Make Ahead

Quinoa and Kale Crustless Quiche

August 31, 2011
9 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Makes About 8 slices
Author Notes

I first tried a version of this dish at a dinner party. I asked my host for the recipe, and she gave me a copy of her Vegetarian Times. I tried the recipe, "Quinoa and Greens Pie" and hated it! It called for chicory and cooked romaine, and it was nothing like the delicious spinach filled quiche that I had at the Wilson's house. I asked Mrs. Wilson if she made changes to the original recipe, only to find that she had changed nearly everything about it! - Hilarybee

I began my own experimentations on the recipe, keeping the premise of the greens and quinoa held together by eggs. I changed nearly everything else about the recipe, including the number of eggs. After a year, I have a recipe that I love and routinely use. For the greens, I always use kale, but I like to throw in some mustard greens when I have them. —Hilarybee

Test Kitchen Notes

Kale and quinoa are a match made in heaven, and it turns out they're even better when you throw some eggs and cheese into the mix. Hilarybee gently wilts the kale, tossing it with caramelized onions, cooked quinoa, cream cheese, sharp cheddar and garlic before folding in some beaten egg -- just enough to hold everything together as the quiche puffs and browns in the oven. If raw garlic isn't your thing, toss it in with the onions right before they're finished caramelizing—we enjoyed the mild bite. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup Quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 bunch Kale, stems removed and cut into ribbons
  • 1 Vidalia Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a 9" pie dish (either butter the dish thoroughly or spray with baking spray). Rinse the quinoa. Combine the quinoa and water in a pan. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat and then reduce to a simmer. This will take about twenty minutes. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, start to caramelize the onions. Heat the olive oil in a large saute on medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions. Slowly cook until the onions are soft and browned.
  3. Remove the onions from the pan, and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the kale into the hot onion pan. On medium heat, cook until the kale is wilted and bright green, about two minutes.
  4. Allow the greens to cool. Squeeze out any extra liquid using a sieve or a clean dish towel.
  5. Add the kale, quinoa, garlic, cream cheese and cheddar to the mixing bowl with the onions. Stir the ingredients so that they are evenly distributed.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs so that they are well combined. Pour over the quinoa/kale mixture. Stir until the egg clings to the greens. Add salt and pepper.
  7. Pour the mixture in the prepared pie dish. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden and the pie has started to pull away from the edge of the baking dish. This dish is delightful hot, but even better at room temperature.
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Dedicated locavore. I spend my weekends on the back roads (often lost!) looking for the best ingredients Ohio has to offer. I am often accompanied by my husband, Mr. Radar and our dog, Buddy. Born in West Virginia, raised in Michigan, I moved to Ohio for college and have lived there on and off since. I love to meet farmers and local producers. Cooking is an extension of this love. You can follow my move from government analyst to cottage industrialist and view the food I cook for my personal mad scientist on

