This savory vegetable cheese tart combines a thick buttery crust, a creamy herbed cheese filling, and a beautiful adornment of crisp roasted veggies! Top with fresh herbs and serve as an appetizer, lunch, side dish, or main course.
Welcome to the November Baking Challenge and recipe #3 in Pie Week! Since Pie Week is always the first week of November and Sally’s Baking Challenge is always the 1st of the month, you can count on the November Baking Challenge to always be pie. 😉
We’ve had our fill of sugar lately and with Thanksgiving dessert and Christmas cookies on the horizon, I figured now’s the perfect time to hop on the savory bandwagon. This is an absolutely INCREDIBLE savory vegetable cheese tart. The filling tastes like cheesy ravioli. I mean… do I even need to continue?!
Why Bake a Vegetable and Cheese Tart?
- You know those times when you want something, just, different? Completely unique to everything else you make for dinner.
- Or maybe you’re looking for an interesting appetizer to bring to a dinner party.
- You’re hosting a baby or bridal shower.
- It’s Thanksgiving dinner and you’re in charge of a side dish.
- Because you want to bake something PRETTY, but EASY.
Make a cheesy veggie tart. Trust me when I say this vegetable and cheese tart solves all your problems. Sitting in a buttery pie crust, this salty herbed cheese filling is the creamy cushion for a cornucopia of vegetables. Watch me make it:
Tart That’s Not Dessert
So, what is vegetable and cheese tart? Today we’re combining 3 things:
- butter pie crust (freeze the 2nd half or make pecan pie for dessert!)
- herbed ricotta + parmesan filling
- any vegetables you love
The filling combines ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, 2 eggs for structure, garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs. Does it taste like quiche? No not at all. It tastes like ravioli filling!! In fact, I’m even thinking of sautéing some spinach and adding that to the filling next time. Let me know if you try that!
Important step: Blind-bake (pre-bake) the crust before adding the filling, otherwise the crust will taste soggy. Pie weights are ideal for blind baking pie crust. Without pie weights, the pie dough will puff up, then shrink. Line the crust with parchment or aluminum foil, then fill the empty pie crust with the weights. You can watch me do this in the video above.
What Toppings Can I Use?
I used orange and purple sweet potatoes, but the options are seriously endless:
- mushrooms + peppers + onions (and crumbled cooked sausage!)
- tomatoes + basil + add fresh pesto after it bakes
- zucchini + tomatoes
- sweet potato + eggplant + add goat cheese after it bakes
- chopped asparagus + add a drizzle of balsamic after it bakes
- butternut squash + mushroom + onion
- shaved brussels sprouts
- fresh lump crab + asparagus (with lots of old bay seasoning!)
Add lots of fresh herbs and switch up the parmesan cheese in the filling. As long as you stick to the basic butter crust + ricotta filling, you can truly make this vegetable and cheese tart your own by playing around with the flavors.
What to Serve with Vegetable and Cheese Tart?
I’m including this because as I pulled a test veggie and cheese tart out of the oven, Kevin and I looked at each other and both said “what should we eat this with??” I have some ideas!
- side dishes like corn on the cob or a big crunchy green salad
- strawberry almond chicken salad
- soup such as minestrone soup or even fresh tomato soup
- for some meat: slow cooker turkey meatballs
- a lighter option like lemon herb salmon
- for lunch– a colorful fruit salad
Lots of options, but let me know how YOU enjoy this veggie tart!
Join the November Baking Challenge
Make the savory tart recipe as written below or change up the flavor with different herbs, cheese, and veggies. As long as you follow the basic vegetable cheese tart recipe, you’re participating in the challenge!
If you’re not into this recipe, here is the alternate November Baking Challenge:
After you make the vegetable cheese tart or alternate recipe, share your photos throughout November using #sallysbakingchallenge on your public Instagram or Twitter account. Or upload a photo of your recipe to my Facebook page or Facebook group. Or email it to me. By sharing or sending your photo, you’re automatically entered in the $250 giveaway!
Savory Vegetable Cheese Tart
- Buttery Flaky Pie Crust or All Butter Pie Crust (my recipes both make 2 crusts; freeze the 2nd half for later use)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (or other favorite cheese)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon favorite fresh herbs or 2 teaspoons dried herbs (I use a mix of thyme, rosemary, and parsley)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pinch black pepper
- 1-2 cups thinly sliced vegetables such as sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, asparagus, brussels sprouts*
- topping: 2 Tablespoons olive oil, coarse sea salt, more pepper + herbs
- The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe or butter pie crust through step 5.
- After the pie crust has chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Roll out the chilled pie dough and blind bake: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (you can freeze the 2nd for later use, see note). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch tart pan.* Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Fold the overhang edges back inward. See video above for a visual. Flute the edges of the crust. Chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator or freezer. (Crust will shrink otherwise!) Line the chilled pie crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill with 2 sets of pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove tart from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper/aluminum foil (with the weights) out of the crust.
- The filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the ricotta, eggs, parmesan cheese, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper together until completely combined. Pour into warm crust. Arrange vegetable slices on top. Brush the vegetables and edges of the crust with olive oil , then sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, or more fresh herbs.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the vegetables and crust are lightly browned and crisp. After the first 15 minutes of bake time, place a pie crust shield on top of the tart to prevent the edges from browning too quickly. You can also tent a piece of aluminum foil over the whole tart if the top is browning too quickly.
- Slice and serve tart warm or at room temperature. Cover and store leftover tart in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Freezing: The baked and cooled tart freezes well for up to 3 months, tightly wrapped in a couple layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Make 1-5 days ahead: You can get started by combining all the filling ingredients one day ahead of time. Keep filling covered tightly in the refrigerator until ready to assemble tart. You can also make the pie dough 1-5 days in advance since it needs to chill. If you want to bake the tart 1 full day in advance, bake it as directed, allow it to completely cool, then cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- You can freeze the 2nd pie dough for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
- A 9-inch pie dish works instead of a tart pan.
- Mini tarts: Roll out the pie dough as instructed above. Cut the dough into circles and press tightly into the mini tart pan. You'll want the circles to be about 1 inch larger in diameter to your mini tart pan. Use a round cookie cutter for perfect circles. No need to blind-bake the crust. Pour filling evenly into each crust and bake at 350°F (177°C) until crust edges are lightly brown.
- Different vegetables: Thinly sliced tomato, zucchini, potatoes, onion, sweet potatoes, and peppers can be arranged on the tart without cooking first. (Though you certainly CAN cook first, read on...) Thinly sliced or chopped brussels sprouts, eggplant, butternut squash, mushrooms, broccoli and any thicker/harder veggies should be softened first: sauté on the stove for a couple minutes in a little olive oil before arranging on the tart. When in doubt, sauté your veggies on the stove first. This step guarantees whichever vegetable you use will be sufficiently cooked on the baked tart.
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SHOP THE RECIPE
Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.