Jamie Olivers fantastic fish pie

Jamie Olivers fantastic fish pie recipe

I decided to make Jamie Oliver’s fantastic fish pie again for a couple of reasons. I got my hands on some properly smoked hake. Not the ‘artificially dyed and dipped in liquid smoke flavour hake’ that we buy, and that gets marketed as ‘haddock’.  This is the real deal.

Jamie Olivers fantastic fish pie

This recipe for Jamie Oliver’s fantastic fish pie is the best I have ever eaten, so any excuse to make it and I will jump at the chance.

The awesome part is once you make it a few times you can start adding and adapting to it as you go.  I used a mature cheddar this time, but in the past, I have used Parmesan or Pecorino (all equally as nice).  

I also added a finely chopped celery stalk, and I used reduced-fat cream because I find it thick and delicious but with 70% less fat, it’s a no-brainer for me. But the choice of how indulgent you want to go is yours.

Jamie recommends serving this pie with baked beans in tomato sauce and I wholeheartedly agree.  

Jamie Olivers fantastic fish pie

See my updated version of fish pie.

Jamie Oliver's fantastic fish pie

Jamie Oliver's fantastic fish pie recipe.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:50 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 10 minutes


  • 5 large potatoes peeled and diced about 3 cm
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 free-range eggs leave out if you don't like them
  • 2 handfuls spinach I used 1 x 200gms packet of baby spinach
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped/diced small
  • 1 - 2 celery stalks finely diced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 250 ml cream 
  • 2 good handfuls of grated Parmesan or mature Cheddar cheese 
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 heaped tsp Mustard either English or Dijon
  • 1 large handful of flat-leafed parsley finely chopped
  • 500 gm smoked haddock cut into biggish chunks. You could use any nice firm white fish - cod hake, kingklip, etc.  I think salmon could also work - or a mix of salmon and whitefish.
  • As much butter as you dare to add to your mash along with 
  • Nutmeg optional - a light grating in the mash
  • Salt and pepper


  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees C/400F
  • Chop all the things, juice the lemon and get everything ready to cook
  • Boil the potatoes in salted water for a couple of minutes
  • Add the 2 eggs and set a timer for 8 minutes. Remove when ready and plunge into cold water to cool. Peel and cut into quarters
  • Place a colander or sieve over the boiling potatoes and empty the spinach and put the lid on and steam for about 2 minutes. Remove and drain.
  • In a separate pan fry, the onion, carrot, and celery for about 5 minutes in the olive oil then add the cream and bring to the boil briefly then remove from the heat.
  • Add the cheese, lemon juice, parsley, and mustard along with the spinach (which you have squeezed and chopped up) with the fish into an appropriately sized oven dish and mix together with the cream mixture.
  • When potatoes are cooked, drain in the colander and mash with lashings of butter, and season with salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg.
  • You could drizzle a bit more oil or melted butter over the top to get a browner finish.  You could also sprinkle over some more cheese if you really wanted to be decadent and get some more crunch
  • Bake for about 25 - 30 mins - until golden



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  1. Stunning pics – love the enamel dish x

  2. Stunning Sam, well done! I predict you are going to be one of our top stylists soon!

  3. Thank you Nina for the kind words.

  4. What exactly do you do with the egg? Crack it into the boiling water? Boil them in their shell? That part was a tad vague….otherwise it looks delicious!

  5. Hi Lana, you boil the egg in the water with the potatoes for 8 minutes. You then peel and quarter and add to the fish, spinach and cream mixture (optional).

  6. Sam, only YOU could make a potato-topped pie look this gorgeous. I’ve been eyeing this recipe of his for a while… this is a good nudge to finally make it.

  7. Thanks Caylee, after a few attempts it finally sort of get there. Don’t hesitate to make this (seriously) and do not forget the baked beans.
    S x

  8. Totally agree, we discovered this one a few years ago and it is probably the only recipe I don’t adapt (except milk for cream like you)! Total winner.

  9. Susannah, its the best. I use the Woolies 70% reduced fat cream its as thick and as delicious. But milk could also work.

