Pea, Cheddar & Crispy Pancetta Crustless Quiche – a delightfully light quiche recipe with the perfect balance of savory flavors. An easy to make dish for breakfast, brunch or dinner. The recipe I have for you today is a variation of a dish we had in London. On our last morning in London, we walked a few blocks from our hotel to a little restaurant called Le Pain Quotidien near Westminister Abbey. This comfortable boulangerie lured us inside with it’s displays of freshly baked croissants, muffins and other assorted pastries that I could smell before I even reached the front door. Towards the back of the restaurant, tucked away on the side, we noticed a comfortable sitting area where patrons could order from the menu and enjoy their meal as the wave of London traffic rolled by. When we travel, we always use the app, Yelp to help us find good restaurants in the areas we’re visiting. Most times we’re met with success when searching for places to eat and this time was most definitely one of them.
I loved the cozy feel of the restaurant and enjoyed slowing down and savoring our last little breakfast together. When it came time to order, I found I had the hardest time making a decision. Everything sounded so good! My daughter knew right away that she wanted the Belgian Waffles, and my husband and son ordered soft boiled eggs with croissants. I was going to keep things simple by ordering a fruit plate and maybe a croissant of my own but my eyes kept going back to the Pea, Cheddar and Crispy Pancetta Frittata listed on the menu. I was so intrigued by the combination of ingredients and just couldn’t resist it. Heck, I could have a fruit plate anywhere, right? The combinatin of flavors in the frittata were indeed perfect together, each one complimenting the other as it should. I made a note of the name of the dish into the note section of my iphone and knew it was a recipe I was going to recreate when I returned home. Since we’ve been home, I’ve been posting several trip reports and photo essays of all the places we visited and finally, last week, I got around to recreating this recipe in my own kitchen. It turned out just as I remembered it, only better!
Instead of making a frittata, I made a crustless quiche which in many ways is very similar to a frittata. I scrambled six eggs and mixed in 3/4 cup of half and half which made the eggs light and fluffy. In a skillet, I cooked to a perfect crispiness, several slices of pancetta which filled the kitchen with one of the best aromas there is! I crumbled the crisp pieces of pancetta into the egg/milk mixture, then I added peas and a hefty helping of sharp cheddar cheese and a few other spices. I poured all of this deliciousness into a buttered pie dish and baked it in the oven for just about an hour.
In a word, heavenly. This crustless quiche was so light and fluffy. The saltiness of the pancetta was balanced perfectly by the sweetness of the peas and in each savory bite was the surprising discovery of the tangy cheddar cheese.
Just a word about crustless quiches…Have you ever tried one? I love to make them and they are so easy to make too. Just take a look at the picture above to see how the quiche forms it’s own crust when it’s baked. There’s no need for a floured crust at all. In fact, I think a pie crust sometimes takes a little something away from the wonderful flavors of most quiches. In this particular case, I know a crust wouldn’t be neccessary – there are too many wonderful things happening here.
An added bonus is that crustless also means “low carb” and lower in calories too. I’ll exchange those calories for a big chocolate chip cookie, thank you!
I served the Pea, Cheddar and Crispy Pancetta Crustless Quiche for dinner but it would be perfect for breakfast or brunch too. I topped it with a few slices of avocado and garnished the top with a sprig of mint and served it with a light Pinot Noir. My daughter made a batch of blueberry muffins to go along with it and a simple side salad rounded out the meal nicely.
As I mentioned, I love to make crustless quiches and I’ve listed a few of my favorites below. Have you ever made one? What would your favorite flavor combination be?
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Pea, Cheddar & Crispy Pancetta Crustless Quiche
- 1 tablespoon butter plus 1 tablespoon more for buttering the pan
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 ounces sliced pancetta
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
- 1 cup frozen peas thawed
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- slices a few of avocado and mint for garnish optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Use 1 tablespoon of butter to grease the pan and set aside.
- Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Melt the butter in the pan.
- Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
- Pour the onions and garlic into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Return the skillet back the the stove and reheat again on medium heat. In batches, add the pancetta and cook until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes per side.
- Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate and let drain briefly. Crumble when cool.
- Crack open 6 eggs into the mixing bowl.
- Add in the half and half or cream and whisk together.
- Stir in the peas, cheese, crumbled pancetta, chopped mint, salt and pepper.
- Pour into buttered pie dish and place on a large baking sheet.
- Bake until the quiche is puffed and golden brown, about 1 hour.
- Granish with slices of avocado and mint, if desired.
Take a look at some of the other crustless quiches I’ve made…