FishingWild Recipes

Irish-American Fish Pie

Latest posts by Jeff Benda (see all)
4.0 from 2 votes

Nothing beats a creamy fish pie! My family usually celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day with my Corned Canada Goose & Cabbage recipe, but this year St. Paddy’s lands on a Friday during Lent. As a Catholic, one of our rituals is not to eat meat on Fridays during the Lenten season. I developed this Fish Pie recipe so we could still celebrate our Irish family heritage while abstaining from the usual array of wild game meats. The result was a mind-blowingly delicious meal that will now become a part of our regular rotation of fish recipes.

Fish pie, topped with mashed potatoes, is a staple in Irish households. For this dish, I used a few fresh-caught crappie after an ice fishing trip here in North Dakota. I was targeting walleye that early morning just before dawn, but kept hooking into big slabs congregating around the piece of structure below the ice where I had set up my portable ice shelter. Crappie are great eating, so I wasn’t too disappointed in missing the walleye bite that day.

For this recipe, you could use fresh or frozen walleye, perch, cod, salmon, halibut, or something similar you’re able to catch in your neck of the woods. I also added some shrimp because we had some left in our freezer, but it’s not necessary. Leave it out if you are trying to make this on a budget. Hard-boiled eggs are also a common additional ingredient, but my wife isn’t a fan, so I left it out of this version. And with the price of eggs right now, the shrimp would be less expensive! In place of a flaky pie crust, Irish fish pies are traditionally topped with mashed potatoes. If you’re a fan of cheesy potatoes you could even sprinkle a little grated cheddar on top before baking.

Serving Size: 4-6

Time to Make: 2 hours

Also Works With: walleye, perch, cod, salmon, halibut

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Irish-American Fish Pie

Recipe by Jeff Benda
4.0 from 2 votes
Course: Fishing, Wild Recipes


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  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and quarters

  • 8 whole cloves

  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons half & half cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (divided)

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (divided)

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 pound fish fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 6 tablespoons butter (divided)

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots

  • 1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn

  • 12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • 2 pounds potatoes, cleaned and quarterd


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Fasten 2 whole cloves in each quarter onion and place in a saucepan with 2 cups of half & half and 1/4 teaspoon each salt & black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Simmer over medium heat for about 7 minutes. Add the fish pieces and cook another 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onions and fish to a bowl and let cool. Discard the cloves.
  • Transfer the warm half & half to a medium bowl and set aside.
  • To the same saucepan, melt 4 Tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. Add 1/4 cup flour all at once whisking vigorously. When mixture thins and starts to bubble, reduce heat to low and cut back on the whisking. Cook until you smell a toasty aroma then cook 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
  • Gradually add the warm half & half and Dijon mustard, whisking constantly to make a sauce. Cook for about 3 minutes until thickened.
  • Meanwhile, transfer the onion to a cutting board and finely dice. Transfer the onion to a large cast iron skillet with olive oil and sauté for 5 minutes until soft. Remove skillet from the heat.
  • Spread the peas, carrots, and corn over the onions. Scatter the fish chunks and shrimp over the vegetables. Pour the sauce over the fish and vegetables. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley, then place in the refrigerator to let cool while you make the mashed potatoes.
  • Put the potatoes in a large pot and pour enough water on top to cover them. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Drain them well, then mash with a potato masher. Fold in 2 Tablespoons of butter, 2 Tablespoons of half & half, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper.
  • Spoon the mashed potatoes over the fish mixture, spreading the edges with a butter knife. Use a fork over the mashed potatoes to create a rough texture on top.
  • Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbling on the edges. Serve warm. 

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Jeff Benda

Cooking gives me a creative outlet to transform wild game and bring it into traditional recipes from around the world to help expand people's perceptions. My goal is to celebrate local fish and wild game and provide achievable, bright recipes designed to build confidence for new cooks, and inspire everyone to elevate their cooking. I hope that by sharing and celebrating the food I create with the fish and wild game I harvest, I can highlight the great contribution so many hunters and anglers have made to conservation in this country, and reflect the freedom we have to enjoy America's great outdoors.

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