Cheat’s Fish Pie

We all agree in our house that fish pie is delish!!!!  Creamy and comforting, it’s been a staple since weaning and beyond.

While simple to prepare, I find that the potato layer can really slow down the fridge-to-table speed of an otherwise pretty quick dinner.  Since watching Delia’s Smith’s How to Cheat at Cooking show a few years ago I have happily embraced frozen mash in place of home prepared mash, especially mid-week.

Most supermarkets sell fish pie mix which is cheaper than buying fish individually and is the equivalent to buying 3 varieties of fish fillets.  I usually use one of these mixes along with a portion of king prawns and find that this comfortably feeds our family of four.

If you are making a larger batch of this or buying the fish individually, I recommend following the principles of the ready prepared mix and using a mixture of salmon, plain white fish and smoked white fish, along with some prawns.  You can also bulk out the filling with a few quartered hard boiled eggs – just add them to the fish base when you’re at the layering stage.

The white sauce in this recipe uses cornflour instead of a plain flour roux, which means it needs a lot less care and attention.  As it’s mixed into stronger tasting fish, it doesn’t make the taste any less lovely.  Any jarred or instant white sauce can also be used here – you’ll need 400g worth if you’re not making it yourself.

While I usually serve this alongside steamed veg, it also tastes lovely alongside a mixture of peas and sweetcorn or baked beans (trust me, it works!)

S ♥


Cheat’s Fish Pie


Serves 4

  • 1 pack fish pie mix OR 1x individual sized fillet each of salmon, white fish and smoked white fish
  • 160g King Prawns (raw or cooked)
  • 400 ml Milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Cornflour
  • Small knob of butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Small handful fresh parsley or dill, chopped OR 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1x 750g bag frozen mash
  • A little grated parmesan or cheddar cheese (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C fan
  2. Cook the frozen mash according to the packet instructions (I usually place in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for about 8 minutes)
  3. In a medium ovenproof dish, place the contents of the fish pie mix and the prawns.  If using fresh fish fillets, cut into cubes and arrange on the bottom of the dish
  4. In a small saucepan, gently heat the milk, reserving a couple of tablespoons
  5. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the cornflour with the reserved milk to make a cornstarch slurry
  6. Add this to the heated milk and stir over a low heat, until the mixture has thickened to the desired consistency, then add the butter
  7. Add a pinch of salt and pepper along with the nutmeg and parsley and stir through
  8. Pour the white sauce over the fish and mix gently so that all the fish is covered
  9. Spoon the mashed potato over the top, evening out with a fork
  10. Finish with a sprinkle of parmesan or cheddar
  11. Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling around the sides and the pie is piping hot right to the centre
  12. Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving

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