Salmon and Sweet Potato Pie - overhead view

Salmon and Sweet Potato Pie

Salmon and Sweet Potato Pie - close up

This recipe for Salmon and Sweet Potato Pie is a riff on one my Mom regularly made for our family. Dad worked for Fisheries and Oceans Canada and she says she got this recipe off the back of a brochure he brought home from work one time. Because it uses canned salmon and simple ingredients like potatoes, onions, milk and butter that most of us always have on hand, it was a good thing to whip up when she was running low on groceries. She only shopped once a week on Thursday nights! She was a very organized working mother of four children.

Both our recipes use pantry-ready canned salmon. She used mashed white potatoes in her recipe. I decided to add a little colour and nutrition boost by substituting sweet potatoes and adding spinach. 

This recipe represents childhood comfort food to me. I used to love to scoop out a big portion of the mashed potatoes and salmon topped with Mom’s flaky pie crust.  Piping hot from the oven, it smelled and tasted so good. We’d add colour to the plate with preserves like Green Tomato Chow Chow, Lady Ashburnham Mustard Pickles or Pickled Beets. A bright green salad or coleslaw are other nice accompaniments. 

Pies in every shape and form are part of my culinary heritage. If you are stumped on making the pastry for this Salmon and Sweet Potato Pie, you can always check out this video tutorial with my Mom as your mentor. I’m happy to share her skills with you. Having such a mentor is not something I take for granted. I know the culinary skills my Mom taught me always help me savour it all.


Salmon and Sweet Potato Pie

Salmon and Sweet Potato Pie - side angle view

A savoury pie made with canned salmon that’s almost always in my pantry, this recipe also features the nutritional powerhouses of sweet potatoes and spinach.

  • Author: Karen Anderson
  • Prep Time: 30 to 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 26 minute
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: Canadian


Butter to grease the casserole dish

For the pastry topping:

2 cup unbleached all purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup cold shortening, sliced into small cubes

½ cup cold butter, sliced into small cubes

⅔ cup ice water (put ice and water in a bigger cup and pour into ⅓ cup)

Milk for basting the top

For the base:

6 sweet potatoes or yams

¼ cup butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1 teaspoon ground savory

1 teaspoon summer savory

½ cup milk

15 ounces canned salmon

1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed 

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper


For the pastry:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉ and grease a medium-large casserole dish.
  2. Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Use a pastry blender to mix the shortening and butter into the flour mixture until a fine crumb resembling small peas develops.
  4. Stir in the ice cold water and bring the dough together in a ball.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the other ingredients.

For the base:

  1. Peel the sweet potatoes, cut into even pieces and place in a saucepan with water to cover.
  2. Bring to a boil then lower to a brisk simmer and cook until tender – about 15 minutes.
  3. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the onions cooking until just translucent. Add the savory, summer savory and milk and reduce the heat to minimum to keep this mixture just warm. When the potatoes are cooked, add the milk and onion mixture and mash until soft. Set aside.
  4. Empty the salmon, including the juices and bones, into a large bowl and use the tines of a fork to mash it – especially the bones – to a fine texture. Squeeze any water from the thawed spinach and add just the spinach to the salmon – mixing thoroughly. Season with the salt and pepper.
  5. Spread half of the sweet potato mixture in the prepared casserole dish, add all the salmon and spinach mixture in another layer and then top with the remaining sweet potato mixture.
  6. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator, roll it out and then add it to the top of the casserole.
  7. Brush the top with milk and make slits or a fish design in the the crust to allow steam to escape while cooking.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
  9. Enjoy with your favourite pickles or a nice salad.


Keywords: Salmon and Sweet Potato Pie


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