Ham and Cheese Quiche baked in a buttery, flaky pie crust is fabulous for breakfast, brunch, lunch or even dinner, and a delicious way to feed a crowd!
This ham and cheese quiche is creamy, cheesy, salty, savory, custardy perfection cocooned in buttery pie crust that will have everyone coming back for seconds! This quiche recipe can be made with homemade pie crust for the ultimate quiche experience or store-bought pie crust for the shortcut, 10-minute prep experience – so there’s no reason not to make this recipe today! This ham and cheese quiche recipe is loaded with leftover ham or deli ham and whatever veggies you choose for an explosion of texture and flavor all while cleaning out your veggie drawer. I’ve gone with onions, bell peppers and asparagus but you can use spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, etc. What especially elevates this ham and quiche recipe (aside from the flaky crust) is the use of heavy cream for the richest, creamiest filling, both Gruyere and Gouda cheese for meltability and FLAVOR (of course you can use whatever cheese you have on hand), and adept seasoning. You and yours will be swooning at every creamy, velvety ham and cheese quiche bite!
Savory breakfasts are always a win to start off the day or make a fun breakfast-for-dinner option. Some must try breakfast winners include: sweet potato frittata, sausage breakfast casserole, ham and cheese breakfast enchiladas, eggs Benedict casserole breakfast tacos, breakfast quesadillas, chilaquiles, and now this ham and cheese quiche!
Ham and cheese quiche recipe
I whipped up this ham and quiche recipe in anticipation of leftover Christmas ham, but really, this quiche recipe is so spectacular, you will be craving it year-round. I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit my husband and I downed the entire quiche in two days, in two sittings – it’s just SO GOOD. We love this quiche, crave this quiche, dream about this quiche – and now I want more of this quiche!
Why you’ll love this quiche recipe:
Prep ahead. If you’ve ever been intimidated by making quiche, it is actually very easy with my 3-minute food processor pie crust dough. Just add the ingredients to the food processer and pulse – that’s it! The only caveat is the dough requires 2 hours of chilling before rolling and another 45 minutes after being formed into pie crust. This means its ideal to make the day before and just pull out and fill OR you can use a store-bought pie shell.
Shortcut pie crust. Don’t want to make your own pie crust? No problem! You can use pre-made pie crust and just fill and bake – easy peasy without any pre-planning.
No soggy pie crust! This ham and cheese quiche recipe uses the technique of “blind baking” which simply means partially baking the pie crust before adding the filling. The ensures the crust stays buttery and flaky even on the bottom.
Easy. Once you’ve got your pie crust squared away, simply sauté any veggies you like (or you can skip this step altogether), and combine them with eggs, cheese and heavy cream, pour into the crust and bake – that’s it!
Delicious! This ham and cheese quiche is rich, creamy, cheesy, custardy heaven. The eggs are whisked with cream for extra soft custardy delight along with plenty of nutty Gruyere and gooey, smokey Gouda – no dry quiche here! The ham adds a savory, saltiness and the veggies add textural pleasure.
Versatile. This ham and cheese quiche recipe can be made anytime, with almost anything making it one of the most versatile breakfasts, lunches or dinners. Use your favorite veggies, leftover veggies, cheeses, herbs and add-ins. As long as you stick with the basic egg/cream/cheese ratios, you can enjoy a different quiche every time.
Portable. This quiche transports well, so you can enjoy slices for lunches or on-the-go breakfasts, or even bring them to brunch or potlucks. They are also fantastic for baby showers, bridal showers or potlucks (post pandemic).
Hearty. Unlike many sweet breakfast options, this ham and cheese quiche recipe is a meal-in-one bursting with nutrients and protein that will stick with you longer than fleeting sugar.
I’m going go into detail all about quiche – what is quiche, quiche ingredients, how to make quiche, recipe variations, etc. so you can read on or use the “jump to recipe button” at the top of the page.
What Is a Quiche?
Now let’s talk quiche. If you’ve never made a homemade quiche before, you’re in for a real treat! Quiche is a savory French tart made with a creamy, soft egg and cheese custard filling. Quiche can be loaded up with any combination of meat, seafood, cheese, and veggies.
You’ve likely heard of a Quiche Lorraine, which is made with cheese and bacon. This ham and cheese quiche recipe is a spinoff of that classic. I’ve used cooked ham instead of bacon and used both Gruyere and Gouda cheeses for the most flavor and gooeyness!
Difference Between Quiche vs Frittata
You might be tempted to think of quiche as a frittata with a crust – it is not. There are three main differences between French quiche and Italian frittatas, the first obvious being crust:
- Quiches are considered a savory egg pie due to their buttery, flaky crust. Frittatas do not have a crust.
