Smoked Salmon Quiche

For meal magic taste- and time-wise, quickly pull together a light, custardy quiche filled with smoked salmon, dill, tiny cubes of havarti cheese, a little red onion plus a few capers. Is it a cousin to a good lox and bagel? Maybe!

Smoked Salmon Quiche ♥ Just a crust plus 20 minutes, perfect for brunch or a simple supper.

Homestyle Quiche, Soft and Custardy, Made from Scratch in Minutes with a Homemade Crust or a Store-Bought Crust. Real Food, Fresh & Family-Approved. Hearty & Filling. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Easy DIY. Served Warm, Rewarms Beautifully. So Good!

  • "This is really good and the crust is so light!" ~ One Happy Husband

Smoked Salmon Quiche ♥ Just a crust plus 20 minutes, perfect for brunch or a simple supper.

Recipe Overview: Smoked Salmon Quiche

  • Smoked Salmon Quiche is a savory dish featuring a tender, flaky pastry crust filled with pieces of smoked salmon, tiny cubes of cheese and salty capers all suspended in a mixture of whisked eggs and milk. Baked until set, the quiche is a delicate balance of flavors, the smoky salmon complements the richness of the soft, custard-like filling. When I make it, I'm reminded that's it's quite easy to make a quiche and then wonder why I don't make one more often. This recipe is definitely one of my inspirations!
  • Distinctive Ingredients = Smoked Salmon + Lemon Zest
  • Short Ingredient List = both the above + an unbaked pie crust + a little red onion + a good melting cheese + 3 large eggs + flour + dried dill weed + whole milk + salt + capers
  • When to Serve = This homemade quiche is a great choice for a special brunch, a simple supper, even lunch at home with a friend or two.
  • Pantry-Friendly = This is pantry-friendly recipe: except for the salmon, all the other ingredients are easy to keep on hand.
  • Special Equipment = none is required but I really do love this nine-inch non-stick pie pan from Williams-Sonoma and this inexpensive one-piece metal pie crust shield (affiliate link) used to protect the crust from getting too dark/burning.
  • Timing = Start to finish, put this quiche on the table in 1-3/4 hours if you're not making the crust; add an additional half hour if making the crust too. But the hands-on time is much less, about 20 minutes without making a crust; about 40 minutes if you're game for mixing a crust.
  • Appearance = This is a really pretty quiche, with pieces of salmon peeking out from underneath, hinting at what's inside.
  • Servings = As written, the recipe makes a nine-inch quiche that serves six generously and eight with smaller wedges. But my husband and I can easily polish off a quiche over a couple of days, slicing off thin wedges to eat cold or briefly re-warmed in the microwave for breakfast, lunch or a midnight snack.

  • Not up for smoked salmon in quiche? Try my loooong-time favorite quiche recipe, the vegetarian Light Tomato Basil Quiche. For years, it was my go-to especially for my Christmas cookie swap brunch.
  • Not quite what you're looking for? Check out my other quiche recipes, start with the breakfast & brunch recipes, then scroll down for a collection of quiches, stratas, bread puddings, egg casseroles and more.
Ingredients for Smoked Salmon Quiche ♥ Just a crust plus 20 minutes, perfect for brunch or a simple supper.

What's In Smoked Salmon Quiche? Smoked Salmon + 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. Usually I'm a big fan of substitutes, in this case, I recommend sticking with the recipe, it just works.

  • Smoked Salmon Look for hot-smoked salmon that's fully cooked and full of flavor, not the lox or gravlax of lox and bagel tradition.
  • Onion & Cheese & Capers The salmon is joined by very thin slices of red onion and a quarter pound of cheese cut into small cubes plus a few capers.
  • The Egg Filling Whisk three eggs with a little flour (for thickening) and dried dill weed, lemon zest and salt for seasoning, then whisk in whole milk.
A slice of Smoked Salmon Quiche ♥ Just a crust plus 20 minutes, perfect for brunch or a simple supper.

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

THE PIE CRUST If you have your own favorite crust for savory quiches or even sweet pies, I hope you'll consider using it here, too. (You might want to drop the sugar to just a tablespoon.)

You may also have a favorite store-bought crust, I also occasionally use one too, preferably one of the refrigerated crusts rolled up in a long box. But! I do also find that these crusts are just toooooo thick so I also recommend getting out that rolling pin. (No rolling pin? If you're inclined to buy one, I like a wood rolling pin with handles like this (affiliate link) but something hard and round could work, a wine bottle, an olive oil bottle, even a canning jar, maybe?) Or don't stress over the thickness, just use as is.

