Squash & Parmesan Crustless Mini Quiches and an appetizers round-up

For years, my party appetizers of choice were tiny handmade spanikopita that I would assemble ahead of time and bake up piping hot and buttery when the party was in full swing. They were lovely, made from wilted fresh spinach, crumbled feta, and sheets of paper-thin phyllo pastry.

At the time, the golden spanikopita were well worth the effort that went into making each one, oh, right down to the last shard of phyllo, but now? I’d be amiss to put those efforts ahead of my young family’s needs.

Appetizers coming from my kitchen have simplified greatly over time as I have added three children to my family. I continue to entertain, but it is rare that I fuss over a menu or pencil in finicky finger food.

Still, I love grazing, and, the big turkey dinner aside, one of my favorite ways to entertain for the holidays is with a table of appetizers and a generous stash of wine. Cookies and coffee usually round out the event and once again, memories have been made with minimal effort.

Today I’m sharing a few of my simpler appetizers, all which are loved equally for their flavor and their ease of preparation.

{Side note: I loved last year’s Tips for a Simple Holiday Cocktail Hour from contributor Kristen. She scales down the Christmas party even more so than I, serving up a signature cocktail and a plate of cookies to friends who drop in over the busiest time of year. Genius.}

My latest favorite two-bite appetizers to whip up and serve are these crustless mini quiches. They are born out of a surplus of our own eggs, made easy thanks to the omission of pastry, and are even frugal, because you can make a batch of mini quiche with almost anything that is to be found in the refrigerator.

Roasted vegetables are particularly nice for a filling, as are fresh herbs, mushrooms, ham or bacon, and any member of the onion family, sauteed first, preferably. I tend to use up whatever I have on hand, and this week it was slow roasted butternut squash, fresh parsley (from the garden, still), and a handful of Parmesan cheese. Delicious.

These mini quiche reheat from frozen beautifully. Just place on a wire rack on top of a tray and bake for ten minutes at 375F. Serve hot, straight from the oven, ideally with a side of roasted tomato salsa or something similar with a bit of kick to it.

Looking for a gluten-free alternative? The Kitchn suggests a pinch of grated cheese in the bottom of the mini muffin tin for a quick ‘crust’ and flavor punch. Be careful, though, in the comments readers complain that the quiches stick dreadfully to the pan.

Interested in a vegan version? I’m not, but this recipe from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen looks pretty smashing and uses tofu as the base. Want to make your mini quiche with a crust? A recipe of my all-butter, rich pie crust will make enough for 24 quiches.

Final note. As an added bonus, these crustless mini quiches double as terrific hand-held food for my 8-month old Clara who is Baby Led Weaning. I’m happy to have a small stash of them in the freezer for a quick and healthy snack for her that is soft and easy to gum.

Butternut Squash & Parmesan Crustless Mini Quiches
5.0 from 1 reviews
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Recipe type: Appetizer
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 6
Fast and frugal finger food that isn't fancy, freezes well, and fancies most fridge food as a flavor enhancer. How's that for alliteration?
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablesppons soft butter
  • 1/4 cup Panko or bread crumbs
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup roasted butternut squash pulp
  • 1/2 cup 15% cream (coffee cream, half and half, etc)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Generously butter a non-stick 24-cup mini muffin tin and sprinkle the cups with the Panko. Over the kitchen sink, rotate the pan so that the breadcrumbs stick to the sides of the mini muffin cups somewhat. Don't worry if they are not fully coated; they shouldn't be.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until bubbles form. Add squash pulp and whisk into the eggs. Don't worry if a few lumps remains. Add the cream and mix again.
  3. Beat the salt, pepper, Parmesan and parsley into the egg mixture.
  4. Spoon two tablespoons of quiche batter into each mini muffin tin. You should have just enough for 24 mini quiche.
  5. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until set. Remove from oven, run a butter knife around the edges of the mini quiche and place on a serving platter. Serve hot.

 

More Holiday Appetizers

Cucumber Basil Bites with Gouda

Fruit & Nut Crisps with Chèvre and Cranberry-Pear Conserve

Chicken Skewers with Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Baked Brie with Cranberry Sauce and Walnuts

Three Quick 3-Ingredient Gluten Free Appetizers:

  • Endive with Blue Cheese and Toasted Almonds
  • Almond & Cream Cheese-Stuffed Olives
  • Cheddar & Hazelnut Stuffed Apricots

Beyond Breadsticks: 15 {simple} Gluten-Free Appetizers (on Simple Mom)

Do you have a favorite appetizer to serve or bring to parties? Feel free to share a link in the comments!

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. Would the quiche work well with an acorn squash instead of butternut? I have one now and all the other ingriedients too

  2. Adorable! Great idea, Aimee!
    Mary Miller | A Passionate Plate’s last post: Thai Curry Butternut Squash Bisque

  3. Great round up! I like the idea of simple appetizers and I really love that these mini quiches can be frozen and reheated – must try.
    Allison’s last post: Corn and Potato Casserole with Gruyere {GIVEAWAY}

  4. Can a regular (savory) pumpkin stand in? I just cooked up a huge one. :-) Love the idea of freezing them for the baby! Thanks!

  5. These is awesome!
    Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden’s last post: Tiger Cupcakes with Brown Butter-Cream Cheese Icing

  6. This looks delicious and I have many butternut squash, eggs, half and half for my tea and a mini muffin tin. As well as both curly (for the composting pigs) and flat leaf parsley still in the garden. Why wouldn’t I make it? Thank you–I’ve bookmarked this!
    kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts’s last post: Sweet Potato Pizza–2 ways–Thanksgiving Leftover Remake (Pizza Night!)

  7. Great idea! Being gluten free, I’ll probably use cornmeal or tortilla crumbs in place of the panko. Hopefully they will slide right out!

  8. Being gay, my ears (or eyes?) perked up when I saw quiche. What can I say, I’m a sucker for it. ;-)
    Brian @ A Thought For Food’s last post: Silent Sunday: Tatte Bakery – Cambridge

  9. Yum, they all sound and look delicious! Thanks for the inspiration.
    Lisa’s last post: {this moment}

  10. Squash and Parmesan recipe? Thanks!

  11. What kind of sauce is showcased with these mini quiches?

  12. Jeanne Janas says:

    How do I make squash pulp?

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