- Quiche filling is more of a creamy egg custard due to the use of heavy cream. Frittatas also use heavy cream, but far less than quiche recipes.
- Quiche filling is less “eggy.” There are about 1/3 less eggs in quiche than frittatas (12 eggs in a frittata to 4/5 eggs in a quiche). The lack of eggs in a quiche is made up of cream and cheese. This means quiche is softer and melts in your mouth and frittatas are sturdier.
- Quiche is 100% baked in the oven whereas frittata is cooked briefly on the stove, then finished in the oven.
Ingredients in This Ham and Cheese Quiche Recipe
You want to know a secret about this homemade quiche recipe? It looks impressive, but it uses pantry friendly ingredients! This is an absolute show-stopping breakfast recipe, but you can practically prep it with your eyes closed!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this easy quiche recipe:
- Pie crust: I used my homemade pie crust in this quiche recipe. If making my pie crust, make sure to plan ahead! The pie dough needs to chill for at least 2 hours, but it’s best if made the night before you make the quiche. You can even make the pie dough a week or more in advance and freeze it until you’re ready to use it!
- Eggs: I use 4 whole eggs in this recipe and 1 egg yolk for extra richness. For best results, your eggs should be at room temperature. This ensures that the quiche filling bakes evenly in the oven.
- Heavy Cream: Also called “heavy whipping cream” at the grocery store. Heavy cream makes the quiche filling ultra velvety and rich. If you want to substitute with half and half, it will still work but won’t be as luxurious – more of a frittata texture.
- Ham: You can use leftover Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving ham or ham from the deli counter. If using leftover ham, you will need to take into account any additional ham seasonings. If purchasing ham from the deli counter, have them slice it ¼-inch thick then all you have to do at home is slice it the other direction to produce cubes. Don’t use thinly sliced ham because it doesn’t stand up as well to the thick egg filling.
- Gruyere: I used both Gruyere and Gouda in this recipe. Gruyere cheese is sweet, slightly salty, creamy, nutty – in short, it is AMAZING and elevates this quiche recipe. It boasts enough flavor to cut through the richness of the eggs/heavy cream and is the consummate melting cheese. Gruyere is a Swiss cheese and can be found with the specialty cheese (usually by the deli) in your grocery store.
- Gouda: Is hands down my favorite cheese. It tastes similar to cheddar but is more mild and smokey. Equally important, Gouda melts 1000X better than cheddar so it melts gorgeously into the creamy custard filling.
- Vegetables: Pick your favs or omit altogether. I’ve gone with asparagus and bell peppers but you can use whatever veggies you like, just make sure they are fully cooked before adding to the filling.
- Aromatics: Onions and garlic awaken the entire flavor profile. Fresh is best but for the ultimate lazy day ham and cheese quiche, there is no shame in using powders. You’ll want to use ¾ teaspoon garlic powder and ½ teaspoon onion powder.
- Salt and pepper: The ham and cheeses are already quite salty, so you don’t need much additional salt in this recipe.
Can you use milk instead of heavy cream or half and half in Quiche?
No, please DO NOT use milk or your quiche will not set.
Do I have to use homemade pie crust?
Nope! If you’re short on time, you can use a store-bought pie crust but if you do have the time, homemade is 100% worth the time and effort – it’s buttery and flaky in ways store-bought can only dream of. In addition, homemade pie crust is SO easy to make in your food processor. Just pulse flour, butter, shortening salt and water, together, chill, then roll!
How to use store bought pie crust
When buying frozen pie crust, make sure to purchase a 9-inch deep-dish pie crust, a regular pie crust will not work because it is not deep enough. If you unpackage the pie crust and it’s cracked, make a smooth paste by mixing 1 tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon of water and use it to fill any cracks. You can use this same trick if your crust cracks after pre-baking as well. Which brings me to my next point, you will still need to blind-bake store-bought pie crust to prevent a soggy bottom. Here’s how:
- Remove the pie crust from the freezer and thaw for about 10 minutes or until just soft enough to easily prick with a fork.
- Prick the bottom and sides all over with a fork (about an inch apart to prevent crust from puffing up).
- Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. You do not need to fill store-bought pie crust with weights.
Why Blind Bake (Prebake) Quiche Crust
This ham and cheese quiche recipe requires you to blind bake the homemade pie shell first. Blind baking might sound complicated but it simply means partially pre-baking the empty pie crust before you add the filling. Blind baking is important for a flakey crust because it allows the sides to set and the bottom to crisp up, something that can never happen if immediately filled and baked with a wet filling.
