A Substitute for Heavy Cream in Quiche

Making a quiche without heavy cream may sound anathema to the very idea of quiche, a rich dish of eggs and cheese folded into a flaky, buttery crust. But it's possible to cut down on some of the calories inherent to a quiche recipe while still retaining its comfortingly familiar characteristics.

Making a quiche without heavy cream may sound anathema to the very idea of quiche, a rich dish of eggs and cheese folded into a flaky, buttery crust. Credit: Mizina/iStock/GettyImages

Make Quiche Without Heavy Cream

A traditional quiche recipe calls for eggs — some can even result in a 12-egg quiche — whisked with heavy cream and milk. Cheeses such as cheddar or Gruyere are incorporated into the egg base; herbs and lightly sautéed vegetables may also be added. Meats such as bacon or ham are also favored quiche components.

One large whole egg contains about 72 calories, according to the USDA, and almost 5 grams of fat. One cup of heavy cream contains 809 calories and 86 grams of fat, the USDA shows. A cup of shredded Gruyere cheese, a classic addition to a quiche recipe, comes in at 446 calories and 35 grams of fat, the USDA notes.

A classic quiche recipe can require 2 cups of cream and 1 1/2 to 2 cups of cheese — and that's not counting in the potential calories from meat. One slice of quiche, while delicious, will pack a heavy caloric punch.

But it's possible to make quiche without heavy cream — you could try a sour cream substitute for the cream, although keep in mind that sour cream also is high in calories, at 455 per cup, and contains almost 45 grams of fat per cup as per the USDA. It also may perform a bit differently than heavy cream will in the quiche recipe.

Your best bet for making a quiche without heavy cream is to swap whole milk for heavy cream, use a combination of whole-fat and reduced-fat milk or a combination of heavy cream and reduced-fat milk. The USDA reports that a cup of whole milk contains 149 calories and about 8 grams of fat.

Read more: Healthy Substitute for Heavy Cream

Use Herbs and Vegetables

If you make a quiche with lower-calorie substitutes and without heavy cream, you might be concerned that your finished dish may lack the rich flavor of a more traditional quiche. Not to worry — rely on herbs, either fresh or dried, to enhance the smooth custard base. Try savory herbs such as thyme, chopped rosemary, basil, oregano and even lavender in your quiche recipe.

Another way to load up on flavor when you're making a quiche without heavy cream is to lean on vegetables. Flavorful additions such as spinach, asparagus, green onions, broccoli, zucchini and summer squash and tomatoes will round out your quiche recipe with no need for the extra richness cream imparts. Make sure to well season the vegetables with salt and pepper while cooking them before adding them to the egg mixture.

If you use enough vegetables you can cut down on the amount of cheese that the quiche recipe calls for. The vegetables will provide enough flavor that the cheese can be used more as a garnish than a major ingredient.

You can also make a quiche without cream or milk by using non-dairy milks such as almond, soy or rice milk, which will also reduce calories. For example, the USDA lists a cup of almond milk as containing 41 calories and 3 grams of fat. However, you will want to pay attention to whether the non-dairy milk is sweetened or vanilla-flavored as that will affect the flavor of your finished quiche.

Other options for a lower-calorie quiche could be to use egg whites rather than whole eggs; one large egg white comes in at 17 calories and 0 grams of fat, according to the USDA.

Read more: This Keto-Friendly Cauliflower Quiche is Gluten-Free

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