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How to Make the Tastiest Fish Pie

Updated on August 30, 2017

Making a Fabulous Fish Pie Fit For a Feast!

If you've never tasted a good fish pie before, I have the best recipe in the world for you. Using good, fresh ingredients are the key to any recipe, none more so than this one.

So, potter off down to your local fish monger, fish merchant or fish supplier and get the ingredients for this fabulous fish pie, then we'll start. Oh, and don't forget some good potatoes for the topping. I'm sure you'll find the rest of the ingredients in your kitchen.

This dish has been a family favorite for years and years it never fails to please. Therefore, imminently I'm going to rustle up the best and tastiest fish pie ever to fondle your palate and fuel a feast fit for a Pharoah - and his queen - and I suppose his subjects too!

One last thing, it's official that eating oily fish at least once a week increases brainpower, so get the fishing rod out and what are you waiting for?

Created on 27 March 2013

All photos © Rob Hemphill

A Love of Fish Was Born

By living near the sea

I first came across this fish pie recipe in Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course book more than 25 years ago. Having tweaked it a bit here and there over time, especially when I didn't always have the right ingredients, this is the recipe I now use most of the time.

The original recipe only includes white fish; however, I've found that having a small amount of salmon in it, actually adds some extra flavor and color.

We are lucky to get very fresh fish all the time due to our close coastal proximity. Saying that, it has been known for us to wander down to the local fisherman's hut, where they prepare and sell the fish from, to collect a large cod wrapped in newspaper. And this cod was still flapping! The fisherman explained to us, "Leave it for a day or two it's too fresh."

cornish coast
cornish coast

The rugged coastline off Cornwall in the south west of England.

fish pie
fish pie

Any white fish, such as haddock, cod or whiting can be used for this delicious recipe. I've even used some salmon in this particular recipe.

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 1 hour 20 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour 40 min
  • Yields: 6


  • 1 1/2 lb white fish and salmon (700 g) - (1/3rd salmon and 2/3rds white fish)
  • 1 pint milk (570 ml)
  • 4 oz butter (110 g)
  • 2 oz plain flour (50 g)
  • 4 oz peeled prawns (110 g)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs - roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers - drained
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ~~~~For the topping ~~~~
  • 2 lb freshly boiled potatoes (900 g)
  • 2 oz butter (50 g)
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • a little freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 oz mature Cheddar cheese (25 g) - grated


  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
  2. 1. Begin by arranging the fish in a baking tray and seasoning it well with salt & pepper.
  3. 2. Then pour over half of the milk and put flecks of butter 4 oz (25 g) over the fish. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  4. 3. Next pour off (and save for use later) the cooking liquid and remove the skin from the fish. Flake the flesh into average size pieces.
  5. 4. Now make the sauce: Melt the remaining 3 oz (35 g) butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and gradually and add the saved fish cooking liquid - stirring well after each addition. Once all the liquid is in, finish off the sauce by slowly adding the milk and seasoning with salt and pepper.
  6. 5. Next mix the fish into the sauce, along with the hard-boiled eggs, prawns, capers and parsley (now taste to see if any more seasoning is required), then stir in the lemon juice. Now pour in the whole mixture into a well-buttered 2 1/2 pint (1.5 liter) baking dish.
  7. 6. Mash the cooked potatoes with milk and butter, season with salt and pepper and add the nutmeg. Spread the mixture evenly over the fish. Smooth the surface of the potato and with a fork level off while leaving a pattern in rows.
  8. 7. Sprinkle the cheese all over the potato then bake on a high heat for around 30-40 minutes, or till heated and browned.
  9. 8. Garnish with some parsley.
  10. Recipe based on Delia Smith's Fisherman's Pie: Delia Smith Online
Cast your vote for Fish Pie Recipe

Oven Ready

cooking fish
cooking fish

The fish is all seasoned with the flecks of butter on, and it's now ready to go into the oven.

Before The Potato Topping Goes On

fish pie
fish pie

The secret to a good fish pie is obviously having really good fresh fish and also making sure the fish is not over cooked and remains moist and succulent. Adding the white sauce keeps the whole dish together. What you don't want is to leave the dish in the oven too long so as to dry everything out.

North Atlantic salmon has the most wonderful loose texture so doesn't appear too dense - all this ensures that you will end up with a fabulous fish dish.

Fish Or Meat?

Do you think that eating fish or meat is better for you?

Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course

Delia Smith's Complete Illustrated Cookery Course, The Classic Edition
Delia Smith's Complete Illustrated Cookery Course, The Classic Edition

When I first started cooking, Delia Smith was the name of the time, her straight forward approach and exciting recipes made this book the one favorite most people would have.

I've worked my way through dozens of her recipes, from meat balls and stews to roasts and fish pies, not to mention all those gorgeous desserts. Her marmalade recipe is another that never fails.


A Fish's Journey - The coast, harbour and kitchen

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Seagulls awaiting scrapsFishing boatIngredients for my fish pieGood quality Irish potatoesMaking the rouxWings of flightFinished fish pieA nice red wineA glass or two or...The beautiful Cornish coastline
Seagulls awaiting scraps
Seagulls awaiting scraps
Fishing boat
Fishing boat
Ingredients for my fish pie
Ingredients for my fish pie
Good quality Irish potatoes
Good quality Irish potatoes
Making the roux
Making the roux
Wings of flight
Wings of flight
Finished fish pie
Finished fish pie
A nice red wine
A nice red wine
A glass or two or...
A glass or two or...
The beautiful Cornish coastline
The beautiful Cornish coastline

Eat Oily Fish and Boost Brainpower

Yes, it's official.

It really is true that eating oily fish can boost brainpower. BBC Science have researched this and have published an article entitled The Omega Wave which explains atrial they have undertaken to prove the point.

It has been shown that these oils, or polyunsaturated fatty acids as they are better known, are beneficial to our heart and brain function, as well as our overall well-being. Oily fish is especially rich in omega 3 fats in its natural form which makes it readily available for the body to use easily.

What fish are high in Omega 3?







What is it about oily fish?

The body is unable to make essential fatty acids so these have to obtained through diet. The best sources for these are the following foods:

linseed oil

soya beans and soya bean oil

pumpkin seeds

walnut oil

There are two types of fatty acids high in omega 3:

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

Lower levels of DHA in the body have been associated to having a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease as well as memory loss.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Waiting For the Tide

"Omega 3s can improve brain function at the very simplest level, by improving blood flow"

Dr Alex Richardson

I'm Naturally Fishing For Comments! - I'd like to hear what you have to say.

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    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      It was really interesting to find out about oily fish and brain power.

    • Fridayonmymind LM profile image

      Fridayonmymind LM 4 years ago

      I love fish pie. Jamie Oliver's is quite different but makes a nice change. Your pie looked deserving of the tastiest Fish Pie title. :)

    • allaneaglesham lm profile image

      allaneaglesham lm 4 years ago

      You cannot beat Delia!!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      I cook fish for my husband at least once a week but have never made him a fish pie (actually never heard of this recipe before today). You sure make it look good.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 4 years ago

      As first I thought "Fish Pie" ewe.. but then I looked at your recipe. WOW it looks totally LUSCIOUS!!

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      Who would have thunk, fish pie!

    • Tim Bader profile image

      Tim Bader 4 years ago from Surrey, UK

      I love fish pie and like your lens too!

      Can't go wrong with Delia or Jamie either: we have both their books at home.

    • profile image

      soaringsis 4 years ago

      I love fish and I will try your recipe soon. Thanks for sharing info and photos.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      What a delicious sounding fish pie. And a great lens - I am impressed that you could make so much out of this, the pictures are beautiful. Pinned and digg-ed.

    • profile image

      topbuilderlist 4 years ago

      I prefer fish for the pie preparation.

    • chocochipchip profile image

      chocochipchip 4 years ago

      Great lens! Thank you for sharing!

    • gregmansour profile image

      gregmansour 4 years ago

      you created a nice lens, i like it

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 4 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      I love fish pie and I love Cornwall. Your photo makes me wish I was there ( it's 18 months since I Cornwall- too long)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We are lucky to have good fish here in Hanoi.There's nothing like fresh fish. I will try this pie. I have never cooked fish pie.

    • MrComeback profile image

      MrComeback 4 years ago

      I love fish. I've never had a fish pie before. Sounds good though. Must be awesome to live in a coastal region for easy access to all the great seafood.

    • profile image

      fifinn 4 years ago

      fish pie.. seem delicious.

    • vegasgeorge profile image

      vegasgeorge 4 years ago

      I love fish and this is a good looking recipe. However I wouldn't encourage people to eat soy. Most soy has been genetically modified by Monsanto and is bad for you. Other than that, great lens!

