Salmon and Prawn Fish Pie

frugal living, thrifty, healthy meals, fish, pie, potato

There are many potential misconceptions one stumbles upon when writing about frugal food. The delusion that bothers me the most is that many people, frugal or otherwise, assume that to be economically prudent one must always eat the least expensive ingredients. Of course, such an approach will almost certainly allow one to attain their financial goals, however, it can also be an extremely dull path down which to venture. In fact, there are many ways to be thrifty but to also enjoy the finer produce in life. This salmon and prawn fish pie is a case in point – no one would immediately assume it is a frugal recipe, but that it is. As your school teachers no doubt informed you, one must never read a book by its cover.

The most important thing to remember when cooking with meat is that a little can be made to go a long way – a rule that is particularly applicable to strongly flavoured meats such as salmon and lamb. For instance, this pie – which easily fills four – contains only two small fillets of salmon (£3) and 12 prawns (£1.25), but one never feels one is missing out. You see, the flavour of each constituent ingredient is so full that it is very difficult to lose in even the most disruptive of flavour combinations. Secondly, ingredients like fish (check out this the best supplier of fresh local crabs and seafood) and prawns freeze exceptionally well, so it is best to buy them when they are cheap, for use later on. The salmon in this pie set us back a mere 40p because it was bought the day before its sell-by date. For more advice on how to enjoy the best ingredients, whilst maintaining a frugal outlook please visit my tips page!

Frugal living, thrifty, fish pie, salmon, prawn

This fish pie is a really traditional dish, the inclusion of boiled eggs is evidence of that. This may seem a little strange to some of you, but the combination is extremely effective and adds a whole new dimension to what can often be a slightly boring affair. In fact, if you give this pie a try I shall have to insist that the eggs remain part of the furniture… trust me on this one!

Salmon and Prawn Fish Pie

Serves 4-5


• 2 small fillets of salmon

• 12 king prawns

• 2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered

• 1 pint of milk

• A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

• 5-6 peppercorns

• 2 bay leaves

• 50g salted butter

• 2 tbsp plain flour

• A few sprigs of fresh parsley

• The juice of half a lemon

• 5-6 medium potatoes

• 50g cheddar cheese


1. First off, infuse your milk with nutmeg, peppercorns and bay leaves by warming them together in a saucepan for at least 30 minutes. Place the fish, prawns and egg in the bottom of a deep casserole pan and squeeze over the lemon juice. Boil the potatoes until cooked through and set aside.

frugal living, fish pie, healthy meals, thrifty

2. Sieve the milk and transfer to a jug. In a saucepan melt 30g of butter, add the flour and whisk to form a roux. Gently fry the roux for 30 second before whisking in the infused milk, leave over a gentle heat to thicken. Mash the potatoes with a little milk and the rest of the butter, season well.

3. Scatter some parsley over the fish, pour over the béchamel sauce, which should be the consistency of custard. Top with the mash, followed by grated cheese and pepper. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes at 180C, cook until golden. Serve with peas and a hunk of bread.

Cheese, fish pie, frugal living, healthy meals

frugal living, thrifty, healthy meals, fish pie, cheese

Cost: As mentioned above, if one knows how to approach the situation even expensive meat such as salmon can be enjoyed frugally. I’ve factored in a realistic price for the salmon used in this pie, but I think the price is still exceedingly reasonable. Indeed, £5.80 for a hearty, filling fish pie isn’t a bad price at all, even though it is a little dearer than my usual offerings!

94 comments on “Salmon and Prawn Fish Pie

  1. ocelot81
    November 23, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    looks delicious! 🙂

  2. thesinglegourmetandtraveller
    November 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I love fish pie and this looks a wonderful dish for the colder weather.

  3. laurabreault93
    November 23, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    This looks SOOOOO good! I’m definitely going to have to try this. (:

  4. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
    November 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Now that looks heavenly! Does the mash kind of crisp up in the oven.. wonderful, Nick! I’d be keeping the eggs in there as well!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      Thanks so much! IT does on the top! The eggs work so well, Barb’!

