This dairy free fish pie is as comforting and delicious as the best fish pie, but there's no dairy! The mashed potato topping is made with healthy olive oil and the dairy-free sauce is made with oat milk. Fish pie with no dairy in sight, and it's healthier too!
What you'll love about the recipe
- Dairy free fish pie is ideal for all the family. Gluten free oat milk is widely available, so you can also make the recipe gluten free (all the other ingredients are naturally gluten free)
- An easy, healthy fish recipe, suitable for mid-week dinners. You can use frozen fish which makes it very convenient
- This dairy free fish pie recipe is made without cream or butter or cheese, which makes it low in saturated fat. It's suitable for people on a low cholesterol diet
- For a lower calorie fish pie, use this healthy fish pie recipe, substituting oat milk into the sauce and omitting the cheese.
Fish. I prefer to make this dairy-free fish pie with a mix of fish to add variety and flavour. White fish such as pollack, basa and cod are all perfect, and a smoked fish such as haddock adds a great flavour. (You might also like this smoked fish risotto.) If you want to include some oily fish, then salmon goes perfectly.
I nearly always use frozen fish as I find it more convenient, and it's cheaper too. You won't need to defrost the fish, but if you remember to take it out the freezer 10 minutes before, it's much easier to cut the fish into bite-sized chunks!
You can also use a ready-made fish pie mix which contains a mixture of fish.
Leek. The slightly sweet flavour of leek goes perfectly with fish. If you don't have leeks, you could also use an onion.
Oat milk. I like oat milk as my dairy-free alternative as it is neutral in flavour and not as thin as some other dairy-free milks. But you could use soya milk if you prefer.
Cornflour (cornstarch). This is an easy way to thicken a sauce without lumps! It's also gluten free if that is a requirement.
Potatoes. I use standard supermarket potatoes without worrying too much about the variety (although I would avoid salad potatoes as they'll be difficult to make into a smooth mash). If you prefer you could substitute sweet potatoes.
Olive oil. A rich extra virgin olive oil makes a very tasty mash with a creamy texture. Olive oil is also a healthy choice for a dairy-free fish pie.
Nutmeg, parsley and seasoning. Nutmeg and parsley are both optional if you don't have them or don't like them. I'd avoid using dried herbs in the recipe as the texture is not so nice, but you could substitute other fresh soft herbs such as dill or basil. If you are omitting the nutmeg, you could add a pinch of dried mustard if you prefer.
You can also add prawns to this fish pie without dairy if you like. If you are using frozen cooked prawns you can just add them to the mix along with the other fish.
Extra vegetables also work well in dairy-free fish pie. Stir through a couple of large handfuls of spinach leaves, or some frozen sweetcorn or peas. If you want to add firmer vegetables such as carrots or peppers, fry them along with the leeks until they are nearly cooked.
How to make dairy free fish pie
Start by making the mashed potato topping so that you can get on with the rest of the recipe whilst the potatoes are boiling.
Peel the potatoes. For a more rustic looking topping, you can leave the potatoes unpeeled which means that they'll be slightly more nutritious. Cut into even sized pieces about the size of a large walnut.
Add the prepared potatoes to a large pan and cover with cold water and add a generous pinch of salt. Cover the pan, and bring the potatoes up to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and boil for about 12 minutes. They should be fully tender to the point of a knife.
Meanwhile, wash and chop the leek. Place a frying pan over a medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Fry the leek for about 8 minutes until soft and golden.
Drain the potatoes and leave uncovered on the side for a few minutes for the steam to evaporate.
Stir the cornflour into the cold oat milk and mix well. Add to the pan with the leeks. Mix well and stir for 3-4 minutes until the cornflour thickens the sauce. Add the bite sized pieces of fish, nutmeg and seasoning, and simmer gently for 6-7 minutes until the fish is cooked and opaque. Stir in the chopped parsley.
Season the potatoes and add the remaining olive oil. Mash well until smooth. Use either a hand masher or a ricer to ensure that the potatoes don't go starchy. Using a food processor will result in an unpleasant gluey texture.
Place the fish pie mix in an oven proof baking dish and top with the mashed potato. I find it easiest to add the potato in small spoonfuls and then smooth it out. Roughen the top with a fork so that it browns well.
Place under a preheated grill until golden and bubbling.
- You can also make individual dairy-free fish pies if you prefer. If you use freezer-proof oven proof dishes they are ideal for meal prep.
Serving and storage
Serve your dairy free fish pie bubbling hot with some extra veggies on the side. Sauteed spinach or kale is perfect.
If you want to get ahead, the recipe is ideal for meal prep. Assemble the dish, but don't grill it. When you are ready to eat preheat the oven to 180 degrees and heat the pie through for 30 minutes.
Dairy-free fish pie also freezes well. Defrost and reheat in the oven as above.
Frequently asked questions
Some fish pie recipes contain cheese in the fish pie sauce, or have cheese grated over the potato topping. This dairy free fish pie recipe is made without cheese, but if you'd prefer to include it you can use a vegan cheese.
You can also add hard boiled eggs to the fish pie mix if you like. Peel and cut the hard boiled eggs into quarters, and gently stir into the mix before transferring it to the baking dish.
I like to use a mix of fish for the best flavour. I usually use one-third white fish such as cod, pollack or basa, one-third smoked fish such as smoked haddock and one-third oily fish such as salmon. Sometimes I just use two types of fish, with one of them being white fish. You can also add prawns to the mix, and frozen fish works well.
Other dairy free fish recipes
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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Dairy Free Fish Pie
- frying pan
- oven proof baking dish
- 1 large leek
- 450 g fish mix cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 400 ml oat milk
- 2 tablespoon cornflour
- 660 g potatoes
- pinch ground nutmeg optional
- handful fresh parsley chopped
- seasoning to taste
- Peel the potatoes if desired, or scrub them well and cut into walnut-sized pieces. Add to a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring up to the boil and simmer gently for about 12 minutes. They should be completely cooked through and tender to the point of a knife. Drain and leave to the side.
- Whilst the potatoes are boiling, wash and slice the leek. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and fry the leek for 8 minutes until soft and golden.
- Mix the cornflour into the cold oat milk and stir to make a slurry. Add the leek, and stir gently for 3-4 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Add the fish, nutmeg and seasoning. Simmer for 6-7 minutes until the fish is cooked through - it will look opaque once it is cooked. Stir in the parsley.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the drained potatoes and mash well.
- Preheat the grill to a medium heat.
- Transfer the fish mix to an oven-proof dish. Spoon over the mash. I find it best to add small spoonfuls of mash, and then smooth it over.
- Place the pie under a preheated grill and grill for 3-4 minutes until brown and bubbling.
- Use a mix of fish for the best flavour. Some white fish with some smoked fish is a good combination. You can also add some salmon and some prawns if you like.
- Mash potatoes by hand or with a ricer. You can also use a food mixer, but be gentle otherwise the potatoes will go starchy. Avoid using a food processor - it'll result in a gluey unpleasant mash!
- You can also make individual dairy-free fish pies - they are perfect for freezing.
- If you want to make the fish pie in advance, assemble the dish and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees so that the pie has time to warm through thoroughly.
- Add extra veggies such as spinach or kale if you like.
Please note nutritional information is per serving and is provided for guidance only.