I suspect by now that most of you are on your way to where you’re headed, physically and possibly proverbially. Maybe you have a tree to cut down or some cookies to bake. You probably have a holiday party tonight, and rooms to clean before guests arrive. You no doubt have entertaining on your brain. We do, too. We’ve had two dinner parties thus far this month, and instead of being exhausted of them, I want even more. This might be a sickness. Or maybe it’s just realistic; for the price of dinner for two out, we can easily feed 15 at home, where we don’t have to deal with pesky restaurant minimums, the constant feeling that the clock is ticking as waiters are eager to turn the table over, we can actually speak to all of our friends (the reality of most big restaurant meals is that you can only talk to the people on either side of you — at home, musical chairs and shouting across tables is acceptable and encouraged), and oh, I don’t even put shoes on. Entertaining barefoot is where it’s at, people, trust me.
Because I have entertaining on my brain, I got to thinking about what an epic cook-a-thon many of us have headed for us in the coming days, especially with formal Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners, and what about houseguests? Is one truly expected to cook during the off hours too? It sounds… overwhelming.
We don’t have a lot of overnight house guests because a) we don’t have a house or much spare space at all, b) we passive-aggressively discourage guests by not having a sleep-a-sofa, shh, don’t tell anyone, c) but of course you’re totally welcome to stay here if you want a 4 year-old climbing on your head at 5:45 a.m., asking if you have The Monster At The End of This Story App on your phone for him to play with? Nevertheless, had I house guests, I know the last thing I’d feel like doing is making an epic breakfast spread only hours after cleaning up an epic dinner spread. Nor would I really want people messing up my kitchen while attempting to make their own breakfast, and flimsy grasps at manners wouldn’t allow me to let you go to the local diner to feed yourself. So, I got to thinking of some sort of mammoth one-pan breakfast that everyone could help themselves to, heat up as needed, or whenever they wake up, and that it could be somewhat portable, so maybe you could plop a square in a mittened hand before gently nudging your smaller guests out the door for a while to “go make us a snowman, or something.” Politely, of course!
And for this I turned to the pie that saved Thanksgiving, the beloved slab pie, but here, it’s savory. Here, it’s got some whole-wheat flour and vegetables, spinach and potatoes, but also the essential bits, eggs and cheese. Or, at least that was my approach. [My husband, for one, felt that the absence of bacon was an appalling oversight, I personally prefer my bacon crisp, and on the side.] But I’m also imagining versions with more greens and feta, or a Tex-Mex angle, with black beans, salsa, cheese and jalapenos. What you put it in is up to you, what counts, what matters about this is that it’s homemade, reheats beautifully, serves a crowd, and has an essential serve-yourself vibe to it for hosts that need a little break. It’s your holiday too, and I hope you find time to put your feet up and cozy up with your favorite record on the turntable.
Two years ago: Caesar Salad Deviled Eggs, Peppermint Hot Fudge, Cinnamon Brown Butter Breakfast Puffs
Three years ago: Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms, Iced Oatmeal Cookies, Broiled Mussels
Four years ago: Cream Biscuits, Coffee Toffee, Vanilla Roasted Pears, Build Your Own Smitten Kitchen
Five years ago: Braised Beef Short Ribs, Gramercy Tavern’s Gingerbread, Pecan Sandies, Sugar-and-Spice Candied Nuts
Six years ago: Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies, Austrian Raspberry Shortbread and A Slice-and-Baked Cookie Palette
Seven years ago: Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti, Hazelnut Truffles, Gougeres + Stuffed Mushrooms and Russian Tea Cakes
Breakfast Slab Pie
Serves 12 generously or 15 petitely
3 3/4 (470 grams) cups all-purpose flour (feel free to replace up to half with whole-wheat)
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter, very cold
3/4 cup very cold water
1 pound yukon gold potatoes, peeled if desired, cut into 1/2-inch slices
10 ounces spinach (baby, “grown-up,” or frozen)
1 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 scallions, thinly sliced
11 large eggs + 1 large egg white (you’ll use the yolk in a minute)
1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg yolk (leftover from filling)
1 teaspoon water
Make pie crust: Whisk together flour, and salt in the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl. Using a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of tiny peas. (You’ll want to chop your butter into small bits first, unless you’re using a very strong pastry blender in which case you can throw the sticks in whole, as I do.) Gently stir in the water with a rubber spatula, mixing it until a craggy mass forms. Get your hands in the bowl and knead it just two or three times to form a ball. Divide dough roughly in half (it’s okay if one is slightly larger). Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten a bit, like a disc. Chill in fridge for at least an hour or up to two days or slip plastic-wrapped dough into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 to 2 months (longer if you trust your freezer more than I do). To defrost, leave in fridge for 1 day. [Still freaked out about making your own pie dough? Read this for a ton of additional tips and details.]
Heat oven oven to 375 degrees F. Line bottom of 10x15x1-inch baking sheet or jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
Prepare filling: Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cooking for 7 to 10 minutes, until potatoes are tender but not falling apart. Drain.
Wash spinach but no need to dry it. Place wet spinach in hot skillet and cook until it just wilts. Drain in a colander, pressing or squeezing out as much liquid as possible. You should have about 1 cup of spinach one wilted and squeezed. If spinach leaves were large, you might want to roughly chop the squeezed-out piles of spinach before adding it to the filling.
Assemble pie: On a lightly floured surface, roll one of your dough halves (the larger one, if you have two different sizes) into an 18-by-13-inch rectangle. This can be kind of a pain because it is so large. Do your best to work quickly, keeping the dough as cold as possible and using enough flour that it doesn’t stick to the counter. Transfer to your prepared baking sheet and gently drape some of the overhang in so that the dough fills out the inner edges and corners. Some pastry will still hang over the sides of the pan; trim this to 3/4-inch overhang.
Layer vegetables, including scallions, evenly over bottom pie crust. [You don’t want your pie to look like this, after all. NSFW language there, btw.] Sprinkle cheese on top. If using the fillings that I did, beat 11 whole eggs and 1 egg white lightly and pour over vegetables. If you’ve used other fillings, you might find that you need more or fewer eggs to mostly fill (I did not want to fill the crust to the top with eggs, as it would have been more difficult to bake without filling) the bottom crust; if you’re nervous, just beat a few eggs at a time and pour them in until your filling reaches the desired level. Sprinkle with salt and many grinds of black pepper.
Roll the second of your dough halves (the smaller one, if they were different sizes) into a 16-by-11-inch rectangle. Drape over filling and fold the bottom crust’s overhang over the edges sealing them together. Cut only a couple tiny slits in the lid to act as vents — too many or too big, and the filling will want to leak out before the eggs set. Beat remaining egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water and brush over lid.
Bake pie: Until crust is golden and filling is set, about 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool a bit before cutting into squares.
Do ahead: I haven’t frozen this pie, but suspect that it will freeze well already baked. Or, you could make the pie doughs up to one month in advance (storing them in the freezer), four days in advance (to store in the fridge) and roll them out when you’re ready to bake the pie. Baked slab pie will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Squares can be reheated as needed. Vegetables can be prepped (spinach wilted, potato par-boiled) and stored in the fridge for 2 days before using.
231 comments on breakfast slab pie
Do you think you could, ahem, use a ready made crust? (blushing) Love your recipes, by the way!!
You could-but trust me, you really want to use debs crust recipe. It’s unreal.
Loving this…I have my first try at it in the oven now! The crust wasn’t quite big enough, but I’m hoping that leaks and all its still delicious, like everything Deb makes!
Looks lovely, going to make it for Christmas breakfast!…..and I think I am the first comment woo hoodoo!
Love the all-butter crust! This looks amazing and prefect for entertaining during the crazy holiday season. Thank you for sharing!
This looks fantastic. I can’t eat eggs straight anymore, and spinach and cheese omelettes are basically the thing I miss most about that. Do you think it would hold together without the eggs in it, or be too dry? Kind of a… spanakopita with potatoes?
I am so with you on the barefoot entertaining. This certainly does look perfect for a house full of guests!
I was wondering about the ready made crust as well, pie crusts are not my strong suit :) And what do you think about frozen spinach, sounds like maybe that would work as well?
Yeah, the downside of having a two bedroom is people assume they’re staying with you. Smart to keep things small. :-)
I’m totally loving this slab pie. First time I’ve seen a breakfast version! So brilliant.
Deb you crazy bastard, you’ve done it again. Looks like what my Mennonite Mother-in-Law makes, but better! Amazing!!
