Easy British Fish Pie

Easy British Fish Pie

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
422 Calories
19g Fat
51g Carbs
11g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 422
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 45mg 15%
Sodium 471mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 19%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Protein 11g
Calcium 203mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This British fish pie recipe is easy to make and can be economical to cook. It calls for pieces of a variety of fish; use fresh, seasonal fish whenever possible, but frozen is fine as long as you defrost it first. Ask your fishmonger for a selection of fish scraps; usually, they will charge you less than the market price.

A fish pie is a one-pot supper dish made with a combination of fish, leeks, milk, butter, and potatoes. Some like to sprinkle a fish pie with grated cheese but that's optional, as is the addition of hard-cooked eggs seen in some recipes. Serve fish pie with peas or other fresh greens.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 12 ounces fish (assorted pieces)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium leek (white part only, washed thoroughly and finely sliced)
  • 2 ounces (a little less than 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 5 1/2 cups mashed potatoes (warm and creamy)
  • Optional: a handful of grated cheddar cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 355 F / 180 C.

    Easy British fish pie ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Pour the fish stock and milk into a large saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.

    Fish stock and milk in a large saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add the fish pieces and bay leaf and poach for 5 minutes.

    Fish pieces and bay leaf in the poaching liquid

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Remove the fish pieces with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve the liquid in the pot.

    Poached fish on a plate; poaching liquid in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced leek and cook for 5 minutes until the leek is soft.

    Leeks cooking with butter in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. While still hot, add the flour and stir well with a wooden spoon.

    Flour and leek mixture in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Pour the fish poaching liquid into the pan and stir again. Raise the temperature and cook for 3 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened.

    Fish poaching liquid added to the flour and leek mixture

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaf, and add the poached fish and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

    Adding poached fish and chopped parsley to the pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Spoon the fish mixture into an ovenproof dish. Cover with a thick layer of mashed potatoes and fluff them up with a fork. For a more professional look, you can pipe the mashed potatoes using a piping bag with a large nozzle.

    Mashed potatoes over the fish stew

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Sprinkle with the grated cheese if using.

    Mashed potatoes topped with cheese

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  11. Put the dish on a baking sheet and cook in the center of the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling beneath the potatoes. Serve immediately and enjoy.

    Easy British fish pie

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Tips

  • Choose non-oily, fleshy fish such as salmon, cod, smoked haddock, and coley (aka pollock), which is similar to cod.
  • Either buy one type of fish (skin and bones removed) cut into bite-sized chunks, or mix different fish and/or prawns together. 
  • If using frozen fish, defrost it first to avoid water in the bottom of the casserole dish. Using fish that isn't properly defrosted can lead to a watery fish pie.