Spring is here! The temperature passed 70 degrees for the first time yesterday, and I for one cannot be happier that the cold gray winter days are behind us. And while I wish winter good riddance, I always miss the comfort foods – especially anything with butternut squash! What better way to give a farewell nod than through this savory quiche?
My family’s heritage is French so quiche was a regular staple at our table, especially around the holidays. I’ll be honest – growing up, I thought quiche was disgusting and I ate it begrudgingly. I have flashbacks of store-bought, jiggly, flavorless egg fillings. I felt obligated to like quiche because it was a French* food but I quickly developed a strong distaste for it. So I avoided quiche for most of my adult life.
And what a mistake that was! In the last few years I was persuaded to try quiche again and have since enjoyed many a delicious pie. There’s endless variations of quiche with different vegetables and cheeses (and meat, if that’s your thing). But of all of them, this one is my favorite and is commonly requested by family and friends. The sweetness of roasted squash and sautéed red onions mixes with the smoky cheese and eggs to create, well, perfection.
*Quiche is attributed to the Lorraine region of modern day France, which was under German rule when the first quiche-like recipes recorded appeared. The name itself is considered to originate from the German word “kuchen” or cake. Only since the annexation of Lorraine has quiche become associated with France.
My recipe is adapted from the Taste and Tell blog, replacing bitter kale with its sweeter cousin spinach, swapping gruyere for smoked gouda, and decreasing the filling (I had some quiche overflow kitchen meltdown moments that led to dismantling my entire oven…no joke). I also cheated by purchasing a pie crust from Whole Foods.
Roast the butternut squash.
While the squash is cooking, prepare the other ingredients – sauté the onions and spinach and whisk the eggs, cream, and cheese together.
Assemble your quiche.
Bake and enjoy!
A few time-saving tips:
- Buy pre-chopped butternut squash – anyone who’s struggled to peel and chop a full squash can appreciate this. Warning though, buying the pre-chopped option is more expensive, more wasteful due to the plastic its wrapped in, and you don’t have leftover squash.
- Buy the pie crust – I found making crust from scratch extends the time it takes to make the recipe quite a bit and that the Whole Foods 360 pie crust was deliciously flaky, but if you insist on homemade the Taste and Tell blog has a solid crust recipe. Also, store-bought crust is more wasteful because it comes in disposable pie tins wrapped in plastic.
- Make double. It takes almost no additional time to make a second quiche (assuming you followed the two tips above) and then you have double the food, which you can always freeze for later.
- If you have a food processor, use it to shred the cheese.
Butternut Squash & Spinach Quiche
1 quiche, ~75 minutes with prep
- 1 pound butternut squash, chopped into 1/2″ cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup red onion, diced
- 2 ounces baby spinach
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 3 ounces smoked gouda, shredded (do not substitute!!)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 pie crust*
- Sheet pan / baking sheet
- Pie tin (if you make your own crust)
- Large frying pan
- Large bowl
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Combine butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove when squash is soft and browned on the edges. Lower the oven temperature to 375ºF.
- While squash is roasting, prepare the remaining fillings. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan. Sauté red onion until clear and soft (approximately 5 minutes on medium heat), then add the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat. When butternut squash is ready, add it to the mixture.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and half and half. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the shredded smoked gouda.
- Spread the butternut squash mixture evenly into the pie crust. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the top, spreading out the cheese if it tries to clump together.
- Bake the quiche until the top is light golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
*I save time by using a store-bought crust (my favorite is from Whole Foods), but if you’d like to make your own, you can use this recipe from the Taste and Tell blog.