Monday Meals: Crustless Quiche

What a Monday! It’s 88-degrees here in Seattle today. To call it unseasonably warm would be an understatement. I expect drizzle and maybe 60-degrees, if we’re lucky, at this time of year.

On days like this, I’d rather not turn on the oven, but I promised a quiche for tomorrow’s “breakfast for lunch” (aka second breakfast) potluck at my office. It’s super easy, but it does require browning bacon, and must bake at 350 for 45 minutes. So, I did what any good, red-blooded American would do – I fired up the AC and went to work.

My recipe is based on Budget Bytes’ popular Spinach and Mushroom Crustless Quiche that you’ve likely seen all over Pinterest. However, I’m not a fan of mushrooms, and who doesn’t love bacon?!? (Apologies to all of my vegan friends on that one. Of course, I realize that I probably already lost you at quiche.) I’ve made a modified version many times and seem to land back at spinach, bacon, and cheese…omitting the feta, because my tastebuds don’t enjoy that as much with the bacon, and upping the mozzarella and parmesan instead.

I recommend starting with the bacon so that it can cool a bit while you pull the rest together. (True confession: I have also been known to order extra bacon when dining out to incorporate in this dish the next day. I’ve also spotted some fancy bacon bits at Whole Foods that would totally do the trick. Shh…) The type of bacon you choose is also up to you. I opted for a lovely peppered bacon.

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My preference is to chop the bacon before cooking, but you can absolutely cook the bacon and then crumble. I find that this is a faster method for me, but it all ends up looking the same in the end.

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Brown in a nonstick skillet until crispy – the crispier the better for this dish, since it will be cooking in eggs and you don’t want it to be mushy. I get the best results by removing the cooked bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and cooling on a paper towel to drain any remaining grease. Six thick-cut slices cooked down to about a third of a cup, which is plenty to give it that salty (and, in this case, peppery) punch.

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While you wait for it to cool, start thawing your spinach. I use frozen spinach for ease, but you could certainly sautée fresh spinach. One of those little 10 oz. boxes is the perfect amount, but I had a larger bag on hand. Four cups frozen thawed to two cups – also  perfect. Make sure to drain any excess water to prevent your quiche from being too watery to set.

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While the spinach thaws, crack four eggs into a bowl and mix with a cup of whole milk.

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Whisk vigorously to work some air into the mix. Make sure you see lots of little bubbles, and a few big ones, like this…

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The original recipe layers everything in the baking dish, and I just think that’s a big old waste of time. Go ahead and dump everything into the eggs – I dare you! Add a little salt and pepper to the eggs – not too much because the bacon really takes care of the seasoning – then, toss the spinach in first, add a cup of mozzarella, a half cup of parmesan, and throw the bacon on top. Stir.

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Once mixed, pour into a buttered standard size pie plate. Again, apologies to vegans and the lactose intolerant (hi mom!) – but, because I can never have enough cheese, I like to sprinkle a little more of both the mozzarella and parmesan on top. I mean, something has to counterbalance the health of all that spinach, right?!

Pop it in a 350-degree oven for 40-45 minutes.

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Et voilà! Look at how that cheese browns up so nicely. The eggs really fluff up from the inside – you’ll have to trust me on that, since I can’t cut it until I take it to work tomorrow.

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This really is a great potluck dish. If you’re transporting it, I recommend letting it cool uncovered on your stovetop before topping with foil. Or, at least be careful when removing the foil so that you don’t get condensation on top of the quiche. That’s not delicious.

Also, feel free to experiment with the mix of add-ins. This would be equally delicious with sausage, chorizo, or chicken…broccoli, bell peppers, or sun-dried tomatoes…feta, jack, maybe brie? Add more herbs. Go wild! Most of all, enjoy.

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