Leftover Tortillas? Make a Quiche

I hate wasting food. I really do. But sometimes, I stash things in the freezer merely to avoid the guilt of trashing food at the present moment. By “things” I mean 4 tortillas or 6 egg whites or the heels of a loaf of bread. I have good intentions. I really do. With the tortillas, I envision making a quick wrap for lunch one day. With the egg whites, an angel food cake. With the bread, homemade croutons.

These things sit — preserved, certainly — but effectively, trashed. Inevitably, I clean out the freezer several months down the road and toss the cracked tortillas and frost-encrusted heels of bread into the garbage can.

Anyway, last weekend, I rescued four flour tortillas from meeting their cold fate. When I spotted them in my fridge, I recalled a recipe I had seen on the Blue Heron Farm Web site for asparagus quiche that used tortillas as a shell. And then I played a game called “use every possible item of food in your fridge that can be sautéed and packed into a quiche shell.” Never played? Give it a go. It’s a great time. What’s most fun about the game is that there are no rules: Expiration dates should be overlooked; mold, scraped away and sent down the disposal; shriveled, wilted vegetables, scrubbed and chopped as if they were new.

I wish I could say I were exaggerating. I’m not. I cut off serious mold from a pepper. I gave a block of cheese a chemical peel. I browned a questionable piece of several-days-old hamburger meat. The result? A yummy yummy quiche.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Step 2: Prep your ingredients. Here I have 1 bell pepper, 1 zucchini, 2 chipotles in adobo, 1 hot chili pepper, 1 tomato, leftover sautéed leeks, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and cilantro. Cook your ingredients. Sauté peppers and onions and such together. (I also had a leftover uncooked hamburger patty, so about 6 ounces of ground beef.) Season with salt and pepper. Add zucchini and tomatoes and cooked leeks. Add cilantro at the end. Note: This is just what I had on hand — use anything you have.

Step 3. Line a buttered dish, such as a 9-inch round baking or pie pan, with about 4 tortillas.Whisk together 3 eggs with 1/2 cup of milk in a large bowl. Add the prepped ingredients. Add the cheese and stir.

Step 4. Pour into prepared tortilla-lined pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until set. Mixture should jiggle just slightly when shaken.

Step 5: Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting. Ta-da! A simple simple quiche.


  1. rachel says

    should I be concerned about all the treats you’ve so kindly shared with me? haha, just kiddin. i’ll eat anything you give me. you know that.

  2. Jacque says

    Impressive! Very creative and cost conscious to boot. Not to mention, looks delish.

    Great job, I know exactly what you mean about stuffing things in the freezer thinking I will get around to using them at a later time.

  3. Manggy says

    Hey, I guess the meat wasn’t so questionable after all 😉 This version is healthier too, since we avoided all that solid fat in the crust! Yum!

  4. Emiline says

    That’s really a cool idea! I wouldn’t have thought about it.

    And what’s a little mold on cheese, right? Just makes it more flavorful.

  5. hot garlic says

    What a great idea! Your freezer and my freezer should go out on a date because they have SO much in common! I too can’t do it on account of the guilt, so I have 1/2 cans of soup and 3 pieces of grilled chicken for a rainy day. It is so sad! And pathetic!

    This seriously looks great. I just made homemade tortillas tonite for the first time, I think I shall try this for the one really big one leftover!

  6. Grace says

    first of all, i love the word quiche. secondly, i’m right there with ya as far as food-wasting goes. my freezer is ridiculous. this is a great idea, and frankly, that’s the most appealing quiche i think i’ve ever seen. :)

  7. Prudy says

    I LOVE YOU for this recipe! What a great idea. I love all your photos too. I’m definitely making a mexican quiche with a tortilla crust as soon as possible.

  8. Maris says

    This is a gret idea! I have tortillas in my fridge right now and I never know what to do with them before the edges start getting stale and stiff. I love recipes where you can mix and match – I would probably make this veggie with a little bit of everything I had on hand and a few different kinds of cheeese.

  9. Ari (Baking and Books) says

    This looks so tempting! I’m sitting on the couch next to my husband and when I opened your blog I turned to him and said, “That looks goooood.” I am so making this. 😉

  10. Bellini Valli says

    This is a great idea Alexsandra. Why hadn’t I though of it before. This is how to enjoy quiche during a busty work week:D

  11. Lindsay says

    I loved this game – and apparently, you can play it with tortillas that are 6 weeks out of date too! Just makes the edges a little crispier.

  12. melissa says

    That is just fantastic. I will definitely be reminded of this next time I have a bunch of random old things in the refrigerator, but especially when I have tortillas headed for the trash (which is often, because it’s hard to use them with only 2 people in the house!).

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