Do you think this would be tasty crustless? As in a big frittata-esque bake instead?
Ooh yum! This is gorgeous – and a seems like a fabulous thing to bring to a holiday brunch!
Or what about puff pastry? That seems like it would work well with this kind of pie, no?
I agree! Puff pastry would be great- get the one made with butter though!!
I am 100% with you on crispy snack bacon, but I think I might add sausage to this too :) Breakfast meats + me = <3
This looks delicious, but I agree with your husband. Bacon would be a good addition. I also think it would be good as a frittata.
I hate to even ask this, but if some of the crowd one is trying to feed needs a gluten-free crust … you think gluten-free AP “flour” has any chance at all of working in this kind of crust?
I’d love to know this too!! I have a group that is gluten free, vegan and allergic to chicken, mushrooms and tomatoes—quite a challenge !
Deb that golden brown top, the contrast with the green, and then the density of the egg and filling, omg this looks so good! Pinned!
That is without a doubt the absolutely best Christmas album of all time. Ba dum bump bump.
Carb on carb, plus cheese and eggs = awesomeness. What’s even more awesome is the fact that it has some greens to make me feel like it’s the slightest bit healthy!
I am too in the midst of holiday parties galore, and this pie looks like the simple supper I needed. Thanks Deb & happy holidays!
Oh my God. I don’t even know what to say about this, it looks too amazing. This is something I have got to try out for myself.
This looks so good….I think I could eat the lot in one go!! ;)
Hole moley!! I could eat this for every meal!
Looks yummy! I am also wondering if this would work with some frozen puff pastry (already in the freezer) or maybe a few layers of phyllo dough brushed with butter?
Do you have a special trick when you cut things into squares? Your edges are magically perfect on this dish as well as the last one you posted; whenever I cut ANYTHING, I invariably get those terrible scraggly edges where the knife catches.
Flavorless dental floss :)
…and PS, I have a relatively good set of sharp knives, not one of the flimsy $30 sets :)
I don’t ever have house guests much either because, well, I live in a teeny, tiny apartment. But regardless of if someone ever in their right mind WANTS to come and stay the night, this would probably be my go-to. In fact, I’ll probably just make it tonight and feed myself and my hubby with it in the morning because, well, it just looks so damn delicious!
The first sentence of this post is so amazing. Merry Christmas Deb! (and this recipe looks wonderful)
Would not want to change a thing…except perhaps making just half in a smaller pan. Otherwise the two of us would be eating slab pie through New Year’s! Looks so good. You come up with the best ideas. Thank you for taking the time during this busy, busy season!
Can you cut this recipe in half?
New to this website! This looks really good and for those living in a teeny. tiny apartment, I would do this anytime I am invited to a pot luck brunch!
I’m a vegetarian hosting meat-eaters for Christmas and I’m making chicken pot pie for them (the excellent Ina Garten recipe). I had been thinking idly to myself that I really wanted some sort of two-crusted quiche for myself but was that even possible? Etc etc etc so forth. And here it is! Bonus, I can feed the leftovers to my guests (and myself) for breakfast the next morning). Great timing, Deb!
This is a very old reply, but I just came across this recipe and tried it. I wanted to say how very accommodating you are to “carnivores.” I have vegetarian relatives and friends and always look forward to delicious meat-free meals at their homes. Missing animal protein for a couple of meals is never a problem for most of us omnivores. When I entertain at our home, I leave meat out of everything except a single item–ie Thanksgiving does still require a turkey for most of my family, but I make the dressing without meat or meat broth, do a “gravy” with vegetable broth and oil instead of drippings. The point is, most of us are happy with lasagna or chili made with soy crumbles, etc.
Now, back to this delicious breakfast/brunch/lunch pie–it was a hit with my family–the pictures made it seem kind of thin, so I added 3 more eggs, a full pound of spinach, another half cup of cheese, and a full bunch of scallions. It turned out wonderful and even though I had only 9 at table, it all disappeared
And due to my reading your blog that led me to the burrito hilarity, my kids are now going to be the recipients of Superfight! It’s like, If You Give A Mouse a Slab Pie… :)
Yippeee the perfect thing to do with the 2 pie dough disks in my freezer from the last 2 times I used your terrific pie crust recipe! (I keep forgetting I have them and then end up making more.) And for anyone who thinks making pie dough is not their idea of a good time, try Deb’s version. It is sooo easy and flaky and delicious. Truly. I was fearful and now I am the master! Well, she’s the master, but I am now competent at it :)
There is sugar in the directions for the crust, but not in the list of ingredients. How much? Thanks!
Ah, Deb…you had me at slab…another must try recipe. Thank you and Merry Christmas.
You’re KIDDING me with this. I would let a 4-year-old jump on my head in the morning if this was the reward.
Gee, Deb, you really know how to pile on the cooking challenges during the busiest time of the year! This is truly a labor of love. I am less intimidated by making old fashioned, cooked and beaten fudge than rolling out dough for a pie of this size. You didn’t even give us time for a trial run! Whaddahya thinking ;)
This. Is. Amazing!! Great dish for entertaining too!
I am definitely pinning and sharing this as well as making it this weekend!
This looks amazing!!!! Perfect breakfast for a crowd.
I was so excited to recently move into my first place with a “guest room” and I’m starting to realize it is more work than I’m cut out for! Visitors are popping up more often than I’d like. Luckily, we are traveling for the holidays, but I’ll add this recipe to the list for the next guests!
Could I leave out potatoes and add more spinach. Or would that be spinach overload? Any other suggestion? If more spinach is a go, how much more would you suggest? On the spinach note, would you ever make this with forzenspinach that was well drained?
I have slab pie forks right at the ends of my arms.
I love this, but I have a small enough group of people that I will need to halve this. Otherwise, it looks awesome!
SOOO going to make something along these lines. I somehow failed to make your corn & tomato pie this year, and I’ve been kicking myself. Jane G, I was terrified of the crust making, but do it! Really!
Ooh this looks very tasty, especially for Christmas morning! We almost always have one savory and one sweet dish in the mornings. This would be awesome for the savory one!
CAN’T.TAKE.THIS.BRILLIANT.IDEAR! Plus the portions look so PEEEEEEEERRRRRFECT! HOME RUN INDEEDY!
Wowee…. looks scrumptious… wish I was on the receiving end of this pie made by someone…
Would anticipate any issues with grating the potatoes hash-brown style and putting them in raw? If, for example, someone were too lazy to even want boil the potatoes in advance…
Puff pastry — I wanted to recommend it, but I can confidently. You need to be able to fill the cavity with a dozen uncooked eggs, and if the pastry at the bottom puffs before those eggs set… it would be a disaster.
Storebought pastry — This crust is the equivalent of 3 single-crust pies. And, you’ll want it in square, not round pieces (well, square so you can put them together into a rectangle). But otherwise, no reason it shouldn’t work.
Without the eggs — You’d want to triple or quadruple the other vegetables, and I’d increase the cheese as it can act as a binder. But it could still be delicious.
Gluten-free — I haven’t tested my pie dough with gluten-free flour, however, if you have a pie dough that’s been working for you that’s GF, definitely use it here instead. This crust is the equivalent of 3 single-crust pies.
Jamie — No, I think that could work — but it might make it a little more wet? Not sure.
AG — Frozen spinach would work fine. I find that a frozen package defrosted and wrung-out is roughly 1 cup, so, the same amount. You could use more spinach if you wish to omit the potatoes, probably double it. Or, you could make it more eggy to increase the filling volume.
Christina — That’s a mistake; there’s no need for sugar in this.
Victoria — You shouldn’t have trouble cutting this pie, warm or cold, because the filling is “set,” unless loose fruit fillings which only somewhat set. Nevertheless, I cut this from the fridge this morning when we went to eat it, so the edges look extra razor sharp. Any knife will do.
Allison — Without the crust, you’d want to up the eggs, probably up the cheese, butter the pan well, and possibly whisk in some cream or milk with the eggs to soften them.
Looking at this reminds me of England. Growing up in the North East of England, and then moving to Canada, my Mum put everything in pastry. My favorite was a cheese and onion pasty, which had potato and sometimes an egg. And they eat perfectly cool or at room temp. I will definitely be throwing something like this together in the next few days. Got that big bag of baby kales from costco staring at me every time I open the fridge. Thx.
what about no crust on the bottom layer to save calories, maybe completely layer bottom and let potatos be the crust? I tried this once on a crustless quiche and it worked nicely just greese pan well. (With that crustless quiche I didnt pre-cook the potatoes) I had already been thinking quiche for xmas morning but this looks great
Two questions because I haven’t ever frozen pie crust before: How long would you defrost it before using it? How long would you keep it in the refrigerator after defrosting it? I love this idea so much! Thank you.
