If you don't get hyped over the thought of eating quiche, you haven't had a good one yet. The greats come down to three simple factors: A smooth and creamy filling, a tender, flaky crust, and flavor. This Ham and Cheese Quiche delivers in every which way, and it is most definitely worth the hype.
Salty bites of diced ham, sliced green onions, and Cheddar cheese are suspended throughout a rich and velvety egg custard that rests upon a perfectly baked, buttery pie crust. Whether you're serving it for breakfast, brunch, lunch or even dinner, you can count on this quiche to win over any crowd.
Pair it with a side salad and these savory Roasted Rosemary Potatoes to round out the meal!
HAM AND CHEESE QUICHE INGREDIENTS
You can break down any quiche recipe into three simple components: The custard, the filling, and the crust. While the crust and the custard's liquid-to-egg ratio should stay the same, you can get as creative as you'd like with the filling, adding or taking away from the ingredient list as you please.
The ingredients to have on hand for the filling are cubed ham, green onions, and Cheddar cheese. You can find cubed ham pre-cut and ready to use in the grocery store, typically alongside other cured meats such as bacon and sausage.
If you do not care for green onions, you can leave them out of the recipe entirely. If you'd like to add an additional pop of color and an herbaceous quality to the quiche, fresh Italian parsley will do the trick.
If you want a quiche with a few more veggie options, check out our savory Veggie Quiche Recipe!
WHAT IS THE BEST CHEESE FOR QUICHE?
There is no "best cheese" for quiche. Cheese and eggs are a match made in heaven and it's pretty tough to find a bad combo in the two. However, one thing you should consider when picking the cheese is the other filling ingredients and what would pair nicely with them.
In this case, Cheddar cheese is a great (and budget-friendly) choice for pairing with ham, but Swiss, Gouda, Gruyere or even Fontina cheese would also taste delicious in a classic Ham and Cheese Quiche Recipe.
For almost all of us, the word "custard" brings to mind a sweet, pudding-like dessert made with eggs, dairy and cornstarch. However, the word "custard" actually covers quite a bit more territory than that. Any mixture in which eggs and dairy cook together is technically a custard.
This Ham and Cheese Quiche filling is made extra smooth and rich thanks to a velvety custard made of eggs, half-and-half, and créme fraîche.
Créme fraîche is very similar to sour cream, the main difference being that it has a higher fat content, which makes your custard all the more decadent. However, if you cannot find créme fraîche, you may substitute sour cream in its place.
THE DAIRY MATTERS AND HERE'S WHY...
Can you use milk instead of half-and-half (or cream) in a quiche recipe? Well, it depends -- how important is texture to you?
Milk, half-and-half, and cream all contain different amounts of fat; milk containing the least and cream containing the most. Fat contributes to both the flavor and texture of the filling. The more fat, the richer and creamier your filling will be.
So back to the question at hand: Can you replace a fattier dairy option with a healthier choice, specifically in the way of milk? Absolutely, but do so knowing it will affect both the flavor and texture of your quiche.
Quiche crust is also known as pastry crust, which is also known as pie crust! You can use store-bought or homemade pie crust when making your Ham and Cheese Quiche, although you will have flakier, better-tasting results with homemade pie crust.
DO YOU COOK THE CRUST FIRST?
In order not to overcook the custard filling, you'll need to cook the crust partially before adding the filling and custard to the pie (or tart) dish. You'll do this by blind baking the crust.
A blind-baked crust is a crust that has been "pre-baked" under a sheet of aluminum foil and weighted down with pie weights. The aluminum foil keeps the crust from drying out and/or burning, and the weight keeps the crust from bubbling up. If you don't have pie weights, you could use any “bakable” weighted item, such as dried beans or uncooked rice.
HOW TO MAKE HAM AND CHEESE QUICHE
- Prep the Crust - Roll out your pie crust to reach 12" in diameter and transfer it to a 9" pie or tart dish. Crimp the edges as desired, then place the dish in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This ensures the fat in the crust is cold when it goes into the oven, and keeps the sides from potentially slumping over.
