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Delicious old school cheese flan cooked in the air fryer. Take a trip down memory lane to school dinners with the air fryer version of the original primary school dinner favourite.

Grab some cheese, onion, eggs and pastry and then let’s make the best cheese flan and serve it for dinner tonight.

air fryer cheese flan recipe
Air Fryer Cheese Flan Recipe
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Cheese Flan

I am 40 years old, left primary school in the summer of 1993, yet I can still remember how amazing it was when school had cheese flan on the menu.

That amazing mature cheddar cheese that was perfectly melted and of course the perfect shortcrust pastry.

I just couldn’t get enough of it and loved it when you could have a second slice of cheese flan.

I love recreating the classics using my kitchen gadgets. And have already done classics such as instant pot sticky toffee pudding, slow cooker rice pudding, instant pot bangers and mash and instant pot liver and onions.

And cheese flan has been on my to do list for ages and today I am so pleased to finally share it with you.

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What Is Cheese Flan?

A cheese flan is similar to a quiche and involves a cheese and egg mixture that bakes in the oven over shortcrust pastry.

Cheese flan is also known as old school cheese and onion pie, egg flan or cheese and egg flan.

A cheese flan is most famous for been served at school dinners and many Brits refer to a cheese flan as the English no fuss quiche and consider it to be easier than a quiche to prep and cook.

What’s The Difference Between Cheese Flan & Quiche?

Many want to know if cheese flan and quiche are the same and what the differences are between the two.

Well, cheese flan is the British version and quiche is the French.

Whilst an egg batter for quiche is poured over the ingredients, a cheese flan has the main ingredients mixed together and its all poured over together.

Another big difference between flan and cheese is that flan is always cheese and onion. Whilst you are likely to find a quiche with bacon, broccoli, salmon, asparagus and a mixture of other fillings.

If you want to check out how much they differ do check out our air fryer quiche recipe.

What About A Cheese Frittata?

Or if you are thinking about a cheese frittata, then note the difference is that a frittata is a crustless quiche.

Imagine a quiche without its pastry and then the filling cooked first and then the egg batter added and then that is what our air fryer frittata is all about.

What Is Cheese Flan Made Of?

A cheese flan is made with a few simple ingredients including:

  • Shortcrust Pastry
  • Grated Cheese
  • Diced Onion
  • Egg/Milk

All simple ingredients that I am sure you already have in.

Cheese & Onion Pie With Ready Made Pastry

You can also make your cheese and onion pie even easier, by swapping homemade shortcrust pastry for ready roll pastry.

You then roll your pastry out and load it up with your cheese and onion filling.

Or do what I do and make a double batch of pastry and then you can save a batch for the fridge and then you don’t have to make pastry next time around.

You Called It A Cheese & Onion Pie?

Many refer to the cheese flan as a cheese and onion pie. Or a school cheese pie. They are one of the same and no name is wrong.

And the name usually depends on when you were at school and which school you went to.

I have always called it a flan though and so did my school friends.

Can You Cook Cheese Flan In Air Fryer?

Yes, you can cook a cheese flan in the air fryer. But if you do you will need an accessory that will fit in your air fryer basket.

I recommend this one, and if you are looking for something note the 20cm size fits our air fryer perfectly.

Can You Cook Cheese Flan In Air Fryer

We also went with a round tart tin because then you can remove the sides when slicing.

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Cheese Flan Ingredients

Cheese Flan Ingredients

Pastry – You will need enough shortcrust pastry to fill a 20cm tart tin. We used our favourite pie crust recipe but you can also use ready made pastry.

Cheese – A traditional school cheese flan would use extra mature cheddar, none of the kids like it so we went with Red Leicester.

Onion – We also added onion to ours, but you can make your egg flan recipe without onion if you prefer.

Batter – Then to make the batter you will need plenty of eggs and some milk.

Seasoning – Then for seasoning do keep it simple as it was never complicated at home. We went with salt, pepper, and parsley.

Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this cheese flan recipe in the air fryer it has just been our Philips air fryer. We have this one and its wonderful for many types of air fryer recipes.

Plus, we recommend you head over to our air fryer recipes category as we have more than 500 tried and tested air fryer recipes and have been air frying for 10 years.

How To Make Cheese Flan?

air fryer cheese flan step by step
  • Pastry. Start by making your pastry and then rolling it out to fit your flan tin. If making homemade pastry, it’s as simple as rubbing the fat into the flour and then adding enough water to make a dough.
  • Eggs. Next add your eggs and milk into a jug and mix well. Add in seasonings and grated cheese and mix your ingredients again.
  • Prepare. Next add diced onion into your flan dish. And then pour over your cheese mixture.
  • Cook. Load into the air fryer and air fry your cheese and onion flan for 17 minutes at 160c/320f.

And I am sure you can see now how easy it is cooking old school cheese flan in air fryer and why you should be doing it too!

More Air Fryer Egg Ideas

cheese flan

Your recipe for cheese and onion flan is below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.

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4 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Cheese Flan

Delicious old school cheese flan cooked in the air fryer. Take a trip down memory lane to school dinners with the air fryer version of the original primary school dinner favourite.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 8
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Kitchen Gadgets


  • Make your shortcrust pastry and then roll it out and add it to your tart tin.
    Can You Cook Cheese Flan In Air Fryer?
  • Fork the bottom of the pastry to let it breathe.
    Can You Cook Cheese Flan In Air Fryer?
  • Then add sliced onion to the bottom of the flan.
    Can You Cook Cheese Flan In Air Fryer?
  • Mix with a fork your eggs, milk and seasoning.
    Can You Cook Cheese Flan In Air Fryer?
  • Add the cheese and mix well.
    Can You Cook Cheese Flan In Air Fryer?
  • Pour the cheese and egg mixture over the onions and then place the cheese flan into the air fryer.
    Can You Cook Cheese Flan In Air Fryer?
  • Cook your cheese flan for 17 minutes at 160c/320f or until a cocktail stick comes out clean.
    Can You Cook Cheese Flan In Air Fryer?
  • Then slice into squares like school dinner flan.
    Can You Cook Cheese Flan In Air Fryer?


Cheese. In a traditional cheese and onion flan recipe you would use extra mature cheddar, as our kids don’t like it, we have gone with a mild cheese. Its up to you which you use.
Onion. The onion is optional you can make a cheese flan without it if you prefer.
Thanks for reading our cheese flan air fryer recipe on Recipe This. We have many more air fryer recipes for you to check out next. Though if you would like to try more delicious recipes in the air fryer using our shortcrust pastry, then do check out our air fryer meat pie recipe next.


Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 432mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 331IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 231mg | Iron: 1mg
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About Sam & Dom

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes.

Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie marker and several other kitchen gadgets.

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  1. 4 stars
    Hi , I’m thinking of getting an air fryer as I have an instant pot but which would you recommend is the Best Buy ? Thanks

    1. Hi Gerald,

      We would recommend the Philips Air fryer XL but if you are on a budget we would recommend the Cosori air fryer XL 🙂