Fish pie - in four steps

Fish pie - in four steps

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(217 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 4

Delicious and easy - a fish pie anyone can make. You'll learn how to poach fish and make a white sauce too

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze without eggs only

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal824
  • fat40g
  • saturates22g
  • carbs61g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre4g
  • protein60g
  • salt3.12g
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  • 400g skinless white fish fillet
  • 400g skinless smoked haddock fillet
  • 600ml full-fat milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 1 small onion, quartered



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 4 cloves



    The dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a wide variety…

  • 2 bay leaf
  • 4 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • small bunch parsley, leaves only, chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • 100g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 50g plain flour
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1kg floury potato, peeled and cut into even-sized chunks



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 50g cheddar, grated



    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…


  1. Poach the fish. Put the fish in the frying pan and pour over 500ml of the milk. Stud each onion quarter with a clove, then add to the milk, with the bay leaves. Bring the milk just to the boil – you will see a few small bubbles. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 mins. Lift the fish onto a plate and strain the milk into a jug to cool. Flake the fish into large pieces in the baking dish.

  2. Hard-boil the eggs. Bring a small pan of water to a gentle boil, then carefully lower the eggs in with a slotted spoon. Bring the water back to a gentle boil, with just a couple of bubbles rising to the surface. Set the timer for 8 mins, cook, then drain and cool in a bowl of cold water. Peel, slice into quarters and arrange on top of the fish, then scatter over the chopped parsley.

  3. Make the sauce. Melt half the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook for 1 min over moderate heat. Take off the heat, pour in a little of the cold poaching milk, then stir until blended. Continue to add the milk gradually, mixing well until you have a smooth sauce. Return to the heat, bringto the boil and cook for 5 mins, stirring continually, until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then pour over the fish.

  4. Assemble and bake. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Boil the potatoes for 20 mins. Drain, season and mash with the remaining butter and milk. Use to top the pie, starting at the edge of the dish and working your way in – push the mash right to the edges to seal. Fluff the top with a fork, sprinkle with cheese, then bake for 30 mins. Make up to a day ahead, chill, then bake for 40 mins.

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Comments (277)

dianneg's picture

If you freeze this do you need to defrost it before cooking? I have made it once without freezing and loved it by the way!!!

sadie10's picture

Delicious and ver simple to make. I used just Haddock on its own and as suggested I added peas and sweetcorn, a very hearty meal. I'll definitely try and experiment with other fish next time.

lolupnorth's picture

It would appear I am in a minority and actually used eggs with this recipe! It was delicious and my 4 year old, who isn't fussy, but never eats great quantities ate a mountain of it. What an easy recipe.

hklogan's picture

Did this fairly easy recipe as a main course for a dinner party, must have been good two of my guests asked to take away the couple of portions that were left to have again later. Followed the recipe to the word.

cjsansom's picture

Usually make Delia's classic fish pie but thought I'd try a different recipe for a change. Used monkfish and undyed smoked cod and the flavour combination was delicious. The nutmeg in the white sauce was a nice touch. Kept the eggs in - wouldn't be a fish pie without them!

hazzler's picture

my first fish pie i have made and am very proud:) loved this but made changes. thought the egg sounded bit wierd so left it out, glad i did. didn't have enough fish so added mushrooms. halved the amount of flour and butter- too much. served with almost dry fried spring greens in garlic.used parmesan rather than cheddar as didn't have any and liked it.

pannahussain's picture

Really lovely fish pie and incredibly easy to make. I did use eggs and added 200g prawns and frozen peas - delicious! I've made a fish pie before omitting the eggs but actually it tastes so much better with them left in - adds a depth of flavour. Poached the fish the day before intending to make the pie but then was not able to make it so left poaching milk and prepared fish in the fridge, absolutely fine. Will definitely be making this again!

hariata's picture

Great recipe,I added sweetcorn with a couple of chopped lsavoy cabbage leaves. It gave it a bit more texture as it can be very saucy.This way the eggs gave it a lovely flavour to accompany the fish sauce. Otherwise I wouldn't use the eggs.I also added spring onion to the mashed potatoe and it came out great.The fish I used was the 100g for 1 pound mixture of haddock/thai river fish/cod special.Also smoked haddock that was on special.

dollydolittle's picture

Wonderful. Used a mix of salmon, white fish and smoked fish. Kept the eggs in. Intended to have it the day I made it, but then plans changed and so kept it for a day in the fridge and it worked really well. Might add some peas next time.

melvyng's picture

Good recipe, when the hairy bikers made their ultimate fish pie they sprinked the top of the mash with a mixture of ciabatta breadcrumbs and parmesan. Delicious.

Reni's picture

I have been on the look out for a great fish pie and am happy to say this is it! The eggs made it - it was delicious.

hmandy's picture

Added sweetcorn but left out the egg, it was lovely even my 13 year old fussy daughter ate it and she doesnt usually like fish... really lovely .mmm

hmandy's picture

Tried this left out the egg, but added sweetcorn and prawns ,it was lovely..bit of a potch tio make..but i think once you have done it several times it will get easier,having said that it really was worth the effort even my 13 year old fussy daughter ate it and she doesnt usually like fish..mmmmmmmmmmmmm

mrshollands's picture

Fab recipe! Really easy (although time consuming) to do, kept the egss in and cheese on for that traditional taste but works just fine without when trying to save the calories - also used semi-skimmed and milk and had no problems. I made it with Pollack, Smoked Haddock, Salmon and King Prawns.

katheathcote's picture

Extremely popular with the whole family - and making it with lower fat alternatives on the milk, butter and cheese didn't seem to affect the flavour at all

shellbell20's picture

forgot to rate!

shellbell20's picture

This was delicious, I added the eggs and was surprised how nice it was.

pushanb's picture

Hopeless recipe, an oilmine and so rich. Of course it will be tasty with so much fat inside it. Leave the eggs out, no butter at all, just half amount of sunflower oil will do, schemed milk and it wont be too bad.

georgiou's picture

Lovely recipe!!!....


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