How to make fish pie

Sometimes you just feel like eating something comforting and familiar.  For me fish pie is that dish.  It’s rich, creamy and incredibly satisfying.  I know some people make fish pie with a pastry topping but finishing the pie off with a layer of mashed potato gives you a whole meal in one dish.   All you need to do is serve the pie with a crisp green salad on the side.   The thing to remember with this recipe is not to mash the potato topping too much, you want it to be light and fluffy.  It’s also best to use sustainable fish.  I picked up my fish at the South Melbourne Market for a pricey $50 but it ensured guilt free eating.

Fish pie fresh from the oven

Olive oil
2 leeks, halved and finely sliced
2 carrots, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 knobs of butter
2 bay leaves
3 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
300ml cream
3 tsp seeded mustard
1 cup grated cheddar
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
1.5kg mixed fish fillets, scaled, pin boned and cut into large chunks.  I used salmon and rockling, for international readers cod would be a good substitute for rockling.
1 handful of parsley leaves chopped

Prepping the leeks and carrots

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2.  Heat the oil in a large pan over a low heat then fry the leeks, carrots, celery and a knob of butter. Season and add the bay leaves. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

3. Meanwhile boil the potatoes until tender. Drain then add a drizzle of olive oil, the remaining knob of butter and mash lightly with a potato masher. Season to taste.

Leek and carrot mixture ready to go on top of the fish

3. Add the cream and mustard to the leek mixture and simmer for a few seconds then turn off the heat and add half the cheese.  Season then add the lemon juice and zest and mix.

4. Remove the bay leaves, then pour the leek mixture into an ovenproof dish. Add the chunks of fish and parsley making sure they are coated in the sauce then sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

5. Dot the potato over the top and cook for 50 minutes or until golden and crisp on top.

Fish pie ready to be topped with mashed potato and popped in the oven
Serves six to eight.  


  1. This is a cracking dish. The GC out did herself with this one.

  2. ooh the elusive MTV boyfriend, sounds like your one lucky man. Nice work Cara!

  3. wow! i must try that… it looks good…

  4. Love fish pie, hardly ever make it though – good reminder and it clearly got the MTV Boyfriend seal of approval!

  5. Dear Cara,

    I love this dish and my most memorable is the famous fish pie at Boathouse at Blackwattle Bay in Sydney.

  6. I have never eaten fish pie before, but yum this sounds delicious. It would make the perfect meal for me.

  7. Oh whoa, that looks amazing! Never made fish pie before but this makes me want to try it out 🙂

  8. Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been on the lookout for a good fish pie recipe for ages! This looks good! Mmmm.. shall try it this week for comfort eating!

  9. MTV Boyfriend – Glad you approved!

    Vintage Macaroon – Yes very rare to get the MTV tick of approval

    Love to Dine – Thanks

    Katy – Yes that doesn’t always happen does it?

    Chopin – Will have to check that out when I make it up to Sydney

    Words of Deliciousness – Oh you must try it – fish pie is such a favourite of mine.

    Ames – Do please and let me know how you go

    Ms I Hua – Glad to hear I could help. Best of luck with it and I hope you enjoy it.

  10. Yuumm, this looks delish! It looks so comforting and straight forward to make, will have to try it out sometime 🙂

  11. Yum! This looks awesome! I’ve always wanted to try fish pie, now I can make it myself.x

  12. Ashley – Let me know if you do and how it goes…

    Amy – Yes its pretty straightforward to make, just takes a bit of time. Enjoy.

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