Light Tomato Basil Quiche Recipe

My favorite light quiche recipe, the one I make again and again in both summer and winter. It's light and healthy. It's vegetarian and easy to prep ahead, too! Sound perfect for the busy family or a harried hostess? Yes!

Light Tomato Basil Quiche Recipe ♥, a make-ahead, healthy, vegetarian and light quiche recipe.

Whole Food, Fresh & Flexible. Beautiful Color! Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Make-Ahead & Budget Friendly. Brunch & Light Supper Friendly. Low Fat. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegetarian. PS Yes, Real Men DO Eat Quiche.

Not Eating Meat vs Being a Vegetarian: Are They Different?

Do you watch for recipes for meatless main-dish recipes? I bypassed meat for some years – I didn't call myself a vegetarian because the very word implied so much more than simply not eating meat – so have many in my recipe collection.

I’m a regular carnivore again but this Light Tomato Basil Quiche recipe remains a favorite for brunch and light suppers.

With just three eggs, low-fat mozzarella and protein-rich evaporated skim milk, it’s a light quiche recipe but still tastes quite rich, thanks to the rich onion-tomato-cheese-basil flavors.

In fact, you can use the same basic formula of 3 eggs, 1 cup milk (thickened with a little cornstarch) and 8 ounces low-fat cheese to adapt your own favorite quiche recipe into a light quiche recipe!

Light Tomato Basil Quiche Recipe almost ready for the oven ♥, a make-ahead, healthy, vegetarian and light quiche recipe.

What's In Light Tomato Basil Quiche? Mostly Pantry Ingredients!

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.

  • The Quiche Crust Either purchased or homemade, your choice of course.
  • A Savory Base Just sautéed onion and garlic, this mixture adds a pleasant almos sweetness but more importantly, it also creates a savory barrier that prevents the liquid egg mixture from permeating the crust. Why? So the crust doesn't soggy!
  • The Egg Mixture Just 3 eggs, evaporated milk, a little cornstarch for thickening and a little pepper for seasoning.
  • The Goodness "Stuff" Grated mozzarella cheese, a bunch of small tomatoes cut in half and some fresh basil.

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

  • PIECRUST (FROM SCRATCH) If you have time and inclination, a homemade crust will just taste better. I will always recommend my part-butter/part-shortening Flaky Tender Pie Crust but it does need some forethought since that dough requires some time in the fridge to chill before rolling out. So if I'm making crust now, I nearly always go with the all-shortening crust included with Perfect All-Rhubarb Pie first because it's more forgiving but second because it can be mixed and rolled out right away, no need to chill the pie dough.
  • PIE CRUST (STORE-BOUGHT) But! If a homemade crust isn't your thing, no biggie. Just buy a refrigerated crust, check the "pie" section in the frozen food area at the grocery store. Usually, a crust comes in a long skinny box the size of a tin foil container. The box will tell you how long to let the crust warm up, then just drape the crust right over a pie plate or quiche pan and off you go. But!! Over the years, I've learned that refrigerated crusts are just too thick. So I take the time to roll out the crust on a flour-dusted countertop, making it slightly thinner without losing any of the easy handling. After rolling, place the unbaked crust into the baking pan and use a sharp knife or scissors to remove the excess dough, then turn the crust over itself just a bit to pinch the crust's edge.
  • ONION & GARLIC Chop the onion quite fine, mince or grate the garlic. Then sauté these gently with a little oil in a skillet, but just until cooked, you want a light golden color not browned onion. Out of onion? Try shallot or even a bell pepper or poblano chile or even a little celery. No garlic? Garlic is hard to substitute, especially fresh garlic. A little garlic powder might work, better yet, a little granulated garlic which always somehow tastes a little fresher. Don't skip doing something, however, this layer prevents the crust from getting soggy.
  • EGGS My recipes always call for large eggs. No eggs? Well, then, best find another breakfast & brunch recipes.
  • EVAPORATED MILK Both are canned but evaporated milk is not the same as sweetened condensed milk. Evaporated milk has about 60% of its water content removed aka evaporated. This makes it the equivalent to half & half calorie-wise but with half the fat and twice the protein. Want to know more? I wrote about it here, with the wonderful Cream of Broccoli & Carrot Soup.
  • CORNSTARCH is important here because even just a small amount helps thicken the eggs to a nice, even silky texture that's so important in a quiche. That thickening property is extra important in this quiche since it's made with a lower-fat milk instead of other quiches' whole milk, half & half or even heavy cream. I don't recommend leaving it out.
  • PEPPER Just a touch, for seasoning! If you can, freshly ground pepper is just, well, a little fresher.
  • MOZZARELLA CHEESE I call for mozzarella cheese here, especially because the lower-fat part-skim mozzarella is easily found. If you're buying it special, buy a brick of cheese for grating or shredding yourself. If you don't have a grater, no problem, just cut the cheese into tiny cubes and scatter throughout. If you already have pre-grated mozzarella, I'm 99% sure it'll work just fine. If you're thinking about using slices or diced fresh mozzarella for a summery caprese-like quiche, go for it. This is a forgiving recipe ...
  • MINI TOMATOES Grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, just make sure they're fresh and juicy.
  • FRESH BASIL Fresh basil is important to this quiche. If you grow your own and/or preserved basil over the summer, lucky you, good planning! If not, a small package from the grocery store will do the trick. Dried basil is not a good substitute for fresh basil here but other fresh herbs would be, fresh dill, fresh parsley, even fresh cilantro come to mind. Use what you have!

