Traditional British Fish Pie Recipe

Philippe - Getty Images
    60 min
Ratings (18)

A fish pie  is nutritious, easy and can be cheap to cook. Ask your fishmonger for a selection of fish off-cuts and usually, they will charge you for under the market price. If the fishmonger isn't willing, then I suggest you change fishmonger.

Buy chunks of fresh seasonal fish whenever possible, frozen is fine as long as you defrost it first, if you don't you will end up with a lot of water in the bottom of your dish.

As you can see in this recipe which contains fish, leeks, milk, butter and potatoes, a Fish Pie is an all-in-one supper dish. Some like to sprinkle a fish pie with grated cheese, but this is optional, as is the addition of hard boiled eggs seen in some recipes for fish pie. I like to serve the pie with peas or other fresh greens.

What You'll Need

  • 250 ml /(1 cup ) fish stock
  • 250 ml (1 cup milk) + 2 tablespoon for the potatoes
  • 350g assorted. fish pieces (see note below)***
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 750g (5 ½ cups) warm, creamed, mashed potatoes
  •  55g (2 oz) butter
  • 1 medium sized leek, the white, washed and finely sliced
  •  55g (2 oz)  plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Handful grated cheddar cheese (optional)

How to Make It

Serves 4

  • Heat the oven to 355 F/180 C
  • Pour the fish stock and milk into a large saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the fish pieces and bay leaf and poach for 5 mins. Remove the fish pieces with a slotted spoon and keep to one side. Reserve the liqueur.
  • Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and cook for 5 minutes until the leeks are soft.
  • Whilst still hot, add the flour and stir well with a wooden spoon. Pour the fish liqueur into the pan and stir again, raise the temperature and cook for 3 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Turn the heat off. Remove the bay leaf. Add the fish, chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. Leave to one side.
  • Place the fish and sauce into an ovenproof dish, cover with a thick layer of mashed potato fluffed up with a fork or for a more professional look, pipe from a piping bag and large nozzle.
  • Sprinkle with grated cheese if using.
  • Put the dish onto a baking sheet and cook in the centre of the preheated oven for 20 - 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling beneath the potatoes. Serve immediately.


***Either buy one type of fish (skinless and bones removed) and cut into bite-sized chunks. Or mix different fish and/or prawns together, for a pie though I would choose non-oily, fleshy fish such as salmon, cod, smoked haddock, coley.