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Irish Fish Pie

May the luck of the Irish be yours when you serve this traditional Irish Fish Pie to your family! Everyone from the youngest to the oldest will enjoy this one-dish dinner filled with chunks of fish and veggies in a creamy sauce, topped with mashed potatoes, and baked until golden. 

A spoon holding a serving of fish pie.

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Traditional Irish Fish Pie is a delicious one-dish meal that’s perfect for using up bits of fish and potatoes. Think of this as the seafood version of Shepherd’s Pie.

You can make this classic fish pie as mild or flavorful as you like by varying the combination of fish, using part smoked fish, adding other seafood such as scallops, and substituting the sharp Cheddar with a milder choice.

Serve this soul-warming dish with green peas or a tossed salad with a nice balsamic vinaigrette for contrast. Warm dinner rolls or biscuits with plenty of butter make an excellent accompaniment.

🛒 Ingredient Notes


Ingredients needed for Irish Fish Pie.
  • Russet Potatoes (The best choice for mashed potatoes, in my opinion. Use good quality instant mashed potatoes for a shortcut.)
  • Salmon and Cod (The fish can be fresh, frozen, or canned. Thaw and dry frozen fish before using it in the recipe. As to the variety of fish, you can use any you like that will retain its shape when cooked. Salmon and most white fish work well. Cod, tilapia, snapper, and haddock are all good choices. Delicate fish such as flounder won’t work because they tend to fall apart, and fresh tuna would probably dry out too much over the cooking time. If using canned fish, you’ll need a bit more by weight (about 2.5 pounds). Drain it well before using in the recipe.)
  • White Cheddar Cheese (I like a nice, sharp white Cheddar.)
  • Chives (Optional – for garnish only.)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🔪 How to Make Traditional Irish Fish Pie


This recipe may seem more involved than some, but it’s easily handled by dividing the work into three steps – 1) cook the mashed potatoes, 2) cook the cheese sauce, 3) sauté the vegetables. Then you simply assemble the three parts and bake!

Make the Mashed Potato Topping

STEP 1. Peel and quarter the potatoes. Place them in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Boil until fork tender (about 10-13 minutes).

STEP 2. Drain the potatoes. Return them to the saucepan. Using a potato masher, mix the potatoes with ¼ cup milk and 4 tablespoons of salted butter until creamy and smooth. Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper as desired. Set aside.

STEP 3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9×13 inch baking pan or ceramic baking dish. Set aside.

Make the Sauce

Finished sauce.
STEP 4.

While the potatoes are cooking, make the sauce.

STEP 4. Heat 5 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. When the butter has melted, sprinkle in 5 tablespoons of flour. Stir constantly for 3-5 minutes or until it just begins to take on a slight brown color. Add 2 ½ cups of milk and 1/2 cup cheese. Stir until blended. Set aside.

Saute the Vegetables

STEP 5. While the potatoes and sauce are cooking, sauté all of the vegetables in a skillet with 2 tablespoons of butter until they are tender.

Assemble the Pie

Fish, sauce, and vegetables in a mixing bowl.

STEP 6. Place the fish and sautéed vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce over the fish and vegetables. Mix together thoroughly.

Fish and sauce mixture added to a baking dish.
STEP 7.
Mashed potatoes spread over fish and sauce.
STEP 8.
Cheese and chives added to top of mashed potato mixture.
STEP 9.

STEP 7. Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish or pan. Sprinkle with the chopped green onions.

STEP 8. Layer the mashed potato topping evenly over the fish mixture.

STEP 9. Top with the remaining grated Cheddar cheese and the chives.

👉 PRO TIP: Place the baking dish on a baking sheet for easy transfer in and out of the oven.

Bake the Pie

STEP 10. Transfer the dish to the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and the potatoes and cheese are lightly golden brown.

STEP 11. Let the pie cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Finished fish pie in a baking dish.

🍚 Storage


Store tightly wrapped with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. May be frozen for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat at 350 F.

