Chef John's Fisherman's Pie Recipe -
Chef John's Fisherman's Pie Recipe
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Chef John's Fisherman's Pie
This simple seafood casserole is topped with mashed potatoes. See more

Chef John's Fisherman's Pie

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"My Fisherman's Pie gives you flaky cod mingled with spinach in a garlic and lemon-scented sauce underneath a browned crust of creamy, buttery potatoes on top. It really does taste fantastic."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr 10 mins

    1 hr 35 mins


  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water and to a boil; add russet potatoes to boiling water and cook until very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well. Mash in 3 tablespoons butter until thoroughly combined. Season with nutmeg, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Mash 1/2 cup milk into potato mixture until smooth.
  2. Drizzle olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add spinach, and season with a big pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach has wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl lined with paper towels to wick away excess moisture.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons butter and flour in a saucepan over medium heat; whisk mixture to a smooth paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has a nutty smell and is slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add chopped garlic; whisk until fragrant, 10 to 20 seconds.
  4. Whisk 1 cup cold milk into flour mixture; cook until thickened. Whisk in remaining 1 cup milk and lemon zest. Bring white sauce to a gentle simmer, whisking constantly; season with salt. Turn heat to very low and keep sauce warm.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease an 8x12-inch casserole dish with 1 tablespoon butter.
  6. Season buttered pan with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Lay boneless cod fillets into the pan in a single layer. Season tops of fillets with more salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Spread spinach evenly over fish and drizzle with lemon juice. Spoon white sauce over spinach; give casserole dish several taps and shakes to eliminate bubbles.
  7. Drop mashed potatoes by heaping spoonfuls over the casserole and spread smoothly to cover. Place dish onto a rimmed baking sheet to catch spills.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until bubbling, about 40 minutes. Turn on oven's broiler and broil until potato crust has a golden brown top, about 2 minutes. Fish should flake easily. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with a sprinkle of chives.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jul 16, 2013

This was pure comfort food for me. I used Blackened Seafood seasoning to season the bottom of the pan, the fish and added some to the sauce and the potatoes too. I made the spinach and set aside, not everyone in the family likes spinach (silly peeps) so I layered the seasoned fish and the sauce, topped with the potatoes.... reserved some of sauce to mix with the spinach. Cooked the fish at 400 for 25 minutes and then turned on the broiler to brown the top. I had already sprinkled the seafood seasoning on top of the potatoes so it did not take long to brown up. I reheated the spinach with the reserved sauce and spread a layer of that in a shallow plate, topped with the fish and potato casserole. It made a lovely presentation and tasted WONDERFUL. A couple of tips - make sure your fish is fully defrosted and blotted very dry with paper towels prior to seasoning. This can be made with leftover mashed potatoes but re-heat the potatoes prior to layering and baking. There were no leftovers - the pan was licked clean. Good thing I got a picture before dinner!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Apr 06, 2015

I did not care for this. I followed the recipe exactly.


37 Ratings

May 16, 2013

Can't believe no one else has rated this yet. This was a little time intensive, but so worth it. It tasted restaurant quality - a really good restaurant quality. I have never tried a Chef John recipe that was not absolutely fabulous. I am making this for a gathering this weekend, it is fantastic. I used haddock, by the way. Any white fish would work.

Mar 18, 2014

This is a fantastic recipe. I've made it once as written (except for using tilapia instead) and it was quite good just like that. Since then I've changed a few things for my own personal taste. The things I do different are to continue using tilapia and to include a can of corn with the spinach. It adds a nice sweetness and little crunch to the dish. The other thing I change is adding garlic powder to the potato topping. Being the garlic lover I am I also put at least 4 cloves of garlic (pressed) into the roux (depending on their size). Besides that the only other changes is that I omit lemon as I don't always have lemons on hand.

May 25, 2013

Wow! 6 Stars! This was the Ultimate in Comfort Food! Simple, Easy, Delicious. I really can`t rave enough...I`ll be making this again and again and again. Thank You So Much Chef John!!!

Sep 28, 2014

This recipe was absolutely delicious.once again chef John, you've put up a 6 star recipe. It tastes like a meal served at an upscale seafood restaurant. Thanks for posting it.

Feb 27, 2014

Made this for supper last night. Super easy and delicious. Used frozen chopped spinach and it worked out fine. DH said "You can make this again."

Mar 19, 2015

This is an amazing recipe. Very easy to prepare and so flavorful. When done, it smells so good. I decreased the portions to 2 servings and substituted the cod for sole. Followed everything else as directed. I didn't have any problems with it becoming liquidy as I dried my fish very well and squeezed all moisture out of the spinach. Will definitely make this again!


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  • Calories
  • 421 kcal
  • 21%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 29.3 g
  • 9%
  • Cholesterol
  • 109 mg
  • 36%
  • Fat
  • 18.5 g
  • 28%
  • Fiber
  • 3.9 g
  • 15%
  • Protein
  • 34.8 g
  • 70%
  • Sodium
  • 280 mg
  • 11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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