Fish pie - in four steps

Fish pie - in four steps

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(210 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

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  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 (272)

R.Devine's picture

Made this a few weeks ago and although it tasted okay just seemed a little bland. Last night I made another fish pie using a different recipe which can be found at ( It was delicious and will make again instead of this recipe.

cml333's picture

Just made this with my girlfriend and I can honestly say that it is one of the most flavoursome meals I've ever eaten, never mind cooked, in my life. We used peas in the pie and ended going with smoked haddock and whiting. We also put some mustard in the sauce (just enough to give a tiny hint of flavour) which was nice too! I would say that this easy serves more than 4 people considering that we used the same amount of ingredients listed on this recipe but ended up with two pies, of which we could only manage half of one between us. If you're looking for a good fish pie recipe and are trying to decide which one to go for, choose this one. You will NOT be disappointed.

amr9864's picture

This was delicious. Never used hard boiled eggs before, fantastic. Used 3 pans, one of which was water for the eggs, so easy to clean. Little effort for a great meal. The flavoured milk really made a difference. Forgot the nutmeg but will use next time. Recommended highly.

lizleicester's picture

Loved this. Left out the cheese (put grated cheese on the table for those that wanted to add it to an otherwise dairy free meal). Delicious fish pie.

lizleicester's picture

Used frozen fish and substituted soya milk and marg because it needed to be a dairy free meal.

Marvachef's picture

I'm not a fish lover but this is a nice recipe. Will make it again.

Marsala1's picture

Delicious....took 2.5hours to do everything

Natalietia's picture

This is such a tasty fish pie. My daughter would eat it everyday if she could. I make it without the egg, just my preference. Really easy to make.

BanSam's picture

I tried it both ways, with and without egg. I didn't mind the egg, but without gave me more of the fish pie taste from my childhood, which was what I wanted. I see many complain about the number of pots required. I did it all in one pot. used a large pan to poach the fish. After talking out the fish used the same one to make the sauce, saved the sauce in the measuring jug I used for the milk, then boiled the potatoes in the same one. Maybe takes a little longer, but not much, and leaves little to clean up.

scousewegian's picture

Excellent! I finally see the point of fish pie. Tasted great the next day as well.
Second time I made it, I didn't have and haddock so I added prawns, peas and carrots, worked really well.

dorothyd's picture

A fabulous fish pie. Guests raved and husband loved it, he had to have the leftovers the following day and still complimented it. The best fish pie I have made. Added some prawns to enhance it, but do not think it needed them, still very enjoyable and easy to make ahead.

betsyvriend's picture

A lovely, really comforting recipe, although due to clumsiness I spilt over half the infused milk down the drain and had to replace with normal milk which I think made it taste a lot blander than it otherwise would have been. Added loads of frozen peas and the suggested prawns which gave it a lovely texture. Will definitely make this again although will attempt to make a lot of the components simultaneously, which should shorten the process. Lots of washing up required though!
I didn't add the suggested salt due to comments on this thread saying it wasn't needed; I personally felt it could have done with some, but I can't have salt in my diet anyway so I didn't add it. My housemate added a little to hers and she loved the recipe!

Alice Lenton's picture

Pretty tasty and straightforward (especially with a supermarket fish pie mix). Husband gave it 7/10, but he does have high standards! Great weeknight supper. Might do without the eggs next time but that's a personal thing. Didn't add the salt but not sure it needed it. Just wish there was a way to make it without all those pans!!

erica79's picture

A great basic recipe! I used salmon, smoked haddock and prawns, as well as peas as have 2 year old. Everybody loved it and it will be my go to fish pie recipe from now on.

yagriffiths's picture

I cooked this for the family i work for in germany (i'm a nanny here). They all loved it. I was doubtful about the eggs, but i put them in anyway and they went really well with the dish :) success!!

spindoctor's picture

Are you people who omit the eggs all trained chefs? If your not, try it with eggs. The eggs add another dimension to the dish. If you dont like them after trying, leave them out next time you make the dish

Imjwelch's picture

Really easy and very tasty. I would recommend reading the recipe in full first as all the steps can be done simultaneously to save time.
I used a supermarket fish pie mix and added prawns which improved the texture variety. I also added a little cheddar cheese to the sauce. Will definately be doing this again as it freezes really well and fed 5.

vagner's picture

Absolutely delicious! My first fish pie and I will definitely make it again.

VBuff's picture

Best fish pie I've ever had. Exactly what I was craving when I got the idea to make one. I used a 'fish pie mix' of raw fish from the supermarket and added raw king prawns. Absolutely wonderful.

Puglover's picture

Made this last night, delicious!


Questions (4)

Pennyred's picture

At what point do you add the parsley - and do you remove the onion completely after poaching the fish or does it go into the pie filling?

goodfoodteam's picture

The onion is for flavouring and doesn't get used in the pie. The parsley can be added to the sauce after flavouring it with the nutmeg.

Invermarnoch's picture

I do understand why salamisausage advises against using salt. And I agree that when making a fish pie using cheese and smoked haddock (which is soaked in brine before smoking) there is no need to add salt, which is a recognised contributor to hypertension. In this connection I am given to understand that bananas provide a potassium ion which will displace the more harmful sodium ion in the body. Do the nutritionists agree, please? For my own part, I think it essential to add salt when cooking shellfish like prawns, scampi, shrimps or lobster. These are usually cooked in water, and this process extracts through osmosis the naturally-occurring salt in their bodies. IMHO, to preserve the original flavour, the addition of salt to the cooking medium is essential. I believe the same to be true of migratory fish such as salmon, sea-trout, eels (now protected!), lampreys and shad which alter their cell structure upon entering fresh water from the sea. But it would be very informative to hear from a nutritionist or other scientist in this regard. But to return to the point, especially when making fish pie for children or the elderly, be very careful about the salt occurring in cheese and smoked fish, and certainly do not add any. A little smoked fish goes a very long way. I like to add mustard and anchovy essence to fish pie. They too contain some salt, so I am going to experiment with soaking smoked fish in water before use, and see what the outcome might be. Cooking is always about experimentation and putting one's own stamp on a conventional dish, IMHO.

lizleicester's picture

Made this with fresh smoked cod and frozen white fish fillets (?pollock). Wonderful result even though it had to be dairy free so soya products were used instead butter and milk (and no cheese). Served with french beans and mangetout. Delicious.

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