Three-Fish Roast (Pescatarian Festive Recipe)

Pescatarians rejoice! This Three-Fish Roast is the most magnificent Pescatarian Christmas centrepiece you’ll come across! Even more impressive looking than the Russian Coulibiac I posted many, many years ago.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Three-Fish Roast, perfect for a Pescatarian Christmas

What is a Three-Fish Roast?

You know how a 3-bird roast is a bird in a bird, in a bird? So a three-fish roast uses the same principle, just assembled slightly differently. It’s more of a top and bottom thing.

So I’ve got 2 large salmon sides filled with smoked haddock and prawns (shrimps), tied together.

My late husband was a huge fan of Flipboard. Every now and then, he’d come across a food photo that he liked and would show it to me.

I must admit many of them were a little out there, and not really something that appealed to me. He loved the wow factor, like milkshakes with mini burgers, bacon, olives, etc on a stick. Yeah.

But the two-fish fish roast that he showed me sometime in 2013 or ’14 was definitely one of the best ideas he came across. As soon as I saw the image for that two-fish roast, I knew exactly how I was going to do it!

salmon roast photography
It’s an amazing combination of flavours, textures and aromas

Three-Fish Roast Recipe

For a start, I wasn’t going to stop at 2. I mean why do 2 when you can do 3? Right?

When I saw the image on Flipboard, I immediately thought about coulibiac and our traditional fish pie and how I could work those two to create our three-fish roast.

Coulibiac is a fish pie too but encased in puff pastry – perfect for Christmas. Click here for the recipe or on the image below.

Salmon Coulibiac
Salmon Coulibiac (Russian Fish Pie in Pastry)

It only took minutes for me to settle on the filling for our pescatarian roast. This is what my very first three-fish roast contained, and what I’m doing today:

  • salmon (top and bottom)
  • smoked haddock (from the traditional fish pie we make)
  • prawns (to get a 3rd “fish” in)
  • boiled eggs (from coulibiac)

Then it’s just a case of assembling and roasting it.

The result is a richly flavoured fish roast that is full of contrasting flavours and textures. Meaty, smoky, creamy, tart and herby, and so deliciously fishy, of course! Good fishy!

Three-Fish Roast
Three-Fish Roast makes an impressive centrepiece

Three-Fish Roast for Christmas or Easter

I’ve made this so often over the years, for us, for friends, in classes and definitely for customers. So can you imagine the different permutations I’ve tried? Some were definitely clear winners in terms of flavour and look. Like today’s, my “prototype”, so to speak.

Before my kids went vegetarian, they loved salmon. But because my girls are allergic to eggs, I’ve made this three-fish roast often without eggs too. I must admit, the eggs add a lovely dimension to this Pescatarian festive recipe, so use them if you can.

You can use any fish you like, and any seafood. Again, the smoked fish plays a part in the final flavour. But if you don’t like smoked fish, leave it out, by all means.

Don’t want a large Salmon Roast?

Just use fillets, as many of my readers have done. They won’t be able to take as much filling, but you will still be able to do it, just remember you must still tie the fillets together.

You could get your fish monger to cut you 2 wide fillets, just enough for 2, 3 or 4, however many people you are feeding in these Covid times. Don’t forget that you will need 2 fillets, for top and bottom.

And if that’s too much for 1 serving, cut the filled, roasted fillets in half, then serve.

Delicious filling of smoked haddock, prawns and boiled eggs

Pescatarian Roast – Different Ways

You can change up our three-fish roast in different ways:

  • use any kind of fish you like, as mentioned above.
  • you can change the herbs from what I’ve got today. Dill is a common herb with fish, but I don’t really like the stuff.
  • size of the fish can definitely be changed – use fillets or even whole, smaller fish.
  • rather obviously, you can turn this into a two-fish roast. Four-fish roast? Why not, but just go easy on the filling as the more you fill, the higher the risk of it spilling out.
  • change the flavour of this pescatarian roast, see below.

Change the flavour of this Fish Roast

Over the years, I’ve given many flavour variations to this three-fish roast, and have also made it spicy on a few occasions. Here are some suggestions:

  • Indian Style is one of my favourites. All you need to do is use some Indian spices and yoghurt instead of the crème fraîche I’m using here. So think turmeric, coriander and cumin, and a touch of garam masala. Shall I do a post on that?
  • Make it spicy! For all of you who love your Scoville scale😉, you’re going to like it spicy. Add any form of chilli (pepper) to the recipe, whether you are spicing up that crème fraîche base with chilli pastes, or adding sliced chillies to the recipe itself.
    I’ve used the following very successfully.
Homemade Chipotle Paste
Chipotle Paste recipe. It gives a wonderful, smoky flavour to fish and meat, is perfect for grilling and barbecuing and adds depth to stews and chilli con carne.
Get the Recipe!
red chilli paste in spoon on glass jar
Zhug, Yemeni Green Hot Sauce
Click here for Zhug recipe, a Yemeni Green Hot Sauce. It's fresh, it's delicious and only takes 8 minutes, using everyday ingredients!
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green chilli paste in clay pot

How to serve this Stuffed Salmon Roast?

