The ultimate makeover: Fish pie

The ultimate makeover: Fish pie

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(32 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 50 mins


Serves 6
This traditionally high-fat comfort food favourite has been transformed into a heart-healthy dish

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal413
  • fat15g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs30g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre2g
  • protein42g
  • salt1.42g


  • 500ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 100g cooked prawns in their shells



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

  • several thyme sprigs, preferably lemon thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 750g new potatoes, such as Charlotte (no need to peel)
    New potatoes

    New potatoes

    n-ew po-tate-oes

    New potatoes have thin, wispy skins and a crisp, waxy texture. They are young potatoes and…

  • 1 medium leek, thinly sliced (175g prepared weight)



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 400g skinned haddock fillet



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

  • 350g skinned salmon fillet



    With its delicate, sweet flesh and wide availability, salmon is one of the most popular fish.…

  • 175g skinned smoked haddock fillet



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

  • 125g tub low-fat soft cheese with garlic & herbs
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley



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

  • 2 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…

  • 2 tbsp snipped chives


  1. Mix 3 tbsp of the milk into the cornflour and set aside. Pour the rest of the milk into a saucepan. Shell the prawns, reserve the meat, then drop the shells and heads (wash them first if necessary) into the milk along with the thyme sprigs, bay leaves, garlic and a grind of pepper. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 20 mins.

  2. Meanwhile, put the potatoes into a large pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 mins until tender. Drain. Steam the sliced leek for 3 mins, then remove from the heat and set aside.

  3. Strain the infused milk through a sieve into a large shallow sauté pan. Lay all the fish fillets (not the prawns) in the milk. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 3 mins. Remove from the heat and leave, covered, for 5 mins. Use a slotted spoon to transfer all the fish to a dish and leave to cool slightly. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

  4. Stir the slackened cornflour, then stir it into the hot milk in the sauté pan. Return the pan to the heat and stir until thickened. Briefly stir in the soft cheese, remove from the heat, then add the parsley and season with black pepper. Stir in any liquid that has drained from the fish. Break the fish into big pieces as you lay them in a 2-litre ovenproof dish so that the different varieties are evenly distributed. Scatter over the prawns and leek, then season with pepper. Pour the sauce over and give a few gentle stirs to evenly distribute the sauce and combine everything without breaking up the fish.

  5. Using a large fork, crush the potatoes by breaking them up (not mashing them) into chunky pieces. Mix in the oil, chives and a grind of black pepper. Spoon the potato crush over the fish. Sit the dish on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 mins, or until the sauce is bubbling and the potatoes golden. Alternatively, make the dish completely, refrigerate it for several hrs or overnight, then bake at the same temperature as above for 45 mins.

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Comments, questions and tips

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2nd Aug, 2019
Lovely & not too much fuss to make, with a few adjustments: you can reduce the cooling times & steam the potatoes (use floury ones & they'll mash perfectly) under the leeks (steamed longer, so that you can reduce the time in the oven by 10 minutes as well & just add 3 minutes under the grill). I also cut the amount of fish by 30% (more than enough for us), used a large leek & followed previous comments by adding salt. My Other Half said I should really make it again.
haz200's picture
20th May, 2015
Love it! will definately make it again.
2nd Mar, 2015
Have made this several times now, both following the recipe to the letter, and varying it. I usually use a fish pie mix, easy, reasonably cheap. However I have given up on all the faffing about to make the stock and use a ready made fish stock 'gel' type cube. The difference is very small and saves so much bother and time. It does need salt, even with a stock cube.
8th Oct, 2013
This is really nice!! The recipe doesn't mention salt; I used a fair bit. Also added some dill for good measure. The topping is wonderful :-)
25th Feb, 2013
Loved the topping but sauce a bit tasteless. Would perhaps put more herbs in sauce.
2nd Dec, 2012
very tasty dish
16th Jun, 2012
I made this last night and the family absolutely loved it even though they're not that keen on fish. I used salmon, haddock and prawns but tweaked a bit and added some mustard to the sauce - also used Quark with some extra garlic instead of soft cheese with garlic and herbs - worked really well and is less fat. The potato topping is lovely and I think I'll use it for other dishes. A real winner - very tasty - try it.
13th May, 2012
I sweated off some finely chopped celery and carrots and added them to the pie. Boyfriend said it was the best fish pie he's ever had! The crushed, roast potato topping was a really nice change to the usual mash.
4th Feb, 2012
This is very easy to make and very tasty. I have adapted and made with chicken and instead of fish and it is just as nice, a real family favourite in my house
9th Dec, 2011


10th Apr, 2020
This is a regular in our house, but since we are in lockdown, I need to replace the leek by... frozen peas? fresh kale? What would you suggest, please? Thanks in advance.
Esther_Deputyfoodeditor's picture
14th Apr, 2020
Hi, Esther from the food team here! Peas would be delicious as would kale. Spinach would also work very well! Thanks for your question.
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