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Sarasota's Scalloped Fish Casserole

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“Several years ago, I had this great dish from a small "Seafood Shack," a little Hole in the Wall restaurant up in CT. I got some of the ingredients from the waiter, but this is my version. Now they served it in individual casserole dishes, as I do, but this can easily be made in a larger 13x9 casserole dish. It is pretty basic but so comforting. Cod or halibut or haddock, potatoes, and cheese in a creamy sauce with a crunchy topping. One note ... don't use bread crumbs / use cracker crumbs, use milk / not cream, use leeks and gruyere or swiss / not cheddar. Great dish. Now it does cook a while, but doesn't take long to put together. I like to make this and then go ahead and make a vegetable side dish. I like to serve this with some broccoli raab. Nothing else needed.”
1hr 5mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 14 lbs cod, haddock (just cut in 4-6 pieces) or 1 14 lbs even halibut (just cut in 4-6 pieces)
  • 1 lb russet potato, peeled and rough chopped 1-inch bite size pieces
  • 12 lb leek, just the white parts
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half and rough chopped
  • 34 cup gruyere or 34 cup swiss cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Topping
  • 34 cup cracker crumb (I use Ritz, NO bread crumbs)
  • 1 12 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 12 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley


  1. Fish -- In a small pot topped with a steamer or colander, add enough water to the bottom so you can steam the fish, but you don't want too much water so when it boils it comes through the steamer or colander. Cook on a low boil. Add the fish and cook the fish for 4-6 minutes until opaque. Remove to cool in a small bowl. Then lightly break up, don't flake, just break up. Just keep in the bowl for right now.
  2. Potatoes and Leeks -- Add the potatoes and Leeks to the same steamer or colander and cook 6-8 minutes until tender. Don't over cook, just slightly tender. Remove and add to the bowl with the fish. Reserve 1/2 cup of the water to use in the sauce.
  3. Sauce -- Using that same pot, the bottom half only, melt the butter and then stir in the flour and cook for just a minute on medium heat until you have a nice roux or thickening agent. You don't want it to brown. Then add in the milk, reserved water, salt and pepper and cook on medium until the sauce thickens. This should take about 2-3 minutes. Then finish by adding the sherry wine and cheese. Cook on low until the cheese is melted.
  4. Topping -- Just mix the cracker crumbs, melted butter and parsley.
  5. Casserole -- In a 13x9" pan, spray with Pam or a non stick stick spray and add the fish and potatoes. Then pour the sauce over the casserole and finish with the cracker crumb topping.
  6. Bake -- Loosely cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes. After 15 minutes remove the foil and continue cooking. Cooking until brown and bubbly.
  7. Serve -- A nice side of broccoli raab and you don't need anything else. A perfect cold night dinner.

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