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California Quiche is a veggie lover’s egg dish with fresh zucchini, red bell peppers, onion, and artichoke hearts.
Fresh, cheesy, and delicious, each serving of this yummy vegetable quiche is under 250 calories!
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, this lighter breakfast (or brunch) recipe is one you can really feel good about — especially after consuming a calorie-heavy Thanksgiving feast!
Seriously, friends, how can it be Thanksgiving week already? This girl not only needs to get it in gear and start some Christmas shopping, I need to do the first thing and make a list so that I’ll be ready for the big Cyber Shopping Weekend.
I figure that many of you may have extra houseguests this week, so I’m sharing the recipe for California Quiche.
Not only is this quiche a great option for brunch, it will feed at least 8 people, is easy to put together, and can be baked and frozen ahead of time!
- refrigerated or homemade pie dough
- zucchini — no need to peel!
- sweet onion — I prefer Vidalia onions, but any sweet onion will do
- red bell pepper — may also use a yellow or orange bell pepper
- mushrooms — fresh button mushrooms or baby portobellos
- artichoke hearts — I use artichokes canned in water
- Monterey Jack cheese — pepper jack or Colby jack will also work
- half and half — or a mix of heavy cream and milk
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- fresh oregano — or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or dried Italian seasoning
How to make California quiche
This quiche may sound fancy, but it’s very easy to put together. The recipe call for refrigerated pie dough which you can purchase in the dairy section of your grocery store.
If you like making your own pie dough, this is my favorite pastry recipe.
- Line a tart pan or deep dish pie pan with the dough; refrigerate until ready to assemble the quiche.
- Drain the can of artichoke hearts and reserve the liquid to sauté the veggies instead of using oil—a real calorie saver!
- Chop up zucchini, onions, red bell peppers, and mushrooms, then sauté about 5 minutes until tender. Be careful not to overcook the zucchini at this point. Too much and it will release a lot of liquid and become soggy.
- Layer the cooked veggies on top of the pie dough with the artichoke hearts and Monterey Jack cheese.
- Top with whipped eggs and cream and sprinkle with fresh oregano, then bake until set.
- Tart pans have a removable bottom so that after baking, you just push up the bottom of the pan to lift off the side ring.
- Place a cookie sheet on the shelf below the tart pan in the oven to catch any drips.
Is a frittata like a quiche?
Though both are primarily egg dishes, a frittata is not cooked in a crust like a quiche and has more egg to dairy (milk or cream) ratio. Normally made in a skillet, a frittata cooks on top of the stove until the eggs begin to set and then is finished in the oven.
Can you freeze quiche or make ahead?
This quiche can be frozen after baking and reheated at a later time. To freeze the baked quiche, place the cooled quiche on a baking sheet in the freezer until frozen solid. Then wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil or store in a resealable freezer bag for up to 3 months.
To reheat from frozen, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the frozen quiche (in the pan) on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the quiche is warmed through.
Prep ahead tips
When you’re expecting guests, it’s always a good idea to do some meal prep ahead of time to eliminate unnecessary stress and give you more time to visit with your friends. With this California Quiche, don’t assemble the quiche until it’s time to bake so that the crust doesn’t get soggy.
However, here are steps you can prep earlier to shave off time when you are ready to cook:
- Make the pie dough up to a week ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to assemble the quiche.
- Chop and sauté vegetables the night before and refrigerate until ready to use. Doing so means you can assemble the quiche in just minutes when you are ready to cook.
- Always be sure to remove previously sautéed veggies with a slotted spoon into the crust to make sure you leave as much liquid behind as possible.
Can I make this recipe a crustless quiche?
Some of the ingredients in this quiche are just too wet to successfully bake as a crustless quiche. If you’re watching carbs, I suggest my Crustless Spinach Quiche as a tasty option.
Can I make this in a regular or deep dish pie plate?
California Quiche can be made in a deep dish pie plate instead of a tart pan, but a regular pie plate isn’t big enough to hold all the ingredients.
- Instead of the refrigerated pie crust, make California Quiche in a hash brown crust.
- No zucchini? Try using Summer squash or even a mixture of zucchini and yellow squash.
- Not a fan of mushrooms? Toss in a handful of sundried tomatoes.
- Replace the red bell pepper with roasted red pepper or fresh yellow or orange bell pepper.
- Serve the baked quiche topped with a slice of avocado and chopped tomatoes.
- Rustic Sausage and Grits Egg Skillet — Bake and serve in cast iron for a deliciously fun country brunch with layers of cheesy grits, sausage, and eggs.
- Breakfast Enchiladas — This breakfast casserole is filled with savory sausage, eggs, and cheese and smothered with a versatile green chili cheese sauce.
- Southwestern Breakfast Frittata Casserole — This dish has a soft tamale-like texture and is loaded with pepper jack cheese and garnished with thinly sliced fresh tomatoes.