What to Serve with Quiche?

Isn't it hard to find something to serve with quiche? I think so! Quiche already has a bread-like crust so bread or toast or muffins or biscuits aren't a good choice.

The most important consideration for side dishes is their liquid, you definitely want to avoid any liquid soaking into the bottom crust. To avoid the liquid issue, consider serving any wet sides in ramekins on the quiche plates or on side plates.

What to do? Here're my best ideas, I'd welcome yours, too!

A Simple Green Salad like
~ Simple Arugula Salad ~

A Simple Vegetable like
~ Microwave Asparagus ~

Seasonal Fruit (Whole or Halved or Hand-Friendly Pieces)
~ Strawberries in Spring, Peach Halves in Summer, Apple Slices in Fall ~

A Seasonal Fruit Salad
~ fruit salad recipes ~

Great Choice for Brunch

I often serve this Light Tomato Basil Quiche recipe for brunch at my annual cookie swap.

No wonder:

  • It's a light quiche recipe! leaving room for cookie tasting (!) and Christmas parties that night ...
  • It's vegetarian! accommodating several guests ...
  • It's pretty! making the hostess happy ...
  • It's delicious! making everyone happy ...
Fresh Basil ♥

How to Preserve Fresh Basil

Fresh basil is essential so unless it is available at your grocery or you have some in the freezer, make this in summer when you have basil in the garden or can beg some from a neighbor who does!

Preserving Basil in the freezer is easy! Just cut the stems off, then wash and dry two cups of packed leaves, I use a salad spinner, then let the leaves out to dry on a paper towel. Chop with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a food processor. Freeze the basil-oil mixture in ice cube trays and transfer to a heavy freezer bag until ready to use.

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe for a light and colorful quiche inspires you, please do save and share! I'd be honored ...

Light Tomato Basil Quiche Recipe ♥, a make-ahead, healthy, vegetarian and light quiche recipe.


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time-to-table: 1-1/4 hours
10 servings
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup evaporated milk, shaken well
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, preferably freshly ground
  • Unbaked Crust
  • Onion Mixture
  • 8 ounces (225g) part-skim mozzarella, shredded or grated
  • 1 cup mini tomatoes (cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, etc.), halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Egg Mixture

Heat oven to 350F/180C.

PASTRY Arrange the pastry in a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan or quiche pan. With your fingers, form a decorative edge. Chill the crust while continuing.

ONION MIXTURE In a skillet, gently sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil just until golden.

EGG MIXTURE In a blender, combine the eggs, evaporated milk, cornstarch and pepper.

ASSEMBLE Spread the Onion Mixture and then the cheese evenly over the pastry. Arrange the tomatoes decoratively in a single layer over the cheese. Arrange the chopped basil atop tomatoes. (You can prepare ahead this far by a couple of hours, making later preparations extra quick.) Carefully pour the Egg Mixture into pie shell without disturbing the tomatoes.

