French Bistro Spinach Quiche – The Café Sucre Farine

Total Time:
1 hour 5 minutes

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This French Bistro Spinach Quiche comes together quickly, can be made ahead and tastes like something you might enjoy at a charming little Parisian Café.

I love the versatility of quiche; it’s a perfect dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner and can take on so many flavor profiles. This French Bistro Spinach Quiche is loaded with healthy fresh spinach, comes together quickly and warms up well for fantastic leftovers!

Overhead photo of a French Bistro Spinach Quiche on a scalloped white serving plate on wood table with a bowl of fresh fruit.

Scott and I have visited Paris several times and we enjoy having lunch at a Bistro or Brasserie. These charming little cafés with outdoor seating are scattered all over the city and are great places to people-watch and absorb the bustling city life. One of our favorite things to order is “the quiche of the day (quiche du jour)” and a simple French Bistro Salad. It’s a delicious and satisfying meal that we never seem to tire of.

After being in “authentic” quiche territory (Paris) recently, I felt like it was a genuine compliment this past week when I served this spinach-laden quiche and Scott commented repeatedly, “This is SO good!”. That’s when I decided it deserved the name French Bistro Spinach Quiche.

Vertical overhead photo of a French Bistro Spinach Quiche on a white scalloped serving plate on a wood table.

French Bistro Salad

If you’re not familiar with this simple salad that’s served all over France at cafés, bistros and brasseries, you need to be! This salad has minimal ingredients and is whisked together right in the bowl before adding the greens. It pairs delightfully with quiche and it’s fresh, delicious and easy to put together. Once you try it, you’ll find yourself making it again and again!

Vertical closeup photo of several people breaking up lettuce for a French Bistro Salad.

I learned to make this French Bistro Salad last summer while spending a few weeks in France. I love the simplicity and that it pairs well with just about everything!

Horizontal overhead photo of two individual Classic French Bistro Salads on a wood table.

A Store-Bought Homemade Crust

Making a quiche is pretty simple although preparing a homemade crust can be a little intimidating and time-consuming for busy cooks. That’s why I decided a few years ago to experiment with ways to make a store-bought (refrigerated) pie crust taste more like homemade.

Vertical closeup photo of Chris pinching a crust edge.

You can read all the details in this post, but it requires only a few simple steps. Here they are in a nutshell:

  • Preheat the oven with a sheet pan on the lowest rack and set the preheat temperature higher than what’s needed to bake the pie. Once your pie is in the oven on the hot sheet pan, reduce the heat to the recommended temperature. (I preheat the oven to 425˚F then reduce the temp to 350˚F when I add the pie to the oven.) This accomplishes several things:
    • A higher temperature at the very beginning of baking gives the pie crust an initial boost of heat to promote flakiness.
    • The hottest area of any oven is around the edges, in other words, the sides, bottom, and top. Preheating a sheet pan on the lowest rack gives the bottom crust a head start in creating that desirable golden hue and crisp texture.
  • Lightly oil or spray the pie pan.
    • If you look at the majority of pie recipes, most recipe creators assume that there’s plenty of fat in a pie crust, so there’s no need to grease the pan. Hence that first inevitably messy slice that we hold back for ourselves. If you lightly spray or oil the pan, every piece comes out perfect!

Two-shot vertical photo collage of how to spray the pie pan when making Homemade Store-Bought Pie Crusts.

  • A teaspoon of butter in addition to the oil or cooking spray.
    • One teaspoon of butter rubbed with a paper towel to coat the pan enhances the flavor of the crust plus helps brown the bottom. It’s a tiny trick that makes a big difference! (In case you’re wondering, I tried using just butter but the first piece still came out messy. A double greasing kills a few birds with one stone!)

Vertical two-shot photo collage of how to spread the butter on the pan for making Homemade Store-Bought Pie Crusts.

  • Once the crust has been placed in the pan, brush it with a beaten egg. This helps seal the crust so when you add the filling, it won’t get soggy.
  • Refrigerate (or freeze) the crust while you prep the pie filling.
    • One of the golden rules of pie baking is to start with a cold crust and a hot oven. Chilling the crust for 20-30 minutes helps the crust keep its shape when you bake it. It also, according to the baking gurus at Serious Eats, gives the gluten time to unwind and the fat time to chill, so the dough is cool and relaxed when it hits the hot oven, promoting a tender, flaky crust.
  • Bake the pie on the preheated sheet pan on the lower rack.
    • Just leave that preheated sheet pan right where it is on the lower rack. Again, this will give you a nice golden bottom crust and the sheet pan will also catch any drips.

A taste of France

Are you ready to bring a delicious taste of France to your dining table?

Horizontal extreme closeup of a piece of French Bistro Spinach Quiche on a white serving plate.

Put this French Bistro Spinach Quiche and the classic French salad on your must-make-soon list. Then invite some guests, pour a glass of wine or sparkling juice and call for a French toast! “Santé” (Cheers!)

