzarella, gruyere, Monterey jack, swiss, or smoked gouda are great alternatives to switch things up.

Saute the vegetables for better flavor

Sauteing diced red onions add slightly sweet caramelized flavors to the quiche. The chopped broccoli florets also briefly cook using the dry heat method to promote light browning on the surface for a better taste.

Seasoning it with salt helps to draw out the moisture so that it doesn’t dilute the egg mixture or make it watery. Sauteing the minced garlic at the end of cooking adds a burst of savory aromatics to the filling.

How to make the egg custard filling

To make a sturdy, yet tender base, use a higher ratio of eggs to cream and milk. I find that for every ½ cup of liquid, use 2 ½ large eggs. This combination is more than double the amount typically used in a traditional quiche with a pie crust. With no crust, you have to increase the amount of egg proteins for structure. For a simple seasoning, whisk in salt, black pepper, and grated nutmeg.

cooked quiche cooling on a wire rack

Layer the ingredients

Use a greased 9-inch pie plate for baking. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese, top with the warm broccoli mixture, then the remaining cheese. This procedure ensures that the ingredients distribute evenly. Pour the egg mixture over the top, then allow the liquid to seep in between components and down to the baking dish’s bottom. I like to use a fork to move the ingredients around to help the custard settle.

The importance of baking temperature 

Use a moderate oven temperature of 350-degrees to bake the quiche. The egg proteins start to quickly cook once it reaches the coagulation temperature of 144ºF (62ºC). However, the milk’s fat coats the egg proteins and creates tiny buffers that prevent the curds from binding too tightly together.

You don’t want the edges to cook too fast. Otherwise, they’ll dry out before the center firms up. The gentle temperature will create a smooth custard consistency. I let the dish cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving to complete carryover cooking. 

Serve this with

slice of crustless quiche on a white plate

Use two types of dairy in the custard

Equal amounts of heavy cream and whole milk add just the right amount of milkfat to keep a creamy texture in the custard without tasting too rich. Combined, there is about 20% fat to create a smooth egg mixture. You can substitute half-and-half, but it has a slightly lower amount of fat, about 18%.

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Crustless Broccoli Quiche

Crustless broccoli quiche is the perfect low-carb breakfast to start your day! The recipe is easy and makes for effortless morning meal prep.
Pin Print Review
4.7 from 13 votes
Servings 8 servings
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup diced red onions, ¼-inch dice
  • 3 cups broccoli florets, about ¾-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, packed
  • 5 large eggs
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions 

  • Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat to 350°F (177°C).
  • Grease a 9-inch pie dish with baking spray or brush with olive oil.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broccoli and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, saute until lightly browned and tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, saute until fragrant, 30 seconds. Turn the heat off.
  • Evenly sprinkle half of the cheddar cheese into the greased pie dish. Top with the sauteed broccoli mixture, followed by the remaining cheese.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, whole milk, ½ teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the pie dish, allowing it to settle around the ingredients and to the bottom. Use a fork to move the ingredients to help the custard settle. Sprinkle the surface with some black pepper.
  • Bake the quiche on top of a sheet pan in the middle of the oven until the surface is lightly golden brown, the center is just set, and the edges slightly puffy, about 30 to 35 minutes. The temperature should be about 190 to 195ºF (88 to 91ºC) in the center and about 195 to 200ºF (91 to 93ºC) on the edges.
  • Cool on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Slice or cool completely, cover, and refrigerate to serve the next day.

Notes

  • Storing: Store pieces in an airtight container for up to 7 days. To freeze, Individually wrap the slices, then store them in a resealable bag for up to 30 days. 
  • Reheating: Reheat individual slices in the microwave at 15 to 30 seconds intervals on high power until warmed through.

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Nutrition Facts
Crustless Broccoli Quiche
Amount Per Serving
Calories 195 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 153mg51%
Sodium 447mg19%
Potassium 215mg6%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 767IU15%
Vitamin C 32mg39%
Calcium 166mg17%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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2 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Melanie says

    This was sooo good…perfect for a summer meal. We did have to cook it about 20 minutes longer than indicated in the recipe, but that’s probably because I didn’t do a great job of whisking the eggs well in the liquid mixture and had a couple of eggy white spots that needed more cooking time. So basically user error…only mentioning this so that people don’t make the same mistake as me. I appreciated Jessica including the temperature of when the quiche was done…makes it so completely fool proof! Perfect for a novice cook such as myself.

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