Simple and delicious fish pie that's creamy and comforting and full of flavor. Portion this pescatarian shepherd's pie into individual casserole dishes for company, or bake in one large dish for the perfect family dinner.
Sophisticated comfort food at it's finest, this great recipe uses ling fillets (more on ling cod below!) or your favorite white fish fillets to create a savory, creamy fish pie that everyone in your family will love. If you love traditional Irish shepherd's pie, this pescatarian version, full of leeks, peas and fresh herbs, will be a welcomed sight on your dinner table and one of your new favorite fish recipes.
More about Ling:
Ling is a white fish of the same family as the Atlantic cod. While ling is not a common fish in the US, it is quite popular along the eastern coast of Canada and in Iceland and Norway, where I enjoyed it several times on a recent visit. It's a lovely white fish, slightly firmer fillets than regular cod, making it perfect for poaching and baking in this recipe. (All the photos for this recipe were shot in our Airbnb in Oslo. Thank goodness for kitchens with gorgeous light!)
Good alternatives for using lingcod fillet in this recipe would be haddock, hake, pollack plaice or monkfish.
Enough chit-chat...let's build this restaurant quality masterpiece!
What you'll need to make this lingcod recipe:
Leeks: the perfect companion for our ling. Leeks bring subtle onion flavor to this sophisticated dish. Substitute shallots, yellow onion or scallions.
Celery: I love the flavor of celery in a seafood pie. If you'd rather skip it, add extra leeks or pick a green veggie you prefer, like bite-sized pieces of fresh green beans or diced carrots.
Fresh thyme: substitute a pinch of dried thyme or poultry seasoning if you're out of fresh herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning before baking.
Fresh garlic: fresh is best here, substitute a ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, if needed.
All-purpose flour: for building your roux. Gluten free flour is a good substitute, if needed.
Whole milk: for that lovely, creamy sauce. I haven't used plant-based milk in this recipe, but I anticipate it would work.
Bay leaf: perfect with seafood and adds a long-simmered flavor to the quick-cooking sauce.
Stock cube: seafood or a veggie stock cube are perfect here. Chicken can be used if cooking for non-pescatarians.
Dry mustard: adds a complex flavor to the creamy sauce. 2 teaspoons of Dijon can be substituted for dry mustard, if you prefer.
Lemon zest: adds fresh lemon flavor without the aggressive tartness of fresh lemon juice. The perfect balance to the rich fish pie.
Green peas: frozen is perfect here - they add a lovely sweetness and pop of color to each bite.
Mashed potatoes: made from scratch is great, or make this easy recipe even quicker by grabbing the ready made variety at the grocery store. Always love finding a great way to cut our prep time!
Gruyere cheese: I find nutty swiss to be the perfect compliment to the creamy fish pie. Cheddar and Parmesan cheese are ideal substitutes in this easy dinner.
Full measurements and directions included in the printable recipe card below.
Step by step instructions for this delicious fish pie recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 ℉.
Add 2 tablespoons butter, 2 cups leeks, 1 cup celery and 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves to a large skillet. Saute over medium for 6-8 minutes, until veggies are tender and fragrant. Add 4 cloves of grated garlic and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Saute until butter melts, about 1 minute.
Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir to combine, cooking off the flour for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 ¼ cups whole milk, bay leaf and stock cube. Stir to combine and allow the sauce to come up to a simmer.
Add dry mustard powder and lemon zest. Stir, then taste and adjust seasoning. The flavor should be a little too salty at this stage.
Next, add your ling fish, cut into chunks. Stir to coat in the sauce and let the pan come back up to a simmer.
Finally, add peas to the fish pie filling. Stir and remove from the heat. The fish will not be cooked through. Pour the hot mixture into your baking dish.
To your prepared mashed potatoes, add shredded cheese and mix thoroughly. Taste and add salt and black pepper to taste.
Spoon the mashed potatoes over the fish pie. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top, then use a fork to lightly scrape a criss-cross pattern across the potatoes. This will create texture and assist the browning.
Transfer the baking dish to the hot oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and the potatoes are heated. Switch to broil for 3-4 minutes, and remove from the oven once the potato topping is golden brown. Leave the fish pie undisturbed for 6-8 minutes, then top with remaining diced parsley and serve.
FAQ's and Serving Suggestions for ling fish pie recipe:
I used fresh ling when I made this recipe for the photos, but I've made it multiple times using frozen and thawed white fish, dried well using a paper towel. It's worked well both ways. For best results, thaw your fish fillets in the refrigerator overnight before drying and dropping in the creamy pie filling to poach for a couple of minutes before baking.
To store, transfer leftover ling pie to an airtight container or wrap the casserole dish tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, warm gently in the microwave at 50% power until heated through, or in the oven at 350 ℉. The seafood pie should only be reheated once.
Check out some of our other favorites:
- Baked Monkfish Recipe with Broccolini
- Baked Walleye with Lemon Butter Recipe
- Baked Swordfish Recipe
- Crispy Flounder Piccata
- Parmesan Baked Cod