Adrienne — Move it from the freezer to the fridge the day before you need it. Once in the fridge, I think it’s safe to keep it there for three days.
Looks great for a work potluck!
Do you think if I had clean socks, brought my own bed and read stories to a four year old in the morning I could come for breakfast? Seriously this sounds delicioso and will be in the works for breakfast wed morning.
On a serious note I want to thank-you for all the recipes this year and also for the entertaining commentary that accompanies each one. I have enjoyed it all!!
Have a fantastic 2014.
Deb, I’m so with you on having dinner parties at home instead of going out, especially here in NYC!
Loving this pie btw!
THAT IS MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS RECORD TOO!!! And I remember having it on LP, too. (barely!)
Also, this sounds delicious! I finally had a good reason to make your apple slab pie, and it was a huge hit! Now I’ll need to find an excuse for this one. Yum.
Hi Deb, first time poster, long time listener. :) I’m thinking of trying this with phyllo as I’ll likely have some leftover from the spanakopita-making session this weekend. Thoughts? And I second macyqs’ impression–this reminded me of a cheese, potato and onion pasty. (Nigella has a good-looking recipe for one in How to Be a Domestic Goddess–am I allowed to say that here?)
This looks amazing Deb! I can’t wait to make a yummy christmas breakfast for my (very) Italian (and therefore very opinionated when it comes to all things food) in-laws. Jaws will surely drop:)
I’ve been listening to that record since I was little, my parents have it on vinyl and I transposed it to digital a few years ago…it isn’t truly Christmas yet until I hear “When the River Meets the Sea”
Forgot to mention – if you like the muppets at Christmas, you should check “Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas” (find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Otters-Jug-Band-Christmas-Collectors-Edition/dp/B0009PLLK4) :)
OMG! I just did this with TJ pie crust for the base and TJ puff pastry for the top because I had them on hand and I was lazy! This will be my new go-to recipe for breakfasts! Not only for feeding house full of visiting relatives but to make on Sundays for grab and go breakfast all week! Thank you!!
No plans for guests any time soon, so…all the more for the two of us.
I have the same Muppets CD in my car right now. And the Aspen Glow (John Denver again) in the house. Great taste in music
What a great solution to accommodate huge families over the holidays! Will definitely try this. x
The picture of the finished pie is breathtaking. Honestly, i don’t even know what to say.
The pie looks great as always-these slabs just beckon a hungry fist don’t they? However, I am in TEARS over the burrito thing…thank you SO much for including that…I always need a laugh, but it is a rarity that I get to read a laugh-out-loud tear inducer like that one. It will be forwarded to my choicest friends. Bless you- That is a classic!! Your sense of humor is fabulous, and part of what makes this the BEST blog ever. We love you.
Hmmmm….I second the bacon motion. How is this for a thought? Put the bacon on top after having brushed the pastry with the eggwash. Two versions came to mind. One, slice several strips of bacon into little squares and sprinkle generously over the top.
Two, slice several strips of bacon in half length-wise, and lay on top in a criss-crossor lattice-like pattern. Some finely diced onion sprinkled on either version may also work to help keep male palettes happy, as may some red peppers also diced or cut in thin strip as accent pieces …
This looks so delish! Such a smart idea for feeding a crowd. Entertaining 2 meals in a row can get exhausting, so it’s nice to have a self-serve sort of dish like this to put out for the 2nd meal. Thanks for the great idea – you’re the best!
Hi, Firstly I would like to thank you for the best pizza dough recipe on the planet. My girls insist on your “lazy pizza dough” and “favourite margherita pizza” almost every Friday night. Friday night is movie night in our house. And because I deprive them of TV during the week, they are desperate for a rental DVD and pizza on Friday nights. Moreover, I have tried and tested every pizza dough recipe under the sun and they have always disappointed me and my darlings. They never live up to Pizza Verde the best pizza restaurant in Victoria, Australia. I suppose I should add the chef/owner is an American.Anyway, Pizza Verde’s pizza bases are thin, light and crunchy. But your bases are thick, chewy and perfect for the time constrained Mama. I swear I have tried so many pizza dough recipes and all I have experienced is disappointing disaster after disaster but your recipe is meproof. It is easy and so very very very delicious – if you like the thick, chewy type of pizza dough. Thank you so very muchly for sharing your pearls of wisdom. I give praise to you all the time in my kitchen. Spread the love.
Looks delicious! Do you reheat in the oven or just in the microwave? Thanks!
another great idea for a group breakfast!! And if you have a potato ricer it is a great tool for pressing(wringing) out the moisture from spinach
Also, thank you so much for the tiny, almost hidden gems that are other posters like the burrito guy. OMG, too funny. Almost as funny as you.
Have a wonderful holiday!
I am considering making this dish but am concerned about the bottom crust not getting baked properly and being soggy. I have had this happen to me with deep dish pie before and few others. Any advice? Thank you for all your fabulous recipes!
Brilliant! Think of the variations! I love the simple solution to breakfast for the holidays.
Will it work without spinach?
Yumz!!!!! Am going to try it!
This stopped me in my tracks. Brilliant. We always do homemade cinnamon rolls on christmas morning after a gluttonous meal of homemade pierogies the night before. This is going to be officially my new years day breakfast ritual now. I live in Brooklyn (and know your friend Anna P. from a work out group) and have heard such lovely things about you from her. My blog is a year old and I am working hard to achieve success like you have with yours. Yours is perfection. Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season. Thanks for all the inspiration.
Hey Deb, can I make a totally random request? It would be awesome if when you respond to comments, you refer to them by number as well as name. For example, you could write “Victoria/23”. It’s just that you get so many comments (because you’re so very popular!) and sometimes I end up skimming down to your responses but then I don’t know what you’re responding to and I’m endlessly scrolling to find the original… I know, you already do so much for us, but if it’s easy for you I think it might really help readers. Thanks!
Looks delicious. My 3 year old grandson loves the Monster at the End of the Book on my device, too. So fun. I’ve been making rolled out sugar cookies to John Denver and the Muppets since its release in 1979. Thanks for all the great recipes to help us celebrate the holidays.
Happy Holidays / Merry Christmas! This recipe looks great to make. My Mom will certainly appreciate it since she has a lot of family friends coming in from Colombia this weekend!
I am bringing lunch to our Church for decorating. This is going to be my offering! Thanks a trillion for sending this along at JUST the right time!
We just put this in the oven, partially because slabs are our new favorite thing. (Why make pies when you can make slabs? Pot slabs, fruit slabs, and now breakfast slabs!)
Instead of the butter crust, I used my no-butter pie crust recipe, partially because when you bake twice (or more!) a week, butter becomes a real issue and partially because I’ve had great success with this recipe in the past. We also did a “deep dish” version in an 8 x 8. Instead of spinach, we did kale and we added mushrooms, caramelized onions, and garlic.
This looks fabulous. What about butter crust (as in the recipe) for the bottom layer and puff pastry for the top layer? (Why bother? you may ask – well, I’m never going to be able to roll out such a beautiful piece of pastry for the top, hence the suggestion). Either way, it looks great – can’t wait to try it. Thank you!
This feels like it falls into the category of “close-to-ridiculous” question, but I remember reading on here that you do not have a microwave. If that’s true, how do you reheat your stuff? I default to the microwave, but when I use my oven to reheat (which I want to do here, because of the eggs), sometimes I feel like I take it too far and ruin my leftovers.
This looks great… just might end up being our Christmas morning breakfast! :)
@Noren I just moved and gave up my microwave… it was a challenge at first, but it’s easiest if you just get rid of it “cold turkey.” If you have it but try not to use it, you’ll find yourself using it when you’re in a pinch. You’ll find different tricks with reheating various foods, but I have found success with most dishes by simply adding a little water. Foods tend to dry out as they sit in the refrigerator, and adding heat again will only dry it out further… adding a little water (or even stock) with get moisture back into the food.
Deb, apologies if this information can be found elsewhere on the site, but I am wondering about your top-notch pastry blender!! Mine was probably purchased at bed, bath, & beyond or something about 10 years ago…certainly not the caliber needed to drop whole sticks of butter into my flour. As I have fallen in love with your pie recipes, I am thinking it may be about time to upgrade in this dept. Many thanks!!
