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The Pioneer Woman's Cowboy Quiche is a deep dish take on quiche lorraine, with plenty of smoky bacon, sweet caramelized onions, and savory cheddar cheese to satisfy any hungry stomach, whether it's at breakfast, brunch, or dinner!
Planning a brunch and looking for recipes to please a crowd? Be sure to check out our post about how to make bacon in the oven, Blackberry Scones, and French Fruit Tart, which all go fantastic with this easy quiche.
The Pioneer Woman's Cowboy Quiche
What is it about guys and quiche? I don't know who decided that quiche wasn't manly enough, but it couldn't be any more ridiculous.
Case-in-point: this deep dish, easy quiche with a buttery pastry crust, bacon, cheese, and caramelized onion in a baked egg dish with enough protein to fill anyone's belly. My husband wouldn't touch it if I told him it was quiche lorraine, but call it "cowboy quiche" and suddenly he loves it.
Although we mostly think of quiche as French cuisine, it actually has German origins in a region formerly known as the Kingdom of Lothringen that is now part of France called Lorraine. The population there seems to have long been a mix of German and French, but the term "quiche" actually derives from the German word "kuchen" for cake.
This bacon and cheese quiche recipe is our favorite because of the higher filling to crust ratio than a classic quiche lorraine and the addition of caramelized onions.
If you don't have a deep dish pie or tart pan, you could make a square quiche by lining an 8x8-inch square baking dish with the pie crust. Or simply make a second pie crust and make two smaller quiches instead of one larger one. Just keep in mind if you take the latter approach that the thinner filling will cook more quickly and adjust accordingly.
Ingredients in cowboy quiche
- Pie crust: Buy a premade pie crust at the store if you must, but if it is a preformed one in a disposable foil pan, be warned that you will need two of them or you will want to cut the filling ingredients in half.
- Eggs: This recipe uses a lot of eggs! It's something I love to make in the spring and summer when our chickens are laying so many eggs that we can hardly keep up.
- Heavy cream or half-and-half: Quiche isn't diet food. You could get away with milk instead, but the quiche won't have the same rich, silky texture. Evaporated milk would be another acceptable substitute that is shelf-stable.
- Bacon: Use whatever kind you like! We are partial to thick-cut applewood smoked bacon around here.
- Onions: I think yellow onions are the best for caramelized onions. The recipe calls for two medium onions, but sometimes you can only find gigantic ones and in that case just one will do.
- Cheddar cheese: This is not the time to use pre-grated cheddar. I recommend freshly grated because it melts into the filling so much better.
- Salt & pepper: The Pioneer Woman's original quiche recipe just says "to taste" but that always leaves me guessing. I typically add around ½-3/4 teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper, but remember that the bacon and the cheese are salty ingredients themselves and adjust accordingly.
How to make the Pioneer Woman's cowboy quiche
- Make your pie crust. I swear by this pie crust recipe. It's buttery, flaky, and is easier to make than you might think. Roll it out and fit it into a deep dish 9-inch pie plate or tart pan. The filling and crust make enough that if you have an even bigger pan, they will work for this recipe as well. Crimp the edges and keep the crust in the fridge until ready to fill.
- Caramelize the onions. This is a step that really can't be rushed, but it's well worth it. Just melt a little butter in a skillet, then add thinly sliced onions and stir them over medium-low heat once every five minutes or so until they turn a lovely brown color and release the onion's natural sugars. It may seem like a lot of onions, but caramelizing them really mellows out the flavor.
- Cook the bacon. I recommend slicing the bacon while it is still really cold. Chopping the bacon before cooking it results in larger chunks of more evenly cooked bacon than if you cook slices of bacon and crumble or chop it afterwards.
- Make the filling. Combine the eggs, heavy cream, and salt and pepper in a large bowl, whisking to combine. The add the caramelized onions and cooked bacon to the egg mixture, stirring to combine.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, then assemble and bake the quiche. Carefully pour the filling into the unbaked pie crust. Then loosely cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes before removing the foil and finishing the last 15-20 minutes uncovered in the oven. The quiche should be golden brown around the edges and only slightly wobbly in the center when it is done.
Do you serve quiche warm or cold?
The answer is really up to you, but my preference is to serve quiche while it is still warm from the oven, but not piping hot.
It's also good at room temperature, but I don't love quiche cold, so if you make it in advance, I recommend letting it sit on the counter for about an hour to take the chill off before serving.
Do you have to blind bake a pie crust for quiche?
I do not blind bake my pie crust when making this quiche recipe. Because it is a thicker layer of filling, it takes longer to cook through than most other quiche recipes, giving the pastry time to cook all the way as well.
Additional quiche filling ideas
If you find that you love this deep dish approach to quiche as much as we do because you like the ratio of filling to crust better, you might want to play around with varying your filling as well to come up with other flavors.
- Cheese: Gruyere cheese, swiss cheese, and sharp cheddar are all popular choices for quiche. But feta, monterey jack, pepper jack (one of my favorites!) and lots of others would work just as well.
- Meat: Bacon is classic but pepperoni, cooked sausage, ham, cooked chopped chicken, or smoked salmon would all be delicious in quiche.
- Vegetables: Instead of or in addition to caramelized onions, try adding chopped bell peppers, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, spinach, tomatoes, (sun-dried and cherry tomatoes work well), broccoli, green onions, leeks, or asparagus to your next quiche.
- Herbs: I find that with egg dishes, a small amount of herbs and spices goes a long way, so be careful not to overdo it here. But a little thyme, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or a pinch of nutmeg are all nice and can add interesting variety to your quiches.
Make-ahead, storing, and freezing instructions
A cooked quiche will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days if you want to make it in advance. And it makes amazing leftovers for lunch the next day.
You can freeze a baked quiche for 2-3 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight, then reheat in a 325 degree F oven for about 15 minutes until warmed all the way through before serving. You can even reheat this cowboy quiche straight from frozen by covering with foil and heating at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes.
More brunch recipes to make
- Blackberry Turnovers
- Roasted Beet Salad
- Asparagus Tart
- Green Chili Egg Casserole
- Guava Cream Cheese Cuban Pastries
- Cinnamon French Toast Sticks
- Raspberry Cheesecake French Toast Casserole
- Sage and Crescent Breakfast Bake
- 1 unbaked pie crust
- 2 medium yellow onions sliced
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter
- 8 slices bacon chopped
- 8 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream or half-and-half
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Make the pie crust and roll it out. Line a deep dish pie plate with it, crimping the edges, then keep it in the fridge until ready to fill.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring every five minutes or so, for about 20 minutes until the onions are nicely caramelized and golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add the chopped bacon to the same skillet. Cook the bacon, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and add it to the onions while you make the rest of the filling.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper. Add the caramelized onions, cooked bacon, and grated cheese, then pour into the prepared pie crust.
- Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes covered loosely with foil. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 15 minutes until mostly set and the crust is golden brown. It's okay if the quiche is still ever-so-slightly wobbly in the center as it will continue to set as it cools.
- Let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving warm, or cool completely and serve cold.
- Be sure to use a deep dish pie plate! If using a store-bought crust in a shallower pie dish, you can make two quiches from this filling recipe and freeze one for later.
- Make-ahead and freezing instructions: The quiche can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator, or baked and frozen for 3-4 months. Just thaw overnight in the fridge, then let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving (I don't like cold-cold quiche) or warm in the oven before serving.