Fish pie, or fisherman’s pie as it’s also called, is a classic British favorite that’s packed with flavor. It’s also a quite hearty meal at that. That combination is probably why it’s one of the country’s favorite dishes. A well-made fish pie gives not only gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling but hugs your soul as well.
Despite its name, it’s actually more akin to a casserole than a pie. A good comparison is shepherd’s pie – where the filling is covered by potatoes.
The filling is made, of course, with fish. This is usually white fish like cod or smoked haddock, though salmon is also used sometimes. As well as fresh or smoked fish, the pie contains other staple foods as well, like onions, butter, milk, and flour. Sometimes other ingredients are included like prawn, cheddar cheese, peas, corn, or hard-boiled eggs. My favorite version has all of the above!
So what do you do if you’ve got leftover pie that you want to preserve? What about saving prepared but uncooked fish pie until it is needed? Can you freeze fish pie? I’ve got great news for you – you certainly can! Read on to learn everything you need to know about extending its shelf life.
Can you Freeze Fish Pie Before Cooking?
Yes! You can definitely freeze fish pie before cooking. It’s a great way to save time on later on. This makes it perfect if you want it for a weeknight dinner when you may have less prep time. When you make a fish pie you need to cook all of the ingredients before assembling and baking the pie. This can take a while, and doing it on a day when you have time means that you only need to cook it later.
Storing prepared fish pie in the fridge is an option if you’ll be cooking it within three days. But if you’re unsure when you’ll prepare it, it’s better to store it in the freezer.
Can you Freeze Cooked Fish Pie?
Yup! Just like with uncooked fish pie you can also freeze cooked fish pie. It’s great to freeze leftover fish pie if you’ve made too much and you know you can’t eat all of it before it will go bad in the fridge (about three to four days). If you’re unsure, it’s better to be safe and to freeze cooked fish pie rather than risk it going bad. It’s a pretty simple food to reheat as well!
How Long Does Fish Pie Last in the Freezer?
Freezing fish pie is the best way to keep it if you’re unsure when you’ll get around to eating it. This is because it can last much, much longer when frozen – both for uncooked and cooked fish pie.
You can keep an uncooked fish pie in the freezer for up to three months! Much better than the mere three or four days you can keep it in the fridge, right?
Freezing it before it’s cooked is the best way to enjoy it at nearly the same quality compared to when it’s eaten freshly prepared. As I said before, it’s a great idea to do it if you’re meal prepping for a later date, whether it’s for a dinner party or just a weekday dinner.
Or, you can have it frozen and at your disposal for an emergency meal if you forgot to plan ahead, didn’t have time to go to the grocery store, etc. You certainly can’t go wrong keeping a frozen fish pie around.
Similar to when it’s uncooked, cooked fish pie also lasts around three months in the freezer. So, if you happened to make too much fish pie and you don’t think you’ll get around to eating it within three or four days, then you’re much better off freezing it as it lasts much longer.
Because it’s so tasty I think it’s much better to have too much rather than too little since you can easily freeze whatever leftovers you may have for a later date!
How to Freeze Fish Pie
While freezing fish pie is generally a simple and straightforward process, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind to get the best results when freezing uncooked or cooked fish pie.
First, prepare all of the individual ingredients for the fish pie recipe (fresh fish, prawn, onions, corn, potatoes, grated cheese etc.) and assemble it just as you normally would.
However, instead of putting it into the oven, you’ll put it in the freezer. Before putting it in the freezer first allow it to fully cool and then cover it with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Label it with the date and then put it in the freezer.
However, here is the only catch. You need to mind two ingredients in particular if you plan on freezing fish pie: boiled egg and prawns. These two foods fair notoriously poorly when they are frozen as their texture becomes quite rubbery and could make the texture of the pie unpleasant. Boiled egg in particular really doesn’t do well in the freezer. So, to be safe it’s better to omit them when you prepare a fish pie to be frozen.
The process of freezing cooked fish pie isn’t that different from when it’s uncooked. First, allow the fish pie to cool completely. Then, after it’s thoroughly cooled, you can store it in a variety of ways. You can simply cover the dish with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Or, you can divide it into smaller portions and put them into airtight freezer-safe containers. I like going with the latter method and using a freezer bag as it allows more flexibility in how much you’d like to eat. So you’re not obligated to have to defrost the whole pie.
Just as in the case of the uncooked fish pie, you should avoid freezing it if there are hard-boiled eggs or prawns in the dish. So try to plan ahead and if you think you may freeze the leftovers then you should omit the hard-boiled eggs or prawns if possible. However, it’s not the end of the world if they are left inside, and still better than having such a tasty dish go to waste!
How to Defrost Frozen Fish Pie
The great thing about frozen fish pie is that you don’t even need to defrost fish pie if you don’t want to. It works very well just reheating it directly. However, if you want to defrost the fish pie first to reduce the cooking time later on, it’s of course perfectly fine to do so. It just requires some time and planning ahead.
To defrost fish pie you simply place it in the fridge and allow for about 16 hours for it to fully defrost. But of course, the exact time will vary depending on the size of the fish pie. You shouldn’t defrost it too early, though. Once it’s defrosted it should be reheated and eaten within three days.
The easiest thing to do is just reheating it or cooking it when it’s frozen. It doesn’t add too much time and the results are just as good. To do it, simply remove the plastic wrap and cover it with aluminum foil. Then cook it at 410 degrees Fahrenheit for 85-100 minutes or until the fish pie is hot all the way through. For the best results, cook or reheat the frozen pie in the oven and avoid using the microwave.
Can you Refreeze Fish Pie?
You should avoid refreezing fish pie for the best quality. While it may be safe to refreeze it if it’s been handled safely and not kept at room temperature for too long, the quality will suffer, especially so if there is prawn or boiled egg in the pie. For the best results, try to only freeze once. This is the main reason why I prefer to separate the pie into multiple portions.