How to Make (Creamy, Cheesy, Fluffy) Quiche That Exceeds Your Expectations

I find that the word "quiche" is usually said one of two ways. The first is like a verbal eye roll—“Oh…quiche…”—and probably refers to a seriously bad quiche experience—one made up of spongy custard, soggy crust, and/or too few fillings.

The second sounds a little more like someone crawling into a warm bed after an incredibly long day—“Oh! …quiche!” —such satisfied sighs can only come from someone who has had an excellent quiche encounter: decadently rich, smooth custard dotted with plenty of tasty fillings, all encased in a flaky, crisp pastry crust.

That’s the kind of quiche I want to talk about. So if you’re the first kind of quiche-sayer, try to block out the bad memories, and let’s get you to a way more delicious place in 10 steps.

  1. Ready your dough.
  2. Preheat your oven.
  3. Par-bake.
  4. Get extra help.
  5. Cool the par-baked crust.
  6. Add the fillings—but not the custard (yet).
  7. Okay, now add the custard.
  8. Bake.
  9. Cool (or don't!).
  10. Mix it up next time.

1. Ready your dough.

First up, your pie dough. Whatever recipe you use, you’re going to want your dough on the mealy side. I know that word doesn’t sound super appetizing, but in the pie world, it’s the description for dough that has had the butter mixed in a bit more fully. The butter is cut into the flour until it resembles the size of peas (whereas for flaky dough, the butter stays larger—closer to the size of walnut halves).

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Top Comment:
“For a 9" pie and lots of veggies added in, I don't see how I could fit anymore liquid in the crust. I wanted to add an extra egg for flavor but haven't tried it. How do you fit that many eggs and cream in this size?!!”
— Amber

While I love a flaky crust, mealy crusts are better for custard pies (either sweet or savory, like quiche). Don’t worry, the dough will still be tender and pretty flaky, and it will hold up better to the high moisture filling.

2. Preheat your oven.

It's a step so important I must state the obvious: Before you even start rolling out your dough, preheat the oven. Quiche bake at lower temperatures (more on that later), but the crust needs to go into a really hot oven for par-baking, so crank it up to 425° F.

If you’ve got one, put a pizza or baking stone on the bottom rack, too (this will help ensure the bottom of your crust is getting even more golden and crisp, which never hurts).

3. Par-bake.

Par-baking is so important for pies with high moisture fillings—whether you’re talking cream pies, chess pies, or your favorite quiche. Par-baking allows the base and sides of the crust to set, which means they’ll absorb less moisture from the filling in the oven. We’re talking about the difference between a crisp, golden bottom crust and a soggy, semi-translucent bottom crust here, so it’s worth it, I swear.

For lots of info on par-baking, check out this article.

You’ll want to roll out your dough, transfer it to your pie plate, crimp your edges, dock it all over with a fork, and chill the heck out of it. I toss mine in the freezer while I get the filling ready.

Then place a piece of parchment paper inside the pie plate and fill it with pie weights. Bake the crust (on the pizza stone, if you’re using) until it begins to turn lightly golden brown at the edges (10 to 13 minutes). Remove the parchment and the pie weights: You’ll see the crust where the paper was touching looks a little bit wet. Return the pie plate to the oven (sans weights) and bake for 1 to 2 more minutes, until the base looks dry. The crust should stay put, but if it puffs up anywhere, don’t panic! Just poke the affected area with a fork and it should deflate again.

When your crust is done par-baking, it should look dry all over and just barely beginning to turn golden brown—the rest of the browning will happen once the filling is added.

4. Extra help.

While par-baking should help your crust stay crisp, you can always take a few extra measures too.

Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Once I’m done par-baking, I like to brush the base of the crust with egg wash. If the pie is hot from the oven, you may not even need to return it to the oven—if it’s cooled a bit, throw it back in the oven for 15 to 30 seconds, just until that egg layer is “cooked.” Just like egg washing the tops of pastries or breads, the egg wash will make a seal on the surface of the dough, protecting your carefully-tended crust from unwanted moisture.
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • And since we’re talking quiche here, I enlist a little more help from grated cheese. I like to add a layer of grated cheese (hard cheeses are especially great here, but you can use a softer cheese if you prefer) to the base of the crust, and return the pie plate to the oven once more, this time for about 2 minutes—just enough to brown or melt your cheese. This creates another barrier between the crust and the custard—plus it’s really yummy (cheesy pie crust party!).
Photo by Mark Weinberg

5. Cool the par-baked crust.

Whether you do a simple par-bake or you enlist the help of egg wash and/or cheese, let your crust cool completely before you add the filling. And while you’re at it, turn your oven temperature down. Most quiche recipes will call for it to be baked between 325 to 375°F that so the custard can slowly coagulate without turning spongy or drying out. If you’re using a pizza stone, leave it in.

6. Add the fillings (but not the custard—yet).

I start by adding my fillings to the crust. Why? For one, it’s easy to make sure they’re in an even layer. And I like a lot of fillings, so it also helps me make sure I’ve got enough in before I add anything else to it. I add fillings until they come up to just under the edge of the pie crust (by 1/4-inch or so—but no need to be precise).

And for another reason, if you want to do any kind of fancy top, this is how you get there. Some ingredients might float on the surface of your custard, but I find it’s better to just give yourself a surface to build an arrangement on. Arrange an even layer of fillings into the crust, then arrange your final ingredients on top. We’re talking about asparagus designs, pretty heirloom tomato slices, or anything else you want to be perfect on the top of your quiche. (Or, you can just dump your fillings in—whatever floats your boat.)

