If you’ve been waiting to make one of my restaurant copycat recipes, then the time to start is now because this one has all the things. Kale! Bacon! Gruyere! Hash browns! Like I said, all. the. things!
Ok, let me back up. A few weeks ago when I was visiting my girlfriends in Chicago we kicked Saturday morning off as I believe all Saturday mornings in the city should be kicked off – with brunch. We usually do this when I visit, favorite spots in the past include the Bongo Room and I can’t even remember, but this time my friend took us straight to Hot Chocolate, which I will not forget anytime soon.
Hot Chocolate is known for their locally-sourced, seasonal menus (they didn’t even have tomatoes the day we were there as they couldn’t get them locally!) yummy desserts and, of course, the most decadent hot chocolate complete with homemade marshmallow icebergs that melted in our mouths.
My friend Natalie and I split a Cocoa Nib hot chocolate to warm up with before ordering our meals – 2/3 Belgian white chocolate and 1/3 French milk chocolate infused with cocoa nib – and it was like drinking a buttery, melted chocolate candy bar. Pure bliss.
Since we were there for brunch I ordered scrambled eggs with fresh local greens and pepper jack cheese, served with smashed breakfast potatoes. My friends both ordered the Kale & Bacon Quiche which looked so delicious that I’ve been chomping at the bit to make it at home ever since. Here’s my version!
Garlicky sauteed kale combined with smoky bacon and creamy gruyere cheese, baked in a hash brown crust vs a flaky pastry crust, which is how Hot Chocolate’s version came.
A flaky pastry crust is all fine and dandy, if you’re going to a restaurant who will make it for you, but when I whipped this at home I went the gluten-free and easy route (seriously, so easy) and made a crust of simply seasoned hash browns to really highlight the flavors of kale and bacon.
This creamy quiche turned out fabulously. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with a flavor profile that’s off the charts. Plus it reheats well and leftovers are just as good!
Start with the aforementioned hash brown crust. Thaw then drain 3 cups gluten-free frozen hash browns then press between several layers of paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.
Place the hash browns into a 9″ pie pan then add 3 Tablespoons melted –> cooled butter, salt, and pepper.
Use your hands to press the hash browns into the bottom of the pie pan and up the sides.
Bake the crust for 25 minutes at 450 degrees, or until the edges turn golden brown, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Don’t worry if you think the hash browns have shrunk and won’t provide enough crust coverage. The egg mixture will take care of it!
Meanwhile, crisp 1/4lb chopped bacon (about 5 pieces) in a large skillet over medium heat then remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and set aside.
Discard the bacon grease left in the skillet by whatever means necessary. I usually line a bowl with foil then discard once it hardens. Easy!
To the same skillet, add 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 small chopped onion then saute until translucent. Next add 2 cups chopped kale, season with salt and pepper, and then saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the kale is tender.
Finally, add 2 minced cloves garlic and saute for 30 more seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat to cool slightly.
The final step begins with zee eggs. Can’t have quiche without eggs!
Crack 4 eggs into a large bowl then add 1 cup milk (I used skim) salt and pepper. You’ll notice that I’ve added salt and pepper to every layer in the dish – from the crust, to the kale, and now to the egg mixture. You don’t need much, especially when there’s bacon in the dish, but this is a very important step to ensure maximum flavor!
Whisk the eggs together then add 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese (a fabulously creamy cheese – sub mozzarella in a pinch.)
Next add the cooked bacon and kale mixture then stir to combine.
Pour the mixture over the hash brown crust then spread evenly and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Let the quiche cool for 10 minutes before slicing, then serve!
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Kale & Bacon Quiche with Hash Brown Crust
Kale & Bacon Quiche with Hash Brown Crust is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
- 3 cups gluten-free frozen hash browns, thawed
- 3 Tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
- salt and pepper
- 1/4lb gluten-free bacon, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk (I used skim)
- 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Press hash browns between 3-4 paper towels to remove excess moisture. Add hash browns to a 9" pie pan with melted butter, salt, and pepper, then mix and press evenly into the bottom and up the sides. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until hash browns are golden brown around the edges. Remove then set aside and turn oven down to 350 degrees.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain then discard bacon grease.
- Add extra virgin olive oil to skillet then add onions and saute until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add kale, season with salt and pepper, then saute until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 more seconds. Set mixture aside to cool slightly.
- Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add shredded cheese, cooked bacon, and mixture then stir to combine. Pour mixture over hash brown crust then bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top is light brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Crust adapted from Paula Deen.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
You better believe I went back for another slice of this bad boy. I just loved the chewy texture and taste of the garlicky kale with the creamy cheese, eggs, and salty bacon. Hope you adore this restaurant-inspired dish too!
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Hi! Could I make this the day before? I’m a little worried the potatoes will get soggy if I do that.
Hi Mary! This dish is best eaten immediately after baking! :)
I just made this for Mother’s Day brunch and it was a hit! Thank you!! Hugs
Wohoo! So glad to hear it, Marcela! :)
Anna K 01.14.2016
This is SO yummy. I am eating this today and my tastebuds are thanking me.
I also just made my own hash browns in my food processor
Great idea, Anna – I’m going to have to steal that hash brown tip!
LOVE this quiche! Made it this morning for breakfast and could have easily eaten the entire thing in 1 sitting! Used coconut milk and dairy free cheddar cheese in place of the milk and Gruyere due to milk allergies and it turned out fabulous!! Can’t wait for the leftovers tomorrow! Thanks for another great recipe, you never disappoint us!!
Delicious! I made this today. I used the cheese that I had in the fridge (feta and some Mexican mix) Thanks!
I made this for a second time in,a week! I substituted Morningstar sausage instead of bacon and it is just as delicious!
Hi Iowa Girl – Thanks for sharing the recipe! It looks amazing and I look forward to trying it out. I was wondering if you have ever tried substituting ricotta cheese for the gruyere cheese in the quiche? Thanks and Happy New Year!
Hi there! I think ricotta is delicious in quiche but I would use it in place of gruyere as gruyere helps bind the quiche together.
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Oh, the wonders of Google… “kale bacon quiche” yielded this lovely page, and I’m so glad it did! This was delicious! I just grated potatoes and squished out the water, and it worked just fine. The only change I would make is that I wouldn’t add salt, because the bacon and gruyere were pretty salty. Could have just been extra salty bacon though. Thanks for a great recipe!
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This would perfect for an upcoming brunch I am having!! I love Hot Chocolate in Chicago by the way–the best!
I made this in a muffin tin so I could have quiche-to-go for work; amazing!! :) Thanks for sharing your always wonderful receipes!