When blind baking, there are four keys to success:
- Chill your pie shell before blind baking. The pie shell should be chilled for 45 minutes (or longer) before blind baking. The colder the crust before baking, the crispier and flakier it will be. You want the fat to be firm going into the oven so it melts in the oven – not on the counter – this creates pockets of steam resulting in flaky layers. Equally as important, chilling the pie shell lets the strands of gluten relax which helps prevent constricting and shrinking.
- Use pie weights to prevent shell from shrinking. As the pie dough bakes, the fat melts and shrinks which causes the bottom to shrink and therefore the sides to slide down. Melting fat also creates steam which causes the dough to puff up if not weighed down with a filling. To remedy both of these problems, you need pie weights, rice, or beans – any oven proof weight – to fill the bottom of the pie shell. Now your center won’t puff up and the sides won’t shrink.
- Bake without pie weights to brown the bottom. You’ll bake the pie crust for 20 minutes with pie weights which bakes the edges and secures them in place but since the bottom was covered with parchment and weights, it doesn’t brown up. To remedy, you’ll simply remove the parchment and pie weights and bake an additional 10 minutes.
- “Dock” the pie crust before popping it back into the oven. This means pricking holes in pie crust with a fork which will allows steam to escape. And no, your filling will not escape through the holes!
How to Make a Ham and Cheese Quiche
Don’t be intimidated by how beautiful this quiche looks! It’s so incredibly easy to make, it just requires some hands-off dough chilling time. Here’s a breakdown of the basics steps to making a ham and cheese quiche at home:
Step 1: Make the Pie Crust
- Make the pie dough according to the recipe instructions.
- Press dough into an 8-inch disc, cover in plastic wrap, and let chill for at least 2 hours.
Step 2: Pre-Bake (Blind Bake) the Pie Crust
- Once the pie dough has had time to chill, roll it out into a 12-inch circle.
- Gently transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Flute the edges, or create whatever edge design you prefer.
- Line the dough with parchment paper, then fill with pie weights, rice or dried beans (this keeps the crust from shrinking).
- Bake the crust for 20 minutes. just until it starts to brown around the edges. Remove the parchment with pie weights and bake an additional 10 minutes. You are NOT baking the crust all the way through at this point. You just need it to be firm enough to hold the quiche filling so it doesn’t become soggy.
Step 3: Make the Quiche Filling
- While the pie crust is baking, whip up your filling. The filling can be whisked together in mere minutes!
- Sauté your favorite veggies, whisk together the eggs, cream and seasonings until combined.
- Stir in the ham and shredded cheeses followed sautéed veggies.
- Carefully pour the filling into the pre-baked pie crust. Use the back of a spatula to smooth out the filling if needed.
Step 4: Bake the Quiche
- Bake until the center is just about set.
- Do NOT overbake the ham and cheese quiche! The center will finish cooking and will set completely as it cools. Also note that the quiche may puff as it bakes and will fall and settle once it cools.
How to Tell When a Quiche Is Done
It is important not to cover-cook your homemade quiche to achieve light, fluffy, creamy perfection. Cook the quiche until the cheese is melted and the center is set but jiggles ever so slightly. Your quiche center should be soft and custardy, this means it is mega creamy. If you cut into your crust and it’s liquidly, then simply pop it back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
Tips for Making the BEST Homemade Quiche
- Prep ahead. I suggest making your pie dough or go one step further and blind bake the pie shell so all you have to do is pull it out of the fridge and fill when ready.
- Chill the crust! The pie crust will shrink if you don’t chill it before blind baking. Chill for at least 45 minutes.
- Use high-fat dairy: If you’ve experienced dry quiche in the past, it has either been overcooked or did not use enough fat. For the most luscious, never-dry quiche, I highly recommend heavy cream. Half and half can work but will not make the best ham and cheese quiche.
- Don’t overbeat the eggs: Beat the eggs just enough to blend the whites and yolks. You don’t want to beat the eggs too much or you will incorporate too much air into the eggs; this will cause the quiche to poof in the oven and fall into a dense, sad pile after cooling. Over-beaten eggs can also become tough and rubbery.
- Don’t skimp the herbs and aromatics: Use onions and garlic to build the flavor base. You can use yellow onions, red onions, shallots or green onions – but use plenty of them! I also recommend 3-4 garlic cloves and plenty of Italian herbs to flavor the entire dish. The only seasoning you don’t need a lot of is salt, as ham is already quite salty.
