This Bacon and Swiss Chard Quiche has the most decadently creamy texture thanks to the genius inspiration of Julia Child! It’s the perfect make-ahead breakfast, brunch, or even lunch or dinner served with a side salad.
This recipe was created out of the need to use up a bunch of Swiss chard I harvested from my garden before replacing my raised beds. A friend brought over some eggs from his backyard chickens, and I had exactly four slices of bacon in my fridge, just enough heavy cream leftover from another recipe, and a random frozen pie crust in my freezer.
I LOVE when the stars collide and you have everything you need to make something delicious without having to go to the store! Especially when you can clear out space in your fridge and freezer in the process.
This recipe is a bit more complex and takes a little longer than my usual recipes, but here’s the advantage: it’s a great make-ahead meal that reheats beautifully. You can make it on the weekend and take slices to work for lunch all week long, or you can make it early in the morning and serve it room temperature a couple of hours later for brunch.
And it’s so delicious, it’s definitely worth the extra couple of steps, including blind baking the pie crust halfway and cooking the bacon and chard separately before adding them to the filling.
What is “blind baking” a pie crust?
Blind baking refers to the process of cooking a pie crust without any filling in it. It’s generally used when you need to fill a pie with a filling that doesn’t cook, such as with pudding or cream pies.
But for pies with a very wet filling, such as with this quiche, half-baking the pie crust before filling it helps the pie crust to not be too soggy on the bottom.
The process is simple: just line a pie dish or quiche dish with a pie crust and crimp the edges, just like you normally would for any pie. Then, place some parchment paper inside it and fill it with pie weights, or, if you’re like me and don’t have any, some dried beans (I used pinto since they were the cheapest at my store!).
You can also use rice, lentils, or other grains/legumes. I actually save my pinto beans for future makeshift pie weights. Keep in mind- you don’t want to actually cook with anything you use as pie weights!
Then stick the pie (on a rimmed baking sheet so it’s easy to get in and out of the oven) in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. The pie crust will be perfectly half-cooked so you can fill it with the rest of the goodies that make this bacon and Swiss chard quiche so delicious.
What’s in the filling?
There’s so much goodness happening in the filling of this bacon and Swiss chard quiche.
Bacon. Swiss Chard. Eggs. Cheddar cheese. Heavy cream.
I broke out the big guns for inspiration for this recipe by looking up Julia Child’s recipe for Quiche Lorraine in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her recipe called for a cup to a cup and a half of heavy cream. Who am I to argue with Julia?
So a cup of heavy cream, mixed with just three eggs, was the base for this custard. You can use milk if you want, or a combination, but really the cream makes the texture so dreamy.
The traditional Quiche Lorraine has only bacon, cream, and eggs. Super simple. I added a little cheddar cheese to the cream and egg mixture, along with some salt and pepper.
While the pie crust was blind baking, I cooked up some bacon in a skillet, removed it, then sautéed some onions and the chard (stems, finely chopped, and leaves, roughly chopped) in some of the bacon grease.
Then, the half-baked pie crust is filled with the chard mixture, spread out evenly on the bottom, and the cream/egg/cheese mixture is poured evenly on top. Use a wooden spoon to spread all the cheese out evenly, since it has a tendency to clump together.
Can I freeze quiche?
While I personally haven’t tried it (because I eat it all way too fast to freeze!), the consensus around the internet is that yes, you can easily freeze quiche.
You can freeze it before baking– cover it and wrap it tightly with foil and keep it in your freezer for up to two months. When you bake it, just stick it in the oven frozen and add another 10-20 minutes to the baking time.
Or, you can freeze it after baking– just bake it at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until it’s warmed through. Or, you can also start it in a cold oven set to 400 degrees, so it gradually defrosts as the oven warms up, then bake for an additional 15-20 minutes after the oven has come to temperature.
One word of caution: glass or ceramic pie dishes will NOT work well for this method, since they can shatter under extreme temperature changes. If you use a glass or ceramic dish, I recommend defrosting the pie completely before cooking. Otherwise, a metal pie dish will be your best bet.
Next time, I’m definitely making two of these and freezing one.
Finally, if you don’t want to use Swiss chard in this quiche, no worries! You can easily substitute spinach or kale or your other favorite leafy green (the tops of beets would be great here) instead. And you can easily omit the bacon for a vegetarian version (use butter to sauté the veggies).
Like this Bacon and Swiss Chard Quiche recipe? You’ll love these other easy-to-make quiche recipes that can be made ahead of time: Crustless Spinach, Tomato, and Feta Quiche, Easy Zucchini Quiche, Mini Mushroom, Goat Cheese, and Rosemary Quiches, and Crustless Broccoli, Bacon, and Cheddar Quiche.
Here’s the printable recipe!
Bacon and Swiss Chard Quiche
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a quiche pan or pie pan with prepared pie crust. Crimp edges and place parchment paper inside, and fill with pie weights (or alternative, such as dried beans).
- Blind bake your pie crust halfway by placing the pie pan on a rimmed baking sheet and baking for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and remove pie weights/beans and save for another time and discard parchment paper. Turn oven temperature down to 375 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl. whisk together the three eggs and heavy cream (1 cup) until smooth. Stir in the grated cheddar cheese (1 cup), kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon), and black pepper (1/4 teaspoon). Set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook the four strips of bacon until crispy. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
- Remove all but two tablespoons of the bacon grease from the skillet. Add the diced onion and sauté over medium-high heat until softened and starting to brown, about 3 minutes.
- Add the Swiss chard and sauté until both the leaves and the stems are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, 5-7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop up the bacon slices. Add them to the skillet when the chard has finished cooking.
- Place the chard and bacon mixture in the bottom of the half-baked pie crust. Spread out evenly.
- Pour the egg, cream, and cheese mixture on top. Spread it out evenly, ensuring especially that the cheese evenly coats the top.
- Bake the quiche at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until browned on top and filling is firm when you shake it slightly.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes at least. Cut into 8 slices and serve warm or at room temperature.
- For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon and use 2 tablespoons butter to sauté the onions and chard. You may need to use extra salt in the egg and cream mixture to compensate, since bacon is so salty.
- For a lower carb version, bake the filling directly in a buttered pan and omit the crust.
- This quiche can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or the freezer, tightly wrapped with foil, for up to 2 months. You can freeze it baked or unbaked. If baked, cook directly from freezer, unwrapped, for 5-10 minutes longer than usual. If unbaked, cook directly from freezer, unwrapped, for 10-20 minutes longer than usual.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.