BOOM! Added to the holiday cooking (and eating!) docket. Thanks so much for the deliciousness, Deb!
Update on the deepdish:
It took a lot longer to bake (probably close to an hour ten?) which was to be expected, but made for longer breakfast waiting. I’d suggest pre-assembling if you’re going to do a deep dish yourself, so you can just toss it in the oven when you get up.
The kale was a better choice than the spinach, I think. Even wilted with most of the water removed, it retained a lot of its tooth in a way spinach doesn’t. I think it also added a more complex flavor.
As we’re a household of two, and don’t like wasting food, I have now frozen all but two slices. I will give more info on how they fare after freezing.
We don’t have a microwave either. (Although we do plan on getting one.) As we’re a household of two, we generally have leftovers and have learned a lot of ways to reheat without one. We pretty much have three methods: oven, stovetop, and repurpose.
I’d say that something like this needs to be reheated in the oven. (I’d also say that it would taste better reheated in the oven. Microwaves and crusts don’t get along.) If I’m worried about something drying out, I steam the oven. If it’s an item I can add a touch of water to, I do that. If I’m worried about it burning (reheating this from frozen, for example), I’ll put it in an oven safe container with foil on top until the last five to ten minutes. This not only keeps it from burning, but helps it reheat faster. (Although, one of the reasons we’ve been considering a microwave is reheating frozen lasagna. You’re looking at over an hour.)
Some things are better reheated on the stove top. Fried rice, for example, can simply be sauteed once again. Anything liquid-y (or close to, like mashed potatoes) can go in a sauce plan. If it’s close to, I often add a bit of water, just to keep it from drying out. I find that placing a lid over some items will not only help them keep moisture, but heat them faster. (It’s a great way to make sure the cheese melts completely on grilled cheese, too.)
Other items, I find are best repurposed into new food! Mashed potatoes, for example, often become stuffing for kniche. It’s remarkably hard to reheat rice without a microwave, so we usually turn leftovers into fried rice or rice pudding. This is also a great skill to cultivate for those times where you are just sick of something you have plenty left of.
Perhaps the biggest thing to keep in mind when not using a microwave to reheat things is to check often. There’s no set time for how long something needs to reheat. There’s also no real set temperature. I usually use the original baking temperature as a guide, but usually don’t use that exact temp.
Here’s how I plan on reheating this:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, steam
2. Place in oven safe bowl with foil on top
3. Check every 5 minutes or so. When warm, remove foil and heat until crust is desired texture.
4. Enjoy my decadent breakfast!
If I end up reheating straight from the freezer, it would probably be similar, only I wouldn’t steam the oven and I wouldn’t check it for at least half an hour.
Sorry: this was way longer than I was expecting. I kind of just kept rambling! Hope there’s something useful in here. I’ve found that reheating without a microwave produces much better tasting food, so maybe you can take even more away from it.
Deb I love this idea. It’s exactly what I would do if I could have houseguests too!
I have a tiny oven (I don’t live in the US). The biggest pan that will fit mine is about an 8×8 pan size. Would I halve this recipe? Or make only a third?
Also, is it okay to use another kind of potato? I can’t get Yukon gold potatoes here. I can only get something similar to Russet potatoes. (I guess my real question is: How much of a difference is there between different kinds of potatoes?)
@Noren and @Ryan – On reheating: on Chowhound I read a tip for reheating pizza that I think would work with this, too. Stovetop – put slab(s) of pie on parchment paper in an ungreased skillet, cover, heat on medium-low until heated through.
John Denver and the Muppets—squeeee!!!
The best thing this year is that my two-year-old is starting to sing along, and when we get to the song with the refrain “Merry Christmas, Baby Zachary” he looks up at me and says “That’s MY song, Mommy!” with such wonder in his eyes. Makes me tear up every time.
Hugs to all.
Ok, am I totally lame… don’t answer too quick…. I reread your recipe but I still have a Q: can you assemble ahead (i.e. put it all together and place plastic wrap or foil on top) and bake Christmas morning?
Angela — It’s so good reheated and less stable uncooked (raw eggs + batter + vegetables that will get mushy while soaking in egg) that I would definitely advise you to just bake it in advance and reheat it Christmas morning. We just had it for lunch for the third (!) day in a row and it was just excellent, excellent, excellent rewarmed. Didn’t taste even one day old.
April — Halve it. Yukon golds are waxier, they stay together better and I prefer their slight creaminess when cooked perfectly. You can use any potato you can get, or enjoy with eggs. A Russet is more floury and may not take as long to simmer until soft.
Noren — No, I don’t have a microwave. It’s for space reasons, not health paranoia or anything.
Re, reheating — I just put mine on a tray in a 350 degree oven. No cover. It recrisps and warms through in all of 10 to 15 minutes. It could be reheated in a microwave too; I’m not sure how long but I’m sure under a minute.
Re, microwave alternatives, which basically nobody has asked me about — So, unrelated, I’m completely obsessed with those little Breville ovens. They seem to be such an amazing solution for cooking (gorgeous browning, perfect heat circulation), reheating (better than heating up a full-sized oven, after all) as well as space (you could have a 2nd oven in your kitchen without needing a huge amount of space for it). Anyway, if I ever move to a place with a kitchen with more flexible space (hahahaha, NYC real estate… sob) I would love to get one, and pass on the microwave thing altogether; I guess I’m just used to not having one by now. No, this comment isn’t sponsored, of course, nothing on this site is, ever, always, but I hope you all know that.
Christina — I love mine from OXO.
AG — I think that would be fine, but FWIW, I made a huuuuuge mess of my crust (I weighed my flour as 375 grams instead of the correct and once you brush it with the yolk wash and bake it, it’s still gorgeous. You really can’t mess it up.
Emma — I am not sure about phyllo — it might work, but I can’t confidently recommend it without trying it as I’m concerned it may not hold liquid well, and there are a dozen raw eggs in here that need non-leaky support until they’re baked. Not sure why you think you can’t speak of Nigella here; I’m totally Team Nigella with this nonsense case that’s going on right now.
Zeljka — I didn’t find sogginess to be a problem because the filling is heavy and wet/jammy as fruit pie filling is. Nevertheless, it can be parbaked the same way as any other pie — fitted with foil, then pie weights or pennies or dried beans, baked 15 minutes with the filling and then 5 minutes or so without the foil and filling, and then filled the rest of the way with the breakfast fillings and topped with the remaining piece of dough. It will be more difficult to form a seam between top and bottom crust, however, but you shouldn’t have leakage so long as the bottom pie crust is unbroken.
buzz — I’ve never used a ricer but that’s a great idea. My hands always get tired from the squeezing quickly!
I love breakfast pizza, so I know I’d love this.
Well you’ve got my frittata beat with this one. But I’m not sure when I’ll get it together to do the crust too… maybe by next Christmas. Welcome Yule!
I was brainstorming what to make for Christmas morning and I cannot decide between sweet or savoury. This will definitely be added to the list!
I basically only use my microwave to melt stuff. Toaster oven is where it’s at, my friends. Not only does it reheat without soggy-fication, it’s great for single servings of cookies, tots, etc. And have you ever had a buttered, broiled bagel? Toaster ovens are worth the space, especially if for small households.
My real purpose is to say thanks for the recipe, because invariably on holiday weekends people get hungry and look at me like “what are you going to do about it?” As though they aren’t all adults capable of obtaining food. This will work well.
best. hangover. pie. EVER
Could you make this even easier by using baked potatoes, instead of boiling them? I could see tossing some potatoes in the oven the night or day before, baking and cooling. Then taking the skins off easily the next morning and chopping up to toss on the pie crust.
I’m a huge, huge fan of slab pies, especially savory ones, and this looks simply delicious! I love the spinach, cheese and potato combo and I think it’s perfect even without bacon! I can’t wait to try it out and then try other versions, too.
Thanks Deb for this amazing and super useful recipe, and Merry Christmas to you and your whole family :)
What a wonderful Christmas morning breakfast. This one is simple and elegant at the same time. :-)
oh gorgeous cant wait to try it.
I have been making a sausage quiche on the weekends for weekday breakfast… and lately have been adding pastry to the top … and was in the mood to liven up the quiche (sausage and cheddar cheese) – i am going to try this in an 8×8 and not use the potatoes but add sausage… looking forward to a new twist on my breakfast routine.
ps I bought a food processor (Cuisinart)! and feel like a grown up cook finally.
