Creamy Zucchini Quiche is different from most quiche recipes you’re used to. The custard in this recipe requires mostly cream cheese and only one egg plus two egg yolks, and a small amount of cream- rather than several eggs. The end result is deliciously smooth and richly creamy- with a secret ingredient for one of the the best quiche recipes I’ve ever made.
Creamy Zucchini Quiche is my new obsession for something so delicious, so easy, and so versatile that I’ve probably made it over a dozen times just in the last month. Quiche, in general, is great for every meal of the day- fresh out of the oven or reheated- always fabulous. And quiche can be frozen to have on hand later (if you do it right- I’ll explain later), or for giving to a friend who can use a little help with a meal. But THIS quiche recipe has been deemed by many of my testers as “the best quiche I’ve ever had”. So, if you haven’t already hit the “Jump To Recipe” button, here are the details:
I love vintage cookbooks for recipe inspiration and my latest find is The American Country Inn and Bed & Breakfast Cookbook. This book is so fun (copyright 1987), with a ton of unique recipes from Bed and Breakfasts from every state in the country. My original Peach Kuchen recipe came from Volume 2 of the same title. But when I came across The Heartstone Inn’s recipe for Delicious Creamy Zucchini Quiche I was skeptical. Skeptical because it only uses one egg and two egg yolks in the recipe. Most of the “creamy” part of the custard is achieved with eight ounces of cream cheese and a little heavy cream. All of the quiche recipes I’ve tried before contain nearly half a dozen eggs! And I almost baulked at the thought, but since I love recipes that are not the norm, I finally dove in. And now?… I never want to make a quiche any other way.
The original recipe used zucchini and sautéed mushrooms, which is fantastic! But being as it’s summer as I’m writing this, I decided to try replacing corn for the mushrooms. The corn version was super fresh, super summer’y, and a bit simpler without the extra step of precooking one of the ingredients before final assembly. I give you instructions for making the zucchini and mushroom version as well, so you can choose which you want, or make both.
Let me also share that though I’ve made several homemade pie crusts in my time, I’m not consistently good at it, so I purchase Marie Callender’s frozen pastry crust, which I find delicious, flaky, and with a nice edge. Plus, using a pre made pie crust saves even more time in the preparing of the quiche. Also, since frozen pie crusts often come in packages of two, I find myself usually doubling the filling ingredients and make two quiches at the same time.
Another way that this quiche recipe is different from any other is, before par baking the crust, brush a generous two tablespoons of Dijon mustard on the bottom of the crust. This.is.genius! And me not being a genius, I forgot to take a picture of the crust with the mustard to show you. Seriously, just that little tang of the mustard in every bite is surprising but right. Don’t skip it, you’re going to love it.
Can you freeze quiche?
There are a few thoughts on whether you can freeze quiche or not. If you want to freeze a quiche, doing so before baking is the preferred method. But you’ll need to make sure to use a pie plate that’s pretty deep, especially for this recipe. The regular Marie Callender’s pie plate you see in my photos is not deep enough to be able to freeze the uncooked quiche. You can easily, but carefully, remove the frozen crust from its original container and place it in a deep dish pie plate. Then par bake the crust in the new dish, add your ingredients, and cover first with plastic wrap (I would cover with a couple layers to get the air tight seal), then wrap in aluminum foil. Place the quiche on an even shelf in the freezer until frozen, then you can store it anywhere you need to in the freezer. Unbaked quiche can be frozen for two months before baking.
What about freezing quiche after it’s been baked? This isn’t the method most experts recommend as frozen egg can change its texture, and the crust may not bake up crisp when reheated. That being said, I have frozen this particular recipe after baking and when defrosted and reheated, it was as good as fresh-baked. I think because there aren’t a lot of eggs in this particular quiche, you could freeze with confidence.
How to reheat quiche:
Refrigerated leftovers- If reheating a whole quiche (or nearly whole) from the fridge, simply preheat your oven to 350F degrees and place the quiche on a baking sheet in the middle of the oven. Bake until the center temperature registers 165F degrees. This can take about 30 minutes. If you’re only reheating single slices, you can still use this method, however, I’ve reheated slices in my microwave with excellent results. Even the crust remains delicious- the secret is not to reheat on full power. Depending on your microwave, you can usually cook the slice on power 6 for one minute and then heat an additional 20 or 30 seconds (if needed) at power 8. Once you see the custard melty and hear mild sizzling, your quiche should be heated as needed.