- Use enough cheese: Many ham and cheese quiche recipes don’t use enough cheese which means a less creamy, less tantalizing quiche. Cheese not only is a great way to introduce more flavor throughout the entire quiche but amps up the creamy factor. I recommend 1 cup soft melting cheese (see section on cheeses) and then you can use another cheese such as Parmesan, feta or sharp cheese that add flavor but don’t melt quite as well for the remaining half cup.
- Shred the cheese yourself. No matter what cheese you choose, please only use freshly grated cheeses as packaged cheeses contain anti-clumping chemicals which inhibits their melting ability.
- Keep an eye on the crust. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the quiche as it bakes. If the crust is becoming too dark, cover the outside ring of the crust with foil or I love my pie shield.
- Don’t over bake the quiche: For the creamiest quiche, don’t overcook or you’ll end up with dry spongy, rubbery, crumbly eggs! A perfect ham and cheese quiche should have a custard-like consistency. There are a variety of factors when it comes to baking times such as pan material, actual ingredients, actual oven temperature, etc. so it is important to keep an eye on your quiche the last few minutes of baking, especially if you have never made the recipe before. You will want to bake the quiche until the edges are set and the center jiggles just a little when the pan is moved. The center will continue to cook and firm up once removed from the oven, so you don’t want it completely done.
BASIC ham and cheese quiche FORMULA
If you want to skip my veggies and add your own, or swap cheeses here is the basic ham and cheese quiche formula to follow:
- Protein: 1 cup, chopped
- Eggs: 4 large eggs, 1 egg yolk
- Cream: 1 cup heavy cream
- Vegetables: 3 cups chopped raw vegetables – you can use less, but don’t use more. If starting with cooked vegetables, use slightly less because raw vegetables cook down.
- Onion: ½ yellow onion, ½ red onion, 4 green onions, 2 shallots, OR ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Cheese: 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) freshly shredded cheese. You can use two melting cheeses or 1 cup melting cheese and 1/2 cup other cheese.
- Seasonings: 1/2 tsp EACH dried parsley, dried oregano, dried thyme, paprika, ground mustard, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt
Quiche Recipe Variations
Now that you know the basic ham and quiche recipe formula, you can make a quiche using pretty much any combination of cheeses, veggies, and protein that you like! Here are a few ways you can switch up this simple ham and cheese quiche recipe:
- Change the protein: Instead of using cubed ham, try using cooked baked, cubed or shredded chicken, cooked sausage, salmon, crab, shrimp, corned beef or bacon.
- Change the veggies: You’ll need to sauté the veggies first like in this recipe, otherwise the veggies won’t cook in time and they’ll make the quiche filling watery and the middle won’t set properly. A few veggies you can add to this easy quiche recipe include: spinach, cherry tomatoes, potatoes (regular or sweet potatoes – I steam in the microwave first), mushrooms, bell peppers, artichokes broccoli and cauliflower. You can also use leftover roasted veggies – yum!
- Change the cheeses: I like using a blend of cheeses in my quiche recipes for maximum flavor and texture. I recommend using at least one soft cheese so the filling is extra creamy! Some other cheeses to experiment with are: mozzarella, fontina, asiago, taleggio, provolone, goat cheese, feta, and Swiss cheese. Some cheeses, such as mozzarella, aren’t as salty, so you will want to add a pinch of extra salt to the filling.
- Add herbs: Fresh herbs and savory, cheesy egg custard is a match made in heaven! Try adding fresh chives, basil, cilantro, or parsley to your quiche. If swapping fresh herbs for the dried herbs in this recipe, you’ll need 3 to 1 fresh to dried.
quiche RECIPE VARIATIONS to try
Here are some tasty ham and cheese quiche recipe variations to try (all should have some sort of onion and garlic):
- Ham, spinach, Gruyere and feta cheese.
- Ham, spinach, cherry tomatoes, Gruyere and feta cheese.
- Ham, spinach, artichokes, red bell peppers, mozzarella and feta cheese.
- Ham, broccoli, chives and Gouda.
- Ham, broccoli, sweet potatoes, chives, Gouda and goat cheese.
- Ham, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, basil, mozzarella and goat cheese.
- Ham, roasted bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, Gouda and Gruyere.
- Ham, asparagus, tomatoes, spinach, mozzarella and Gruyere.
- Ham, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, mozzarella and Gruyere.
- Ham, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, Gouda and Gruyere.
Ham & Cheese Quiche FAQs
What Is the Ratio of Eggs to Milk in A Quiche?
For this ham and cheese quiche, we use 4 large eggs and 1 egg yolk to 1 cup of heavy cream. This produces luxuriously rich and creamy quiche.
Do You Have to Bake the Crust First for A Quiche?
