The perfect brunch or breakfast for dinner dish, this vegetarian quiche recipe marries together eggs, milk, cheese and hash brown potatoes into a single dish. Instead of bacon, use Morningstar Farms Chorizo Crumbles.Jump to Recipe
Want to make this recipe perfectly the first time? I want to help with that. So, check out this Table of Contents to see which sections of this post will help you the most.
Quiche is the perfect brunch or breakfast for dinner dish, and Quiche Lorraine is one of my favorites. But the traditional version from the mountainous Lorraine region in north-eastern France includes bacon. And, although I love a good Asparagus Gruyere Quiche and my Quiche Florentine, today I wanted a vegetarian Quiche Lorraine.
🤷♀️ What is a traditional Quiche Lorraine
A quiche was originally a simple peasant meal of an egg and cream custard, with bread dough as the crust. Although we associate this dish with France, at the time Quiche Lorraine was first created in someone's kitchen, that kitchen was in medieval Germany.
Fluid borders being what they were at the time, this region went through numerous name changes as the land shifted dominance between various ruling countries. And the last country was France, and the last region was Lorraine.
If you're interested in the etymology of words like I am, the word quiche comes from the German word for cake: kuchen.
The earliest Quiche Lorraine included smoked bacon. The cheese came along later. And at some point onions were added. Many people started calling that version Quiche Alsacienne - from the neighboring region, Alsace. And a short pastry and puff pastry replaced the bread dough, eventually making it the familiar Quiche Lorraine we see today.
👩🍳 Why This Recipe Works
- Since bacon is a key ingredient to this dish, I had to find a substitute that would work for this vegetarian quiche recipe. I found the perfect substitute in Morningstar Farm's Chorizo Crumbles. These crumbles add a touch of umami saltiness that bacon is famous for, and packs a little punch of heat, a big punch of flavor, and 9 grams of protein per ½ cup.
- The hash browns crust makes this vegetarian quiche a meal for people wanting potatoes with their eggs dish.
- Baking the hash browns in the oven before adding the filling keeps the crust from becoming soggy.
🧅 Main Ingredients + Notes
The secret to faster and easier meals often lies in the ingredients. For example, store-bought items and ingredients you make ahead and store in the refrigerator (or freezer) can turn a 60-minute recipe into a 30-minutes meal or less.
For the all of the ingredients, measurements and directions, go to the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post.
- Frozen hash brown potatoes
- Morningstar Farms Plant-Based Chorizo Crumbles
- Yellow onion
- Whole milk
- Half and Half
- Gruyere cheese
- Parmesan cheese
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🔪 Recommended Equipment
- 9" pie plate
- Chef's knife
- Medium skillet
- Cheese grater
📝 Instructions Overview
Detailed instructions for making this vegetarian quiche recipe are in the recipe card below, but here's an overview!
Make the hash browns crust. Thaw the hash browns, melt the butter, and combine. Season and press into a pie plate. Bake until browned.
Sauté. Sauté the onions and the plant-based chorizo crumbles. Set aside to cool.
Whisk. Whisk together the eggs, milk, Half and Half and salt. Fold in
the grated Gruyere and Parmesan with a spatula or large spoon.
Fill and bake. Fill the baked hash browns shell with the onions and chorizo, topped with the egg mixture.
If you want, layer the filling by first removing ¼ cup of the onions and chorizo, and setting it aside. Spread the remaining onions and chorizo on the bottom of the baked shell, topped with all of the egg mixture, and then finishing with the reserved onions and chorizo.
Bake. Bake for one hour, or until a knife inserted in the center of the quiche comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing. This additional time allows the eggs to set up, and is something I recommend for any egg dish calling for 3 or more eggs.
⏰ Tips to Simplify and Save Time
- For an easy vegetarian quiche, eliminate the hash browns crust, and use a pre-made frozen pie crust instead.
- Sauté the onions and plant-based chorizo ahead of time, and refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 2 days.
- Make the entire quiche ahead of time, including baking it. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Rewarm in a 350˚F oven.
👩🍳 Preparation Tips
- Thawed hash browns measures less than frozen when measured in a measuring cup. For example to get 3 cups of thawed hash browns, start with almost 4 cups frozen.
- If you use an 8-inch pie dish for this vegetarian quiche, 3 cups frozen is fine.
- Always be sure anything cooked on the stove cools a bit before adding to whisked eggs. Otherwise, there's risk that the eggs will scramble.
- The quickest way to chop up an onion, with the bonus of no tearing eyes, is to use a mini chopper that comes with a whisk and immersion blender attachments. I use the whisk attachment to whisk the eggs.
💡Ideas for Possible Variations
- As mentioned in the above section, substitute a regular pie crust for the hash browns crust. Either purchase one that's pre-made in the freezer section of your market, or make your own homemade crust. Here's a tutorial with photos if you opt to make your own flaky pie crust.
- Use other plant-based meat substitutions instead of the Morningstar Farms Plant-Based Chorizo.
- Substitute another melty cheese for the traditional Gruyere, for example Monterey Jack cheese. Emmental cheese is an excellent substitution, as it's another Swiss cheese.
📇 More Egg Dishes
If you like broccoli and tomatoes together, check out this easy broccoli tomato frittata with cheddar cheese. I make it in a frittata pan, but you can make it in a skillet and finish it in the oven too.
A similar recipe to this quiche is another of my vegetarian quiche recipes, asparagus Gruyere quiche, also with a hash browns crust. It's lightened by replacing some of the half and half with low fat milk and whipped egg whites.
Another asparagus quiche that eliminates heavy cream and uses ricotta cheese instead is this asparagus ricotta quiche.
Or check out my Breakfast + Brunch page for more vegetarian breakfast ideas.
Vegetarian Quiche Lorraine with Hash Brown Crust
Hash Brown Crust
- 4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Hash Brown Crust
- Preheat the oven to 425˚F / 220˚C, and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Baste the inside of a 9-inch / 23cm pie dish with butter.
- Toss together the thawed hash browns with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter and the salt in a medium bowl. Press into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Try to make the thickness on the sides as even as possible with the bottom. Baste with the remaining melted butter, and slide into the oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly crisped on the top edges. The hash browns on the bottom of the pie dish should be very lightly browned and dry to the touch. Set aside to cool.
- Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and sauté the onion and chorizo crumbles until the onion softens, about 8 - 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. You should have ¾ cup - 1 cup of filling.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, Half and Half, and salt. Stir in the Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses.
- Reserve ¼ cup of the onion-chorizo mixture, and spread the remaining sauté on the bottom of the hash brown crust. Pour in the eggs and cheeses. Top with the reserved onion-chorizo sauté.
- Reduce the oven heat to 350˚F / 180˚C. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the quiche comes out clean. The sides should be clearly set, and should be firm to the touch in the middle, and spring back when lightly pressed.
- Place on a cooling rack to cool for 15 - 20 minutes before serving.
- Bake the hash browns crust for 35 minutes, instead of the recommended 25 minutes.
- Bake the quiche for 1 hour, instead of the recommended 45 minutes.