This recipe was just in a buzzfeed list of 37 awesome things to make for Christmas brunch! I saw it there first!
Love you Deb, Merry Christmas!!
seriously, 3 sticks of butter? that is way obscene !
deb, i need your help when you/if you get the time. lost the name of a favorite blogpost and it’s driving me crazy, i miss her. she like you is a my go to girl. anyway here are your clues – her name is rachel, she has a husband who she refers to as “d”, she lives in southern california. she is of greek descent ummm, has a dog named circe – i know she is a faithful reader of smitten kitchen, if this rings a bell with you please send it along. Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays and gobs of appreciation. xo
I made this recipe tonight so we all have something quick & easy to eat tomorrow. I snuck a piece for myself, and it’s delicious. I added some fresh dill (because I had it on hand), but followed the recipe. Aside from being so tasty, it looks exactly like your photos. Greatest cooking feeling of accomplishment ever? :) Thanks, and Merry Christmas to all!
@Kathi, I have never read the blog you’re talking about, but it was super easy to find with a Google search: heart-of-light.blogspot.com (First result when using terms “blogspot rachel circe”)
Next time try a search engine. :)
Deb, thank you for answering my questions earlier about halving it and using different kinds of potatoes. I tried making it and it turned out great!
It was my first time making pie dough and I had to do it with my hands (no cutter), but it tasted great. And you were right about the potatoes. I set the timer for 5 min and they were boiled, not parboiled like intended. Next time I’ll boil them for even a bit less.
Thanks so much for this recipe! It’s a keeper for sure. And now I’m not afraid of making pie crust like I was before. It’s not nearly so hard as I thought it was going to be!
Hi Deb, First time commenter, long time follower. Made this for Christmas breakfast and we all loved it! It was just what I was looking for. I made the crust and prepared the spinach, onions and cheese the day before, which cut down on the prep time today. Enough left over for tomorrow, which is a bonus. Also, bought your cookbook for our daughter for Christmas. She was SO excited. My DIL will also be receiving one. They both follow your blog. Happy New Year!
I wonder if, for those who want to use a ‘ready-made’ product for the crust, they might try Pillsbury crescent roll dough, rolled out to size. (It works great for an apple ‘slab’ type cake.)
Your blog and your book are my go-to references for consistently ‘foolproof’ recipes. I love that you have ‘followers’ who actually comment on the ‘finished’ product! As soon as I make this, I’ll be back to comment. Happy Holidays!
I made this for Christmas brunch and it was good. I made the crust in the kitchen aid , two days ahead, I wish I had put more salt. Froze the leftovers. Thanks for the nice idea
I made this for Christmas morning. I halved the recipe and used gluten free KAF flour with the Land O Lakes gluten free pie crust recipe (google it–it’s fool proof) and this was great! My only recommendation is not to forget the salt!
This looks amazing!!! I cannot wait to serve it the next time my in-laws come to visit!
That looks and sounds absolutely scrumptious! We should not neglect breakfast as a meal to indulge in delicacies. Thank you!
This was a big hit Christmas morning. I rolled my dough out on top of my silpat which made it a breeze to gauge the size, transfer, and position.
The blog is called heart of light.
heart of light!!!! thanks a hundred million! you are both on my favorite list, which was lost in a computer mishap. although i treasure rachael and her blog, i could not remember the name. it has been a daily read for me and i miss it terribly. thank you so very much for ending my struggle! xoxoxox if i ever forget ‘smitten kitchen’, i know i’m in trouble.
I tried this recipe for the first time and was pleased with the results. I made the dough in advance (by hand) and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I also made a few modifications: I added some sliced ham and cut back on the amount of egg yolks in the filling. Since I’m a meat loving guy, the addition of the ham was a big improvement.
If I make this again, I would add even more filling. I thought there was just too little filling for the amount of crust. I also thought that there needed to be something else to balance the double dose of carbs from crust and potatoes. More lean meat and veggies might be do the trick. I might also reconfigure the recipe for a single tart pan instead of a large baking sheet – you know, for the days when you’re cooking for yourself and not a group of people.
My roommate made the keen observation in noting that this “breakfast slab pie” was really an “omelet pie”. She even called it “brilliant” and “innovative”. Kudos to you Deb!
This looks great and I am totally interested, but you completely list me when you mentioned The Monster at the End of this Book. That is a favorite from my childhood!
Made this this morning and it was delicious and lovely looking. Halved the recipe, refrigerated the dough about an hour, put it in a round pie dish, baked for about 30 mins at 375, and it turned out great. Super easy too, just took a bit of time to prep. My husband and I ate half the thing in one sitting- yum. Will be making this again soon when family visits.
Wonderful recipe! Made it last night with only a few slight changes – added smoked paprika and used scamorza cheese + parmesan in place of cheddar- and there was hardly any left. I LOVED the dough! I can see this one becoming a regular on late Sunday breakfasts here. Thank you!
hey there, super happy to use it! I do like a higher proportion of filling to dough, do you think that would mess up the pastry cooking time? thank you so much, you are inspiring and I cherish your blog (and cookbook!)
seaonaih — No, not at all. You can use more filling. I was very nervous about the wet eggs splashing over the sides, but I think it can handle at least four more eggs without that happening. Or, you can use more vegetables, the spinach could easily be doubled. Enjoy!
Deb, thank you for the slab ur-pie recipes. Is there a rule of thumb one can use for extending a regular pie recipe’s proportions, to fill a slab pie? (I get the 3-units-of-crust part. (What would be the SI unit for pie crust? 1 Julia?))
I’m on the hook for the spiced meat pie from Ashley English’s _A Year of Pies_, for a party on Wednesday, and going by last year, one pie won’t cut it. Also, if I go slab, I won’t have to hunt down and reclaim my 2 round pie dishes from Thanksgiving and Christmas hostesses tomorrow :)
cheers and Happy New Year!
I eat vegan and gluten free, but cook everything for my family and friends. Therefore, I am very excited to make this for, what I have now declared, a pajama brunch on New Year’s Day. Adore you and your cookbook.
Deb, just want to say I made a slab pie last night thanks to your inspiration! I am bringing it to a NYE party and have cut it into smaller pieces so it will serve as an appetizer. Perfect thing to bring because it holds up well and easy to feed a lot of people!
Hi! This just came out of my oven! It’s delish! I only used a bottom crust. I had some leftover cream in the fridge and added it to the egg mixture. I sub 1/3 I the butter in the crust with shortening. The dough was a dream to roll out! Thank u for another amazing recipe!
i made this yesterday in 2 batches in my toaster oven. impressed everyone. thanks deb it was so delicious. added sesame seeds on top. only took ~25 minutes in toaster oven. worth the effort–my first ever successful homemade crust.
This breakfast pie looks so good, I wish I could reach into the computer screen to grab a square or two. But seriously, Deb, this recipe is inspiring me to host brunch for friends at our house. Perhaps I’m at the start of a new tradition in 2014?
Thanks for sharing!
I halved the recipe since I just wanted to make it for three people – it was still utterly fantastic. I agree the recipe could take a few more eggs, but extras are not at all necessary. And since it is snowing like crazy where I live and I didn’t have any spinach, I used collard greens that I had frozen from the summer. They were great!
Oh my goodness, this looks LUSH!
Ooh, yum, and i love the sausage angle one commenter left! Delicious! I’m going to make this as a side for a soup buffet party i’m doing for my MIL’s 96th bday! thank you!
For those wondering I cut this up in squares and froze individual squares and just throw it in the microwave for 2.5 mins and WOW. Is it the easiest thing to grab in the morning and heat when I get to work. Definitely a new go-to. Thank you, as always Deb!!!
So I made this but forgot the cheese. Oh well. It should still be good.
Did anybody get around to trying grating the potatoes instead of boiling them? I bet you could just use left over baked potatoes instead too.
Love this! Can’t wait to try this recipe out over the weekend. I love breakfast, but it’s so hard keeping breakfast recipes diverse. Thanks!
This is great! I gave it a middle-eastern twist by filling it with roasted eggplant and goat cheese (yum yum!). I also did one with potato, roasted tomatoes and cheese. The best thing is you can mix and match several (probably 2-4) different fillings in one single pie!