162 Reviews

Ctgal June 3, 2022
This was delicious! I am gluten free so it met my needs perfectly. I only changed 3 things as I am on a Fodmap diet. I sautéed leek greens instead of an onion and used garlic flavored olive oil. I also added some whole cream, as I would in a normal quiche. I had 2 pieces warm, right out of the oven. Filling, satisfying, and even nourishing. How could I go wrong? And lots of leftovers. Thank you for a great recipe.
Sherry S. February 6, 2019
This is an excellent recipe- delicious hot or cold. The last time a made it I used goat cheese for the cream cheese and gruyere for the cheddar- it was even better than the original!
Amy D. November 3, 2018
This was delicious...I added fresh tarragon but no other substitutions were made. Didn’t miss the crust!
Laurie C. July 14, 2018
In all honesty, I made several subs, but in the end, we were disappointed in the flavor and texture of this. I used lots of kale and lamb's quarters (not too wet, so I didn't squeeze, either), feta instead of cheddar and soft goat cheese instead of the cream cheese, plus doubled the garlic, leaving it raw. I was a bit worried that the bolder cheeses and garlic would be TOO bold. I don't think those subs changed the texture too much, I think we just didn't appreciate the intended texture - it turned out VERY dense, as in "pick it up with your hands" at room temp. I was careful not to overcook it. That texture WOULD be great for brown-bagging it, IF the flavor was there. Maybe adding some herbs? Still, I wanted something cheesier or eggier - this was just too quinoa-ish for us.
pottsy.1990 April 1, 2018
After all the rave reviews I think I was a touch disappointed with this recipe. Perhaps I underseasoned it but it didn’t have a huge amount of flavour? I did enjoy the texture though and would make it again with fetabof goats cheese instead of cream cheese but probably for work lunches rather than serving to company.
pottsy.1990 April 1, 2018
Feta or goats cheese...
Kathy February 24, 2018
Made this recipe as stated and it's now one of my go-to favorites. Shared it first with the hubster, then with kids on a visit to their home. Also shared with a colleague at work. Everyone loved it. First time, I had multi-color quinoa which made an interesting look, then with white quinoa, also lovely with the kale adding the color. So good and filling.
Leigh January 25, 2018
Gonna use Sausage instead of kale. Sounds great !
catydid January 21, 2018
super delicious! used goat cheese instead of cream cheese, added a jalpeno for a little spice. did not squeeze out the kale, no need. Sooooo good! crunchy on top, not as custardy as a usual quiche. very satisfying and wonderful. Look forward to taking the leftover slice to work for lunch!
Savitha M. November 11, 2017
Just made this for lunch - looks great, and I can't wait to try it. I had no cream cheese or kale so I made it with spinach and feta instead. For good measure, I also threw in some broccoli.
Cindy July 12, 2016
Has anyone tried this with only egg whites? If so how many?
Kerry G. September 24, 2015
Yummy , impressive looking and easy to prepare. I increased the eggs to 6 and just used cheeses I had on hand (soft goat and mild cheddar)
Marlys W. September 6, 2015
Your recipe sounds so delicious. I love quiona and it's very good for you. I have many allergies so I'm thankful for whatever I can find to eat. I also have dairy allergies, what would you suggest as a substitute??? I can use Daiya for the shredded cheese but not sure about the cream cheese unless I add more Daiya??? I haven't found a good substitute for cream cheese yet???
SpaCook July 9, 2017
Tofutti's cream cheese is a good sub and I've used it successfully in the past
NotTooSweet July 25, 2015
Last week I wanted to try Jamie Oliver's smoked beets but I was not sure what to serve with it so I asked in the questions section. This quiche was one of the many great suggestions offered. I'm so glad I chose to make it as it really is wonderful and my husband and I loved the leftovers; the quiche was good warm, room temp and even cold (couldn't wait for it to reheat....). I followed the recipe just as written and it came out perfect. Thanks! (BTW, the beet salad is delicious too!)
serafinadellarosa June 5, 2015
Just made this the other day (for the third time) and took it on a road trip. Sure beats fast food and all those extra calories. I like to add some fresh herbs and a couple of T's sun dried tomatoes (rinsed of oil). Great recipe and gets better the second day.
judy December 9, 2014
Plsease stop using quinoa--not fair trade. Use hemp hearts or millet or lentils instead. Thank you
Hilarybee February 26, 2015
If you do not want to use quinoa, I would suggest rice for the recipe. The grain needs to have a good capacity for liquid absorption-- and I think lentils and hemp would be a disaster. My suggestion if you do not want to use quinoa or rice, is to not make this recipe.
judy February 26, 2015
Your quiche looks delicious. I love quinoa and used to eat it alot. Then I learned about how our use In No America and the Western world of superfoods from poor or developing countries was destroying their economies. Quinoa use has done just that. Simply like the need for using fair trade coffee and chocolate and vanilla, etc. Big agriculture takes over the production and the local economy is destroyed. I ahve begun to suggest whenever I see quinoa promoted or used that people try an alternative because it isn't fair trade. WE have great superfoods that are native or readily grown in No America and we as foodies, nutritionists and Health care workers (I am all three) should be promoting the use of those. grown as locally as possible. Rice, millet, hemp, lentils, etc are excellent alternatives. It is better for the environment, economy and society if we eat as locally as possible. That was l I meant by suggesting the others and noting that quinoa is not fair trade. Google quinoa+fairtrade and see what you come up with. YOu will be appalled. I guess mentioning that quinoa is not sufficient for folks to understand. I'll have to explain further. Thank you for your recipe, but maybe you can redevelop and post using something else with a reference to the fair trade issue after you have done some reading. Judy
susan G. April 15, 2016
I think the situation with quinoa has improved. Articles I have read recently show that some of the concerns where not justified.
Kari2011 June 8, 2014
Great recipe for the spring. I had a bunch of kale from my CSA so this was a great use of it. I had 5 egg whites left over from another recipe, so I used those instead of regular eggs plus 1 whole egg. It was delicious.
Hilarybee February 26, 2015
Glad you enjoyed it.
Merry April 15, 2014
Just made this last night and we absolutely loved it! The Canadian Black Diamond Cheddar put it over the top. Should be a perfect picnic food if spring or summer ever makes an appearance... Thanks for a great recipe!
Hilarybee May 13, 2014
Glad you enjoyed it.
CurioCook January 28, 2014
Hey there, this looks great. Any ideas for substitutes for the cream cheese? I'm in New Zealand and they don't do cream cheese here. Maybe a soft feta? Also, have you tried making this in small portions (like muffin/mini muffin pan) and freezing it? Looking for good breakfast on the go ideas and this looks like it could be a contender!
fearlessem January 30, 2014
I think a very soft feta would work... Goat cheese would work well, or soft farmers cheese... I like the idea of mini muffin tins -- I bet that would work well. I've frozen slices and they were good (though to me not as good as fresh...)
marymary April 6, 2014
I just made this for lunch today with what I had on hand. It is delicious. I didn't have any cheddar, so I substituted feta and peppered javarti, along with the cream cheese. I'm a pepper nut, so I sautéed 1/2 a thinly sliced jalapeno with green onion (I'm out of white). I used about 3 cups of chiffonaded (is that the correct past tense?) kale. Thanks for the recipe! So easy and very good without crust.
Hilarybee April 12, 2014
Yes, I have seen several blog adaptations where muffin tins were used. They looked successful. I've not tried it myself so I can't vouch for it. As for the soft cheese, I personally prefer goat cheese as a sub for the cream cheese.
Courtney O. January 23, 2014
is this 1/2 cup COOKED quinoa or 1/2 UNCOOKED quinoa?
twinjadojo January 23, 2014
It's uncooked, as she directs you to cook it in the recipe. If you've got leftover cooked quinoa on hand, use about 1 1/2 cups.
Courtney O. January 23, 2014
Thanks! I guess I should have read the entire recipe first! :)
Hilarybee April 12, 2014
Sorry I missed this Courtney. Yep, 1 1/2 cooked is the right amount. You can add more for a stiffer quiche or less if you want it looser and more eggy.
Lori H. January 13, 2014
LOVED it!!! Great tasty way to get your greens
Hilarybee April 12, 2014
Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.