  10. Hi Sam!

    Next time you’re in Jo’burg. I’ll cook off a fish pie with you – my all-time favourite pie!

    Done the voting thing for you. Good Luck!



  11. Thanks Mike, you are a star!

  12. What a yummy recipe! Definitely on my favorites list… Thank you!

  13. Hi – this looks great, do you have any advice for making it in advance? I’d like to cook it for a dinner party, but don’t want to be doing it while my guests are there – would you make it the night before and then put in the oven, or cook the whole thing and simply reheat from the fridge the next day?
    Advice gratefully received!!

  14. Hi Lucy, yes make it the day before, spread over the mash potato and then cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the next day. Take it out the fridge and pre heat your oven and bake until golden brown. Enjoy and don’t forget the baked beans 🙂

  15. Brilliant – thanks for the guidance, fish pie for dinner it is then!
    thanks again. Lucy

  16. Hi! Thanks, This came out really good! I just left the eggs out and made an egg salad separate. the kids seem to love this too!

  17. Hi Tracy, glad it worked out, its my all-time favourite fish pie.

  18. I love Jamie’s fish pies and made one of his the other night (see magnoliaverandah.blogspot.com.au) I love this one with the spinach though – it looks great.

  19. HI Denise, its the best ever.

  20. just made this pie….but i would like to save it fir one of those lazy days after the christmas rush is over. can i freeze it? prob not cos of the cream? any idea please?

  21. Hi Mandy you can freeze it but just remove the eggs they don’t defrost well. Also mash potato, it loses some of its character through the freeze, thaw and re heat process, but I have frozen this pie and am quite satisfied with it.

  22. Hi Guys,I made this the other week and froze some. Best results for re-heating in the microwave or oven?

  23. I just heat directly from frozen, but bear in mind eggs don’t freeze and re heat well.

  24. i wasnt sure … do you cook the fish or put it in raw ?

  25. Sam: thanks for this recipe. I made it with my 11 year old son and it was a great success. Even his 13 year old brother said he was impressed !! Looking forward to trying some of your other suggestions. Keep up the good work.

  26. Hi Paul, thanks for the comment thats great to hear. Have to say that is one of my all time favourite comfort food dishes. Love it. I hope you had the baked beans. It kind of makes it 🙂

  27. Hi there

    First time I am making fish pie. Using fresh hake…Is the fish pre-cooked and if so how?


  28. HI Stela the recipe calls for haddock which is uncooked cold smoked hake. It is important to use this vs just hake. It will make a huge difference to the flavour. All the instructions are in the recipe as to how to cook the pie.

  29. I love fish pie,especially when its done my way,,,,,,,,,no measurements ,,no fuss,,,and every time it taste different…..none of the cooks use wine in their fish pies….why is that,,? I think its vital……….I have also noticed , the photos of the different fish pies looks so unattractive and unappetising ……….please improve…….sincerel Querino de-Freitas

  30. I been cooking this fish pie ever since he introduce as to it sometime I adapt it with prawns and chillies as have a think sister in law and she loves it and made it her self .I a making it on easter Sunday my cousin coming and she vegatarian so it easy to do one me all as we all like .I serve with roasted vegabled.

  31. Thats so nice to hear Joanne, it was a regular feature in my book club a few years ago. Always a crowd pleaser

  32. Karen Michalowsky says:

    This is another winner, I thought my fish pie recipe was the best in the world but the method on this one is so much better, the fish does not overcook and keeps its identifiable shape and taste (I used 2 x 320g packs of Sainsbury’s fish pie mix (Salmon, Haddock and Alaska Pollock.) I added chopped fresh dill with the parsley and used a mix of Parmesan and extra mature cheddar. It reminded me of the gorgeous fish pie that we got at The River Cafe on Constantia Uitsig a few moons ago. I will add prawns if I make this for an occasion and serve with your green bean recipe which I am yet to try.

  33. Gil Brothers says:

    Do I cook – gently steam the fish or add it raw to the mix.? Tried it and bit was fabulous but the second time it was a hit mushy using hake and haddock poached briefly

  34. Hi Gil, you add the fish in raw as per the recipe. You chop it up and then mix it with the cheese and other things before baking

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