Note: If your recipe calls for fillings to be pre-cooked in any way, make sure you let them cool completely before adding them to the quiche—hot fillings can cause the custard to begin cooking (and unevenly so!) upon contact.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

7. Add the custard.

After the fillings are in, pour the custard over them. I like my custard to be pretty rich (hello, heavy cream), which is why I compensate with plenty of fillings.

Whisk your custard well to combine before you add it, but not so vigorously you make lots of air bubbles—those tend to float on the surface and get stuck there during baking.

If you’re feeling more cheese, add it on top at this point.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

8. Bake.

Baking times for quiche will vary drastically based on the pie plate, the recipe, and the baking temp—but there’s a few visual indicators to guide you.

  • First of all, you’ll want your crust to be very golden brown, and evenly so.
  • Next, the fillings: Any visible fillings should be tender and browned, if applicable.
  • Finally, the custard: It should look set around the edges of quiche, but it should have a slight jiggle in the center when you move the pie plate. Think Jell-O: a little wiggle, but still sturdy. If, when you move the pie plate, it looks liquid, keep on baking. Baking your quiche properly will mean the custard is silky and smooth, instead of rubbery or spongy. No contest there.
Photo by Mark Weinberg

9. Cool… or don’t.

I’m a fan of quiche lots of ways—sometimes, warm straight from the oven is so good. The custard just melts in your mouth and the crust is extra buttery. But I more often eat quiche at room temperature, or cold.

If you're cooling the quiche, do so at room temperature—don’t try to rush it in the fridge. This can cause evaporation and unwanted moisture buildup, and can (sometimes) cause the filling to pull away from the crust.

10. Mix it up.

There’s a zillion ways to make quiche (and I’m dying to hear your best combinations– leave them in the comments!) – but here are some of my favorites:

  • Asparagus, leek, and pecorino (recipe included below!)
  • Sausage, potato, and red onion (and Manchego, if you’ve got it)
  • Tomato and kale—with goat cheese!
  • Zucchini and yellow squash with Brie
  • Bacon, cheddar, and arugula
  • Mushrooms (brown them first!) and Gruyère
  • Caramelized onions + anything, really
Photo by Mark Weinberg

So here’s to hoping this guide will forever change the way you say the word "quiche"—let it be the decadently rich savory pie of your dreams!

What are you favorite quiche fillings? Let us know in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • jmeich
  • henningsen5
  • Nitabug
  • kgw
  • Edith
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!


jmeich April 9, 2023
I was taking your suggestions today in baking my quiches but choked when I went to place my ice-cold glass pie plates on my preheated stoneware! I was terrified that my pie plates would crack and I’d be empty-handed for brunch. Has anyone else had trouble with the cold and hot interacting negatively?
henningsen5 July 24, 2019
Sun dried tomatoes, spinach, and goat cheese! To die for 😋
Nitabug February 11, 2019
Thank you for both the crust and custard filling. I like using fresh Brussel sprouts marinated in 18 yr old balsamic vinegar and garlic, then browned quickly and cooled. I add cream fresh to the half and half as well as shedded cheeses and grated cheeses. I love it cold or warm with a crispy salad. Oh, and a glass or so of wine. Yum!
kgw April 22, 2016
One secret to the old quiches is the, at least, 3" deep pan. Tough quiches are usually due to shallow pans with way too much filling! An old recipe I have calls for the last one inch to be straight custard: divine!
Edith April 12, 2016
Will this work without a crust?
Julie April 22, 2016
I haven't used this recipe in particular without a crust, but I have made 'crustless quiche'. (It was mainly because I was too lazy to make/buy pie dough.) It does still work! Just make sure to grease your pan. :)
Poppygold April 10, 2016
Can I use smoked salmon, leeks or artichokes and feta?
Christine April 10, 2016
I used to make quiche frequently when my kids were young... 30 years ago! I had a basic recipe for the eggs, cream and cups of cheese... I'd use combinations of cheeses to go with whatever veggies. I think it was 4 eggs to 1 cup of cream to 1 cup of cheese plus veggies... Help! Am I even close?
Suzanne H. April 10, 2016
I love making and eating quiche. My favorite has to be bacon and potato-----a breakfast quiche obviously, but if there is any left over it's a great snack.
Gayle M. April 2, 2016
Great tips ! Awesome crust ! I use 6 eggs and 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream though. Once I found that combo I never changed it. Quiche custard is perfect every time no matter what I fill it with. Have the luxury of farm fresh eggs and cream too which helps !
Amber April 1, 2016
I made quiche for the first time 2 weeks ago. The recipe I used called for 4 eggs and 1 cup half an half. For a 9" pie and lots of veggies added in, I don't see how I could fit anymore liquid in the crust. I wanted to add an extra egg for flavor but haven't tried it. How do you fit that many eggs and cream in this size?!!
Jeanette D. April 1, 2016
That seems like too much cream for the number of eggs. I would trying cutting the amount of cream almost in half.
Erin J. April 1, 2016
Thanks for bringing this up guys! I did use a deeper dish pie plate (3 inches deep) to help accommodate more filling. If you're working with a regular pie plate, you can reduce it by 1/3-1/2. Also, you can definitely reduce the cream and/or sub in half and half - I just love a rich custard!
Jeanette D. April 1, 2016
Great tips! I haven't made quiche in years, but this inspires me to do it again!