Fish pie, also referred to as fisherman’s pie, is a traditional British dish that is typically made from smoked whitefish, prawns, potatoes, cream or cheese sauce, and sometimes hard-boiled eggs.
It is a delicious and hearty meal that you can make in individual or family-size portions, and makes a great, filling dinner when served both fresh and leftover.
So, can you freeze fish pie? The answer: absolutely! You can freeze fish pie both before and after it has been cooked, though each situation requires a distinct procedure.
Read on to find out the best way to freeze, defrost, and reheat fish pie. We’ll also answer some common questions that arise when cooking and eating fish pie.
Fish Pie – What Is It?
We briefly mentioned above what fish pie is, but let’s go a little bit more in-depth about this beloved British food. Though popular throughout all the United Kingdom, some believe that it originated in Scotland.
Fish pie is not really a pie at all, but rather a type of casserole, very similar to Shepherd’s pie, and the fish and filling is covered by potatoes instead of dough or pastry casing.
Fish pie always contains, you guessed it, fish. The fish is usually smoked whitefish, such as haddock or cod, and prawns are also often included.
Fish pie is also made with potatoes, onions, butter, milk, and flour. It can also contain cheese, corn, and peas. Occasionally it has hard-boiled eggs, though these must be left out if you are planning on freezing fish pie.
How Fish Pie Is Prepared
To understand the best way to freeze and reheat fish pie, it’s a good idea to have at least a minimal understanding of how it is prepared.
All of its separate parts are cooked (potatoes are boiled, the sauce is prepared, fish, if raw, is cooked) before it is all combined in a large dish and baked in the oven. The dish is then assembled and baked.
If you’re making your fish pie from scratch, we recommend checking out this article: The Best Cutting Boards For Fish.
We adore this recipe by Donal Skehan on Jamie Oliver’s YouTube channel. You can check it out below.
Freezing and Reheating Fish Pie
Fish pie can be frozen either before or after it has been baked, though it is always assembled before freezing. The method of freezing and reheating will differ depending on whether or not the fish pie has been cooked beforehand or not.
Read on to find out how to freeze and reheat fish pie, both pre-cooked and uncooked.
How to Freeze Cooked Fish Pie
Perhaps you made a fish pie and weren’t able to finish all of it. Fish pie lasts significantly longer in the freezer than in the fridge, so properly packaging and freezing those leftovers will give you a delicious meal whenever the craving for fish pie hits.
To freeze fish pie that has already been cooked, you must first allow it to chill completely, as it is never a good idea to freeze food when still hot.
Immediately after it has been chilled, cover the dish in which you made the fish pie with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, or divide into smaller dishes for quick and easy one-serving meals.
Alternatively, you can freeze in airtight, freezer-safe containers.
Fish pie that has already been cooked will last up to 3 months in the freezer. Just a reminder not to freeze the boiled eggs, if you choose to include them, as they will become rubbery after freezing.
It also may be best to leave out the peas if you plan on freezing fish pie, as refreezing food that has already been frozen is not ideal.
How to Reheat Cooked Fish Pie
Once you’re ready to reheat your fish pie, you can do so either in the oven or the microwave. The best part is that you don’t even have to defrost frozen fish pie before reheating!
To reheat frozen fish pie in the oven, remove the plastic wrap and cover the fish pie with aluminum foil, baking at 350 degrees F for 1 ½ hours. Remove the foil and turn up the heat to 400 degrees F, cooking for another half hour or so, until the top is golden brown.
If you have time to defrost your frozen fish pie in the fridge before reheating, this will certainly lower your cooking time. To reheat a pre-cooked fish pie that has been thawed, bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes, until it is entirely warmed through.
Finally, if you’ve frozen your fish pie in small, freezer-safe and microwave-safe containers, popping it in the microwave is a quick and convenient meal.
To do so, it is recommended that you first thaw your fish pie in the fridge. Your pre-cooked, thawed fish pie can be reheated in the microwave by cooking on high for about 3 minutes.
How to Freeze Fish Pie Before Cooking
If you are meal-prepping or have prepared too much fish pie, you can freeze before baking to save time and have a delicious, fully prepared meal in the freezer at your disposal.
To freeze fish pie that hasn’t been cooked, cook each individual component (fish, potatoes, etc.) and assemble, but instead of placing in the oven, let cool and cover with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. You can freeze the uncooked fish pie for up to 3 months.
Again, you’ll want to omit hard-boiled eggs and perhaps even peas if you’re planning on freezing fish pie.
If you’d still like to include these components in your dish, consider making them on the side while your frozen fish pie is being reheated and serving on top or as a side dish.
How to Cook Frozen Fish Pie
To reheat a frozen, uncooked fish pie, you must do so in the oven.
Remove the plastic wrap and cover with aluminum foil, cooking at 410 degrees F for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hour, until the fish pie is very hot all the way through.
Because your fish pie wasn’t cooked the first time around, you’ll want to make sure that it heats fully through the center, and keeping it covered when reheating is a good way to ensure that this happens.
How long does fish pie last in the fridge?
Perhaps you don’t want to freeze fish pie because you know you’ll be eating it within a few days.
You’ll be happy to know that fish pie that has been cooked will last up to three or four days in the fridge.
Simply reheat it using the same method employed for reheating pre-cooked fish pie that has been frozen then thawed.
If you’d like to prepare your fish pie ahead of time to prepare for a party or even a weeknight dinner, you can cook each individual component and assemble.
Just like you would when preparing an uncooked fish pie to freeze, cover, and save for up to 36 hours in the refrigerator. When dinner time comes around, bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Can you eat fish pie cold?
If you’re in a rush, or you just like eating your fish pie cold (no judgments here), it is possible to do so, but only if it is a fish pie that has already been cooked.
However, it is only recommended that you do this for a few days after the fish pie has been prepared, as eating cold fish pie that has been frozen and defrosted would be less than desirable.
How long does fish pie take to defrost?
If you’d rather defrost your fish pie than cooking straight from frozen, you should allow yourself about 16 hours, depending on the size of your fish pie.
If you have frozen your fish pie in small, individual dishes, it will take less time to defrost.
The best way to defrost fish pie is by transferring it from the freezer to the fridge the night before you plan on cooking it.
It will be safe in the refrigerator for that amount of time, and this will ensure that your fish pie has fully thawed before you reheat it.
What is the best side dish for fish pie?
Fish pie is a hearty, creamy dish, so vegetables are an excellent option when it comes to selecting a side dish.
Stray from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, which can be too heavy with this kind of dish. Sauteed spinach, glazed carrots, or shredded cabbage are excellent vegetables to pair with fish pie.
Additionally, you likely won’t need another starch on the table when serving fish pie, thanks to its thick layer of potatoes, so feel free to omit the bread and french fries.
If you’re trying to lighten up your meal, serve with a refreshing salad, such as a gem lettuce salad or a classic garden salad. Avoid creamy dressings, as the fish pie is already very rich.
What is the best thing to drink with fish pie?
When it comes to beverage pairings for fish pie, you’ll want to avoid excessive carbonation, which won’t go well with such a heavy dish.
If you’re a wine drinker, stick to white wine, which pairs best with whitefish. Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, or any smooth, dry white wine will work.
If you’d prefer beer, we’d recommend a lighter ale, such as a wheat ale or a pale ale.
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