BAKE for about 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle can be removed clean. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS To prep the night before, do all the steps except baking but keep everything separated. Here's what I mean. Roll out the crust and keep refrigerated. Cook the Onion Mixture but keep it separate. Combine the Egg Mixture and refrigerate. Cut the tomatoes in half but keep separate. Just before baking, assemble it all and toss it in the oven. Easy Peasy!
ALANNA's TIPS With a store-bought refrigerated crust, I like to roll it out a bit thinner and discard the extra pastry. It tastes a little better and saves a few calories! But for a crust worth the calories, do consider making my long-time pie crust recipe, I'll even show you How to Make Flaky Tender Pie Crust! Ooops, don't substitute 2% milk for evaporated milk, the quiche won't set. Ask me how I know?!

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See .
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Slice (assumes Flaky Tender Pie Crust & 10 slices): 238 Calories; 15g Tot Fat; 8g Sat Fat; 15g Carb; 1g Fiber; 318mg Sodium; 94mg Cholesterol; 1g Sugar; 10g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 6 & PointsPlus 6 & SmartPoints 9 & Freestyle 8 & myWW green 8 & blue 8 & purple 8 & future WW points

For Your Inspiration: More Quiche Recipes

~ breakfast & brunch recipes ~
Farmers Market Quiche with Crispy Potato Crust, another veggie-packed quiche ♥

Crustless Quiche with Greens & Garden Vegetables, a new master recipe ♥, a formula for a skinny quiche loaded with healthy greens and fresh summer vegetables. Vegetarian. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. High Protein.

Spinach Quiche with Red Pepper & Feta, another classic spinach recipe ♥, creamy custard packed with fresh or frozen spinach in a homemade or refrigerated crust. Budget Friendly. Company Worthy.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ cheese recipes ~
~ tomato recipes ~
~ evaporated milk recipes ~
~ cheese recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Quick Links to This Page

(for easy bookmarking and searching)
~ Preserving Basil ~

This Recipe Has Moved

Basil Cream Cheese Spread
please see

~ Basil Cream Cheese Spread ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2003 (print), 2007 (online), 2012 (repub), 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020 & 2023

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. It sounds wonderful. I love the sound of the basil/cream cheese spread too! And I do have quite a surplus of basil right now.

  2. Alanna,
    What a great recipe, it looks so impressive. I'd like to entertain for brunch because it's more casual and less expensive, but I just hate waking up early! Perhaps I could make most of the stuff the night before ...

  3. I'll definitely hang on to this recipe. It would be a perfect summer lunch, with a little green salad.

  4. Absolutely perfect for while my Dad is here this week!

  5. This sounds pretty good to me. I love tomatoes and I love quiche! I think my Mother will really enjoy this. Thanks

  6. Anonymous9/03/2007

    Meatless mains? Yep! I'm a veggie

  7. Alanna, this quiche really attracts me, I love the mozzarella in it! Thanks!

  8. Alanna! Anything with tomatoes is on my to-do list. They are my absolute favourite food. So many interesting tips and ideas with the post... I cannot imagine how far you will take each cheese making post. I am making cultured sour cream today - and cream cheese, soon. Imagine making the basil cream cheese recipe above with homemade cream cheese! I am so pumped.

  9. Anonymous9/06/2012

    Love the look of this quiche and look forward to making it soon for my vegetarian company from the UK. Thank you, too, for the smart tip on saving basil.

  10. Anonymous7/15/2015

    Do you think this could be made crustless? I have a gluten free guest coming for brunch.

  11. Anonymous ~ Y'know, I'm not sure. And if it were me, I'd be loathe to experiment on a guest! Here's my suggestion. Search on "crustless quiche" in the Search Box near the top of the page on the right, you'll find several recipes, including one that uses thin slices of potato for a crust. If you like the idea of the onion, tomato and cheese, adjust those recipes.

    And you may well know this, if so, sorry for repeating it. But when you're cooking for someone who is "gluten free" it's important to know if they're dieting (and therefore some accidental gluten wouldn't harm him/her) or if they're gluten sensitive or even have celiac disease. If either of the last two are the case, then cooking gluten free requires way more than a gluten free recipe. It means ridding your kitchen, your ingredients, your cooking tools, your serving plates – absolutely everything, no exceptions, no accidents – or you might cause severe discomfort at best and real harm at worst. It's not for the faint of heart!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna