Fish Pie, quite expensive for here at £1.41, but you can still stay on track for £1 a day


Fish Pie, quite expensive for here at £1.41, but you can still stay on track for £1 a day

The fish is obviously the expensive ingredient here, and the thing that we need to search around for to make a healthy fish pie recipe that is delicious and as cheap as we can get it. It took a while, but I think I’ve done it alright, plus at the end of the post are some suggestions on how to stay on track for £1 a day

How do you make fish pie?

This quick fish pie recipe is made by poaching the fish in a little milk then using the milk to make a white bechamel sauce. Mix up with some peas, add boiled eggs then top with buttery mash. Simply gorgeous!

If you want to freeze it, I would leave out the eggs as they go really rubbery after being frozen

What to serve with fish pie

To be honest, I am perfectly happy with the fish pie on its own. But if you want something else with it, this budget fish pie already contains peas, so perhaps serve green beans on the side, or shredded cabbage, white, green, very dark green or even red cabbage.

How much does fish pie cost?

This version costs £1.41 a portion at the time of writing (Nov 2020)

The fish is the obviously most expensive ingredient, so you really need to find some white fish and some smoked fish at the cheapest price you can.  The butter could be changed to a cheaper spread, and you could leave out the eggs to reduce the price a bit

This is the cheapest I could find to make this, so can we still do £1 a day? When I do over budget things like this, I usually see if it would cost over 2 days, so £2 – £1.41 leaves us with just 59p for the remaining meals. Here are some suggestions to stay on track if you want to

Day 1
breakfast – porridge 5p
lunch – cheese & ham toastie 18p
dinner – fish pie £1.41

Day 2
breakfast porridge 5p
lunch – beef & sun dried tomato paste sandwich 13p
dinner – stuffed potato cakes, 18p

Total cost of the 2 days £2.00 exactly, so it can be done and still enjoy lovely fish pie

Or have a look on the recipes tab for more cost saving ideas 

Fish Pie

A classic recipe
No ratings yet
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Main Course
Gluten Free
No Nuts by Llisole from the Noun Project
Nut Free
Servings: 2
Cost per portion £1.41
Calories: 641kcal
Author: Thrifty Lesley
Click on the check box to cross off Equipment, Ingredients or Recipe Steps completed.
If you click and buy anything, I may get a small commission on the purchase. It won't cost you anything extra. Some are just things that I like and/or use myself rather than necessarily best value 🙂
If you enjoyed this recipe, would you please consider leaving a review? It would really help



  • 150 g fish white, frozen fillets, £5/kg, 75p
  • 150 g fish smoked, haddock fillets £8.25/kg, £1.23
  • 1 bay leaf (if you have it)
  • 225 ml milk 48p/litre, 11p
  • 2 eggs 14p each, 28p
  • 100 g peas 66p/kg, 7p
  • 10 g butter £1.49/250g, 6p
  • 25 g flour 1p
  • salt and pepper


  • 400 g potatoes 40p/kg, 16p
  • 25 g butter £1.49/250g, 15p



  • Put the milk, fish and bay leaf in a large frying pan and gently poach
    for a few minutes until the fish flakes apart. Scoop out the fish and
    place to one side.
  • Melt the butter in a non-stick pan and stir in the flour. Cook for a
    moment, than add a little of the milk, stirring furiously with a
    silicone or wooden spoon or a whisk. The milk and butter/flour mixture
    will emulsify into a paste. Add a little more milk and repeat. Do this a
    couple more times until the mixture starts to look more like a sauce
    than a mixture. Add the remaining milk and heat gently until it thickens
    up. Simmer, very gently, for a couple of minutes until the floury taste
    is cooked out. Set to one side. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Boil the eggs for 5 minutes, adding the peas for the last minute, then
    drain and fill the pan with cold water to cool them off. Peel the eggs.


  • Peel, boil and mash the potatoes. Add the extra butter and mix well, season with salt and pepper.


  • Now assemble your pie. Very gently mix the flaked fish, peas and sauce
    together. Don’t mix too enthusiastically or the fish will disintegrate.
    Place in an oven proof dish. Slice the eggs into quarters and put on top
    of the fish and top with the mashed potato.
  • Your fish pie can now be safely stashed in the fridge for a day, maybe
    two. When you are ready to eat, heat in a hot oven until the mash is
    golden and the pie is hot all the way through. Enjoy with some veg on
    the side.


See the post for suggestions for staying on track for £1 a day
Got a great recipe? How about submitting it to appear on Thrifty Lesley!


Nutrition Facts
Fish Pie
Amount Per Serving
Calories 641 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 288mg96%
Sodium 329mg14%
Potassium 1626mg46%
Carbohydrates 57g19%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 47g94%
Vitamin A 1240IU25%
Vitamin C 59mg72%
Calcium 203mg20%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @ThriftyLesley or tag #ThriftyLesley !



  1. Lesley

    Oh right, I see. With such relatively expensive ingredients, I’m not sure I could get enough calories in for the rest of the week. It’s possible it might work for a two week plan, as you say, to dilute down the expensive fish a bit, as you say. I’ll have a think about it for later on

  2. Katherine

    Recalculated the shopping list for the above and it came to £13.55 so getting back on budget might take more than a week.

  3. Katherine

    Glad you are recovering. What I’m trying to say is could you incorporate the shopping list required for the above recipe into a weekly budget of £14 and plan three meals a day? I’m sure you could, but on the other hand it might be easier to incorporate it into a slightly longer plan. Apart from the fish and eggs, I think the other ingredients are left at the end of meal plan one so it might combine with that. Just a thought. Maybe next year

  4. Lesley

    Katherine, I have put a suggested 2 days at the end of the post that stays on £1 a day.
    You would also, of course, have the remaining ingredients for other recipes
    You could make at least 1 more x 2 serving fish pie with the ingredients you have if you wanted, or use the fish for a risotto or fish cakes
    Is that what you mean, or am I missing the point?
    I am feeling better thanks, nearly gone now. Had a hacking cough for a few days, but that’s nearly gone now too

  5. Katherine

    I hope you are feeling better. Pie sounds delicious. Initial outlay is about £11.30, isn’t it? Could you put this in a plan for us? How long would the plan have to be for?

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Thrifty Lesley has an associated Facebook Group. Do come over and say hello if you haven’t already joined. I’d love to see you!

I’m a perpetual dieter, and to help with that endeavour, there is now also a Thrifty Lesley dieting group, a lovely, growing community.