My morning has been kicking my butt, I think I’m getting sick, I felt like a thousand year old woman while I was putting this together, and my pastry crusts tend to look like a combination of a burn victim and Frankenstein’s monster (but I’m working on it!). Still…this tasted good enough that I think it was completely worth it. I think I’ll add more smelly veggies next time…brussels sprouts maybe? And possibly even more egg. Maybe celery seed?? I probably just want stinky things to try to penetrate the sickness fog. Thanks for sharing this, and continuing to be awesome!
Also, I finally scrounged the funds together to order your cookbook, so if you could use your magical powers to make it get here faster, it would be appreciated! :)
I plan to deliver this to a faculty appreciation luncheon at my daughter’s school this week. I believe the reheating instruction you give (350 for 10ish min) are for single slices. How would you reheat the entire pie?
Thanks so much!
Hey there, just wanted to respond with some feedback. I made this the first time right after it was published, and while it was pretty tasty, I could tell it had potential to be a lot more flavorful. So I made it for another gathering this weekend, and it was mouth-poppingly delicious! What I changed:
-Used kale instead of spinach for heartier texture
-Sauteed 2 minced garlic cloves and some red pepper flakes in some olive oil along with 8 oz of mixed mushrooms (shittake, cremini, and oyster); added this mixture to the filling
-Sliced the potatoes more thinly (about 1/8 inch) to avoid bites that only involved crust and potatoe
-Doubled the cheese (which still didn’t give the cheese an overly large presence–it was just delightfully noticeable)
-Sprinkled generously with dried rosemary and tarragon in addition to salt and pepper
Also, on another note, the first time I made it, the filling swelled up really huge and broke the crust, which didn’t affect flavor, but the crust looked bad after I got the filling to collapse. So the second time, I cut much larger slits in the top crust, and had no problems with leaky egg. I actually had to re-slit the holes several times during baking because they kept closing up.
The crust, by the way, is incredible! Don’t mess with it unless dietary needs preclude you from partaking! Thanks, Deb!
Apologies if this seems like changing the recipe… could you make this in individual muffin tins? Or even make it crustless in individual muffin tins? I know the baking time would change. What do you think? Made your pinwheel rugelach for both Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. They were a huge hit. Thanks!
Ellen — I suppose you could press the dough into muffin tins and make them like mini pies. I’m not sure about baking the filling solo; it would be something different entirely.
Just wanted to say I made this a month and a half ago and froze half of it. Cut what was left into 2 x3 rectangles and wrapped two of them together in aluminum foil. Stacked them in the freezer. Simply unwrap, put in the microwave for about 1:45 minutes and instant dinner on the go for me.
Also, I choose to use premade pie crusts. Two barely covers the pan, but worked fine as I was in a hurry to make this. GREAT RECIPE!!!
One of my favouritest recipies from my favouritest blogger. You Rock Deb!!!
Finally going to make this – do you think a deeper dish will work? I don’t own a jelly roll pan but do have a 9.5 x 13 inch (brownie) pan. Wondering how I’m going to deal with the pastry… oh well, I suppose we’ll see tomorrow! Will report back…
I made this over the weekend. So good! Every recipe I try from this site…is…so good! Thanks Deb!
I made this for Easter brunch this year, in conjunction with your buttermilk chive biscuits and with your double coconut muffins. I played fast and loose with the recipe (mostly by accident – I’m not reckless on purpose!) by failing to peel the potatoes and including three times too many, only having a 9×13 pan, adding breakfast sausage crumbles that I had cooked the night before, and making the crust using two store-bought rounds and one home-made crust I had in the freezer. I forgot the scallions, despite loving scallions and having purchased them.
It should have turned out as horrifying frankenslab.
And it was DELICIOUS. Everyone loved it! We ate it for brunch, and I ate the leftovers for dinner the same day and enjoyed the heck out of it. I want to make this again and again. I especially loved the tips about prepping ahead: the day before, I wilted spinach, cooked sausage, and parboiled potatoes (and I cheated with the crust as stated above).
EVERYONE MAKE THIS PLZ
I agree with Alex-needs bacon :-) Not that I’ve tried it though! My Mum does a great crustless spinach pie this reminds me of-1 bunch silverbeet, washed and ripped up and simmered with a cup of water and 1/2t salt for 15 minutes, then drained. Meanwhile, fry 1 chopped onion with 2 chopped rashers of bacon, add a good sprinkle of oregano and cinnamon, remove from heat, add in spinach and 4 eggs, put in pie dish, top with grated cheese and bake at 350F for 30mins. Delish!
Hi Deb, I saw your reheating instructions on comment #95. Was that for the entire pie, or individual pieces? I feel like 10-15 minutes would not be enough time if making this ahead and reheating the entire pie the morning of. I’m trying to work out my timing, as I’m hosting a brunch for family from out of town on the last day they are here, so I’m trying to do as much as possible in advance. Thanks!
Hi Victoria — I haven’t made this in a while but I do remember it warming up by the 15 minute mark in a preheated oven. It’s fairly thin, and I used a metal tray. But if you’re nervous, you can give yourself a 30 minute window to play it safe. Good luck!
I like the eggs and potatoes going together. I once tried it and did a second one in small baking mould instead of the baking pan. Besides, I cutted the potato into much smaller pieces in order to make them fit the mould. The crust is even better the second time.
Have a question about your jellyroll pan. What brand is it and are you happy with it? I’ve been searching for a good, heavy one and it seems they are few and far between.
I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but decided a few months ago, to go through your archives. Oh My! I wish I still had a family to cook for…so many good things on here!
Glad to see I am not the only one who removes eggs from each end of the carton, so that the middle ones are used last and the carton remains balanced! Merry Christmas Deb and thanks for all the inspiration!
Deb, this recipe is a welcomed addition to my list of freezer-friendly breakfasts for after my baby is born…and it can be eaten eith only one hand! Perfect. THANK YOU. And that link to the post on burrito zones? It made me cry I laughed so hard.
I made this for a savory option for Christmas breakfast. We’ll see if the family likes it, but I tasted a small piece and its tasty! I made it as written, except I upped the spinach and used a combo of spinach and kale. I also used a cheese mix instead of just cheddar. Thanks for the great recipe!
I made this over the holidays, and I saw the Tex-Mex option and could not let it go. Instead of potatoes, on the bottom crust I put drained and rinsed black beans, sautéed red pepper, corn, and scallions. I used a mix of cheddar cheese and pepper jack over that, then added about a tablespoon of ancho chili powder to the egg mixture before spreading over the filling. It was delicious as breakfast but also worked for lunch. My husband brought the last of the leftovers for lunch at work and two co-workers asked to the recipe. It really is a great option for a house full of people. Thank you!
Made this tonight and halved it because two of my 3 children are away at school. (Oh my broken heart…. I just might have to make one of your chocolate recipes to help it heal) In any case, I baked it in a 8x8x2 and it came out just fine. I used broccoli instead of spinach, ain’t no way my picky nine year old would willingly put spinach between his two lips!! I sauteed it with two cloves of minced garlic and it was a hit with the pickiest child on earth! I even substituted 1 1/4 cup of white flour with wheat without him noticing. Success! Thanks, Deb.
I’m a college student and I’m often too lazy to spend time every day to prepare a proper dinner for myself. I just finished cooking this (with the addition of bacon) and it came out amazingly. A couple hours of investment and now I have something that’ll keep me fed for the rest of the week! The only issue I ran into was that the recipe didn’t make quite enough dough to properly cover the top, but that didn’t cause any major problems.
i made this a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing. it freezes really well too. i added more cheese and more green onions.
This was outstanding. I made it for brunch and it received rave reviews — I even caught a guest trying to sneak out with the leftovers. :) My pan was a little larger than 10×15, so I added more cheese but kept everything else the same (well, except I forgot to add salt to the filling before laying on the top crust, so I put kosher salt on the top after the egg wash… and it was awesome). Really fantastic recipe and one I will make again and again – the filling options seem endless and given how portable the leftovers are, it might just be our new go-to for breakfast that has to be eaten in transit. I really appreciate this kind of recipe–one that is delicious, flexible, forgiving and versatile–thanks Deb!
Hi Deb! You have never failed me on a recipe – I always have great success in following your great directions and gleaning wisdom from the comments. Its a winning combo! I just put together the pie dough to make this a few days from now. I realized I oversalted the dough (I didn’t have unsalted butter so I reduced the salt by 1/2 tsp), when I tasted it it was quite salty, but I didn’t think inedibly salty. I’m just wondering if you think I should still salt the filling, if the dough is PLENTY salty? Nervous about this! Thanks so much!