I think it all rather depends on when you are serving it, what the occasion is, and where in the world you happen to be living in.

So if I were making this for Christmas, I’d have it with the usual suspects:

  • roast potatoes (any potato recipe would be good)
  • brussels sprouts
  • carrots

However, I wouldn’t serve it with a standard gravy. Instead, I’d make a lemon-butter sauce to go with it. I’ve given you an easy one in the recipe card below.

If it’s for Easter, I’ll keep the butter sauce and swap the sprouts for in-season asparagus and some green beans.

I’ve made this for Chinese New Year for clients too, with Chinese flavourings, and it was served with noodles and Chinese style vegetables. Oh boy, a whole new recipe beckons! Flavour-wise, along the lines of:

Roast Chicken with Sichuan Peppercorns
Roast Chicken with Sichuan Peppercorns

Are you having a Pescatarian Christmas? Or Pescatarian Easter?

Let me know with a comment below. I would love to know what your favourite Pescatarian festive recipes are, and what you are planning to do this Christmas. Or Thanksgiving, if you celebrate.

What do you think of today’s Three-Fish Roast? Fancy trying it? Well then, let’s go get our aprons on!

Images by LinsFoodies

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And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood

Lin xx

Three-fish roast recipe

Three-Fish Roast (a Pescatarian Recipe for Easter and Christmas)

Three-fish roast recipe, a great centrepiece for a Pescatarian Easter or Christmas. Two salmon sides filled with smoked haddock and prawns (shrimp).
Last Updated April 2023.
4.94 from 33 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: International
Keyword: christmas, fish recipes, pescatarian, thanksgiving
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 (generous 8-10)
Calories: 424kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


  • Large oven proof dish
  • Oven
  • deep frying pan or a wide, shallow heat proof pan x 2
  • saucepan
  • Knife
  • chopping boards
  • bowl and plate as needed
  • kitchen string and scissors


Smoked Haddock

  • 500 g smoked haddock
  • 250 ml milk (full fat or semi-skimmed)
  • 250 ml water
  • 1 bay leaf fresh or dried

Prawns (Shrimp)

  • 200 g raw prawns (shrimp) small-medium
  • ½ Tbsp EV olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Everything Else

  • 2 salmon sides tail end, weighing about 600g (1.3 lb) each
  • 3 Tbsp crème fraîche or soured cream
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • 3 boiled eggs
  • 10 g chives
  • 10 g fresh parsley (small handful)
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon

Lemon-Butter Sauce (bonus!)

  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • pinch salt
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper


Poach the haddock

  • Place the milk, water and bay leaf into a shallow pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Lower the heat down and poach the haddock for 5 minutes.
  • Take the haddock out, place on a plate and flake with 2 forks. Set aside.

Fry the Prawns

  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on high heat. Add the prawns, season with salt and pepper, and fry on this high heat for 1 minute, tossing the prawns.
  • Add the lemon juice and continue to fry on high heat for 1 more minute. Take off the heat and set aside.

Prepping the Salmon, Herbs, Boiled Eggs and Lemons

  • Turn the oven on to 200°C (390°F/180°C Fan).
  • Cut 4 lengths of the kitchen string, about 45cm (17 inches) long. We'll cut the excess later.
  • Get the baking dish of your choice and lay the string down, along the width and at even intervals. Place one salmon side on the string, skin side down. Move the strings along so they are evenly spaced.
  • Place the other salmon side on a large plate or chopping board, and season both skinless sides well with salt and pepper.
  • Chop most of the chives and all the parsley separately, and set aside. Keep about 12 chives for the finish.
  • Slice the boiled eggs into flat rounds.
  • Slice the lemons into rounds.

Let's fill the Salmon

  • Mix the crème fraîche and mustard together, adding a pinch of salt and some pepper, then spread it on both salmon sides, on the skinless side.
  • Get the flaked smoked haddock, and evenly spread it out along the salmon side that's lying on the strings (I forgot the strings here, ignore that). Season with salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle the chopped parsley all over, then top with the boiled egg slices. Season with salt and pepper. Top with half the chives. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Top with the cooked prawns, and drizzle the small amount of liquid (if any) that's in the frying pan all over. Top with the rest of the chives. Season with only a little salt and generously with pepper.
  • Now, we top all this with the second side of salmon. Lay it over, tip to tip. Don't press down. Tie the ends of the kitchen string together securely. Make it tight but don't squash the salmon.
  • Tuck the lemon slices under the string and some chives (or parsley).
    If your salmon is super fresh and your eggs were freshly boiled, you can place this prepared salmon roast in the fridge, covered, to cook next day. Take it out of the fridge an hour before cooking.
  • Roast in the preheated oven for 35 minutes for a lightly done salmon. If you like your fish well done, roast it for 45 minutes. Serve it with the lemon-butter sauce that follows.

Lemon-Butter Sauce

  • Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring every so often.
  • When it gets to be a light golden brown (about 3 minutes), take if off the heat and pour into your gravy boat. Stir in the salt and lemon juice, and whip with a fork to mix.
    You could turn this into brown butter, just heat it up a little longer, about 1 minute. Take it off when it's a mid brown.
  • Finish with the pepper and serve with our fish. It will remain pourable for about 20 minutes, but can be heated up easily in the microwave oven.