- Blind Bake - Make sure your oven is on the bottom rack. Remove the pie crust from the freezer and cover the crust with nonstick aluminum foil. Then, add the pie weights across the bottom of the dish and bake for 20 minutes at 400°F. Remove from the oven, and once cool enough to handle, remove the foil and weights.
- Sauté Ham and Green Onions - To make the filling for your Ham and Cheese Quiche, heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the ham, stir, and cook until slightly browned. Then, add the green onions and cook until softened. Remove from heat and stir in parsley, if using. Be sure to have your cheese grated and ready to use!
- Make the Custard - To make the custard, whisk together the eggs, half and half, crème Fraiche, salt and pepper. For an extra smooth filling, place a fine-mesh sieve over a mixing bowl, pour the custard over the sieve, and whisk until all of it has filtered through.
- Assemble and Bake - Scatter the ham mixture evenly across the partially baked pie shell and sprinkle the Cheddar cheese over the top. Then, pour over the custard and return the dish to the bottom rack to bake at 375°F until it is puffed and cooked through.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN QUICHE IS DONE
To check whether or not the quiche is done, with a potholder in hand, give it a gentle shake. If you see a great deal of movement across the top, return the dish to the oven and continue baking. If the edges are set, but the center still has a little jiggle to it, it is done.
If you're still not quite sure whether it has finished cooking, insert the tip of a thin-bladed knife into the center of the quiche. If the tip of the knife comes out completely covered in liquid, it is not done. If the tip of the knife comes out fairly clean, it has finished cooking.
HOW DO YOU MAKE A QUICHE WITHOUT THE CRUST?
Need to make your Ham and Cheese Quiche gluten-free? Omit the crust entirely! Rather than adding pie crust to the dish and blind baking it, spray the dish generously with cooking spray, make the filling and the custard as directed, add it to the dish, and then bake for a total of 25 minutes at 375°F.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST QUICHE
- Use half-and-half over milk for a richer, more decadent filling.
- Run the custard through a sieve to ensure a velvety smooth custard.
- Don't skip blind baking the crust or you'll end up with a doughy center.
- Bake on the bottom rack.
- The size of your baking dish matters and will affect total bake time. Quiche cooked in a tart dish with a diameter greater than 9" will cook faster than one baked in a standard 9" pie dish.
- Don't overcook it! Pull the quiche when the edges are set, but the center still has a little jiggle to it.
5 MORE BREAKFAST RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Banana Bread
- Breakfast Grits Casserole
- Cinnamon Rolls
- Bacon and Egg Breakfast Casserole
- Egg Strata Casserole
The best Ham and Cheese Quiche featuring a filling of diced ham, sliced green onions, and Cheddar cheese suspended throughout a rich and velvety egg custard. Serve it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner!
- 1 pie crust (homemade or store-bought)
- 2 tablespoons canola or avocado oil
- ½ pound cubed or diced ham (such as Smithfield's Anytime Favorite's Diced Ham)
- ¼ cup green onions sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley (optional)
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup half-and-half
- ¼ cup créme fraîche (or sour cream)
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup freshly grated Cheddar cheese freshly grated
Place a rack at the bottom of the oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out the pie crust to reach 12” in diameter and add to a 9" pie or tart dish. Fold over and crimp edges, as desired.
Transfer the dish to the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer, cover with nonstick aluminum foil, and add pie weights (or dried beans) to cover. Blind bake on the bottom rack for 20 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, remove the weights and the foil. Set aside.
Lower oven temperature to 375°. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add diced ham and cook until browned and caramelized in color, about 5-8 minutes. Add green onions and cook for another 1-2 minutes until barely softened. Remove from heat and stir in parsley to wilt (if using). Set aside.
Whisk together eggs, half-and-half, crème fraîche, salt, and black pepper. Place fine-mesh sieve over a medium-sized mixing bowl, pour the custard into the sieve and whisk until all the custard is filtered through.
Add the ham mixture over the partially baked pie shell and sprinkle Cheddar cheese across the top. Pour the custard over the mix.
Bake on the bottom rack at 375° for 25 minutes, or until quiche is puffed and cooked through. The edges should be set, but the center should have a little jiggle to it. Once done baking, transfer to a cooling rack for 15 minutes before cutting into.