Need a quick weeknight meal? A satiating breakfast? An easy, grab-and-go lunch? Enjoy a slice of this scrumptious, stick-to-your-ribs pie (or quiche: it goes by both monikers)! No matter how busy you are, you’ll have the time to whip up this simple dish!
Tips for preparing the Crustless Chicken Broccoli Pie
You really don’t need to be a master chef to be able to make this dish. Anybody can do it! You can even let your kids make it — as long as they are able to use the oven safely, and won’t be in danger of burning themselves.
Be sure to use pre-cooked broccoli. Frozen broccoli is the easiest. Thaw the frozen broccoli well and drain it carefully, squeezing out the excess water. If you don’t thaw and/or drain your broccoli properly, you’ll end up with lots of fluid in the bottom of your pie.
However, if this unfortunate incident happens, don’t despair: there is a way to save your pie. Just let it cool down to room temperature. The cooling process magically sucks away the excess fluid and creates a nice, sturdy-but-succulent consistency. And you can always reheat the pie. In fact, I think it tastes best the next day.
But let’s take a look at how to prepare this easy pie:
Take a 10-inch (25 cm) pie pan. Grease it generously with butter.
Add the broccoli florets…
…and the cubed chicken. Set aside for a while.
Take a medium bowl and add the eggs…
…and the shredded cheese.
If you’re going to use any spices or seasonings, now’s the time to add them. Since I didn’t add any salt to my chicken while cooking, here goes a pinch of salt…
…and some pepper as well. Just for some kick now. (I usually don’t add it.)
…until well combined.
Pour the egg mixture evenly over the broccoli and chicken.
Bake in the preheated oven…
…until the filling is set and the cheese is golden brown.
Let cool about 15 minutes.
My crustless pie experiments
This recipe is actually a very old one. I developed an earlier version of it for my newsletter some years ago. (You can still get the newsletter. Feel free to show your support and get it here. I worked really hard on it and it contains some of my best-ever recipes!) And over the years I’ve used the recipe in the meal plans I’ve created for my nutrition therapy clients. The pie is a real success on several counts: it’s easy to prepare (as you’ve seen), and it’s super-tasty and really satiating. A small slice is enough to keep you going for hours. And the best thing is that you can reheat the leftovers. They taste great!
The original version contains onion powder and garlic powder, but I wanted to try a very simple version with no seasonings apart from a little salt and pepper. I think it’s a real problem nowadays that people don’t appreciate the fine flavors of natural ingredients and want to drown all their food in truckloads of seasonings. There is no merit in adding dozens of seasonings to your food! It just numbs your taste buds. Not to mention the magazines, cooking programs and articles on the web where writers try to stand out from the crowd by using weird flavor combinations to get more clicks or sell their stuff. Ha! I couldn’t care less about those overcomplications and wanna-be-clever tricks — that’s why I don’t subscribe to cooking magazines anymore. Back to the basics, people!
Rant over! Anyway, to my (big!) surprise, my minimalist pie turned out really well. The cooked chicken and the cheese supplied all the necessary salt. I was afraid the pie would turn out bland without the addition of onion powder or garlic powder, but it didn’t. It was really tasty! Broccoli and cheese just fit so well together that you pretty much can’t go wrong; cream added to anything lends richness; and protein-packed chicken is super-satiating.
Later, I used chicken without added salt, and then added some salt to the dish. In that case the added salt really was a must. I also added some pepper, but in my opinion, it’s optional. However, if you want to add pepper, or indeed other spices, feel free to do so!
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
|Nutrition information||In total||Per serving if 6 servings in total|
|Protein||132.1 g||22.0 g|
|Fat||173.7 g||29.0 g|
|Net carbs||16.5 g||2.8 g|
|kcal||2202 kcal||367 kcal|
Tips for variations
This is a wonderful way to use up any leftovers lurking in your fridge. Replace the chicken with any cooked meat, like ham, ground beef, sausage, or fish. Naturally, you can replace the broccoli with any cooked or pre-cooked veggie, like cauliflower, bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, olives, spinach, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onion, leek, mushrooms, green beans—you name it.
You don’t have to pay a whit of attention to my rant about seasonings, either! Feel free to season the pie to taste. Herbs are always great natural flavor enhancers. You can also try spice mixes like Cajun seasoning, garam masala or BBQ seasoning, too. Just remember that adding spices for the sake of it isn’t the point! Your choice of spices should improve the dish’s overall flavor, not mask the taste of the actual ingredients!