Fish pie in a large rectangular dish with serving spoon

Fish pie - in four steps

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(265 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

  • 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 leaves
  • 4 eggs



    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



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 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 400g skinless white fish fillets and 400g skinless smoked haddock fillets. Put the fish in the frying pan and pour over 500ml of the full-fat milk. Quarter 1 small onion and stud each quarter with a clove, then add to the milk, with 2 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 4 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 leaves of a small bunch of parsley.

  3. Make the sauce. Melt 50g butter in a pan, stir in 50g plain 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, bring to 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 a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, then pour over the fish.

  4. Assemble and bake. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Boil 1kg floury potatoes, cut into even-sized chunks, for 20 mins. Drain, season and mash with the remaining 50g butter and 100ml full-fat 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 over 50g grated cheddar, then bake for 30 mins. Make up to a day ahead, chill, then bake for 40 mins.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Vaughan Williams's picture
Vaughan Williams
7th May, 2019
Easy to make and very tasty
9th Jan, 2019
I didn't like fish pie until I made this.. it's delicious. Only change I'd make would be reducing the amount of milk in the mashed potatoes so they keep their shape when piped.
26th Oct, 2018
Good recipe, followed it but used dried parsley as I didn't have fresh and ready done sweet potato and carrot mash since I had that. Worked well, easy to do and will definitely make it again
katycooks's picture
10th Sep, 2018
Well I made this way back in 2011 and commented on it with 4 stars then. This time the flavour just wasn't there. I followed the recipe faithfully both times, but on this occasion I used a fish pie pack from Sainsburys. The amount of smoked fish in this pack was, I think, just not enough. (Only a third of the fish pack was smoked.) Lesson learned! As is so often the case, the quality of the ingredients is key to a successful outcome.
Tom Patton's picture
Tom Patton
7th Sep, 2018
24th Aug, 2018
Great recipe, I didn’t add the egg, parsley or cloves (as I forgot to buy them) but it still came out tasty! Next time I would add the cloves and parsley for extra flavour. This served 4 and 1 next day for lunch and it had more flavour the next day.
1st Nov, 2017
This is a a fabulous pie. I've made it several times but I always adapt it. It does however take longer than 40 mins to prepare. I also tend not to make the butter sauce but instead make a sauce using cornflower as its base. I pot in a pepper and mushrooms and garlic into the pie. I've make this pie about twice a year.
21st Aug, 2017
4 cloves of what? Garlic?
davect's picture
25th Sep, 2017
28th Jul, 2017
Really tasty meal - hadn't realised there are so many calories in just 1 portion however! Will definitely make again but substitute for semi-skimmed milk and less butter etc as others have suggested. I thought the eggs were a strange addition and if I make again I will probably leave them out - just as yummy without! The sauce would be bland without using the drained off milk from poaching the fish. I added a small nob of garlic butter to the sauce for extra flavour (it came with the smoked haddock so seemed a shame to waste it!) These ingredients made a huge portion - could probably stretch to serving 6 (although we did just have 4 large portions because it was so good!). Me and my partner had this over 2 evenings. I prepped it and cooked it on the same day and we ate half, then refrigerated the rest and had this the next day. Cooked for 30mins the first time and 40 the next because the mash had gone hard in the fridge it needed longer to heat through the second time. I used cod loin and smoked haddock fillets. Left out the parsley and the bay leaves but included everything else.


14th May, 2019
How do I freeze and reheat this? Do I bake it first and then freeze? How do I reheat it do I defrost it first or put it in the oven? Any help would be greatly appreciated
goodfoodteam's picture
14th May, 2019
Thanks for your question. We'd recommend making the pie as above but without the boiled eggs and freezing before it goes in the oven. You can then cook it from frozen as follows. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3, cover the pie with foil and cook for 1½ hrs or until you can easily push a knife through the mixture. Take the foil off, turn oven up to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and cook for 30 mins more until the top is golden and the filling piping hot.
Katy Mead's picture
Katy Mead
24th Feb, 2019
I found the mash potato really sloppy and the white sauce that covered the fish disappeared. Did I use the wrong potatoes? Do I need to just cook it for longer? Did I add too much milk to the mash?
goodfoodteam's picture
7th Mar, 2019
Thanks for your question. We suggest using floury potatoes such as Maris Piper or King Edward - they have a dry, fluffy texture that's ideal for mash. You only need to cook them until tender all the way through, overcooking them may make them sloppy. Drain them well before adding the butter and milk.The mash should be fairly firm so you can always add the milk gradually to ensure it has a good consistency.
28th Oct, 2018
Can you freeze this?
goodfoodteam's picture
3rd Nov, 2018
Thanks for your question. Yes, you can freeze it without the eggs.
28th Jul, 2017
has anyone ever served anything alongside this pie? If so what was it
goodfoodteam's picture
31st Jul, 2017
Peas, sweetcorn, French beans or broccoli all go really well with fish pie - enjoy!
28th Jul, 2017
Any tips for lump-free mash?
goodfoodteam's picture
31st Jul, 2017
Putting the potato through a ricer or mouli grater produces really smooth mash. Make sure you cook the potatoes sufficiently too as undercooked bits of potato will always be hard to mash. Hope that helps.


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