  5. The Economic Vegetarian
    November 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    great salmon recipe. But for some reason fish prices, especially salmon, is quite expensive in Ontario, Canada (probably because we’re in the middle of the country and not in the maritime). Would something like Cod or Haddock hold up during the cooking process? I don’t cook with a lot of fish but my boyfriend eats meat and I’m trying make more stuff that he would enjoy.

  6. thecompletecookbook
    November 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Fabulous recipe.
    🙂 Mandy

  7. narf77
    November 23, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    If you happen to live around the corner from a salmon farm and you have a boat and you are in the know that they tend to discharge a certain percentage of salmon from said fish farm at specific times and that said salmon are incredibly stupid creatures who rely on humans to feed them…salmon is a very VERY frugal food indeed ;). Now I just need to find a prawn farm….

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      I wish… don’t think they have them near Bristol :D. Good that you are in the know though 😀

  8. Conor Bofin
    November 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    HI Nick, Lovely looking pie. Great ingredients. Next Tuesday, I am posting a new take on my old fish pie recipe.
    BTW, I have tried them and I (and my daughters) have to disagree on the boiled eggs.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      Thanks, Conor! Really? I’m very surprised!

  9. For The Love of Food
    November 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Yum, perfect comfort food if you ask me!

  10. Mr. Bene
    November 23, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Looks yummy!!! Kudos!

  11. Irene
    November 23, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Ahhhh…sort of a comfort food with all my favorite seafood 🙂

  12. baconbiscuit212
    November 23, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    What?! You don’t forage for food in dumpsters and subsist wholly on oats and dried legumes?!

    Just kidding 🙂 It’s such a good reminder: a little animal protein goes a long way! Looks wonderful, Nick — as always 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      Haha – I’m afraid not! :D. You’re quite right, it does 🙂

  13. cookinginsens
    November 23, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Salmon and prawn! Big boy 😉

  14. annesturetucker
    November 24, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Totally delicious!

  15. petit4chocolatier
    November 24, 2012 at 1:10 am

    This looks so fresh! Love the salmon and prawns. I especially love the potatoes and cheese with it; delicious!!

  16. TheBootlegCook
    November 24, 2012 at 1:24 am

    I literally just drooled! I totally going to try this 🙂

  17. sybaritica
    November 24, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Excellent! Nice recipe and good post.

  18. Borjok
    November 24, 2012 at 1:53 am

    That looks so good! *drool*

  19. emmycooks
    November 24, 2012 at 2:25 am

    I’ve never had a fish pie but I sure do like both fish and pie so I imagine that this is right up my alley. 🙂

  20. Korena in the Kitchen
    November 24, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Looks wonderful Nick! And not at all frugal 😉

  21. pantryobsession
    November 24, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Wise words and wonderful recipe…one of my earlier posts (from June this year, you should check it out!) was a ‘seafood pie’ which cost around $10 and fed 6 of us with some left overs all because I didn’t get to the market until later in the day and everything was half price 🙂

  22. Rhey
    November 24, 2012 at 4:32 am

    oh wow. need to try to get a way to make this here in Dubai…

  23. grainnep
    November 24, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Looks really lovely. Love a nice fish pie and this looks great.

  24. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy
    November 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Oooh, what a beautiful idea! And the frugal part, of course, appeals to me!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      Thanks! I’d hope it appeals to most… 😀

  25. Sheila
    November 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I like what you said about a little going a long way. I had a fish pie once which was chock-full of tuna and salmon; it really was crying out for sauce, cheese and potatoes (and eggs – nice addition)! I’ll have to give this recipe a go sometime though doubt I can make it as beautifully as you’ve done here.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 6:52 pm

      Thanks! You have to have sauce and the eggs add a lot! I’m sure you can!