It’s back-to-school season so I made this pie for a whole week’s worth of breakfast and it improves my weekday mornings tremendously. I was intrigued by the idea of whole yolks hard cooked in the pie, so I made twelve divets in the bed of spinach and potato and crack in whole eggs. As someone who loves hard-boiled egg, the result was divine to me. Thank you for an amazing recipe.
Hi Anna — Late response, but you could either just barely salt the filling or skip it. You don’t want to bite into unseasoned eggs. I have a feeling the salty dough was forgiving against the filling, though, maybe?
I first made this (stuck to recipe, or so I thought-only added prosciutto- though it came out much thicker than yours) when you posted it and my husband and I LOVED IT. We live abroad and this year my lovely in-laws are coming for Christmas. They arrive today, and I just finished making this again. The house smells heavenly, and it turned out so beautifully. I just had to say thank you for helping me welcome them so far from home!
Love your site and recipes!
My issue with your postings, is the extremely small type.
Also, even though I love the narrative that you offer about making the recipe, I could really use a simple “print it” finally, in order to save it more quickly.
I realize you have your style…I am an artist and respect that, but after reading about your honest experiences, why not just pop in a simple recipe to download…or for us to copy and paste?
This thing of beauty (along with your mushroom lasagna) are my contributions to our staff potluck on Christmas Day. Fortunately/unfortunately (depends on perspective) hospitals are 24/7 operations and our emergency department is going to enjoy this on Christmas day. I am not a pastry maker and found the pastry turned out okay, not perfect, but they will all be happy.
Making this for Christmas morning and noticed your instructions don’t state where/when to add the cheese. I just sprinkled on top of the veggies but you may want to edit.
What a great recipe. I would up the potatoes to 1.5 pounds. Then you’d have fuller coverage. Also, it’s the sort of recipe that I would want a little extra pie dough for wiggle room – I might recommending just upping it a little – I felt like I had JUST enough to work with.
I made a slab pie a few years ago (dessert) that we still talk about. THANKS for inspiring the baking of this savory delight!
Hi! Long time reader, first time posting!
I’ve been cooking nearly exclusively from your site for about 6 years now, and everything hands down I try comes out beautifully. I just love your recipes ( and my family does too!)
I struggled with this one though. I subbed in 1 3/4 c whole wheat flour to go with the 2 c ap flour (trying to compensate for the 3 sticks butter!) and the dough was really difficult. Didn’t come together well, didn’t roll out well. I couldn’t quite get enough crust and so my edges weren’t sealed well and the filling leaked just a bit while baking. Since the edges became coated with over cooked egg (not tasty!) II cut off the edges. Not a huge deal, and, still tasty. Is it possible the whole wheat flour necessitates some changes to the ingredient proportions? I am new to trying to blend AP and whole wheat flour.
Pascale — Sorry you had trouble. Whole wheat flour can make doughs less flexible and a little peskier to work with, so that might have been it, although it should technically work, as it sounds to have for you, aside from the leakage.
I have been thinking about this one for a while. I used a food processor to work the butter into the flour. The mistake I made was measuring the flour in cups rather than weighing it. It was dry and I didn’t trust my instincts to add more water so it was much harder to roll out with clean edges. Thank you.
Deb, what kind of cookie sheet (or jelly roll pan?) do you have there? It looks like a nice one! I don’t have one with those nice tall sides on it.
Jennifer in Minnesota — This is from Williams-Sonoma Gold Touch line, the 10×15. I’ve been pretty happy with them for baking.
Yes, I made this and it was a hit! Baked it the night before for a potluck brunch at the beach. I reheated it the next morning and put some tiles (pizza stones) in the oven at the same time to heat. Once pie was reheated …aprox 25min , I put the hot tiles in a slightly larger pan, put that on a piece of cardboard (cuz it was really hot) placed the pan with the pie on top of that and wrapped the whole thing in a table cloth. Put the bundle in my truck and when we got to the beach it was piping hot and pastry still flaky (not soggy…did NOT cover with foil ). Stayed hot several hours. Will definitely do this again. Made it as directed , half with spinach , other half sautéed mushrooms Thanks for the inspiration
I altered this to make it fit an entire half-sheet pan. I signed up to bring an egg dish to the PTA first day of school coffee, so I wanted to make a big portion.
I made two double crust recipes. (That is, enough dough for four single crust pies, if that makes sense.) For the filling, I used two pounds of potatoes, which was perfect. I used a 16 ounce package of thawed and squeezed out frozen spinach, 7 ounces of extra sharp Vermont cheddar, and a dozen JUMBO eggs. This was essentially the perfect amount of filling for a half sheet pan.
I also wanted to make this as far ahead as possible, since I knew the morning before the first day was going to be hectic. I made and chilled the dough early the day before. After the kids were in bed, I rolled out both pieces of dough, carefully folded it in quarters, wrapped it back up and put it in the fridge. I then boiled the potatoes, chopped the onions, grated the cheese, and whisked the eggs and wrapped all of the components up individually and put them away until the morning. All I had to do in the morning was assemble all of the ingredients and shove it in the oven–probably less than 20 of work this morning. Worked out perfectly!
I’m thinking of trying this to bring along on a weekend away with friends. If I made it on a Thursday evening, it should still be good on Saturday morning, right?
Can this be assembled the night before and baked the next morning ?
I made this for our annual Thanksgiving brunch get together. It was PERFECT. I had to scale it up because I used a sheet pan (13×17) and I used:
5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp salt
4 sticks/1lb butter
1 cup water, plus a few extra sprinkles as needed
I was nervous. I have never worked with a piece of pie dough that large and transferring it was scary. But the roll it up onto your roller and then unroll onto the pan method worked great.
Really, this looked impressive, tastes good, traveled great, reheats well, tastes great at room temperature, and was absolutely everything it promised to be. I will absolutely be making this again.
Word to the wise – I attempted to make this this morning for Christmas Eve breakfast and it was a disaster. In no way the recipes fault, I just made a few key mistakes. I assumed my pan was standard size (rookie mistake) but it turns out mine are a few inches too large and this dough was not enough. I attempted to just roll it quite thin which would likely have worked but I was moving too quickly and I threw the potatoes on the dough when they were still warm. It turned mushy very quickly and I had to give up.
Moral of the story, let your potatoes cool completely, measure your pans and maybe do a trial run before making a new recipe for family or you might end up with store bought quiche like we did. Merry Christmas to all!
Can this be made with puff pastry?
This was a big hit at the office breakfast! I chopped up bell peppers and lightly-steamed asparagus in place of spinach. My reheating method was:
1. Bake at night.
2. Cut into 4 rectangles, wrap each in foil, and put in the refrigerator (I have a skinny fridge with a door that smashes into the wall so I can’t get anything wide in there).
3. In the morning, reassemble the pieces on the original baking sheet and heat at 350 for 12 minutes, then leave in the oven for a little while longer until it was time to leave.
4. Cover with foil and wrap in a towel.
I was scrolling through your recipes — everyone is a treasure. Anyway, I called my husband over to show him the pie. We always are in awe of greatness. BUT!! The first thing he said, “Where’s the bacon?” I had to chuckle when I read your hubby’s reaction. I’ve GOT to make this!!!!!
Thanks, Deb! I’ve been using your recipes and cookbook for ages now, but this is the recipe that finally got me to comment. I made this for Easter brunch yesterday and it was a huge hit. I went to bed thinking about how delicious it was and how I might tweak it next time.
I’m a pie fanatic and very particular about crust, and this was a fabulous crust that really matched the flavor and texture of the filling. It was so easy to work with too, and even survived being rolled out, egg-washed and pierced by my 6-year-old. (My tip: I have a pastry cloth I use for rolling dough which requires adding almost no flour.)
I also didn’t have a sheet pan that matched your dimension, so made it a littler thicker in a 9.5″x13″ glass brownie dish and baked it about 5 minutes longer. That worked just fine and also saved me the worry about egg spilling over my bottom crust as I filled it.
Hi Deb, when do you add the scallions and cheese? are the scallions sauteed? I want to make this!
Scallions are not precooked, added when you “layer vegetables evenly over bottom pie crust.” I usually put the cheese on after, before the eggs. Will fix!
What suggestion might you have for scaling this down? I love the idea, but honestly can’t see anyone but myself eating it and this is far too much for one person, even if I eat it every day of the week!
I made this-these are my thoughts. I followed recipe to a T.