Yes, you must pre-bake the crust (called blind baking) before adding the filling or it will be soggy instead of flaky. Homemade pie crust should be baked for 30 minutes total (20 with weights, 10 without) and store-bought pie crust should be baked for 10-15 minutes (less time because it is thinner).
How Do You Make A Quiche Without Crust?
Crustless quiche is exactly that – quiche without a crust! You can make a ham and cheese crustless quiche by following the recipe for the filling and pouring into 9-inch pie dish generously greased with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 -42 minutes.
What temperature should quiche be baked to?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), egg dishes are safe to eat at 160 degrees F. At this point however, the quiche will still be liquid in the middle. Instead, bake the quiche until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center registers between 170 and 175 F. Above 180 and it is definitely overcooked and runs the risk of curdling. If it’s under 160, continue baking it until it reaches 170 degrees F.
Can I Prep Quiche in Advance?
Yes! You have a few options when it comes to making this quiche recipe in advance:
- Pie crust: Make the pie dough in advance and chill in the fridge for up to 5 days OR make further in advance and freeze for up to 3 months, then thaw overnight and use. You can also partially pre-bake the pie crust in the pie plate up to 3 days in advance. Let cool, cover and refrigerate.
- Egg filling: You can whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, seasonings, ham and cheeses, cover, and store in an airtight container (NOT the pie shell) for up to 24 hours. Give the mixture a stir before using to make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Whole quiche: You can assemble and bake the entire quiche before serving it. Quiche will last up to 4 days in the fridge, but it’s best within the first 24 hours of making it. It’s delicious served cold, room temperature, or warm, but I’m partial to warm.
How to Store and Reheat Quiche
Quiche reheats very well so it’s fabulous to make ahead.
- To store: Let the quiche cool to room temperature on your countertop before covering it with foil and refrigerating it. It will last up to 4 days in the fridge.
- To reheat in the microwave: Warm individual servings on a microwave-safe plate in the microwave for about a minute or until warmed through. I like to cut my slice in half before microwaving so it warms evenly.
- To reheat in the oven: Transfer whole quiche to the oven and reheat for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F or until heated through. For quiche slices, transfer them to an oven-safe baking dish, then cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes, or until heated through.
- From frozen: Defrost a slice for 2 minutes on high in the microwave then bake for 10 minutes.
Can You Freeze Quiche?
Yes! This ham and cheese quiche freezes like a dream! Here’s how to freeze a quiche:
- For slices: slice into individual servings. Wrap each slice in plastic wrap then seal inside a freezer-safe plastic bag.
- For whole quiche: wrap quiche in a double layer of plastic wrap followed by a double layer of foil.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
- When ready to eat, you can reheat quiche slices from frozen per method above but it is best to thaw a whole quiche in the refrigerator for 24 hours before reheating. Reheat for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F or until heated through.
What to Serve with Ham and Cheese Quiche?
Quiche is typically served as a main dish for breakfast or brunch. It’s already a very hearty dish, so I like to keep the sides simple. A few ideas of what to serve with quiche include:
- Fruit: Oranges, bananas, cantaloupe, strawberries, acai bowls, fruit salad, winter fruit salad, cranberry ambrosia salad, yogurt fruit salad.
- Bread: Simple toast, or avocado toast, cinnamon roll monkey bread, sweet orange roll bread twists, lemon bread.
- Muffins: French toast muffins, blueberry muffins, cornbread muffins, chocolate zucchini muffins, pumpkin muffins, Nutella snickerdoodle muffins.
how to make mini quiche
This ham and cheese quiche recipe will work great to make mini quiche as well but you will need TWO pie crusts (double the homemade pie crust recipe):
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two nonstick 24-cup mini muffin tins with cooking spray.
- Working with 1 chilled pie dough at a time (store-bought or homemade), roll out onto a floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Using a 2.5-inch cookie cutter, cut out 24 circles, rerolling the scraps as needed. Work quickly as the dough becomes more delicate and tears more easily the longer it’s at room temperature. Repeat with 2nd chilled pie dough for a total of about 48.
- Transfer the dough rounds into greased pans and press the dough flat into the bottom and up the sides. Evenly pour filling into each unbaked crust.
- Bake mini quiches until the center is just about set and edges are lightly browned, about 25-28 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan.
More Breakfast Recipes for a Crowd:
- The Best Frittata
- Eggs Benedict Casserole
- Breakfast Enchiladas
- Breakfast Pot Pie
- Sausage Breakfast Casserole
- Pecan Praline French Toast Bake
- Breakfast Tacos
- Breakfast Burritos
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