When par baking your pie crust, sometimes you’ll get a hole or crack even with the most conscientious prepping. I find that for this quiche, if that happens…
…just cover the damage with a bit of the cheese that goes into the custard. As the cheese melts during baking, it’ll create a stop so that the egg mixture doesn’t seep through and end up on the underside of the crust.
The photo above is of two Creamy Zucchini Quiches with corn, fresh out of the oven. You’ll see that the printable recipe seems quite long but don’t let that deter you. I give instructions for making the quiche with corn as well as with sautéed mushrooms, and I offer all the tricks I learned as I made and modified the original recipe after making it so many times. The original recipe uses three cups zucchini and I found that if I reduce the amount to one cup, the custard and corn (or mushrooms) get a better representation and the texture is nice and fluffy. The quiche was still plenty deep to make generous servings. I also changed or simplified some of the steps along the way.
Ingredients in Creamy Zucchini Quiche:
The star players in this quiche are: Dijon mustard that gets brushed onto the bottom of the crust and then baked in; Monterey Jack cheese, super smooth, melty, and creamy tasting; A full 8 ounces of cream cheese as the star of the custard bringing the flavor to a rich and creamy taste; Zucchini makes any recipe extra moist and we all loved the texture from the grated squash- just make sure to drain and squeeze out the extra moisture from the zucchini before adding to the quiche; and as far as whether we preferred corn over mushrooms in the quiche, both are delicious and different- I would just make your preference.
Creamy Zucchini Quiche is a great vegetarian recipe, but you can really change up any of the ingredients to your liking. Replace the corn or mushrooms with bacon or ham, or actually add meat in with the corn and mushrooms. I recommend about of cup of either. The Monterey Jack cheese is so delicious but if you prefer the traditional Swiss cheese commonly used in many quiche recipes, you can certainly do that too. If you’re serving the quiche for brunch, serve with usual breakfast sides like hash brown potatoes, sausage or strips of bacon and fresh fruit. For a pretty presentation, you can serve on a bed of spinach which is a departure from the spinach usually being baked into the quiche.
Give this recipe a try the next time you want a quiche recipe that comes together easily and is sure to impress. Again, I highly recommend doubling the ingredients and filling two pies. Save one for later or share with a friend. For a nice dinner, Creamy Zucchini Quiche is hearty enough to be served with a simple side salad or favorite vegetable.
Creamy Zucchini Quiche
- 1 9 ½-10" unbaked pie crust store-bought or homemade
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 cup grated zucchini squash
- ½ cup corn fresh or previously frozen
- 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese grated and divided, 8 oz. before grating
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ cup whipping cream or heavy cream, room temperature
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp salt
- black pepper to taste
Prepare the pie crust and par bake it
- If using a store-bought frozen pie crust, bring to room temperature while preheating your oven to 425F°. If using homemade pie crust, prepare the crust in the pie plate and flute the top. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork to prevent crust from rising during baking. Brush the dijon mustard over the bottom of the pie crust. Place the pie crust in the oven, directly on the center rack. Bake the pie crust for about 8-10 minutes until the crust is barely browned. Remove the pie crust to cool and immediately lower the oven temperature to 350F°
Prepare the filling and bake the quiche
- While the Pie crust is par baking, place grated zucchini in a colander or sieve, sprinkle with salt, about ½ teaspoon, tossing the zucchini so the salt is mixed in. Let the zucchini soak for at least 5 minutes and up to whenever you're ready to add it to the pie crust to release some of the moisture. While the zucchini is resting, prepare the other ingredients if you haven't already; cut the corn from the cob and grate the Monterey Jack cheese.
- Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer, or medium bowl if using hand beaters. Beat on medium until smooth. Add the cream, egg yolks, and egg, beating between each addition. Add ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste. Scrape down the bowl and beat again on medium for about 30 seconds. If you still have tiny pieces of cream cheese that won't smooth, no worries.