Things I liked: delicious crust, (super flaky and tasty). Cut into neat perfect square slabs, perfect for the toaster-and great for a grab-n-go breakfast. Super filling and substantial.It makes TONS!!
Things I didn’t like: I used even a bit more spinach than called for, and it seemed like such a small amount-could’ve definitely used more veggies. It was barely discernable. The filling had a dry texture to it, not as moist or flavorful as I would like. I was trying to think how I might change the recipe for a moister more flavorful filling. perhaps I would dice and saute the potatoes first to make hash browns,I’m also thinking lots of sauteed yellow onions, sauteed sliced mushrooms, maybe roasted red pepper, and I would definitely want to add a breakfast meat-either diced bacon or ham,crumbled chorizo, or breakfast sausage.The boiled plain sliced potato added a nice weight to the slab, and maybe even a sturdiness, but it seemed to dull the flavor and mouthfeel, in my opinion.
Made it for dinner and both I and my husband were very pleased with the results. The crust was delicious (of course, it’s butter!) and we added 8 oz of mushrooms, sauteed, since there were signs that excess moisture was a potential issue. The Yukon gold potatoes were perfect, such good flavor. Next time, we might try the bacon bits idea, or shallots or roasted garlic. Or maybe a sharper cheese. A great recipe base for future riffs!
How do you think your recipe will fair with store purchased crust?
Should be just fine.
Do you think this would work with cassova flour?
I found the crust to not be big enough to stay thick enough to not leak everything from the get go. I think chilling the ingredients would help keep it sturdy enough to not leak. I’ll make it again because I like workimg out the kinks a d not having to think about breakfast all week is my dream.
It leaked a bit and did not look as tidy as yours but it tasted amazing and was still easy to cut and store. I’ll try it again and work on the crust a bit more.
Deb, I’ve never had any issues with your pie dough recipes but this one gave me a hard time; and I’m pretty sure it’s because I used 1/2 whole wheat flour. The dough wanted to fall apart (as I rolled it) after sitting overnight in the fridge. I had to let it sit at room temp for about 10 minutes and even that didn’t help much. Because the dough was dry, I wasn’t able to roll it out as much as I needed and some leakage occurred before I even got it into the oven. It’s baking now…I hope it tastes better than it looks!
Why do the potatoes and spinach need to be cooked first?
This savory slab pie came out quite well, and tasted great on subsequent days too! One thing that was left out of the “Assemble” instructions is to sprinkle the cheese on after the spinach and before the egg mixture–it shows cheese in the picture but it is not mentioned in the instructions. Also, since there is nothing done with scallions except slice them, where it said “add the vegetables” I was only thinking of the potatoes and the spinach, and left them out. :( We had the scallions on top, but next time I’ll remember to put them in with the others–photo does not seem to show the scallions either. Nevertheless, this is a great recipe and we’ll be making it again!
Oops! Now fixed. Thank you.
I made this for a Pi Day spread for the teachers at my school and it was a hit. First, let me just say that savory vegetarian options at the event were slim, and especially because it was during Lent, these went fast. I highly recommend going the savory route for Pi Day. Anyway, I adore this recipe. I used all white flour and I always bake Smitten Kitchen slab pies in a jelly roll or quarter sheet pan because I don’t have the skill to do anything bigger. It worked perfectly. I’m going to make this again soon for the people in the front office.
I would love to make this as a single crust slab pie with a savory crumble topping. Do you think this would work well?
My first slab pie! Tastes delicious. I used rice and spelt flour, which made it hard to roll out, dough was dry, will add more water next time. The flavour of spelt and rice flours was so good though it was worth the effort! I used kale instaed of spinach, and added mushrooms sauteed with balsamic vinegar. Had to use a small sheet pan because dough didn’t roll out as much, would use less eggs next time. And would add salt and pepper to vegetables and eggs in advance. Will make with rosemary and tarragon next time! Sausage/chorizo sounds delicious! Thanks Deb <3
Question, I want to make this for a NYD brunch for a large crowd. When making egg dishes with potatoes for large crowds I usually use canned sliced potatoes to save time. Would this work in this dish?
This was just wonderful. We are struggling more with incorporating more veggie meals into our week during the pandemic and this was great. The portion was rather large, even for left overs. Do you think it would freeze after cooking as individual breakfast pie bites? Thanks.
Hello from Pandemic Labor Day Weekend 2020! Made this today for a socially distanced picnic brunch with friends, and it was just perfect—sturdy enough to eat out of hand but flakey and flavorful. I made the dough in my food processor (quick, easy) and added some ham to half. Rolling out the huge sheets of dough was kind of stressful, and I had to stretch and patch a bit, but the end result looked and tasted great, and everyone wanted to take home the leftover squares.
Too much reading to have to get to recipe . I l like straight and to the ingredients and directions would love to try the recipes but get tired of trying read all it takes to get to get to them
Read the recipe and want to make this ASAP however the best part of the recipe is the (you don’t want your pie to look like this) link- made me laugh out loud and REALLY want to make it!!!
I realize this recipe is ancient, but I have a question in case Deb or anyone else sees this. We are in exactly the situation described above for the holidays, except it’s graduation. Overnight guests, 11am graduation, backyard party at 6pm. It occurred to me yesterday that my family will need to eat around 2pm after the ceremony and before the backyard party. Yikes! I’m already stressed with baking graduation cake, getting ready for post-graduation vacation and trying not to cry that my *baby* is graduating from high school!
TL;DR, here’s the question. My MIL is gluten-free. Do you think this recipe would work without the crust? I’m thinking yes, but I don’t have time to try it before Saturday.
I haven’t tested it without the crust but probably, just bake it until its set.
I’ve been cuddling my third baby, who will be 2 weeks old tomorrow (she was born the 11th–your birthday, right?), and I thought I’d finally de-lurk to say thanks. I stashed a week’s worth of freezer dinners before she was born, and they included this pie (which reheated beautifully), a couple pizzas made with your Lazy Pizza Dough, a quiche based on your spinach one, and your Ultimate Chicken Noodle soup, sans noodles (we cooked them when we reheated the soup–that was my first meal after the birth.) The chocolate chunk granola bars made great nursing snacks the first couple days, too, though I had no chocolate in the house when I made them so added extra raisins and dates.
I’ve been reading the blog for about a year, and I have my go-to’s now (Perfect Meatballs and Spaghetti, Banana Oat Weekday Pancakes, Soft Pretzels, the simple Dutch baby…) and I try new recipes frequently. I live way northwest, but I too have a tiny kitchen. Thanks for your rigorous testing and your consisent, humorous, gracious voice.
Congratulations! And thank you. This is exactly why I do this! :)
This sounds so different from the usual breakfast casseroles. As soon as I am off a liquid diet and can eat again, I would love to make this. It sounds really good.
How would you recommend to reheat this?
Why bother with a crust? Butter and panko should do the trick.
Tell me more!
I’d love to test this, but my first thought was: freeze the sheet pan until it’s thoroughly cold, butter the bottom & sides generously with room-temp butter, coat it all with panko (same method I recently learned from fellow commenters regarding bundt pans); fill with room-temp-at-hottest filling and bake as directed. Google tells me people do this with batters, but I have some trepidation around doing so with a sloshy filling. Could be fun!
“You built this thing like a fucking pack of LifeSavers.” So perfect. <3
I love this recipe! Definitely going to revisit again and again. Made this to freeze individual pieces that I can eat off all week and it turned out amazing. I didn’t have the time to make my own crust so I used a premade Pillsbury crust, and a 13×9 cake pan for thicker pieces with more egg. Worked out perfectly. Added sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley.
Also, for those saying the potatoes dulled the flavor- boil your potatoes in heavily salted water just like you would with pasta. About 1 tbsp per lb of potatoes will drastically improve the overall result’s flavor.
Made this yesterday and it was delicious. But is there a way to keep the bottom crust from getting soggy? Mine is definitely baked through, but it’s not crispy. Any tips on how to do this? I thought about blind baking but not sure how the top crust would adhere to a blind baked bottom crust. Thank you!
Could phillo pastry be used for this recipe in place of pie crust?
I don’t find that phillo works well as a crust.
An you half size this?
I made your slab pie recipe yesterday, and I have to say, it was a hit. The butter crust was so decadent and beautifully flaky. I filled my slab pie with eggs, caramelized onions, potatoes, leftover ham (diced), kale, and swiss cheese. It was so delicious and visually stunning. I wish I could send a picture!!