Me, my favorite crust for this quiche is one made with Crisco shortening, that's because the pastry dough is very forgiving, needs no chilling time before rolling out and freezes well. That means making a quiche crust on the spot, no planning ahead. Usually I make two crusts, one for now and one for the freezer. That recipe is here with my recipe for a Perfect All-Rhubarb Pie. The crust really needs its own page, I'm on it!

Let me also recommend my other favorite crust, the Flaky Tender Pie Crust. It takes a little forethought and and is less forgiving but so many bakers call the Step-by-Step How To's life-changing. Learning these pie crust techniques was definitely life-changing for me, too, since my pastry teacher and her husband introduced me to this guy, The Man With the Hands. I married him! 😊

SMOKED SALMON For the best texture in the quiche, choose hot-smoked salmon that's so full-flavored. Hot-smoked salmon is not the wet, salmon-colored lox or gravlax that we (you too?) eat our weight in with lox and bagels. That said, if you have leftover cooked salmon, that works really well too, it's just less distinctive in taste.

Where to buy hot-smoked salmon? Look for vacuum-packed pieces of hot-smoked salmon at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and most (I'm betting) well-stocked grocery stores. You might also find house-made smoked salmon at a deli that serves lox and bagels or a fish market.

ONION The recipe calls for red onion, it adds a little color and does hint at the usual lox 'n' bagel serving tradition. The onion goes into the filling raw, that means it should be cut into very thin slices so that it cooks inside the egg filling. (Not into raw onion, even if it cooks in the quiche? Cook the onion slices in a little oil until soft and sweet-smelling before mixing with the salmon and cheese.) Could you use a yellow onion or shallot or maybe even green onion? Yes, I think so. But some sort of onion is important, even a small amount adds an intriguing sweetness to the quiche.

CHEESE Choose a cheese that melts well but isn't oily. I like a havarti (some times havarti with dill) or a Swiss or Gruyère but would avoid a cheddar (too oily) or a Parmesan (too dry). The cheese is cut into small cubes so that every bite includes a burst of cheesy goodness. Most goes into the filling itself but for aesthetics' sake, reserve a few cubes for splaying across the top of the quiche just before it goes in the oven.

EGGS All my recipes call for large eggs. If you have another size, scale the flour and seasonings up or down, depending.

FLOUR I use all-purpose flour, a good brand like either General Mills or Pillsbury and some times the slightly higher-protein King Arthur.

DRIED DILL WEED I love how the dills give such a distinctive look and flavor to this quiche. Could you use fresh? I think so but might sprinkle it across the top after the quiche has baked instead of baking it with the quiche filling.

LEMON ZEST is really important here, each time I made a new quiche, I found myself upping the lemon zest, it just adds a bit of brightness.

MILK I use whole milk here, that's the full-fat milk and it thickens really well. Could you substitute half 'n' half or cream? I think so but the quiche will be much richer. Could you substitute lower-fat milk? I actually think so, since the quiche contains so much salmon and cheese.

CAPERS I like to sprinkle the top with a few capers, again, that's a nod to lox 'n' bagel tradition but also to add a bit of visual interest on top. Forewarned, even tiny capers are quite heavy and drop into the quiche filling if you're not careful. To make it work, before baking the quiche, pull a few pieces of salmon and cheese higher in the filling, then sprinkle the capers on these. Most will hold!

How to Make Smoked Salmon Quiche

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights in seven straight-forward steps. You can do this!

  • PREP THE OVEN These extra steps help ensure a crisp, golden bottom crust in a quiche; I use these steps almost every time I make a pie, too.
  • First, move one oven rack to the oven's bottom-most position, then top it with a baking stone (if you have one) or an upside-down baking sheet. This creates an extra-hot environment at the bottom of the oven.
  • Second, now put another rack right over the baking stone/sheet, you'll bake the quiche on this rack.
  • Third, let the oven heat up for a long while, about 30 minutes, this allows time for that little hotbox in the oven to really heat up.

  • ROLL OUT THE CRUST and place it in a shallow quiche pan or a nine-inch pie pan. While you work on the filling, place the pan in the fridge, even a few minutes makes a difference.

  • MAKE THE LIQUID FILLING [upper photos in the collage below] This is so simple, just whisk eggs, a little flour for thickening, lemon zest, dill weed, salt and milk.

  • FILL THE CRUST [lower photos in the collage below] First spread the slivers of raw onion across the bottom of the crust. Then in two layers, spread the smoked salmon and most of the cheese cubes across the crust. Give the Liquid a last whisk, then gently pour it into the crust.

  • RE-ARRANGE THINGS A LITTLE With the tines of a fork or the tip of a knife, re-spread the salmon and cheese evenly if pouring the Liquid in messed up their even placement. Then lift a few pieces of salmon up a bit so they're a little exposed. Then sprinkle the top with small capers, making sure that at least some of them stay on top of the exposed salmon and cheese. Don't stress about all this but it does make the quiche turn out a little prettier.

