This light and fluffy Spinach Quiche recipe is a slight variation from the traditional quiche with pork, but it’s the perfect vegetarian swap.
The French have taken claim to the classic quiche recipe, but the origins are somewhat of a mystery with some claiming it’s from Germany and was adopted by the French, where it became very popular. Let’s just say it’s a classic European dish that feels somewhat opulent, even though it is much easier to make than you think.
It just needs a little prep work on the pastry, which can either be made the night before or you can put it in the freezer instead of the fridge if you’d like to speed the process up. The pastry has to be quite solid and hard (so very cold, but not frozen) before you start to roll it out. Alternatively, if you’re pushed for time you can buy a pre-rolled shortcrust pastry, just look out that it doesn’t contain palm oil (sustainable palm oil is fine).
What You’ll Need
- A pie crust either homemade using our shortcrust recipe or store bought
- Organic onion finely chopped: Brown onion would work better but you can also use red onion if that’s all you have
- Organic butter or vegan baking margirine: The butter or vegan margirine will add a nice and creamy flavour. It’s not essential but will add depth to the flavour
- Organic spinach fresh or frozen: Frozen spinach is a little easier as it’s already whilted and contain less water, but you can use fresh, just make sure that all the water is boiled away
- Pasture-raised eggs: Good qualtiy high welfare eggs are always the best way to go
- Organic, whole milk
- Comte cheese or vegetarian alternative
- Emmental cheese from a vegetarian brand
Choosing the Right Cheeses for your Spinach Quiche
The recipe below uses Comté and Emmental if you can’t find these you can use Gruyère as a substitute. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option you can use 100% Emmental, which are sometimes made as a vegetarian cheese. Learn more about vegetarian cheeses and the brand names they are sold under via this link. Alternatively using cheddar or mozzarella will provide a milder flavour but is still equally suitable.
A classic quiche can be served for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or an evening snack. You can also make a meal of it and serve with salads and veggies.
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Preparing the Quiche Shortcrust Pastry
If you’d like to make your own pastry, which I highly recommend you can find my homemade shortcrust recipe here. If you’re using a store-bought shortcrust just double the layers for pastry sheets, and roll until it’s big enough to fit the dish and start at step 3 below.
Step 1: Once the pastry has been chilled and is quite hard and rigid you can remove it from the fridge and place it on a floured and clean surface.
Step 2: Roll the pastry into a round shape – it doesn’t have to be perfect as you can see from mine – until it’s slightly larger than your pastry dish.
Step 3: Lift the pastry by rolling it over the rolling pin and positioning it over the pastry dish. Be careful not to break the dough during this step.
Step 4: Shape the pastry into the pastry dish, being careful not to stretch the pastry in any way.
Step 5: Remove the excess using a knife and prick the crust with a fork as shown. Then put it in the freezer for 10 mins or until it’s nice and solid again. Next, prepare your filling as below.
Blind Bake the Crust
For a true authentic crumbly crust, we’d recommend blind baking the pie crust. But if speed is more important then you can skip this step.
For blind baking, you’ll need to line the prepared base with baking or parchment paper. Once lined fill the base with baking beads, rice or flour to way the paper down. Bake at 210C/ 190C fan/ gas mark 7 for 10 minutes until the crust starts to brown, then take out of the oven and remove paper and beans. Lower the heat on the oven to 195C/175C fan/gas mark 5 and bake for another 15 minutes.
When blind baking the crust, it’s important to line the base with paper and fill the dish with baking beans rice or flour to weigh the crust down. If you skip this step the sides will collapse as the butter melts and you’ll end up with a bit of a mess – yes we speak from experience here!
Light and Fluffy Spinach Quiche
- 1 homemade shortcrust pie crust either use pre-made pastry or follow the recipe linked with the above pie crust instructions
- 1 small or medium-sized organic onion finely chopped
- 1 knob of organic butter
- 350 g fresh organic spinach, finely chopped or 280g frozen and thawed
- 4 organic, pasture-raised eggs
- 1 1/4 cups organic, whole milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 50 g grated organic Comte cheese or vegetarian alternative
- 50 g grated organic Emmental cheese from a vegetarian brand
Prepare the Pastry
- Roll out the chilled shortcrust pastry, either made from the linked recipe or an organic palm oil free shop-bought version if you choose. Make sure the pastry is roughly 5 cm larger than your chosen tin. Use the rolling pin to lift your pastry over the tin and gently form the pastry without stretching it.
- Once formed, use the rolling pin to roll over the tin, removing any excess pastry. Then prick the pastry with a fork and put back in the fridge for 15 min while you prepare the filling.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6
Prepare the Filling
- Gently soften the onion with a bit of butter over medium heat and set aside.
- Add the fresh spinach to a saucepan and simmer until it's wilted. Then drain well in a colander and let it rest in the freezer.
- Mix the egg, milk, salt and nutmeg until combined in a bowl.
Fill the Quiche
- Now fill the pie crust by add the onion, then the cheese and then the spinach. Lastly, slowly add the egg mixture until the crust is completely filled.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Cooking times may vary between ovens.