Crustless mini vegan quiche is filled with red bell pepper, onions, kale, and seitan bacon in a savory tofu and cashew filling. Cook these adorable, portable quiche bites in the air fryer or oven.
They can be enjoyed hot or cold. Great for brunches, picnics, packed lunches, or a protein-packed meal on the go. Vegan & gluten-free optional.
There’s something about spring that inspires brunches. Whether it’s for Easter, Mother’s Day, or just a Sunday get-together, it’s the time when people come together for coffee and mimosas.
When I was a kid, my mom often made a non-vegan quiche at holidays. It was convenient for potlucks and get-togethers, because it could be made ahead of time.
People could eat it cold or hot. It could be eaten with other side dishes or as a full meal on its own.
Plus, the quiche filling could be adjusted, depending on what was in season, what was in the refrigerator, and the preferences of the guests.
So this past Christmas, I made a vegan version of the quiche she always used to make when we were kids. We enjoyed it while we were having coffee before opening presents.
Somer’s recipe is delightful. But like you do, over the years I’ve continued to toy with it. I like to make it without a crust. I’ve swapped out ingredients, made changes, and omissions.
And finally, I decided that I needed to do an air fryer version to really amp up the convenience factor. (I’ve included an oven version as well if you don’t have an air fryer in your kitchen!)
To fit in the air fryer, I made crustless mini vegan quiche in silicone muffin cups. (Remember: Any cookware that can go in the oven can also go in the air fryer.)
You can pick up silicone baking cups online or at stores like Target next to the other bakeware. (That’s where I got mine.)
These cute little handheld bites are like vegan egg muffins. Great for breakfast on the go!
Prefer to make a full-sized version in a pie pan? Check out this recipe for a vegan frittata instead.
Serve it hot or cold
Vegan quiche is good hot or cold.
When it’s hot & fresh right out of the air fryer or oven, the inside has a bit of creaminess to it. After it’s been in the refrigerator, it firms up more.
Can I replace kala namak?
This quiche gets its eggy flavor from kala namak, also known as black salt. It’s a sulfurous salt that is available online or in Indian markets. One bag is usually just a couple dollars at Indian markets.
If you liked the flavor of eggs, I highly recommend picking up a package. (It’s amazing on vegan eggs & toast for a really easy breakfast!)
However, for this recipe the kala namak isn’t essential. There are a lot of other flavors going on, and the quiche will still be good without the kala namak.
If you don’t have kala namak or can’t find it, replace it with an equal amount of regular table salt in this recipe.
What to serve with it
- Serve it for brunch with roasted asparagus and breakfast potatoes made in the oven or air fryer.
- It’s a good “main” for a packed lunch with easy spinach salad, vegan pesto rice, and fruit.
- Pop the mini vegan quiche into a picnic basket with vegan potato salad, Israeli couscous salad, or bowtie pasta salad.
- Or keep a container in the refrigerator for a quick grab and go, protein-packed snack option. It’s really handy for those times when lunch is still an hour or two away, but you need something satiating until then.
How to make it
Soak raw cashews in water for several hours.
Even if you have a high speed blender and usually skip this step (like I do), make an exception here. There’s not much liquid, and the cashews really need that extra bit of help.
In a time crunch? Cover the cashews in hot water (or even microwave them in water), and let them soak while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.
Once the cashews have had a chance to soften, drain them.
Then add the following to the blender:
- Soaked & drained cashews
- Super firm vacuum-packed tofu
- Non-dairy milk
- Stoneground mustard
- Hot sauce
- Miso paste
Blend until smooth.
You’ll definitely need to get the Vitamix tamper involved. Or stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the blender.
Once it’s smooth, add the remaining dry ingredients:
- Nutritional yeast
- Granulated onion
- Ancho chili powder
- Kala namak
Kala namak, also known as black salt, is what gives the quiche its eggy taste.
Blend until it’s mostly incorporated. (If it’s not completely incorporated, it’s not a deal breaker, because you’ll be mixing it with other ingredients shortly.)
Now it’s time to make your vegetable filling for the vegan quiche.
In a skillet, brown seitan bacon or sausage, onions, red bell pepper, and kale. (I used Herbivorous Butcher bacon.)
Then in a mixing bowl, combine the tofu mixture with the vegetable filling until evenly incorporated.
Use a ¼ measuring cup to put even amounts of the quiche into silicone muffin cups.
I recommend measuring the amount. Then use your hands to scoop it out and form a ball before popping it into the cup. Then press the mixture down into the cup slightly.
At this point, the texture of the quiche will be similar to a sticky falafel batter.
