What’s the Key to a Delicious and Creamy Fish Pie with a Mashed Potato Topping?

A delicious and creamy fish pie, topped with a generous layer of mashed potatoes, is an ultimate comfort dish that can delight your taste buds. This mouth-watering pie is a fantastic way to enjoy a variety of fish like salmon and cod, with a luscious sauce and other filling ingredients. Whether you’re a dedicated seafood lover or looking to add more fish to your diet, this dish provides a flavorful experience that is hard to match. The key to achieving the perfect fish pie involves carefully selecting the ingredients, preparing the filling and mastering the mashed potato topping. So what exactly does it entail? Let’s explore.

Selecting the Right Ingredients

The success of your fish pie largely depends on the quality and freshness of the ingredients you choose. Although you can use any variety of fish, the most popular choices are smoked salmon and cod. The smoky flavor of the salmon pairs extremely well with the creamy sauce, while the cod provides a nice contrasting texture.

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To make the sauce, you’ll need butter and milk. Opt for full-fat milk for a richer, creamier sauce. Using unsalted butter gives you control over the seasoning. Cheese is another essential component of the sauce, adding a tangy, savory depth to the dish. A mature cheddar works well for this recipe.

For the mashed potatoes, choose floury potatoes, like Maris Piper or King Edward. These varieties give a fluffy, smooth mash that will be the crowning glory of your pie.

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Preparing the Creamy Filling

The filling is what makes or breaks a great fish pie. It needs to be creamy, flavorful, and filled with chunky pieces of fish. To achieve this, start by melting the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add flour, stirring continuously for a few minutes until you have a smooth roux.

Slowly pour in the milk, whisking continuously, to ensure your sauce becomes thick and creamy without any lumps. Allow the sauce to cook for a few more minutes, then add the cheese, stirring until it melts and blends into the sauce.

Next, add your pre-cooked fish. Breaking it into flaky chunks allows the sauce to seep into the fish, making every bite a delight. If you’re using smoked salmon, remember to remove any skin and bones before adding to the sauce.

Mastering the Mashed Potato Topping

The mashed potato topping is an integral part of the fish pie, adding a hearty, comforting element to the dish. To make the perfect mashed potato topping, begin by peeling your potatoes and cutting them into even-sized chunks. Boil in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes.

Once cooked, drain the potatoes and return them to the heat for a minute to dry out any remaining water. Add butter, milk, and a touch of seasoning, then mash until smooth and creamy. To add a golden, crispy crust to your pie, you might want to mix in some grated cheese into your mash before topping your pie.

Assembling and Cooking the Fish Pie

With your filling ready and your potatoes mashed, you’re now prepared to assemble your fish pie. Begin by spooning your filling into a suitably sized pie dish. Next, spoon over your mashed potato topping, using a fork to create a ridged pattern on the top. These ridges will crisp up in the oven, adding a delightful contrast to the creamy filling.

Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6, then cook your pie for about 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden and the filling is bubbling. Be sure to place your pie dish on a baking tray to catch any sauce that might bubble over.

Creating a delicious and creamy fish pie with a mashed potato topping is a simple process that requires good-quality ingredients, careful preparation, and a little bit of love. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or a regular weeknight meal, this dish will surely impress your family and friends, making it a worthy addition to your repertoire of recipes.

Additional Flavorings and Toppings

To enhance the flavor profile of your fish pie, you can incorporate certain additional ingredients. A dash of mustard can lift the creamy sauce to a new level of deliciousness. A blend of white wine with the sauce adds a slight acidity and depth of flavor that complements the taste of the fish. If you prefer a bit of heat, a pinch of chili flakes can provide that kick.

For added texture, consider mixing some cooked peas or sweet corn into your creamy filling. This will not only inject a pop of color into your dish but also make it more nutritious.

When it comes to the mashed potato topping, you can enhance the taste and texture by adding some cheddar cheese. Sprinkle it over the top, and it will melt in the oven, creating a cheesy, golden crust. This addition is particularly recommended if you’re a fan of cheese and want to add a bit of richness.

Remember to season with salt and pepper to taste, both in the creamy filling and the mashed potato topping. Proper seasoning is vital to bringing out the flavours of your fish pie.

Serving Suggestions for Your Fish Pie

A fish pie with mashed potato topping is a comforting dish that can be enjoyed on its own. But if you want to create a complete meal, it can be served with some warm, crusty bread to mop up the delicious sauce. It also pairs well with a simple, crisp green salad to cut through the richness of the pie.

For wine lovers, a chilled glass of white wine like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc makes a perfect accompaniment. These wines have a crisp acidity that balances the creaminess of the pie.


Concluding, the key to a delicious and creamy fish pie with a mashed potato topping lies in the quality of ingredients, the preparation of the creamy filling, the texture of the mashed potatoes, and the little touches of flavor that elevate the dish. This traditional comfort food, often known as a fisherman’s pie, is sure to be a hit amongst your loved ones, and with this pie recipe, you are bound to save it in your favourites.

From selecting the white fish to mastering the art of making a fluffy, creamy mashed potato topping, every step is crucial. Whether you choose smoked fish like salmon or haddock or opt for cod, the result is a comforting, hearty dish that warms the soul.

So why wait? Arm yourself with these tips and start making your fish pie with a mashed potato topping. The fragrant aroma filling your kitchen is sure to give you a sense of accomplishment and the first bite— a feeling of pure bliss. Remember, the key is in the details. Happy cooking!

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