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Fisherman’s Pie Recipe: A Culinary Expedition to the Sea

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Fisherman's Pie Recipe

Fisherman’s Pie, or Fish Pie, a hearty and comforting dish, holds its roots in the maritime regions of the United Kingdom. Originating as a humble meal prepared by fishermen and their families, this savory pie is enjoyed around the world. Its popularity extends beyond coastal communities, with variations of the dish found in homes and restaurants alike.

I like to think of it as a coastal spin on Shepherd’s Pie. Traditionally made with flaky white fish, and creamy sauce, and topped with mashed potatoes, Fisherman’s Pie is a quintessential example of British comfort food.

Fisherman’s Pie Recipe with Peas


  • 1 lb (450g) white fish fillets (such as cod, haddock, or pollock), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lb (450g) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced (depending on your taste)
  • 1 cup (240ml) fish or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup (15g) chopped parsley
  • 1 cup (100g) grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (150g) frozen peas, thawed. *Some recipes exchange spinach for peas.


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Place the potatoes in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and mash the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of butter until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery. Cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes to cook off the raw flavor of the flour.
  5. Slowly pour in the fish or vegetable broth and milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Add the white wine if using. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt, pepper, and chopped parsley. Add the fish pieces and peas to the skillet and gently stir to coat with the sauce. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the fish is just cooked through.
  7. Transfer the fish mixture to a baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top, smoothing with a spatula.
  8. Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese over the mashed potatoes.
  9. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  10. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
  11. Serve the Fisherman’s Pie hot, garnished with additional chopped parsley if desired.

Variations of the Fisherman’s Pie Recipe

  1. Seafood Mix: Instead of using only white fish, you can create a seafood mix by adding shrimp, scallops, and/or crab meat to the filling. This adds a variety of flavors and textures to the dish. Chef James Martin’s Recipe is a mix of several seafood varieties. (But it needn’t be so fancy:)
  2. Smoked Fish: Incorporate smoked fish, such as smoked haddock or smoked salmon, for a rich and smoky flavor. You can use it alone or in combination with fresh white fish.
  3. Herb Crust: Instead of traditional mashed potatoes, try topping the pie with a crust made from mashed sweet potatoes or a blend of mashed potatoes and parsnips. Add herbs like rosemary or thyme to the crust for extra flavor.
  4. Cheesy Topping: For cheese lovers, increase the amount of grated cheese in the topping or add different types of cheese such as Gruyere or Parmesan for a more complex flavor profile.
  5. Vegetarian Version: Create a vegetarian version by replacing the fish with a mix of vegetables such as mushrooms, spinach, peas, and corn. Use vegetable broth instead of fish broth and add extra seasoning for flavor.
  6. Curry Twist: Infuse the sauce with curry spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander for a delicious curry-flavored fisherman’s pie. Serve with a side of mango chutney for a sweet and tangy contrast.
  7. Crusty Bread Topping: Instead of mashed potatoes, top the pie with slices of crusty bread brushed with garlic butter. This adds a crunchy texture to the dish and makes for a unique presentation.
  8. Herb Infusion: Infuse the milk used in the sauce with herbs like bay leaves, thyme, or dill to add extra flavor to the filling.
  9. Mushroom Sauce: Replace the traditional sauce with a creamy mushroom sauce made with sautéed mushrooms, onions, garlic, and cream. This adds a rich and earthy flavor to the dish.
  10. Cajun Spice: Add Cajun seasoning to the fish and sauce for a spicy kick. Serve with a side of coleslaw or cornbread for a Southern-inspired twist.
Fisherman's Pie

See more delicious ideas to use the produce from your garden in our Recipe category.


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