- Squeeze the grated zucchini with your hands to remove excess moisture. You can also place the zucchini on a triple layer of paper towel and roll it up tightly to remove moisture (you can do both!). Set aside.
- Place the cooled pie crust on a baking sheet. Sprinkle one cup of Monterey Jack cheese over the bottom of the pie crust (see notes below if there are any holes in your baked crust), then add the corn, distributing evenly. Now add the zucchini, separating and fluffing with your fingers. Slowly pour the cream cheese/egg mixture over the zucchini. This will make the crust very full, but not to worry, that's expected. Sprinkle the last one cup of Monterey Jack cheese over the quiche. Grind some extra black pepper over the top of the cheese. You can add some very thin slices of zucchini around the top for a pretty presentation and a few extra kernels of corn, if you wish. If you want the pie crust edges to shine, brush a tiny bit of the cream cheese/egg mixture on the top, either with a pastry brush or your fingers.
- Carefully place the baking dish with the quiche in the oven (the oven should be at the new temperature of 350F°) and bake for 45 minutes. After about 30 minutes, start checking the quiche and if the crust or top seems to be getting browned too quickly, place some aluminum foil over the quiche to slow the browning.
- After 45 minutes, check the quiche for doneness by jiggling the baking sheet and if the filling is puffed and golden, with just a little movement in the center, insert a knife in the center. It should come out pretty clean except for the melted cheese. If you did cover your quiche with aluminum foil, it may not be quite done. If more time is needed, return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Even if the top of the quiche becomes very brown, it's still delicious.
- Remove the quiche to the stove top and let cool until the top evens out a bit, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately, or cool to room temperature and refrigerate to serve later.
How to reheat leftover quiche
- Oven method- Remove the quiche from the fridge and let sit out for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325F° and bake on the center rack until internal temperature reaches 165F°, about 30 minutes, depending on your oven.
- Microwave method- This method is a bit more tedious, but you may reheat individual servings of quiche in a microwave by first heating for one minute on powder 8. Then heat an addition 45 seconds on full power until the quiche is mildly sizzling. Some may be concerned that the crust will become soggy. I've used this method dozens of times and the crust remains perfect.
Freezing or refrigerating leftover quiche
- Leftover quiche can be refrigerated up to 3 days or covered well with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and frozen for a month. Make sure the quiche is completely cooled before covering to freeze. To reheat frozen quiche, allow to sit out until not frozen, then proceed with the heating methods above.
Instructions for replacing corn with sautéed mushrooms in this recipe
- Thinly slice about 8 good-sized white mushrooms (you'll want about ½ cup or so after they've cooked down). Add 1 tablespoon butter to a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and stir into the butter. Add a dash of salt to help the mushrooms release their liquid, then stir and continue to saute in the pan until nicely browned. Transfer the mushrooms to a paper towel to absorb some of the excess butter, then add the mushrooms to the quiche in place of the corn (after the bottom layer of cheese). Or you may absolutely add mushrooms and corn with the zucchini! Continue layering and bake as otherwise instructed above.
- Mustard- When brushing the mustard over the pie crust bottom, you may be generous with the mustard. It adds a nice tang to the flavor of the quiche without overpowering.
- If the crust rises during baking- After removing from the oven, gently and slowly, using a rubber spatula, push the crust back to shape in the pan.
- If the crust breaks during baking- Cover the hole with some of the Monterey Jack cheese before layering the rest of the ingredients and the cheese will help keep everything in the crust as it melts during baking.
- Par baking the pie crust- The time for pre-baking your pie crust will vary depending on if using a store-bought (previously frozen) or homemade crust. I've found that the Marie Callendar frozen pie crust is perfect at 9 minutes for my oven.
- Bringing cream cheese to room temperature- To quickly bring the cream cheese to room temperature, either leave out on the counter for about an hour, depending on the temperature in your kitchen, or you can quickly soften it by placing on a dish in the microwave and heating for 2 minutes on power 2.
- If the cream cheese is lumpy- If you forget to bring the cream to room temperature, it may make your cream cheese clump up a big when they're beat together. This is perfectly fine. The cream cheese will melt smoothly as it bakes.
Recipe adapted from The Heartstone Inn, Eureka Springs, AR