- Classic Quiche Lorraine — Named for the Lorraine region of France, this savory egg custard is baked in a pie crust with crisply fried and crumbled bacon, sliced scallions, and Swiss cheese.
- Broccoli Frittata — This easy vegetarian frittata with both cheddar and Parmesan cheese is a delicious low-carb meal that cooks in under 30 minutes all in one pan.
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The original recipe was posted on November 23, 2015, and was last updated on November 4, 2020.
- 1/2 pkg. refrigerated pie dough for 1 crust
- 1 small zucchini chopped into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1/2 large red bell pepper diced
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- 6 ounces artichoke hearts drained (reserve 3 tablespoons of the marinade)
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano chopped
- Make pie dough and line a 10-inch tart pan or deep dish pie plate. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the quiche.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Add the 2 tablespoons of reserved artichoke marinade (liquid from the can) to a large skillet along with the chopped onion, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Sauté veggies over medium high heat for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add another tablespoon of the artichoke marinade to the skillet and stir in the chopped zucchini. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, or until the zucchini begins to soften.
- Layer the cooked veggies on top of the prepared pie crust, then top with the drained artichoke hearts. Sprinkle evenly with Monterey Jack cheese.
- Whisk together the eggs, half and half, salt, and pepper; pour over cheese. Sprinkle with fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano).
- Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. *
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking 20 minutes or until set. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
- Make the pie dough up to a week ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to assemble the quiche.
- Chop and sauté vegetables the night before. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Are there mushrooms in the picture, but not in the ingredient list?
Rena, you are absolutely right! I missed listing the mushrooms in the recipe, but have corrected it now. Thanks for pointing that out 🙂
Are the artichokes in water or oil? Thank you, looks delicious! Nancy
Nancy, I would use the artichokes in water (drained well) for best results. Enjoy!
Is it a 10x 2 inch tart pan the size bc 10 inch tart pans come in different depths
JoAnn, you’ll need a tart pan that is at least 2 inches in depth to layer all the ingredients.
Can I make this in a pie plate r maybe a deep dish pie plate
Nonnie, I would definitely use a deep dish pie plate instead of a regular one.
Could u make this a crust less quiche?
Edna, I don’t think this quiche would hold up as a crustless version.
Edna, I don’t think this recipe will hold up as a crustless quiche.
When you say marinade the vegetables overnight… what do you marinade them in? And is that before or after you’ve sauteed them?
Jeanne, the marinade is from the can of artichokes and is used instead of oil to saute the vegetables — no overnight step in this recipe. Sorry for any confusion!
Can you use a pre made pie crust
Sure! That should work.
Please clarify the marinade is water that you drain or oil that you drain. The artichokes in water to sauté would be just water. The one in oil has seasonings ? Which did you use
Yes, the marinade is what you drain from the can of artichokes. I usually use artichokes that are packed in water.
Sheila can this be frozen? It says 10 servings, sounds delish, May take me awhile to eat. Thank you
I haven’t personally tried freezing this recipe, but I do think that it would work. I suggest reheating covered with foil in a 350 degree oven until warmed through, then remove foil and continue heating for 5 minutes to crisp up the crust.
Love this recipe, make it often. Thank You!!!
I am so glad you like this quiche recipe! Thanks for letting me know 🙂
Did you use a 9 inch tart pan or 11 inch tart pan?
I actually used a 10=inch tart pan.
This looks so good! What a tasty and healthy blend of veggies for this dish!
Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?
Vanessa, this quiche keeps well for about 3 days refrigerated.
I made this crustless in a 9×9” casserole. It held up just fine but when I took the first piece out a lot of liquid was left behind. I can’t help but think all the liquid was from the zucchini and other sautéed veggies. I’m considering making again but not sautéing the veggies first. Any thoughts? I’m also thinking my crust would have been soggy had I used one. Is your crust usually ok, or does it get mushy/soggy?
Hi, Julie. I’d suggest that you’re sure to remove the sauteed veggies with a slotted spoon into the crust to make sure you leave as much liquid behind as possible. Zucchini is kind of tricky sometimes, and will get watery if it is cooked too much. That being said, some stoves have different heat levels, so maybe saute at a lower temperature just until the zucchini begins to soften slightly next time.
Mine was not that good. There were too many vegetables and made the quiche rather watery. Would not make this again.
Can I use milk or buttermilk instead of the half and half?
I’ve never tried the recipe with buttermilk, so I’m not sure how it would taste in the egg mixture.
I added about a third of an Anaheim pepper and 3 sticks of peperjack cheese chopped small. It was delicious.
I’m new to pie crusts. I purchased a rolled refrigerated one and it says to bake it first for a quiche recipe. Do I bake it first, or add the veggies to an unbaked crust?
Heide, if the brand of pie crust you purchased recommends blind baking the crust first, then I’d say do that and perhaps use a pie shield if the crust starts getting too brown as you cook the quiche.
you definitely need to bake the crust a bit first before adding the quiche ingredients. Ref. The Joy of Baking or the Joy of Cooking;)