Fish pie in a large rectangular dish with serving spoon

Fish pie - in four steps

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(267 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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1st May, 2017
Tried making this with unsweetened almond milk and soya margerine so that it was dairy free and the result was delicious (in fact you couldn't tell it had milk substitutes with all the lovely fish flavours).
26th Mar, 2017
Beautiful pie. Added fresh dill and parsley to the sauce and half teaspoon mustard powder. Didn't bother with the cheese. For fish used cod, smoked haddock, lightly smoked salmon fillets and prawns. Definitely enough for 6 big portions.
24th Feb, 2017
Made this last week me and hubby loved it!!! Will add more veg in next time as others have mentioned. But so tasty!! Xxxxx
6th Dec, 2016
Wow, this was the best fish pie I've ever made and will be a firm favourite when I have non-meat eaters over for dinner. Using the poaching milk for the sauce makes it delicious. I made it with white fish/salmon, peas and small cubes of carrots (included in the poaching stage). 1/2 teaspoon of mustard power, dried dill and some chopped spinach into the sauce. This is a really huge dish and I'd say that it is six healthy portions, rather than the 4 stated in the recipe. I also made it slightly lower calorie by using semi-skimmed milk, reducing the butter in the potatoes from 50->25g and cheddar from 50->25g. All of this brings it down to around 460 calories a portion for the 6 portions.
6th Nov, 2016
A nice tasting fish pie. I added mustard to the sauce as suggested by others and that worked very well. The sauce itself was too thick, I think the quantities are slightly wrong. You need more milk or less butter and flour. That's my only issue with the dish, otherwise would recommend.
30th Aug, 2016
Fish pie tasted amazing. I added squeezed lemon and 1 tsp of mustard powder to give it more flavour :)
Vicki R
13th Jul, 2016
I added peeled prawns and peas to the white fish and it was absolutely lovely. Dead easy to make and yummy, clean plates all round.
Jo Humphryes
9th May, 2016
Hi there, Does anyone know if it's ok to freeze this? And if so, for how long? Thanks, Jo
30th Apr, 2016
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.
7th Apr, 2016
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.


Raisin and Dates
17th Oct, 2016
hi there, made this a few times and it is delicious... making it again today and like to read the reviews, but noticed that a lot of them are repeats of the same ppl which is a bit annoying as it ups the reviews ????
goodfoodteam's picture
31st Oct, 2016
Thanks for your comment and we're happy to hear you've been enjoying the recipe. Sometimes people leave more than one comment or they comment, realise they've forgotten to rate and so do this separately. Is this what you mean? If not, let us know if there's something we haven't spotted and we'll take a look. Thanks! 
22nd Nov, 2015
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
10th Dec, 2015
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.
8th Oct, 2014
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.
1st Nov, 2017
You could use salmon instead of smoked haddock. Much healthier.
7th Nov, 2013
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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