‘It’s a great comfort food’- Dining with an Ostomate: Fish pie

‘Dining with an ostomate fish pie’ Written over an image of a seasoned salmon fillet.

Debbie, our wonderful 'chef to ostomates' is back today with a delicious warming Fish Pie recipe, perfect for cold winter nights. All of Debbie’s recipes are, of course, designed with Ostomates in mind and in case you’ve missed any of her recipes to date, you can find them all in our Ileostomy, colostomy and stoma support group. So why not put an apron on and get cooking!

'This Fish Pie is another family favourite and is one that I have used many times over the last year as it’s a great comfort food.'

Omit the onions if they upset your stomach. I never use cream, always milk and this has the added benefit that it freezes well. I often divide this into three portions and freeze two in foil containers. I usually defrost them before reheating for 30 minutes but you can reheat from frozen, just add 10 minutes. You can use any fish you like, I usually buy a ‘fish pie mix’ from the fishmonger. If you don’t like prawns, just add more fish.

Fish Pie

Serves 6, easily halved


1kg potatoes

900g salmon & cod fillet (or fish pie mix)

425ml milk

1 bay leaf

25g fresh dill

50g butter

1 large onion, chopped (omit if preferred)

50g plain flour

284 carton double cream (or milk if you prefer)

175g large cooked prawns, defrosted if frozen

140g mature cheddar cheese, grated

Salt & pepper


  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into 2.5 cm chunks. Parboil for 8 – 10 mins until just tender but not breaking up at all. Drain and set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, put the cod and salmon skin-side up in a wide pan, pour over the milk and add the bay leaf. Bring to the boil then simmer for 3 minutes. Cover and remove from the heat. Leave to stand for 5 minutes or until the fish is just cooked then transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon. Strain & reserve the cooking liquid.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/fan oven cook from cold at 180C. Butter a 1.4 – 1.7 litres casserole dish. Flake the fish into large chunks, removing the skin and any bones, and put in the dish. Strip the leaves from their stem and snip them into pieces.

  4. Melt the butter in a pan, add the onion and fry for 3 minutes or until softened but not browned. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the reserved cooking liquid and the cream (or milk). Return to the heat and cook, stirring until thickened, smooth and just boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the prawns and dill. Season with salt & pepper and pour over the fish.

  5. Toss a knob of butter with the potatoes along with 100g of the cheese and season. Scatter the potatoes over the sauce so that it is well covered. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes until the potatoes are golden and the sauce is bubbling.

Missed out on any of Debbie's earlier recipes? Find them all here.

Thoughts on food and cancer, or perhaps a recipe you wish to share? Go ahead and do so using the comments section below. You might also like to join our Ileostomy, colostomy and stoma support group to talk to other Ostomates.

  • hi there,  is it possible to have a link to recipe for my mum 84 with t3 bowel cancer, operation due in a week, i will be taking care of her and want to be in full knowledge of the right food please

  • Hi

    Thank you for taking the time to comment on our Community News Blog. I hope you don’t mind me responding today, my name is Rachel and I work as part of the Community team here at Macmillan. Firstly, I’m glad to see that you have found our ‘Dining with an Ostomate’ series. This series showcased recipes from one of our Community members called Debbie who created her recipes with ostomates in mind.  

    It sounds from your comment however, like you might be wanting more specific recipes to support your mum. I also want to say how sorry I was to read from your comment about your mum’s Bowel cancer diagnosis. It sounds like you are both going through a lot at this time and I am glad that you have found us here on the Community for some support.

    If you are looking for further information and support about your mum’s diet, I wonder whether you might find it useful to post in our ‘Ask a nurse session today? Our Ask a nurse’ session is a space on the Community where members can post any clinical questions, or concerns, they may have. One of our Cancer Information Nurses will then respond to provide some information and support within 3 working days.

    To post your question in our session today, simply click here and then select the +New button if using a laptop or tablet, or the + button if using a mobile.  

    If you would prefer you can also contact our nurses 7 days a week on our Macmillan Support Line. That number is 0808 808 00 00 and our nurses are available 8am-8pm. You can also live chat with our nurses during these hours on our live webchat facility. To connect with a nurse via webchat click here and select ‘Questions for a nurse’ from the dropdown menu.

    As well as posting questions to our nursing team on ‘Ask an Expert’, the Community is a space where you can access peer support 24/7. With this in mind, I wonder whether you might find it useful to join our ‘Carers only group to connect with others who are looking after a loved one with cancer? Here on the team we see every day the benefits of peer support, so I hope you find our discussion groups to be supportive spaces.

    If you have any questions about the above, or if there is anything myself or the team can do to support you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email at community@macmillan.org.uk

    Take care,

    Macmillan’s Community team