  • BAKE THE QUICHE IN TWO STINTS at TWO DIFFERENT TEMPERATURES The quiche is baked on that second rack, the one just above the baking stone or upside-down baking sheet.
  • The first stint is at 425F for 30 minutes. (Ooops. Once I baked this quiche at high temperature for only 15 minutes. The quiche filling was fine, the bottom crust was less crisp and golden. Even I didn't notice until well afterward when I checked my recipe card for detail.)
  • The second stint is at 350F for another 30 minutes, with the crust rim protected by either a one-piece metal pie crust shield (affiliate link) or a piece of foil cut and wrapped to protect only the rim. I l-o-v-e the inexpensive rim, so easy to just put on top vs fussing with foil. After an hour in the oven, the quiche should be cooked through and soft-to-firm in the center.

  • REST FOR 15 MINUTES Before cutting into the quiche, let it rest outside the oven for 15 minutes.
Prep collage for Smoked Salmon Quiche ♥ Just a crust plus 20 minutes, perfect for brunch or a simple supper.

upper left | mix the quiche liquid, just 3 eggs, a little flour for thickening, a little lemon zest for brightness, dried dill weed, salt and whole milk
upper right | whisked well, please
lower left | gather the fillings, hot-smoked salmon, small cubes of a good melting cheese such as Havarti and a little red onion,
lower right | layer the filling ingredients in a pie pan or shallow quiche pan
Smoked Salmon Quiche ♥ Just a crust plus 20 minutes, perfect for brunch or a simple supper.

For Best Results

For my weekly column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I interviewed chefs and translated their restaurant recipes for home kitchens. The most illuminating question? "How can a home cook ensure the same results?" So now I ask that question of myself, too, for my own recipes. Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

  • Choose dill weed not dill seed. You'll likely find two kinds of dill in the dried herbs and spices aisle. One is dill seed, these are kinda big bumps of dried dill seeds. The other is dill weed which is dried dill leaves, it's light and feathery and smells a little bit sweet, like mown grass. Choose dill weed, please!

  • Avoid grated cheese. With small cubes of hand-cut cheese, it takes less cheese to end up with a quiche that tastes "really cheesy". That's because small cubes melt but remain distinct where grated cheese just melts into the egg filling. I also like to put most of the cheese cubes into the filling but keep some for the top. This also adds to an overall impression and appearance of cheesiness.

  • Do use the oven prep steps. They really make a difference in the color and texture of the bottom crust.

  • Don't stress! This quiche is super-easy to assemble and you'll feel like a veritable quiche queen once it comes out of the oven. Make it once, you'll barely need to read the instructions again, just the ingredient list.
Smoked Salmon Quiche ♥ Just a crust plus 20 minutes, perfect for brunch or a simple supper.

Hungry Yet?
A Simple Spring Brunch Menu

Smoked Salmon Quiche
(recipe below)
Microwave Asparagus
Simple Arugula Salad

Smoked Salmon Quiche ♥ Just a crust plus 20 minutes, perfect for brunch or a simple supper.

Why Smoked Salmon Quiche Is Worth Making

Why would anyone go to the trouble of making quiche from scratch? Here are a few reasons. Why do you make it? Let me know in the comments!

  • ... it's one of those magic dishes that's "low effort" with "big results"
  • ... it's easy to make for special occasions like Easter brunch but also on a whim for a light spring supper or inviting a friend for lunch
  • ... it's so pretty on a plate!
  • ... it's a quiche you won't find in a grocery store, not even in a restaurant

  • Ready to get started? Here's your recipe!

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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 inspires you, please do save and share! I'd be honored ...

Smoked Salmon Quiche ♥ Just a crust plus 20 minutes, perfect for brunch or a simple supper.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes (not including crust)
(or about 45 minutes, including homemade crust)
Oven time: 1 hour
Time-to-table: 1-3/4 hours
(or about 2-1/4 hours, including homemade crust)
Makes 1 nine-inch quiche, about 6 generous or 8 slimmer slices
  • 1 unbaked pie crust (see ALANNA's TIPS)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 23g
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed (not dill seed)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (don't skip or skimp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (assumes Morton's Kosher Salt)
  • 1-1/2 cups (345g) whole milk
  • 1 small red onion, sliced very thin (about a loose 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 pound (8oz/225g) hot-smoked salmon (not lox or gravlax despite some times being called "smoked salmon"), skin removed, torn into rough small pieces (see TIPS)
  • 1/4 pound (4oz/112g) havarti or another good melting cheese, cut into small cubes (save a few cubes for the top)
  • Quiche Liquid
  • 2 tablespoons small capers, drained
  • The saved small cubes of cheese

IMPORTANT: OVEN PREP These steps help prevent a raw, flour crust bottom crust. Place an oven rack on the lowest position, place a baking stone or a baking sheet (upside down) on top of the rack. Place a second rack in the slot right above the baking stone/sheet. Set the oven to 425F/220C. If there's time, let the oven and the baking stone/sheet heat up for 30 minutes before baking the quiche.

