The delicious decadence of a perfectly flaky, crisp crust is undeniable—but if you're craving something a little more nutritious, we're here to tell you there's another option: a crust made mostly with vegetables. While its texture isn't the same as the classic version, a veggie crust can add irresistible flavor to quiche, and it allows you to skip over the time-consuming steps of chilling, rolling and crimping dough. And did we mention our version is gluten-free? Give it a try with these step-by-step instructions.
Pictured Recipe: Smoked Sausage & Kale Quiche with Broccoli Crust
Here's a great way to use up those extra vegetables from the garden or your crisper drawer. Not every veggie will work here, but there are plenty of tasty options. Just keep in mind, you'll need a vegetable that you can uniformly mince or shred well, and that can hold up to a long baking time without becoming too mushy.
Here are some favorites to try:
To make the crust, cut your chosen vegetable into small bits (you'll need about 3½ to 4 cups for a standard 9-inch pan). Use the large holes on a box grater to shred vegetables like Yukon Gold potatoes, sweet potatoes or zucchini. Broccoli and cauliflower should be chopped into fine pieces—about the size of coarse breadcrumbs—in a food processor, then steamed briefly in the microwave. Spaghetti squash should be baked and then shredded using a fork.
Transforming the prepped vegetables into a pie-worthy crust couldn't be simpler, but to pull it off, you'll first need to get rid of excess moisture. Wrap the veggies in a tea towel or piece of cheesecloth and squeeze away the juices. Once drained, place the veggies in a bowl and blend with 1 egg, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese and a bit of salt and pepper.
Next, coat a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray, then press the vegetable mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. To set the crust, bake it without the filling at 400°F for about 20 minutes. While baking, it will likely shrink a bit and darken around the edges. Don't be afraid of the color—the end result will still be tasty! However, if the edges are really browning you can cover them with foil.
For a healthy yet satisfying filling, whisk together 4 eggs, 1 cup low-fat milk and 1 tablespoon sour cream. Place your favorite fillings—such as diced and cooked smoked sausage, chopped veggies (for the best flavor, aromatics like onions and bell peppers should be cooked; others can be added raw), fresh herbs, spices and up to ¾ cup shredded cheese (Cheddar, Gruyère and Jarlsberg are all great additions)—directly into the still-warm crust. Toss the filling ingredients gently, then pour the egg mixture on top. Be careful not to overfill it.
Pictured Recipe: Broccoli-Cheddar Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake the quiche until it's set in the center, about 40 minutes. Once out of the oven, let the quiche rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.