Spinach and Quinoa Breakfast Mini Quiche

Low-FODMAP quiches
Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD
Total Time: 40 min
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Servings: 9 mini quiches

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

132 calories
8g fat
5g carbs
10g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 9 mini quiches
Amount per serving  
Calories 132
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 139mg 46%
Sodium 246mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 0g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 10g  
Vitamin D 31mcg 155%
Calcium 130mg 10%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 176mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

These little quiches are a healthy, filling breakfast option that can be made ahead of time. They are packed with fiber-rich ingredients such as spinach and quinoa that help you to feel full after eating but also help you to reach your nutritional goals for the day. According to USDA guidelines, adults should aim to consume about 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories.

Fiber helps your body in several ways. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics notes that adequate fiber intake can help to lower cholesterol, prevent constipation and diverticulosis, and keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range. And nutrition researchers note that quinoa contains a high amount of essential fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and carbohydrates while being gluten free.

These savory quiches are also convenient. They freeze well and can be microwaved from frozen. Pop one in the microwave and breakfast is ready in about one minute.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 oz spinach (frozen, chopped, about 1 cup)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp thyme leaves (dried)
  • 2 pinches sage (ground)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/16 tsp black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 3 tbsps scallion greens (finely minced)
  • 1 3/4 oz Canadian bacon (3 slices or 1/3 cup chopped)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Have a 12-cup muffin tin on hand.

  2. In a small saucepan with a lid, combine quinoa and water. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until water is mostly absorbed, 12 to 13 minutes. Remove from heat and leave covered for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove cover, fluff and let cool.

  3. While the quinoa is cooking, place the frozen spinach in a small microwave-safe bowl and cook on high power just until thawed, 60 to 90 seconds. Press down on the spinach with a spoon and pour off excess liquid. Spread spinach out in the bowl to speed cooling.

  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add thyme, sage, salt, pepper, scallions, and whisk. Mix in cooked quinoa, Canadian bacon, spinach, and cheese.

  5. Grease 9 cups of a muffin tin very generously with baking spray or oil. Use a soup ladle or a large spoon to divide the egg mixture into the muffin cups, filling them to 1/8 inch below the top. Bake in the middle of the oven until quiches are set and slightly golden around edges, 18 to 20 minutes.

  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Run a knife around the edge of each muffin cup to loosen, then serve.

Variations and Substitutions

There are so many ways to tailor this recipe to your own personal tastes. Each of the main ingredients (except the eggs) can be swapped out. For instance, if you don't have quinoa on hand, try using another delicious ancient grain such as farro or millet. You can also use brown or white rice. No cheddar? Try mozzarella, gruyere, or goat cheese.

You can use fresh baby spinach in place of frozen spinach. Microwave on high power until wilted. Squeeze out excess water and lightly chop. If you're not a fan of spinach, try chopped asparagus, broccoli, or a mix of veggies. Try a combination of red, yellow, and green peppers with jalapeno Monterey Jack cheese for a slightly spicy quiche.

You can also use diced ham or pancetta in place of Canadian bacon. Or omit the meat completely. If you are vegetarian or vegan, use an egg substitute instead of eggs, and then pack the quiche with your favorite herbs and veggies.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • To prevent your quiches from sticking to the muffin tin, spray the baking pan very generously with baking spray immediately before filling it. If done ahead of time, run a finger around the edges to recoat the inside of the cups before filling, as oil may settle into the bottom while you are doing the prep.
  • Use bagged frozen chopped spinach rather than the frozen spinach blocks; this makes it easier to remove just the amount you need from the package.
  • Freeze extra quiches on a foil-lined baking sheet. Once they're frozen, put them in an airtight container and store them in the freezer until they're needed.

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Article Sources
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  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Ninth Edition. December 2020.

  2. Larson, Holly. Easy Ways to Boost Fiber in Your Daily Diet. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Updated February 2021.

  3. Angeli V, Miguel Silva P, Crispim Massuela D, et al. Quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.): An overview of the potentials of the "Golden grain" and socio-economic and environmental aspects of its cultivation and marketization. Foods. 2020;9(2):216. Published 2020 Feb 19. doi:10.3390/foods9020216