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Chef John's Fisherman's Pie

Rated as 4.63 out of 5 Stars

"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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1 h 35 m servings 421
Original recipe yields 6 servings


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  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.


  • Partner Tip
  • Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 421 calories; 18.5 29.3 34.8 109 280 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 84
  1. 101 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

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 as...

Most helpful critical review

The flavor was OK, if unexciting. What did not appeal to us most notably was the lack of texture in this dish. The combo of soft fish, white sauce, wilted spinach and mashed potatoes was just a ...

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Most positive
Least positive

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 as...

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...

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....

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!!!

It reads like it's going to take forever to prepare, but this actually comes together pretty quickly. I started the pot of water for the potatoes first, and by the time they were cooked and rea...

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 el...

When I told my hubby what was going into this dish he was very skeptical, especially since he's not a huge fish fan. He changed his tune after the first bite. I think it tasted even better reh...

This was a very good recipe. If you add some parmesan cheese to the top and broil, it will add an added dimension of a buttery flavor. Definitely would recommend making this!

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."