Traditional British Fish pie

Fish pie
Fish pie is a traditional British dish that is often made with a mixture of white fish, such as cod or haddock, and other seafood, such as prawns or scallops. It's perfect for cold evenings or as comfort food.
For this fish pie recipe, I have used salmon, haddock, and smoked haddock – but you can substitute these for almost any seafood; cod, prawns, pollack or even mussels all work well too. I do however strongly recommend the inclusion of smoked fish though, the smokey taste cuts through the mash and creamy sauce and adds greater depth to the dish.
The only constant ingredients in traditional fish pie recipes are potatoes and white fish – so within reason, you can experiment a little – adding broccoli or even boiled eggs is common too!
Haddock and cod are both good sources of protein and other nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12. They are also low in fat and calories, making them a healthy choice for many people.
As the potatoes are going to be mashed, floury potatoes like Maris Piper or King Edwards work best.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Servings 2


  • 300 g  fish/shellfish
  • 1.25 kg floury potatoes
  • 1 cup crème fraiche
  • ½ garlic bulb (finely chopped)
  • a handful of fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • 50 g grated cheese
  • 25 g butter
  • salt & black pepper


  • Peel the potatoes, cut them into equal sized chunks and cook until soft in a pan of water. This should take about 20 minutes or until a fork passes into the potato easily.
  • Peel and finely chop the garlic and put it in a small non-stick saucepan. To this add 3/4 of the crème fraiche and cook it gently for a couple of minutes until it goes smooth, add 150ml of milk and stir together – adding seasoning to taste. Once that's done you can remove the pan from the heat.
  • Spread the fish evenly over the bottom of the oven dish, and pour over the sauce, in my case this gave it a depth of about 3cm/11/2in.
  • Finely chop the parsley and mix it through the seafood and sauce mixture.
  • When the potatoes are cooked drain the water and mash them until smooth – adding the remainder of the creme fraiche and milk a little at a time.
  • Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350°F or Gas Mark 4.
  • Once the mash is ready gently spoon it on top of the seafood mixture, the depth of mash should be little greater than the mixture – around 2-4cm or 1-2in in my case. Smooth the mash over the mixture and level it before scoring it with a fork.
  • Place in the top shelf of the pre-heated oven for 35 minutes.
  • After 35 minutes in the oven remove the dish and sprinkle over some grated cheese (I used white cheddar, but Parmesan works well too. Place the dish back in the oven and cook until the cheese turns golden.
  • Remove from the oven and serve hot.
Crème fraiche is a delicious, thinner form of sour cream first developed by the French. It has a slight hold and tanginess because it contains bacterial cultures.