We are big quiche fans! Quiche is can be made in advance, served right at the table—AND it can be eaten for brunch, lunch, or dinner. It's hard to think of another dish that's as flexible and crowd-pleasing as quiche. And, this Butternut Squash Quiche with caramelized onions and cheese is one of our favorites.
Flavorful squash and caramelized onions pair perfectly with the creamy egg filling and flaky crust. So, if you're looking for a vegetarian holiday dish that everyone can love, definitely make this quiche recipe! This quiche always gets rave reviews from friends and family. To save time, you can prep the quiche in advance and simply reheat (or not!) before serving.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Crowd-pleasing Vegetarian Option: The flaky crust and cheesy egg filling with caramelized onions and butternut squash is always a hit. This quiche is one of those "accidentally" vegetarian dishes where nobody will miss the meat!
- Easy for Entertaining: Quiche can be made in advance, and then just heated and served right at the table. It's an easy way to serve a crowd for brunch, lunch, or dinner—especially during the holidays.
- Quiche Made Without Cream: This Butternut Squash Quiche recipe is made with milk, not heavy cream. Therefore, it tastes decadent and delicious, without being too heavy.
- Onion: Lightly caramelized onions add delicious flavor to this tart. We recommend using yellow onions because they have a well-balanced depth of flavor. But, you could use white onions instead.
- Kale: We use lacinato (dino) kale for this, but you could substitute curly kale.
- Cheese: Gruyere cheese melts well and has a yummy, mildly nutty flavor. Jarlsberg or Gouda are common substitutes for Gruyere, but you could also use an aged cheddar cheese.
- Pie Crust: We highly recommend making our Easy Whole Wheat Quiche Crust. But, if you're in a pinch, store-bought frozen pie crust works too (pictured above).
How to make
This recipe covers everything you need to make a quiche from scratch, including:
- Par-baking the crust/pastry tart
- Preparing the filling
- Baking the final quiche
Here's the step-by-step instructions (with photos) for this Butternut Squash Quiche:
- Homemade vs. frozen crust: You'll usually get the best flavor from a homemade crust. But if you're looking to save time, there's no shame in buying a prepared pie shell from the frozen aisle of the grocery store. Both options work great!
- Pre-bake the crust: Baking the quiche crust before adding the filling prevents the crust from becoming soggy. Don't skip this step in the recipe!
- Pie weights: When blind-baking the crust, you'll want to use pie weights to hold down the crust...since the filling won't be in it yet. You can use specialty pie weights, but dried beans are an inexpensive alternative. (We use dried beans! See video).
- Make ahead friendly: If you're entertaining, make it easy on yourself and prep the quiche in advance. You can either prep the components, then assemble and on the day-of. Or, go ahead and fully bake the quiche; then just lightly reheat the next day.
This quiche makes a great main for brunch, lunch, or dinner.
In the morning, you could serve quiche with breakfast potatoes, fruit, and toast.
During the holidays, this Butternut Squash Quiche is a delicious vegetarian option that everyone at the table will enjoy! You can pair it with holiday sides like: Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Kale Salad with Roasted Squash, or Roasted Beets with Labneh.
If you're wondering what to serve with quiche, then you've come to the right place! We wrote a definitive guide on What to Serve with Quiche. Read that post for the full list of the best sweet and savory recipes—from brunch pairings, side salads, soups, vegetable sides, and so much more.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, don't skip this step. Baking the crust, before adding the filling, helps to prevent the crust from getting soggy. When blind-baking the crust, you only need to bake the crust until it's pale golden; because, it'll go into the oven for a second time to be baked with the filling.
Yes, you can use store-bought pre-diced butternut squash. Follow the recipe directions and cook times as instructed.
Yes, the filling is entirely gluten-free so all you need to do is select a gluten-free crust. You can often find gluten-free pie crusts in the frozen aisle of the grocery store. Or, make your own gluten-free crust from scratch!
Butternut Squash Quiche with Cheese and Onions
- 2 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted)
- 1 lb yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 2 medium onions)
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup butternut squash, cubed (½-inch/1.5 cm)
- ½ cup thinly sliced lacinato kale
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
- 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese (see note 1)
- 1 batch Easy Whole Wheat Quiche Crust (or other quiche crust, see note 2)
- Blind bake crust: Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Place a pie of parchment paper over the crust, then top with pie weights (or dried beans). Bake for 20 minutes. Remove parchment paper and pie weights, then return crust to oven and bake until light golden, 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook onions: Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Stir to mix. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add squash: Uncover skillet, add butternut squash and continue cooking until onions are golden brown and squash is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. (If there are brown bits sticking to the skillet, add a bit of water and stir to loosen. Reduce heat slightly if needed to prevent burning.)
- Add kale and thyme: Add kale, cook until it softens, about 1 minute. Stir in thyme. Remove veggie mixture from heat and set aside.
- Whisk egg mixture: In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Assemble and bake: With the blind-baked quiche set on a baking sheet, layer in the veggie mixture and cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the fillings, until the crust is filled (you may not use it all). Slide the quiche into the oven (on the baking sheet). Bake until the eggs are set but the middle still has a little bit of a wiggle, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool before cutting and serving.
- Gruyere cheese and substitutes: Imported Gruyere cheese typically contains animal-based rennet. If you wish to avoid this, look for labels that say "vegetarian friendly" or lists "microbial enzymes" as an ingredient (instead of rennet). Jarlsberg or Gouda are good substitutes for Gruyere. Or use aged cheddar cheese insteak.
- Crust: We recommend a 9-inch (23 cm) tart pan with removable bottom or an 8-inch pie plate. Tart pans tend to have shorter sides than pie plates, so the smaller pie plate diameter helps adjust for this.
- Make ahead / reheating instructions: Quiche can be baked in advance, wrapped tightly (once fully cooled), and refrigerated. Reheat at 300°F (150°C) until quiche is warmed through.
- Freezing instructions: Let quiche cool completely after baking. Wrap tightly in foil, then place in an extra-large freezer bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. Bake directly from frozen, at 300°F (150°C) until quiche is warmed through.