CRUST If you like, cut a piece of round parchment for the bottom of a nine-inch pie pan (preferably metal) with sloped sides or a nine-inch quiche pan with straight sides. (To keep the parchment from smooshing around, spray the bottom of the pan first.) Roll out the pie crust and arrange it across the pan, forming the crust's edge around the top perimeter. Refrigerate the crust while continuing.

QUICHE LIQUID In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and flour well, working out any floury lumps that form. Whisk in the dill, zest and salt. A quarter cup at a time at first, whisk in the milk.

QUICHE GOODIES One at a time, spread about half the onion, half the salmon and half the cheese cubes evenly across the chilled crust; repeat with the remaining halves.

TO FINISH Give the Quiche Liquid a last whisk, then gently pour it into the pan. If you like, for aesthetics sake, use a fork or the tip of a knife to lift a few pieces of salmon toward the top, top these pieces with capers then top the quiche with the remaining cheese cubes.

BAKE FOR 30 MINUTES AT 425F/220C Carefully (all that liquid can slosh!) place the quiche on the second oven rack. Bake for 30 minutes.

PROTECT THE CRUST'S EDGE Important! After that first 30 minutes in the oven, place a crust protector over the crust edge, using either something like a one-piece metal pie crust shield (affiliate link) or shaping foil to cover just the crust's edge. Leave this on for the second 30 minutes in the oven.

REDUCE OVEN TO 350F/180C & BAKE ANOTHER 30 MINUTES or until the quiche top turns puffy and golden. Remove from the oven.

LET COOL FOR 15 MINUTES Before cutting, let the quiche rest at room temperature for 15 minutes, it will deflate a bit during this time.

SLICE & SERVE! This quiche is best served immediately after the 15-minute rest period while still warm. To my taste, room temperature is way less special.

TIMING TIPS To prep ahead a bit, roll out and chill the crust; mix and refrigerate the Quiche Liquid; prep and refrigerate the onion, smoked salmon and cheese — but do not combine until the oven is fully heated and you're ready to pop the quiche in the oven. Once it's in the oven, allow 1-1/4 hours for baking and resting before slicing and eating.

LEFTOVERS are wonderful, just gently rewarm in the microwave or oven. We've also been known to cut cold slices for a late-night snack.

ALANNA's TIPS If you already have a favorite crust, go for it! But if not, I have two recipes to recommend. The first is the Crisco crust included with my Perfect All-Rhubarb Pie and honestly, it's my simple favorite these days, easy to mix and bake without delay. The second is Flaky Tender Pie Crust, a part-butter part-shortening crust which is less forgiving and requires making ahead of time so that it can chill. In addition, over the years, I've also had luck with purchased refrigerated pie crusts. Heads up, these usually need time at room temperature before arranging in the pie pan. To my taste, these crusts are too thick! So I roll these crusts quite a bit thinner, they're still easy to work with and you just cut off/discard the extra dough. If your pie crusts turn out with white and pasty bottoms, consider switching to metal pie pans. At Thanksgiving a bit back, I switched to metal pie pans, it makes a huge difference. I have two of these metal pie pans (affilate link) but my favorite is this nine-inch non-stick pie pan from Williams Sonoma, one piece in its GoldTouch line. I also own the GoldTouch mini-muffin tins, the six-cup muffin tins and the six-well mini tarts. Oh! Anyone surprised that I have my eye on other pieces as well?! If you like, use the same bowl for mixing the crust and combining the Quiche Liquid, no need to wash first. Eight ounces is pretty much salmon; four ounces also works okay but I've learned from experience that more than eight ounces is not. With more salmon, salmon quiche turns into a fish (read almost fish-y) pie. FYI the smaller the salmon pieces, the easier the quiche is to cut into neat wedges. No smoked salmon? No problem. I've used leftover roasted salmon and it's almost as good, not as distinctive but very good.

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 .

More Quiche & Tarts Ideas

~ egg recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade
(scroll down a bit for Quiche recipes)

~ breakfast & brunch recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
Asparagus Custard Tart ♥, a simple vegetable tart, perfect for spring brunches and light suppers. So pretty!

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)

~ salmon recipes ~
~ cheese recipes ~
~ capers ~

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

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.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

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