Nutrition includes the butter sauce. Without it, it’s around 300 calories per serving.


Calories: 424kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 247mg | Sodium: 635mg | Potassium: 815mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 848IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 2mg
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24 thoughts on “Three-Fish Roast (Pescatarian Festive Recipe)”

  1. This would be wonderful for Easter Sunday. So elegant and different from the traditional ham we are used to where I live!

  2. 5 stars
    Such a delicious celebratory dish, the whole family was so impressed and it went down perfectly!

  3. 5 stars
    I am just starting to branch out more with fish and cooking. I have always been pretty basic with cooking and eating fish. This sounds like a great recipe to try!

  4. Michelle Bowen

    This sounds amazing as I’m trying to change up Xmas dinner.
    Question: My Mom does not do shellfish; strictly fish. What can I added for the 2nd layer besides smoked haddock?

    Can’t wait to try this for Xmas dinner 2021:)

    1. Hi Michelle, do you mean your mum doesn’t do smoked fish? Because if she doesn’t do fish, the whole thing is a salmon recipe?
      Just leave out the smoked haddock, if she doesn’t like it, you’ve still got lots going on.
      I hope that helps, if not, get back to me, and we’ll figure it out.

      1. Hi
        Michelle said shellfish not smoked. She’s looking for a substitute for the prawns.
        Interesting recipe. Will give it a go.

        1. Thanks Tom, I was thrown by the consecutive words of shellfish, then fish. But yes, figured it out after the fact. Hopefully it was all good.
          Let me know if you do make it, this is a regular for us at Christmas and Easter, to feed the pescatarians.

  5. Hello, Lin!
    We’d love to make this as our main for Christmas but we don’t have an oven. Can I make it in the microwave/frying pan? What do you suggest?

    1. Hi Es, the only thing you have to think about here is the size of the salmon. If you have a convection microwave oven (the sort that can also bake cakes), then you can definitely make the whole recipe in there, using the convection settings, just as they are in the recipe. The only problem will be making your salmon fit. Perhaps smaller sized salmon pieces?
      Frying pan – you’ll have to cook the salmon and everything else separately, and just assemble and serve. Here, you can either fry or steam the salmon (you’ll need a big steamer).
      1. First thing, you definitely want to use salmon that will fit your biggest frying pan.
      2. Season the salmon, and cook in the frying pan on medium-low heat on the skinless side for 5 minutes. Then, lower the heat down, cover, and cook for another 10 minutes or so, depending on the thickness of the salmon. We cover to partially steam the salmon, and also to cook it thoroughly without turning over, to preserve the skin side for presentation purposes.
      3. Cook all the other ingredients completely as in the recipe.
      4. Then just assemble everything as in the recipe and serve.

      ps: let me know how it goes.

      1. 5 stars
        Hi again!
        So I made it using the pan and then assembled all together… a trick I used was I put the lemon slices under the salmon fillets in the pan, because I thought it would emulate the effect of the tied lemon slices when using an oven. I also substituted chives with the green part of a leek (because I couldn’t find any before Christmas) and left the shrimp out because my boyfriend doesn’t like shrimp. In the end it was absolutely delicious and I loved the perfect balance of all the flavours, even the eggs and parsley which I was not expecting to be such a perfect touch! It’s a shame that I cannot post pictures of the result here.
        So, thank you very much for sharing this recipe and for helping me out with the method.
        Kind regards,

        1. Hi Es, I’m really pleased to hear that, lemon slices on the bottom is a great idea. My readers tend to post pictures on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Those who aren’t on social media, send the the pics to me via email. I then create a gallery of readers’ images. I have 2 that I need to get done here.

  6. Kim | a little lunch

    5 stars
    Good fishy indeed, Azlin! Thanks for your tips on downsizing it using filets — my hubby isn’t big on salmon or fish in general. I MIGHT share some of the Scampi style shrimp with him though. 🙂 I don’t have access to smoked haddock, so I’ll probably have to sub bass poached in Court Bouillon, and play around with the creamy factor due to my dairy allergy. Your Indian idea sounds marvelous, too — maybe with coconut yoghurt? Thanks again!

    1. Hi Jane, you have 2 options:
      1. leave the shrimp out altogether, for a 2 -fish roast.
      2. use FRESH crab meat. Don’t used canned.
      Let me know how it goes.

    1. Hi Julia, you can freeze it after assembly, but I would leave the eggs out, as egg whites don’t freeze too well, they tend to get chewy. You could, just use the yolks, if you like.
      Cook it straight from frozen, for about an hour. The time will depend on the size and thickness of the fish as well as the amount of filling. Just stick a knife somewhere towards the middle at 50 minutes to see if the fish is cooked.
      You will probably need to cover the fish with some foil if you are cooking it for longer, to stop it from burning.

  7. Adam Shepherd

    5 stars
    Top class! Just me parents and us, and we’re all pescatarians. Thank you Lin, the missus agrees this will be our Christmas main.

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