This spinach sausage quinoa crust quiche is hearty, comforting, and delicious. The quinoa makes a great gluten-free crust for the cheesy egg filling and the dish is great for serving for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
If you're looking for a gluten-free crust option for quiche, have you ever considered quinoa?
But when I gave it a try and started developing the recipe, it worked out better than I thought!
Quiches don't necessarily need any crust at all, like my Crustless Roasted Vegetable Quiche, and if you want to go low-carb, going crustless is a great way to go.
But if you do want a base for your eggy quiche that is also gluten-free, quinoa is an awesome option. Not only does the quinoa make a great shell for the quiche and all its fillings, but it also lends great flavor to to the dish. And who can resist that golden crisp edge?
How To Make the Quiche
The Quinoa Crust
To make the crust, you need to cook up some quinoa. If you happen to have some leftover quinoa sitting in the fridge, this is a great way to use it up. But if not, it's easy enough to cook up some quinoa just for the quiche.
The quinoa crust is held together by a mixture of egg and mozzarella cheese, and it's flavored with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
Once you've got the quinoa mixed together with its flavorings and the "glue", it all goes into an oven-safe dish (I use a deep-dish pie plate). Use the back of a spoon or the bottom and sides of a measuring cup to help press and shape the quinoa into the dish.
From there, it goes into the oven for about 20 minutes to bake and for the crust to set before it's ready for the filling.
As the name of the recipe says, I'm using sauage in this quiche, and I like using Fra'Mani Sausages (not sponsored), but use whatever sausages you have available and whatever flavor you prefer. I like to use the basic Salt and Pepper flavored Fra'Mani sausages, but this would also be delicious with chicken apple sausages, Italian sausages, or give it a bit of kick with a spicy flavored sausage. You can even use breakfast sausages or bacon..whatever you prefer!
Chop them up finely and heat them up in a skillet. Since there is usually already fat in the sausages, I don't add any extra oil to the pan. Next comes a couple cloves of minced garlic.
Finally comes the baby spinach leaves. It looks like a lot when you add them to the pan, but in no time, they wilt down to nothing. And with that, the filling is done.
Putting the Quiche Together
Now comes the fun part of putting everything together. First in goes the sausage-spinach mixture, spread out evenly. Then comes a generous topping of grated cheddar and Parmesan cheeses.
In a measuring cup or bowl, whip together the eggs, milk, some salt and pepper. Yes, I use chopsticks because a) I'm Asian, and b) I find that the chopsticks do a better job breaking apart the eggs and their whites. But of course, a fork will do!
Pour the egg mixture over the quiche filling. Alternatively, you can reverse the order add the layer of cheese AFTER pouring in the egg mixture...it's completely up to you.
If you do the cheese last, you'll have more of a cheesy crust on top of the quiche than if you do it the other way around. The cheese will also hide any egg whites that may not have completely broken up when scrambling.
Into the oven it goes for about 30-35 minutes until golden brown and voila!
This quinoa crust quiche is obviously a meal in itself, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to serve it with some slices of cucumber or tomatoes. You favorite salad greens drizzled with Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette, Orange Poppyseed Dressing, or Creamy Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing would be a light and bright accompaniment to a wedge of quiche as well.
Soup would also make a great partner to the quiche. Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup or Chicken Vegetable Soup would certainly make your meal more hearty and comforting.
Yes! You can make the quinoa ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you're ready to make the crust. You can also make the crust and do the initial bake and then refrigerate it until you're ready to bake it with the filling.
As I mentioned above, you can use whatever sausage you like in this recipe, or you can substitute it with bacon or omit it completely.
Spinach makes a nice filling because it cooks up so quickly. However, using some leftover roasted vegetables would also make a great filling. Basically, choose whichever quiche fillings you might have on-hand or that you prefer!
As for the quinoa crust, mozzarella cheese works best as it's a nice "glue-y" type of cheese for helping hold it together. However, you can choose other cheeses for topping you quiche besides the cheddar and Parmesan that I use...think Swiss, Monterey Jack, sprinkles of feta, etc. for different flavors.
Reheat individual servings of leftovers in your microwave for a quick meal. Alternatively, you can reheat it in the oven if you want to crisp up the crust edge again.
Leftover quiche also makes for a satisfying breakfast the next day!
So if you're in the mood for quiche and want to try a different type of crust, consider quinoa! It's gluten-free, tasty, hearty, healthy...and it's pretty to look at, too! This dish is another big hit with my family, and I'm sure it will be with yours, too.
Spinach and Sausage Quinoa Crust Quiche
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 175 grams cooked sausage, chopped finely (approximately 2 fat sausage links)
- 150 grams baby spinach leaves
- 5 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ cup grated cheddar
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- In medium pot, combine rinsed quinoa, water, oil, and salt.
- Bring to a boil uncovered.
- Cover pot with lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove lid and cook another 1-2 minutes to cook off any remaining liquid.
- Fluff with fork and let cool for at least 15 minutes (or prepare ahead of time to use later).
- Preheat oven 375F/190C.
- In a bowl, combine the egg, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and beat well.
- Add the egg mixture and grated mozzarella to the cooled quinoa and mix well.
- Transfer the quinoa to an oven-proof baking dish (I use a 9 ½-inch deep-dish pie plate).
- Using the back of a spoon or a measuring cup, flatten and press the quinoa into an even crust around the dish.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool at least 5 minutes.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add the cooked sausage to heat through.
- Add the minced garlic to the pan and saute with the sausage for about 1 minute.
- Add the uncooked spinach to the pan and fry until wilted. Remove the pan from the heat and let the filling cool slightly.
Constructing the Quiche:
- In a bowl or large measuring cup, combine the 5 eggs, milk, salt and pepper and whisk until well blended. Set aside.
- Transfer the sausage and spinach mixture to the quinoa crust.
- Top with grated cheddar and Parmesan.
- Pour the egg and milk mixture over the sausage and spinach filling.
- Bake at 375F/190C for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted into the middle of the quiche comes out clean.
- Let quiche cool 10-15 minutes before cutting.
- I used a 9 ½" deep-dish pie plate. If you are using a regular pie plate, or if you want a thinner quinoa crust, reduce the amount of cooked quinoa when making the crust.
- Substitute the spinach and sausage with whatever quiche fillings you have available, such as broccoli, ham, roasted vegetables, etc.
- Top the quiche with different cheeses such as Gouda, Swiss, feta, etc.
- Make mini quinoa crust quiches in your muffin tin! In this case, I would only put the quinoa crust on the bottom and not the sides so you have a better balance of crust and filling.
- Refrigerate leftovers and reheat in the microwave or oven.
** This recipe was original published on March 26th, 2018 and republished on April 13th 2021 with recipe updates, new photos, and writing.