Timbale refers to mold in the shape of a large thimble or a drum shaped mold that has high sides, which taper slightly towards the bottom.

The food cooked in this mold is generally served unmolded. It is also a type of dough shaped as a container, baked, and filled with various foods. Moreover, it is a cup shaped mould which is often used to mould foods such as rice or pasta, but which, traditionally, was lined with rice or pasta and then filled with a mousse of fish or meat. Foods may be cooked in the mould before being turned out when served.

In cooking, a timbale can refer both to a type of baking dish and to a type of food, usually prepared in and sometimes served from the baking dish of the same name. The baking dish tends to be round and shallow, and is well designed for cooking a variety of foods, including the eggy souffle called a timbale. Timbale can be made with a variety of ingredients, although a classic timbale usually includes spinach, mushrooms, onions, and breadcrumbs. Some countries use the word "timbale" to refer to a layered dish incorporating multiple ingredients, which can lead to confusion when Reading a menu. If you are uncertain, consulting wait staff is advised so that you do not experience a surprise.


Timbale is often prepared in individual ramekins so that all diners can have an individual timbale to eat. It is usually served with a wedge of lemon, because the acidic citrus enhances the natural flavor of the timbale. Julia Child published a popular spinach and mushroom version that is popular in many parts of the Western world, since it is quick and easy to make, as well as tasty.

Timbale is much hardier than souffle, and is often likened to a crustless quiche, because it is less likely to fall after being removed from the oven. Timbale is differentiated from souffle by several things. To begin with, the eggs are not separated for timbale, but beaten together. Timbale also incorporates breadcrumbs for body, and frequently uses milk rather than cream. Timbale is made with a variety of cheeses.


Common inclusions in timbale include ham or other meats, along with vegetables. Timbale can make a hearty meal or an excellent accompanying side dish, and is also delicious when served cold. Like all egg dishes, timbale should be cooked thoroughly before being served and should be stored under appropriate refrigeration to prevent contamination. Timbale is usually cooked in a tray of water, because the steam helps the custard to set.

Timbale dishes are made from a variety of materials, including enameled metal and ceramic. They are designed to be partially submerged in water during cooking, and are usually capable of standing up to extreme temperatures, since they are used in the oven. They come in a wide variety of shapes, although round timbale dishes are most common. Most are attractive enough to be brought directly to the table for service, although many timbales are unmolded and plated so that they can be dressed with a creamy sauce.

Pronounced: (tim-ball)

Timbale (2)

Pronounced: (tam-ball)

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