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Easy Fish Pie with Mashed Potato Topping

Easy fish pie with mashed potato topping, quick to prepare and on the table in under an hour. A tasty mid week dinner that all the family will enjoy.

My easy fish pie recipe with mashed potato topping is a dish we should all have in our repertoire. I believe many people are afraid of cooking fish, their fear of over-cooking the fish putting them off. This is a real pity as fish is so versatile and a fantastic source of protein.

A fish pie dinner for two on a ocean blue background and navy blue napkins

This particular dish really couldn’t be simpler, cook some potatoes, soften some vegetables and assemble in a dish alongside your choice of fish. The amount of actual cooking is minimal, yet its a dish packed full of flavour.

Fish pie is a mid week staple in our house as I’m lucky enough to have a family who all love eating fish. My children have eaten fish from a very early age, they were weaned on a version of this pie. In fact it’s the one source of protein that I can cook and nobody questions, just happy family and empty plates all round.

When it comes to fish pie I tend to keep things simple. I like to use a white fish and a smoked fish, cutting the fillets into large chunks in the dish. However I use the mixture of fish that I have available. What’s important is to use the fish that you and your family enjoy eating.

A closeup image of an individual fish pie with a spoon tucking in and a bowl of peas just barely visible in the background.

What fish can I use in easy fish pie?

This pie is really versatile. I have used a combination of haddock and smoked haddock as that’s what the fishmonger had this week. I always tend to add a smoked fish as I like the flavour it adds to the sauce. Here are some ideas of what fish and seafood you can add to your pie, but as always, I recommend adding the fish your family love to eat:

  • white fish: haddock; cod; hake; pollock; coley
  • smoked haddock (I refer un-dyed smoked haddock)
  • salmon or trout fillet (I sometimes use lightly smoked salmon fillet – not to be confused with smoked salmon slices)
  • shellfish: prawns; scallops

What is the sauce in a fish pie?

For my pie, I like to make my sauce using double cream which has a lovely thick consistency. When the fish starts to cook, it will release it’s juices into the sauce. By limiting how much liquid you start with, you avoid having a watery fish pie.

Some recipes also add stock or a splash of white wine. You can of course do this, just make sure you reduce it a little before adding the fish, otherwise your sauce will be too runny.

2 portions of fish pie, a blue background, salt and a large bowl of peas, with a spoon dipping into one pie to show the large pieces of fish.

What to serve with fish pie?

Packed full of fish, veggies and with a mashed potato topping, this pie is best served on it’s own with a few simple sides. I like to add either a simply dressed salad or some steamed vegetables, for example:

  • spinach
  • kale
  • carrots
  • peas
  • sweetcorn;
  • sugar snap peas or mange tout
  • asparagus
  • spring greens
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower

Can you cooked reheat fish pie?

Once the fish pie has been cooked, you can store fish pie in the fridge for 1-2 days. You can reheat the pie, or any leftovers, using either the oven or microwave. Heat the pie until warmed right through, but don’t over cook it otherwise the fish will dry out.

Can you freeze fish pie once cooked?

Easy fish pie is a great make ahead dish. Once cooked, cool the pie right down, cover with cling film and a thick layer of kitchen foil and place the dish in the freezer for 1-2 months.

You can then either defrost the pie in the fridge. or place it in a warm oven straight from frozen. If the pie is frozen it will need a little longer to warm through properly than it would if the pie was thawed.

Easy Fish pie – recipe substitutions and variations

  • Haddock and smoked haddock are the fish I’ve chosen to use in this pie, but feel free to substitute with any fish or shellfish. See the notes above for some ideas.
  • Onion and leek are the base flavours for the sauce, you could subsitute with red onion or shallot if your prefer.
  • Carrots and peas are the veggies I like to add into my sauce as they add both flavour and texture and the kids like that combination of veg. However, you could also add sweetcorn, broccoli, spinach leaves or similar veggies to the pie filling.
  • Fresh parsley is my go to herb when it comes to fish, it’s just a match made in heaven and really freshens up the sauce. You could also substitute with fresh chives or some thyme leaves.
  • Double cream binds the sauce together. I like to use double cream as it is thicker, so that when the fish cooks and releases its juices, the pie filling doesn’t become watery. You could substitute with creme fraiche or sour cream.
  • Creamy mashed potatoes top this pie. Use a good mashing potato, something like a Maris Piper or King Edward are ideal. Don’t use a waxy potato like a Charlotte as they don’t mash well.
  • Creme fraiche is used to blend with the butter for a super rich and creamy mashed potato topping. I like the slightly acidic flavour of creme fraiche. You can use regular or low-fat creme fraiche, or substitute with double, single or sour cream if you prefer.
  • For something a little different, flavour the mash potato by adding a spoon of Dijon mustard or melting through some mature cheddar cheese. Both these flavours work well as a pie topping.

