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Crustless Quiche with Broccoli, Cheddar, and Mustard

Updated: 8/14/21 3:00 amPublished: 5/30/18
By Catherine Newman

Makes: 6 servings

Total carbohydrates: 10 grams per serving

Hands-on time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

The crustlessness of this quiche does double-duty: it eliminates the fussy, pain-in-the-neck part of quiche-making, and it turns the dish happily low-carb. The almond meal (which is a less-refined almond flour) adds a kind of visual and textural cue that there’s a crust—like eyebrows drawn on with a pencil—but you can totally skip it if you like. If this flavor combo isn’t your thing—or if you’ve got different vegetables languishing in your crisper drawer—feel free to make substitutions, keeping the vegetables to 2 cups (4 cups for leafy ones), and making sure to cook them a bit first so that they don’t give up too much liquid while the quiche is baking and make the custard watery. Other combinations that work well: spinach and feta with garlic and mint or dill; mushrooms and Swiss cheese with bacon and thyme; summer squash and corn with Monterey jack and cilantro.


Olive oil spray or olive oil

1 to 2 tablespoons almond meal or almond flour (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 cups broccoli (about 1 stalk), florets finely chopped and stem thinly sliced

1 teaspoon kosher salt (divided use) (or half as much table salt)

4 large eggs

2 cups half and half (or 1 cup each whole milk and cream or 2 cups whole milk)

1 tablespoon stoneground or grainy mustard (or Dijon)

The grated zest of ½ lemon

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces sharp cheddar, grated (just barely 2 cups)


  1. Heat the oven to 400 and grease a deep pie plate with olive oil spray (or olive oil and a paper towel). If you like, sprinkle in the almond meal and tip the pan to coat it (this will create the faint illusion of a crust), or skip this if you don’t have almond meal or don’t want to use it.

  2.  Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and sauté the onion until it’s tender and getting a little brown at the edges, around 10 minutes. Add the broccoli and ¼ teaspoon of the salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is browning and crisp-tender—another 8 minutes or so. The broccoli will cook more in the oven, but it needs to be most of the way done at this stage.  Leave it in the pan to cool a bit while you prepare the custard.

  3. Whisk together the eggs, half and half, remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, mustard, lemon zest, thyme, and black pepper. Stir in the grated cheese.

Tip the broccoli mixture into the pie plate and spread it out a bit. Pour the custard over it. Put the pie plate into the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the custard is golden and browning and just barely jiggles when you jiggle it. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold, with a crisp green salad.

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Last year they started the WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and are currently developing Seasoned, their senior version, commissioned by the AARP. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health and happiness at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]

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About the authors

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop... Read the full bio »