❗ Tips


  • Make one large pie or portion into individual serving dishes (children always enjoy having their own dish!).
  • Many cooks add four sliced, hard-boiled eggs and a cup of frozen green peas to the fish and veggie mixture.
  • For a deeper, golden brown color, switch the oven to broil for the last two minutes of cooking time.
  • To save time, use instant mashed potatoes.
  • Add breadcrumbs on top of the potatoes for additional texture.
  • To add even more flavor to the recipe, substitute half the fish with smoked fish such as haddock.
A serving of fish pie on a white plate.

❓ Questions About Irish Fish Pie


Why is my fish pie watery?

If your fish pie is watery, it’s likely that the fish weren’t dried well. Use paper towels to dry the fish after cutting it into chunks. Or, if you prefer, you can cook the fish in lightly salted water, drain it well and flake it before adding to the dish.

What do you serve with fish pie?

I like to serve something green on the side such as steamed broccoli or green beans. Cauliflower is also a good choice. And, of course, some nice Irish soda bread with plenty of butter is always appropriate.

Lana Stuart.

More Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 Recipe

A spoon holding a serving of fish pie.

Irish Fish Pie

Everyone from the youngest to the oldest will enjoy Irish Fish Pie. It's a one-dish dinner filled with chunks of fish and veggies in a creamy sauce topped with mashed potatoes and baked until golden. 
5 from 4 votes
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Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Irish
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 171kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds russet potatoes (about 5-6 large)
  • 2 ¾ cups milk divided use
  • ¾ cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), divided use
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup shredded white Cheddar cheese divided use
  • ¼ cup diced carrot
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 pound salmon cut in 1-inch chunks and dried well
  • 1 pound cod cut in 1-inch chunks and dried well
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chives optional (for garnish)

Instructions

Make the Mashed Potatoes

  • Peel and quarter the potatoes. Placein a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Boil until fork tender (about10-13 minutes).
  • Drain the potatoes. Return them to the saucepan. Using a potato masher, mix the potatoes with ¼ cup milk and 4 tablespoons of salted butter until creamy and smooth. Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper as desired. Set aside.

——-

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9×13 inch baking pan or dish. Set aside.

——-

    Make the Sauce

    • Heat 5 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan. To the melted butter, sprinkle 5 tablespoons of flour, stirring constantly for 3-5 minutes or until it just begins to take on a slight brown color. Add 2 ½ cups of milk, 1/2 cup cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir until blended. Set aside.

    Cook the Vegetables

    • sauté all of the vegetables in a skillet with 2 tablespoons of butter until they are tender.

    Assemble the Pie

    • Place the fish and sautéed vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
    • Pour the sauce over the fish and vegetables. Mix together thoroughly.
    • Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the chopped green onions.
    • Layer the mashed potatoes evenly over the fish mixture. Top with the remaining cheese and the chives.

    Bake the Pie

    • Bake for 30 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and the potatoes and cheese are lightly golden brown.
    • Let the pie cool for 10 minutes before serving.

    Notes

    Recipe Tips:
    • Many cooks add four sliced, hard-boiled eggs and a cup of frozen green peas to the fish and veggie mixture.
    • If your fish pie is watery, it’s likely that the fish weren’t dried well. Use paper towels to dry the fish after cutting it into chunks. Or, if you prefer, you can cook the fish in lightly salted water, drain it well and flake it before adding to the dish.
    Storage: Store tightly wrapped with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. May be frozen for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat at 350 F.

    Nutrition Information

    Serving 1portion | Calories 171kcal | Carbohydrates 15g | Protein 19g | Fat 3g | Saturated Fat 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat 1g | Monounsaturated Fat 1g | Trans Fat 1g | Cholesterol 45mg | Sodium 50mg | Potassium 699mg | Fiber 1g | Sugar 1g | Vitamin A 1235IU | Vitamin C 4mg | Calcium 24mg | Iron 1mg

    Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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