Eleanor Ozich’s Fisherman’s Pie With Flaky Filo Crust Recipe

I can’t imagine a recipe more homely than a comforting and rustic fish pie.

My parents have a 40-foot yacht named Sappho, and growing up in New Zealand, my summer holidays were spent sailing from island to island, with plenty of fishing along the way. I always remember returning home with an abundance of fresh fish to freeze, meaning we’d have to get creative with different ways to cook it throughout the year. I have fond memories of all the various kinds of dishes – thank goodness my father is a trained chef and could come up with different options! During the colder months, fish pie was a particular favourite, usually topped with a buttery potato mash and plenty of parsley.

This is my variation that’s quick and easy to prepare, featuring a crispy filo crust that offsets the creamy, rich filling inside. This recipe is brilliant for when you are looking for maximum comfort but with minimal effort! You’d be surprised to hear that it can be whipped up in less than 15 minutes!

The first time I served it to family was at my in-laws’ place and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all. I love how it seems rather fancy with the scrunched filo crust, which is actually a clever time-saver. Even better, it’s economical to make and can easily feed a crowd. So, now you’ve heard all the reasons why I love this recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Fisherman’s Pie With Flaky Filo Crust

Serves 6-8

  • 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour
  • 12 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 4 cups whole milk or almond milk
  • 1kg white fish, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • Bunch of chives, finely sliced
  • Bunch of Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 15 sheets filo
  • ⅓ cup olive oil for brushing


Warm the butter or oil in a large saucepan over low heat, then sprinkle over the cornflour and spring onions and stir to combine.

Gradually whisk in the milk, and cook, while stirring, until thick and creamy.

Remove from the heat, and stir in the fish, spinach, peas, herbs, salt and pepper.

Pour the filling into a baking dish, and spread out evenly.

Lightly scrunch up each filo sheet and place on top of the pie filling until completely covered. Brush the top with olive oil.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbling around the edges.

Tip! The recipe can easily be halved and cooked in a smaller dish if you are feeding only a handful of people.