This substantial breakfast dish falls somewhere between a classic quiche and a more structured frittata. A true quiche includes a pastry crust and some dairy, while frittatas do not. While this version does include a crust, it is made from baked shredded potatoes, rather than pastry dough. It also includes one cup of whole milk for a rich creamy texture.
As written, this dish offers a mild flavor profile thanks to the use of diced pancetta and a blend of Italian cheeses. A generous amount of Italian seasoning and garlic powder is incorporated into the crust and the filling to ensure an even distribution of flavor in each bite. For a bolder flavor profile, use chopped bacon and shredded sharp cheddar cheese instead.
To save time, this recipe features packaged shredded potatoes. However, 4½ cups peeled and shredded starchy potatoes, such as Idaho or Russet, can be used instead.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 50-55 minutes
1 20-oz. bag shredded hash browns (approximately 4½ cups)
3 T. unsalted butter, melted
2 t. Italian seasoning
½ t. garlic powder
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
4 oz. pancetta, diced
½ medium red bell pepper, diced small
½ medium green bell pepper, diced small
½ medium red onion, diced small
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 t. garlic powder
Sea salt and black pepper
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 c. whole milk
1 c. finely shredded 6-cheese Italian blend, divided
1 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped
Place top oven rack in the centre position and pre-heat oven to 425°F.
To prepare the potato crust, combine the shredded potatoes, butter, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Generously season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and toss to combine. Set aside.
Add olive oil to a 10½” well-seasoned cast iron or other non-stick oven-safe skillet set over medium heat. Add the pancetta, bell pepper, red onion, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the pancetta is browned, and the vegetables are crisp–tender, approximately 4-5 minutes. Transfer contents of skillet to a bowl and set aside.
Allow the skillet to cool for several minutes before adding the potato mixture. Carefully form a crust with your fingers by pressing the potatoes into a uniform layer along the bottom and up the sides of the skillet.
Place the skillet in the pre-heated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or just until the potato crust is lightly browned. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
While the crust is baking, add the eggs, milk, and three-quarters cup of the cheese blend to the sautéed vegetable and pancetta mixture. Whisk to thoroughly combine and set aside.
Pour the egg mixture into the baked potato crust shell and top with remaining cheese. Place in the 350°F oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes. Top with fresh parsley before serving. Enjoy!
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