Mr. C’s Southwestern Quiche with Cayenne Pepper Crust

Quiche-y Keen!

Mr. C’s Southwestern Quiche with Cayenne Pepper Crust


I make a pretty good Quiche Lorraine, but this is my absolute favorite quiche and so easy to make!  This dish is our go-to recipe for brunch and, as it is even better the next day, it gets bonus points for being able to be made ahead. 

Except for holidays, after my mom turned 45, she stopped cooking.  My stepfather, Mr. C, stepped up to the plate and took over cooking duties, usually barbecuing.  He did, however, have a few delicious specialties.  One of those is his Southwestern Quiche with Cayenne Pepper Crust. 

(Tom note: In the photo on the right of Mr. C, he reminds me of Lincoln before giving the Gettysburg Address.)


Adding cayenne pepper to the crust is a brilliant idea.  It adds an unexpected bite of heat without being too spicy.  If you don’t care for spicy foods, either leave the cayenne out or halve the amount.

Mr. C always used Betty Crocker’s Pie Crust Mix (or, as I called it, Pie-In-A-Box), which I sent Tom to the market to buy.  He couldn’t find it at first since I gave him the wrong name.   Just add water and cayenne pepper, and you are good to go. 

If making your own pie crust or using a pre-made crust, be sure to get a deep dish one, so everything fits.  Of course, if you use the pre-made crust, you will be unable to add the cayenne pepper to it. 

Mr. C’s original recipe called for Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses.  As you know, here in MaiTai Tracy’s Kitchen, we embrace the heat, so I substituted a Spicy Jack Cheese for the Monterey Jack (our favorite is Cabot’s Hot Habanero cheese).

This quiche dish is an excellent recipe for brunch as it can be made the day before, just bring to room temperature, lightly cover with foil and reheat in the oven until just warmed.  Serve with a side of your favorite guacamole or a nice green salad, and you have an entire meal with little effort.  Yum!


1 box Betty Crocker Pie Crust Mix
1/2 t. Cayenne Pepper
6 oz. Sharp or Medium Sharp Cheddar Cheese (not Extra Sharp), freshly grated 
4 oz. Spicy Jack Cheese, freshly grated
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 t. Kosher salt
1/4 t. white pepper
1 1/2 c. half and half
1 – 4 oz. can diced
jalapeños, drained (for lower heat content, use diced green chiles)
1 – 2 1/4 oz can sliced black olives, drained (optional)
1 bunch green onions


Preheat oven to 375°F. 

Prepare the pie crust according to box directions for two crusts adding cayenne pepper to the mix.  Using a 10-inch quiche pan or 9-inch deep dish pie pan, press the pastry into the pan and up the sides of the dish, but not on the rim, trim if necessary.  Do not prick the bottom. 

pie crust preparation for Southwestern Quiche

Toss the cheeses together to combine, and spread in the bottom of the pie crust.  In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, salt, white pepper and half & half together.  Stir in the jalapeños and onions (and black olives if desired) until combined.  Pour the egg mixture over the cheeses, pressing down gently with a spatula or spoon to be sure the ingredients are fully submerged.


Bake 45-50 minutes until golden brown and knife inserted in the center comes out clean, but the center is still just a tad wiggly.


Best served warm or at room temperature.  8 Servings.

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Mr. C’s Southwestern Quiche with Cayenne Pepper Crust
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