Fennel Leek and Ling Fish Pie in glass oven tray on chopping board and grey background. Serving plate with the fish pie and fork, ready to eat.

Fennel, Leek and Fish Pie with Béchamel Sauce

A delicious and creamy fish pie recipe perfect for those cold winter nights. Packed with veggies and a tasty béchamel sauce, this classic winter warmer is bound to keep everyone happy.
1 hour 15 mins
4-6 people



  • 40g butter

  • 2 celery stalks, chopped

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

  • 1 large leek, greens removed and chopped

  • 1 fennel, trimmed and chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 750g ling fillets, cut into 3cm pieces

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill

  • ½ teaspoon lemon rind

  • sea salt

  • ground black pepper


  • 750mls milk

  • 1 small brown onion, halved

  • 1 celery stalk, chopped

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 5 peppercorns

  • 60g butter

  • 60g flour

  • 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard


  • 450g savoury short pastry

  • 400g flaky pastry

  • 1 egg, whisked


  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

2. Melt butter in a large pan over a low heat. Add the vegetables and fry until tender, roughly 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the fish, dill and lemon rind.

3. To make the bechamel sauce, place the milk, onion, celery, bay leaves and peppercorns in a saucepan over a low heat. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat.

4. Melt butter in a large saucepan over a low heat, add the flour and whisk until combined. Fry for 2 minutes then remove from heat. Add ⅓ of the milk, whisk until smooth, then repeat this step two more times with remaining milk. Stir through the wholegrain mustard. The sauce will seem very thick but the juices from the fish will thin the sauce as the pie cooks.

6. Add the bechamel sauce to the filling mixture and stir until well incorporated.

7. Line a 2L, deep pie dish with savoury pastry, brush the edges with whisked egg and top with filling and flaky pastry. With a sharp knife, cut a small cross into the centre of the pastry. Decorate the pie with any discarded flaky pastry then brush with whisked egg.

8. Place the pie in the preheated oven for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 180ºC and cook for a further 30-35 minutes. If the pastry is becoming too golden on top, place a sheet of tinfoil on top for the remainder of the cooking time.


We’ve used ling fish in this recipe, but any white fish can be used such as hoki, hapuka, or snapper.

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