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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!

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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 replies on “Salmon and Prawn Fish Pie”

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.

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….

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.

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 🙂

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 🙂

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.

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.

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!

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