Vertical overhead photo of a French Bistro Spinach Quiche on a wood table with a side of fresh fruit.

Cafe Tips for Making this French Bistro Spinach Quiche

  • I like to use fresh spinach for this recipe but, in a pinch, thawed, frozen spinach will also work. Either way, make sure the spinach is very well drained before adding it to the egg mixture.
  • This Quiche Lorraine recipe calls for a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. This type of pan makes a really pretty presentation as you can remove the quiche from the pan to serve. You could also use a regular-size (not deep dish) pie plate but you’ll want to create a lip with the crust that extends above the top of the pan to ensure that the filling doesn’t run out over the top. See this Homemade Store-Bought Pie Crust post for how to create that lip.
  • For those of you living outside of the U.S. or Canada, half and half is an American convenience product often used as a coffee creamer. It’s simply a combination of half heavy cream and half milk.
  • This quiche can be completely made in advance and re-warmed in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 325˚F. Use the lowest oven shelf and cover the quiche lightly with foil. You can also re-warm a slice in the microwave at 50% power. The bottom crust won’t be as crisp but it’s still delicious!
  • The cheese in this recipe is variable. I love to use Fontina. Fontina is an Italian cheese that’s super creamy and buttery and has a low melting point. Boars Head makes a wonderful Fontina that’s readily available in grocery stores that carry Boars Head products in their deli section. Gouda, Gruyere, Swiss or mild white Cheddar are also delicious.

Thought for the day:

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
T
hose who know Your name trust in You,

    for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.
Psalm 9:9-10

What we’re listening to for inspiration:

Hiding Place

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If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.

Easy French Bistro Spinach Quiche

This French Bistro Spinach Quiche comes together quickly, can be made ahead and tastes like something you might enjoy at a charming little Parisian Café.

Author: Chris Scheuer

Horizontal overhead photo of a French Bistro Spinach Quiche.

Prep Time:
20 mins

Cook Time:
45 mins

Total Time:
1 hr 5 mins

Servings: 8

Calories: 250 kcal

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1
    rolled crust refrigerated pie crust
  • 1
    teaspoon
    soft butter

For the filling:

  • 1
    tablespoon
    butter
  • ¼
    medium
    red onion
    finely chopped
  • 1
    cup
    half & half
  • 5
    large
    eggs
  • 1
    tablespoon
    cornstarch
  • ½
    teaspoon
    kosher salt
  • 6
    ounces
    shredded cheese
    I’ve used Fontina, Gouda, Gruyere and Swiss with good results.

Instructions

For the prep:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚C) with a sheet pan placed on the lowest rack of the oven.

  2. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temp for 10-15 minutes (this will make it easier to unroll).

  3. Spray a 9-inch tart pan with nonstick cooking spray and rub with a paper towel to coat. Add the 1 teaspoon butter to the pan and rub to spread and coat the pan. Set aside.

For the crust:

  1. Unroll the refrigerated crust onto a lightly floured work surface. Press it flat with your fingers and pinch together any cracks.

  2. Lift the pie crust and center it on top of your prepared tart pan. Gently lift the crust on one side and press it down into the bottom edge of the pan and up the side (there will be a little extra crust at the top – just let it hang over the edge). Work your way around the pan, tucking the crust into the pan. When you’ve gone all the way around, press off any excess dough at the top and discard. (If you notice and crackers or holes in your crust, you can use a bit of this excess to patch things up.)

  3. Place the tart pan on a plate and refrigerate while you prepare the spinach and the filling.

For the spinach:

  1. Place the spinach in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add the fresh spinach and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high power for 90-120 seconds until the spinach is nicely wilted.

  2. Transfer the wilted spinach to a sieve to drain while you prepare the filling.

For the filling:

  1. Combine the chopped onion and the butter in the same microwave-safe bowl. Cover with the plastic wrap (or a plate) and microwave on high power for 1 minute.

  2. Add the half and half and stir to combine. Whisk in the eggs, cornstarch and salt.

  3. Press on the spinach in the sieve to remove as much of the extra liquid as possible then add the spinach to the egg mixture and stir well to loosen up any spinach that is stuck together.

  4. Add the cheese and stir one more time to combine.

  5. Pour the filling into the prepared (chilled) crust.

  6. Place the tart pan on the heated cookie sheet and return the pan to the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the quiche is slightly puffed and no longer sunken in the center. The whole thing might be slightly wiggly but that will firm up as it cools.

  7. Allow the quiche to cool for 10 minutes then serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.

If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.

Calories 250kcal

Fat 16g

Saturated fat 7g

Trans fat 0.1g

Polyunsaturated fat 2g

Monounsaturated fat 6g

Cholesterol 142mg

Sodium 451mg

Potassium 230mg

Carbohydrates 14g

Fiber 1g

Sugar 2g

Protein 12g

Vitamin A 2083%

Vitamin C 5%

Calcium 185%

Iron 2%

 

French Bistro Spinach Quiche

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