    • GardenerDon profile image

      Gardener Don 4 years ago

      You literally got me to put the laptop down, get off the couch & go down to the freezer and pull out some halibut & salmon. Looking forward to tonights dinner!

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 4 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      The mix you have sounds like it will be delicious! Thanks for the detailed instructions.

    • stephen777 profile image

      stephen777 4 years ago

      Rob3, I live in Ohio near Lake Erie where the steelhead trout fishing is excellent. But I have never tasted fish pie. I am intrigued now and must make it:) Your recipe looks fabulous. Do you think the dish will taste okay if I use a good white fish and steelhead in the recipe?

    • Kae Yo profile image

      Kae Yo 4 years ago

      I love both meat and fish pies. Thanks for the recipe. I have been looking for a good recipe for fish pies for a while. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on making the front page!

    • Karli McClane profile image

      Psycho Free Zone 4 years ago from USA

      I must admit I've never eaten fish pie, but your recipe has made me hungry for some.

    • profile image

      sjdq209 4 years ago

      I will definitely give it a try!

    • profile image

      sjdq209 4 years ago

      Great Lense!

    • profile image

      sjdq209 4 years ago

      I've never heard of a fish pie

    • profile image

      petermahfouz 4 years ago

      when i have time, i will try your recipe :)

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 4 years ago

      Never heard of fish pie, but your recipe sure sounds good.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I'll try to make it at home. I always love cooking.

    • mcspocky lm profile image

      mcspocky lm 4 years ago

      I love fish, and I love pies... but I've never had a fish pie before. It looks very tasty!

    • yonique88 profile image

      yonique88 4 years ago

      It is the first time I have seen a fish pie recipe. That is quite unusual. This is a great lens.

    • Sweetbunny LM profile image

      Sweetbunny LM 4 years ago

      We have never had a fish pie, but I think it is worth a try. Will be back to let you know what we think!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      I've never heard of a fish pie. What a great idea.

    • Stephanie Love21 profile image

      Stephanie Love21 4 years ago

      Great Lense!

    • sapientzeal lm profile image

      sapientzeal lm 4 years ago

      Mouth-watering recipe! I will definitely give it a try!


    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 4 years ago

      This dish sounds very my grandmothers would have given there nods of approval :) A must save and try recipe for my next visit to mum's...hubby and sons are not fond of fish so I better not give it a go on them.

    • ColorPetGifts profile image

      ColorPetGifts 4 years ago

      Sounds like a reel fancy fish dinner!

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 4 years ago from Somewhere in England

      I can't fault your recipe here. You started in a good plaice (sorry) with the Delia Smith fish pie recipe. You also mention some other good ones. Have you tried the J Sheekey recipe yet? I haven't but it's on my list.

    • NejaLovely profile image

      NejaLovely 4 years ago


    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      This looks delicious. I love almost any kind of fish.

    • Useray LM profile image

      Useray LM 4 years ago

      Looks delicious Rob. Well done on your lens.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 4 years ago

      This looks like an amazing recipe, Rob. I'm often looking for new ways to prepare fish and I will be trying this one. I've always loved the combination of fish and nutmeg. Adding cheddar is just a new plus! Well done!

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 4 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I like the sound of this dish. I'm "Pinning" it to my Favorite Recipes board on Pinterest so I can have it handy to try sometime. Thanks for sharing!

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 4 years ago from Houston

      I may have to give this a try. I'm also looking for some good sardine recipes. ;)

    • fifta profile image

      fifta 4 years ago

      This is my first time reading about a fish pie. I definitely need to try this recipe. It looks so good.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 4 years ago

      This sure looks like a great recipe. I'm IN!

    • KerryVor profile image

      Kerry Voronoff 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      It looks like a great recipe and we'll definitely try it asap. Just reading the recipe has made me hungry.

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      This is a nice recipe for fish pie, I have not tried it before but I do like the ingredients used to make it.

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 4 years ago

      We eat fish in a variety of ways, but yet to try fish pie! Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I don't know that I have eaten fish pie, but I sure do want to try it.

      Oh man, am I ever hungry now. :)

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 4 years ago

      We're having fish tonight! We live by the sea too and eat lots of mackerel, trout and salmon mostly. Sometimes prawns or crab!

    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 4 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      I'm all in for trying it. The words fish and pie don't fit easily together for me, but I'm definitely willing to try.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      We like fish meals in our household. This fish pie looks yummy, will have to make it. Blessed.