If you’re going to bake the mini vegan quiche, you’ll want to put the quiche-filled silicone cups into a muffin pan.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
If you’re going to air fry the mini vegan quiche, put the silicone cups into the air fryer basket. Air fry for 14 to 16 minutes at 330 degrees.
You’ll likely have to work in batches, depending on your basket size. A 3.7 quart air fryer basket holds about 6 mini vegan quiche at a time.
You’ll know the quiche are done when you can put a toothpick into them, and it comes out clean.
Make it your own
Here are some ideas on ways to adjust this vegan quiche recipe to suit your mood.
- Any of the vegetables can be swapped out for others. It would be great with broccoli, cauliflower, cooked potato cubes, jarred artichoke hearts, sun-dried or regular tomato, zucchini, asparagus, or mushrooms.
- This quiche already has some cheesiness by way of nutritional yeast and miso paste. However, you can make it even cheesier by swapping out a half portion of one of the vegetables for shredded vegan cheese.
- Make this recipe gluten-free by replacing the seitan bacon with a vegetable or non-dairy cheese. Or use Beyond Meat Italian sausage. That’s what I did at Christmas, and it was delicious!
Crustless mini vegan quiche
- ½ cup raw cashews soaked in water & drained*
- 3 Tablespoons non-dairy milk
- ½ teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 Tablespoon white miso paste
- 1 teaspoon stoneground mustard
- 16 ounces super firm tofu in vacuum packaging**
- 6 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- ½ teaspoon granulated onion
- ½ teaspoon paprika plus extra for sprinkling on top as garnish
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
- ½ teaspoon kala namak a.k.a. black salt***
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon organic canola oil or other neutral-flavored oil
- ½ cup seitan bacon or sausage cut in small, bite sized pieces****
- ½ cup red bell pepper chopped small
- ½ cup onions chopped small
- ½ cup curly kale chopped small (Basically one handful)
- If you're planning on baking the mini quiche, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you're air frying, skip this step. (Note that the quiche air fry at a different temperature.)
- For easiest blending, I recommend putting the soft or liquid ingredients into the blender pitcher first. Put soaked & drained raw cashews, non-dairy milk, hot sauce, white miso paste, and stoneground mustard into the blender pitcher. Then crumble the super firm tofu into the blender pitcher. Blend until smooth. If you're using a Vitamix blender, press the ingredients with a tamper to get everything fully blended. If not, stop occasionally to scrape down the sides, so that everything gets evenly combined and there are no whole pieces of cashew left.
- Now it's time to add the dry ingredients to the blender. Add nutritional yeast flakes, granulated onion, paprika, cumin, ancho chili powder, kala namak, and turmeric. Blend to combine. (If it doesn't get completely incorporated, that's okay. You'll have a chance to mix it more evenly in a second.)
- Bring a skillet to a medium heat. Add oil to the skillet along with seitan bacon or sausage. Brown for a couple minutes. Then add red bell pepper, onions, and curly kale. Cook for two or three minutes more, until the kale is softened & bright green. You don't have to worry about getting everything super cooked, because it will cook further in the air fryer or oven.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the tofu mixture from the blender with the seitan bacon & vegetable mixture from the skillet. Make sure everything is evenly incorporated and combined by using a spoon or your your hands. (If you're using your hands, just make sure the vegetable mixture isn't too hot, so that you don't get burned.)
- Now it's time to fill the silicone muffin cups. Even if you're air frying the quiche, it can be handy to put the silicone baking cups into a metal muffin pan for easier filling. You will need about 10 baking cups. (My cups didn't require any oil, and popped out just fine without sticking. If you're concerned about yours, lightly oil your baking cups before filling.) Use a ¼ measuring cup to evenly distribute the quiche batter. Use your hands to scoop it from the measuring cup, form a ball, and lightly press it into a baking cup. (The batter will be the texture of a sticky falafel batter.) Continue filling the baking cups until all of the quiche batter has been used. Sprinkle the tops of the mini quiche with paprika for extra color.
- TO BAKE THE VEGAN QUICHE: Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
- TO AIR FRY THE VEGAN QUICHE: Put the silicone baking cups into the air fryer. Depending on the size of your air fryer basket, you may have to work in batches. About 6 mini quiche fit into a 3.7 quart sized air fryer. Air fry at 330 degrees for 14 to 16 minutes. Keep in mind that the second batch will likely cook a little faster, because the air fryer will already be hot.
- To see if the quiche is ready, put a toothpick into the center of one. If it comes out clean, it's ready. Keep in mind that the quiche will continue to get firmer as it cools, especially upon refrigeration. Once the quiche is done, remove from muffin cups and serve right away, or refrigerate for later. They're great hot, cold, or at room temperature.