Fish pie with saffron mash

Fish pie with saffron mash

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(43 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 15 mins

More effort

Serves 6

A great dinner party dish. This can be made ahead and frozen so there's always something ready to entertain guests

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal683
  • fat35g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs42g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre6g
  • protein51g
  • salt1.36g


  • 3 shallots, finely chopped



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 150ml white wine
  • 142ml pot double cream
  • 900g fresh haddock fillets, skinned



    A white-fleshed salt water fish often compared with cod in flavour and texture. Found on the…

  • 200g bag raw, peeled prawn, preferably unfrozen



    There are thousands of different species of prawn, but tiger, king and North Atlantic are the…

  • 800g fresh spinach (about 2 bags)



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

  • 200g crabmeat

For the topping

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 red chilli, halved and deseeded
  • 200ml full-fat milk



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

  • pinch saffron strands



    The stigma of a type of crocus, saffron threads have a pungent and distinctive aroma and flavour…

  • 1¼kg potato, cut into large chunks



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

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • zest and juice 1 lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…


  1. Tip the shallots and vinegar into a saucepan and place on the heat so the vinegar evaporates quickly. Splash in the white wine and reduce until practically dry. Add cream, bring to the boil, then simmer gently until reduced by two-thirds and very thick. Leave to cool. Cut the fish into bite-size chunks and set aside with the prawns.

  2. Tip spinach into a large colander and pour over boiling water from a kettle until all the spinach is wilted (you may need to do this more than once). Cool under the cold tap, then squeeze the spinach tightly to get rid of any excess liquid.

  3. To make the topping, mash the saffron, garlic and chilli together using a pestle and mortar. Tip into a saucepan with the milk, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat to infuse. Bring the potatoes to the boil and simmer for 15 mins until soft. Drain, then mash well with the infused milk, olive oil, lemon juice and zest.

  4. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. To assemble the pie, mix the fish and prawns into the cold cream until completely coated. Tip the fish into the bottom of a large gratin dish and scatter over clumps of crabmeat. Unravel the spinach and lay it over the fish, then top with the mash. Cook the pie for about 30 mins until golden and starting to brown and bubble around the edges. Serve with green veg if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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clovelly1's picture
6th Jan, 2020
I adore this recipe. And recommended to my daughter. I always prepare component parts and assemble it just before cooking. As I understand, it can be prepped in advance, so told that to my daughter (as she works). It was for a special occasion. However she prepped and left in fridge over night. Sadly the potato absorbed all the delicious sauce so it wasn’t as unctuous as it should be. She was so disappointed. I still love it but then I wouldn’t put it together till ready to cook.
17th Dec, 2016
Oh, and for those who want to know about freezing, a 'tip' from the Lucy Grimes fish pie reads: "To cook, defrost the filling and mash overnight, then assemble the pie with boiled eggs and cook for 30 mins. You can also cook a whole pie from frozen. 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."
17th Dec, 2016
PS substituted salmon for crabmeat as none available.
17th Dec, 2016
Fiddly to make - cooked it for 30 mins and will then freeze and serve for Boxing Day. Bit concerned about the comment below that the prawns weren't cooked when following the recipe (for 30 mins). We'll see! Tip: cut the chilli up small when making the mashed garlic/chilli/saffron otherwise it looks a bit funny in the mashed potatoes. Overall, the making was very satisfying. Will report back on the taste!
16th Nov, 2016
Was disappointed with this dish, it wasnt worth the effort really, also cooked it for the time instructed and the prawns weren't cooked, so it had to go back in the oven. It wasnt awful but wouldn't cook again.
27th Aug, 2015
Didn't enjoy this dish at all and neither did our polite guests. I'll stick with a more traditional recipe next time.
Alfie Barrishi
27th Sep, 2014
Absolutely divine!! Even without the shallots and crabmeat, it was great and fed the whole family. However I did not give it 5 stars because the chilli in the mash ruined the flavour a little. Whatever you do, don't use any chilli!!!!
29th Mar, 2013
This was so yummy and easy would love to do it again! We changed the recipe slightly though to double the amount of cream and half the amount of spinich.
21st Apr, 2012
Great dish,will do again. Turned out perfect. Make the day before, then pop in oven, great for guests and seems to taste better the day after too. :0)
2nd Apr, 2012
Lovely recipe and very easy. I used scallops rather than crab meat and a mix of smoked haddock and cod. I strained the milk before adding to the mash which meant the flavours weren't as pronounced and following comments on here only the juice of half a lemon which was plenty. Would definitely make again.


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