  26. originalapplejunkie
    November 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    This is one of my favourite pies, but I haven’t made it in a while..
    I am looking forward to trying this recipe 🙂

  27. NaturesComplete
    November 24, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Wow, great article, cant wait to try the recipe!

  28. lmicheles
    November 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Ill try this very soon.

  29. Integrated Memoirs
    November 24, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    OMG! This looks soooooo good!!

    November 24, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Wow! Looks amazing and soooo delish! Perfect for a lunch with friends in the winter months 🙂 Looking forward to trying this!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 25, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Thanks! IT certainly was perfect for the current climate!

  31. Karista
    November 25, 2012 at 6:49 am

    I am loving this recipe! Looks so delicious and perfect for this time of year. Now I’m hungry. 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      November 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      Thanks, Karista! Definitely perfect for Autumn!

  32. Susan
    November 25, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Great photos and nice homely recipe. 🙂

  33. Lipstick and Chaos
    November 25, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    It looks delish!!!

  34. Bianca Tarbet-Keeble
    November 25, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Wow looks yummy, and definitely going to give it a try during the week as I happen to have some salmon fillets in the fridge!

  35. ErikaFlorence
    November 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    This looks so delicious, I’ll have to give this a shot soon.

    • frugalfeeding
      December 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      Thanks so much – you’ll enjoy it, I’m sure!

  36. Somer
    November 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Beautiful! And you are so right, being frugal can include fancier ingredients in moderation while still not breaking the bank!

    • frugalfeeding
      December 2, 2012 at 12:19 am

      Thanks, Somer! I’m always right 😀 (only kidding:D)

  37. Indhu
    November 27, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    very tempting. gonna do it.

  38. littlelotusblossom
    November 27, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Oh my goodness, a recipe using some of my favorite ingredients! I must try this as soon as I can!

  39. Bee
    November 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    It’s the end of the month and when you are a student like I am, well, the beginning of the month can’t come soon enough! After reading your blog a few times I realised that I could really do great things with the end of the month bits and bobs in my kitchen… Living in Finland I usually have some salmon, potatoes and berries somewhere – this post has totally inspired me to make a new, great, delicious, frugal, winner of an end of the month meal (instead of a sandwhich with marmite!). Keep up the awesome ideas.

    • frugalfeeding
      December 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      Haha – I bet, I was a student less than two years ago :D. You definitely could do great things – best of luck 😀

  40. eightdaysweek
    December 6, 2012 at 9:30 am

    It seems lovely and sooo appetizing! I would love to prepare this extraordinary fishy pie 😉
    Have a nice day!

  41. Ingrid
    December 6, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    This fish pie looks amazing and it’s a dish I knew very little about. Thank you for posting your recipe and for visiting my blog!

    • frugalfeeding
      December 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm

      Thanks! OH you must try it, fish pie is great!

  42. vyvacious
    December 13, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Awesome, I love that you aren’t sticking to boring, “super cheap” types of food! This looks delicious and so different!

  43. Kayleigh Tanner
    December 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    This looks divine! It’s so refreshing to see a blog about cooking on the cheap that isn’t an insanely patronising ‘student meals’ sort of concept, i.e.: ‘WOW, did you know that a simple tin of baked beans can be heated up and poured over a potato, which you bake, believe it or not, for an easy, cheap lunch or even dinner! OMG!’

    Yeah basically, thanks for providing nutritious AND cheap ideas! Looks like you have lots of very diabetic-friendly food too, so I’ll be keeping a beady eye on this blog!

    • frugalfeeding
      December 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm

      Haha – exactly! That’s exactly what I tried to avoid. Please, keep on commenting!

  44. Sue
    January 6, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Trying this with some salmon fillets & prawns I found in the freezer but have omitted the hard boiled eggs and using sliced potatoes rather than mash.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 11, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      Sounds great, but you have to have the eggs!

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