Cheap and Easy Creamy Fish Pie

This budget busting fish pie recipe is super easy and cheap to make.

You can find fish pie mix (a combination of cod, haddock and salmon) fresh or frozen in most supermarkets or ask at the fishmongers.

Alternatively you could make your own, usually fish pie is made of smoked cod, cod and pink salmon although there’s nothing to stop you using other types of fish where available.


To make 1 serving

  • Fish pie mix 300 g
  • Soft cheese 200 g
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • PotatoesOr instant/frozen mash
  • Knob of butter and splash of milkNot essential, only if making your own mash for best results

How to make a budget busting fish pie:

  1. If making your own mash, peel some potatoes and chop up into chunks. Boil in water in a saucepan over the hob for 20 minutes until soft.
  2. While the potatoes cook, in another saucepan or frying pan over a low-medium heat, add in the soft cheese and allow to begin to melt.
  3. Add in the fish and mix, cooking for about 5 minutes. If using frozen fish allow slightly longer.
  4. Add in the peas and handfuls of spinach, you could add in other veg such as sweetcorn. You can use frozen, tinned (drained) or fresh. Mix everything together and season.
  5. Cook the mix for a further 5-10 minutes until veg has softened. If using frozen veg you may need to cook for longer.
  6. Once fish mix is done, pour into a baking dish.
  7. When the potatoes have softened (a knife should slide through), drain and return to the saucepan with a knob of butter and a splash of milk (for best results) and mash with a little salt & pepper. Alternatively, make up the instant mash if using that.
  8. Top the fish mix in the baking dish with the mash.
  9. Bake at 180 degrees for 20-30 minutes until the top has browned.

Improving and customizing your fish pie recipe can make it even more delicious and tailored to your taste preferences. Here are some suggestions for enhancements and variations:

Amp up the taste:

  1. Enrich the Sauce: For a richer sauce, consider adding a splash of white wine to the soft cheese as it melts. Allow the alcohol to cook off before adding the fish. You could also stir in a teaspoon of Dijon mustard or a pinch of nutmeg for added depth of flavor.
  2. Use a Variety of Fish: While cod, haddock, and salmon are traditional, don’t hesitate to include other types of fish like pollock, trout, or even shellfish like prawns or scallops for a luxurious twist.
  3. Add a Crispy Topping: Mix breadcrumbs with grated cheese and sprinkle over the mashed potato before baking. This will add a delightful crunchy texture to the creamy pie.
  4. Incorporate Herbs: Fresh dill, parsley, or chives mixed into the fish filling can brighten the flavors and add a fresh touch. Consider lemon zest for an extra zing.
  5. Improve the Mash: For an even creamier mash, mix in an egg yolk and some grated Parmesan cheese before topping the pie. This will give the potato a richer flavour and a golden crust when baked.
  6. Make it Healthier: Substitute the soft cheese with a low-fat cream cheese or a dairy-free alternative for a lighter version. You can also use sweet potato or a mix of cauliflower and potato for the mash to increase the nutritional content.
  7. Add Colour and Crunch: Stir through some chopped red bell pepper or carrot with the peas and spinach for added colour, sweetness, and crunch.

Experimenting with these tips can help you elevate the humble fish pie into a dish that’s both comforting and sophisticated, making it perfect for both weeknight dinners and special occasions.