Salmon, Potato, & Kelp Pie

This recipe combines ocean fauna and flora – salmon and kelp – with potatoes and a good dose of lemon zest to make a rich and tasty fish pie. The kelp adds a lovely salty element, and is included both in the pie and on top as a garnish, where it also provides a nice crunch.

Salmon, Potato, and Kelp Pie

If kelp doesn’t sound so appetizing, I encourage you to give it a try. I bought some local kelp, called Macrocystis Kelp (aka Giant Kelp), with the original goal of incorporating it into some dishes to increase the diversity of my microbiota (the collection of microbes that live mainly in our large intestine and which serve many functions for good digestion).

So, “good for gut health” was the original incentive for the purchase, but when I took a tentative nibble, I was excited to find that it actually tastes really good! That’s when the recipe-concocting neurons started firing and I started thinking about what to pair it with. Salmon seemed a good choice, and I’m very lucky to have relatives who fish and can their own salmon, so I have jars of it sitting in my pantry. If you don’t have your own salmon this would be a great way to use up leftover baked salmon. In a pinch you can use canned salmon, although of course the taste will depend on the quality.

PS – You can do this with a crust on top, or without. The without version looks more casserole-ish but it’s still very tasty!

This is filling! Serve with a simple salad dressed with lemon vinaigrette.

Makes enough to fill one 8 inch cast iron pan – about 2 generous servings. (It’s rich!)


  • 2 cups potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 cup canned salmon, drained or leftover cooked salmon with bones removed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1.5 teaspoons lemon zest (try to get Meyer or sweet lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (Meyer or sweet lemon)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup kelp, cut into small pieces (I used scissors), plus more kelp pieces for garnish
  • pepper
  • optional, pie crust of your choice


Note: Ideally, you use the same frying pan for baking as the pan that you use in Step 2.

  1. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and then add the potatoes and .5 teaspoon of lemon zest. Fry for about 10-12 minutes until golden brown on all sides but still not fully cooked.
  2. In an 8 inch cast iron frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter until melted. Add the flour and heat over medium heat for a few minutes until thickened. Add the remaining (1 teaspoon) lemon zest, and slowly stir in the milk and heat until thickened. Stir in the cream cheese until melted. Add the salmon and lemon juice and stir until mixed. Season generously with pepper to taste.
  3. Once the potatoes are browned, pour them on top of the salmon mixture in the cast iron pan and then place the pie crust on top. [If you didn’t use a cast iron frying pan or other oven-safe vessel then transfer to one now.]
  4. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes if crustless, or up to 30 minutes if you put a crust on top.
  5. To serve, garnish with additional kelp and pepper.

Here’s the kelp that inspired this recipe. I’d love to hear what you think of it! The kelp and the recipe!

Macrocystis Kelp (aka Giant Kelp) from the Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island, Canada


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