Spinach Quiche

James Beard

Author and Educator

This basic quiche recipe can be varied according to your preferences and according to the season. In spring and summer the wealth of fresh vegetables should dictate the ingredients: asparagus and goat cheese, or peas, scallions, and grated parmesan, and in the fall, try shredded carrots, herbs, and parmesan. Swiss chard, escarole, and leeks combined with bacon, onions, and custard also make delicious fillings. Be guided by the proportions below, but you can’t go wrong with using most any vegetable.


  • 1 pre-baked pastry shell (see recipe for Tart Pastry)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds fresh spinach (or 1-1/2 cup thawed frozen spinach, well drained)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon or 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta, shredded Gruyère, sharp cheddar, or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or 1/2 heavy cream and 1/2 plain whole milk yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Thoroughly wash the spinach in three changes of water. Place it in a heavy pan with no water other than that clinging to the leaves, cover, and wilt down over medium to high heat. The bulk should be reduced to about 1 1/2 to 2 cups. Drain it very well, pressing and squeezing to get out all the water. Then chop the spinach coarsely and season it with salt, nutmeg, tarragon, and lemon juice. Mix well and taste for seasoning.

Spread the bottom of the pre-cooked pastry shell thickly with mustard. This is a trick I learned from my friend Simca Beck and it gives a wonderful flavor to the finished quiche.

Arrange the spinach in the shell, and sprinkle with the cheese of your choice. Beat the eggs and egg yolks with the heavy cream (or cream and yogurt). Pour the mixture over the spinach, using enough to fill but not spill over the shell. Sprinkle with parsley and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the custard is just barely set.

The quiche can be served warm or at room temperature.


4 to 6 servings