Recipe hints and tips

  1. Cut the fish into large chucks (around 2.5cm/1″ cubes) as you want the fish to hold it’s shape when added to the pie filling. Smaller pieces of fish overcook quicker and tend to dry out.
  2. If using frozen fish no problem, just be aware that frozen fish can hold a little more water than fresh which can lead to a looser sauce. If time allows you could defrost the fish and place it on some kitchen paper to drain off some of the water before adding the fish to the pie.
  3. When making the mashed potato topping take your time to properly mash the potato as nobody will thank you for lumpy mash.
  4. Allergy advice: this simple salmon recipe is gluten free; egg free and nut free. For further advice check Allergy UK.

Pin the recipe

A family fish pie, topped with mashed potatoes, a bowl of peas in the background and a spoon digging into the pie to show how creamy and full it is. There is text on the image to show the title of the recipe.

Additional recipe suggestions

If you enjoyed this easy fish pie and want to get more fish into your diet then why not try some of these great tasting recipes:

Looking for inspiration for feeding the family mid week, then take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Family Dinners. Full of useful hints, tips and recipes.

A closeup image of an individual fish pie with a spoon tucking in and a bowl of peas just barely visible in the background.

Easy Fish Pie with Creme Fraiche

Easy fish pie, quick to prepare and on the table in under an hour. A tasty mid week dinner that all the family will enjoy.
5 from 7 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 774kcal


  • 1 kg potatoes (maris piper or similar)
  • 100 g butter (split into 2 x 50g portions)
  • 1 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 leek (finely chopped)
  • 2 carrots (finely chopped)
  • 150 g frozen peas
  • 1 handful parsley leaves (chopped)
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 350 g haddock fillet (cut into chunks)
  • 250 g smoked haddock fillet (cut into chunks)
  • salt & pepper


  • Pare the potatoes and place in a pan of salted boiling water. Simmer gently for 15-20 until the potatoes are cooked. Drain, add 50g of butter and mash to smooth. Stir through 1 tbsp creme fraiche and check seasoning. Set aside till later.
  • In a large saucepan add 50g butter and once melted, turn to a medium heat. Add the onion, leek and carrot and cook gently for 15 minutes, taking care to soften the vegetables but not colour them. Add in the frozen peas and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add the parsley and the double cream to the pan, stir to combine and check the seasoning. Take off the heat and set aside till later.
  • Place the fish pieces on the bottom of a large oven-proof dish.
  • Pour the creamy vegetable sauce over the top of the fish, taking care to cover the entire dish.
  • Carefully spoon over the mashed potato and spread it across the fish and sauce. Use a fork to gently push the potato into all corners of the dish, ensuring you cover the fish completely.
  • Place in a pre-heated oven at 180CFan for 35-40 minutes. Once cooked serve immediately.


In this dish we have used haddock, but this could have been easily substituted with cod or colley. Salmon can be used as a substitute for smoked haddock. If you like prawns then add a handful to the mix. Cook the fish that you like to eat.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Fish Pie with Creme Fraiche
Amount Per Serving
Calories 774 Calories from Fat 450
% Daily Value*
Fat 50g77%
Saturated Fat 31g194%
Cholesterol 242mg81%
Sodium 581mg25%
Potassium 1787mg51%
Carbohydrates 47g16%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 35g70%
Vitamin A 7640IU153%
Vitamin C 50.8mg62%
Calcium 185mg19%
Iron 9.5mg53%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •

Course : Main Course
Cuisine : British
Keyword : Easy, Quick, Simple
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Recipe Rating

5 from 7 votes (6 ratings without comment)


Saturday 22nd of June 2019

Fish pie is one of my favourites, but I haven't made it for ages! Thanks for the reminder! #CookBlogShare


Saturday 22nd of June 2019

You’re very welcome Donna, I’m glad we’ve jogged your memory. Lesley x


Wednesday 19th of June 2019

I know exactly what you mean Rebecca. I went years cooking plenty fish but not fish pie as the children wouldn't eat it. Now they do and it's back on the menu as it's so easy to pull together and cook. Lesley x

Jenny Walters

Wednesday 19th of June 2019

I love a fish pie and my goodness I love the generous mash on top. Food worthy of a michelin star in my book. My children didn't really take to my fish pie when they were younger but feeling inspired now to try again after seeing your gorgeous one!


Wednesday 19th of June 2019

Thank you Jenny, I think fish pie always needs a good creamy mash on top. I keep the fish mix simple, that way I find that both my children will eat it. Hope you try it. Lesley x

Jacqui Bellefontaine

Tuesday 18th of June 2019

I love fish pie and hate the fashion for adding prawns l (as I cant eat those)and i dont think they they add anything. So pleased yours are prawn free except in the varition.


Wednesday 19th of June 2019

I'm right there with you Jacqui. I love fish pie, as do my family, but I've never made a fish pie with prawns as I know nobody would eat it. I like mine simply done with a nice variety of fish only! Lesley x

5 from 7 votes (6 ratings without comment)