Fish & Mushroom Casserole with Crispy Phyllo

September/October 2012

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This fish and mushroom casserole recipe features a crispy phyllo topping on a hearty stew full of mushrooms and chunks of cod swimming in a rich sherry sauce. Other firm white fish work too—use whatever looks best at the seafood counter.

Fish & Mushroom Casserole with Crispy Phyllo

Makes: 6 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds mushrooms, halved if small, quartered if larger
  • 1 1/2 cups dry or cream sherry (see Tips)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds cod (see Tips), skinned and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 5 sheets 14-by-18-inch phyllo dough or 10 9-by-14-inch sheets, preferably whole-wheat, thawed


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch (or similar size 3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until they start to release their liquid, 6 to 8 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushroom liquid has evaporated, 12 to 14 minutes more.
  3. Whisk sherry and tomato paste together and add to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about half, 5 to 7 minutes. Whisk flour and milk together and add to the pot. Reduce heat to medium and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in cod, dill, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the cod is just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  4. Place one sheet of phyllo on a clean cutting board. (If you have smaller sheets, place two side by side.) Coat the phyllo with cooking spray. Cut into quarters. (Cut smaller sheets in half to get 4 pieces.) Using your fingertips, crumple each piece of phyllo so it resembles a little nest and place on the casserole. Repeat with the remaining phyllo, fitting the “nests” snugly together to form a tight layer. Evenly coat with cooking spray.
  5. Bake the casserole until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3; cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Let stand uncovered at room temperature while you continue with Step 4 and preheat oven. Bake until bubbling and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Tips: Skip “cooking sherry”—it is high in sodium. Instead, purchase dry sherry (or sweeter cream sherry) that’s sold with other fortified wines in your liquor store.
  • For sustainably fished cod, look for wild-caught U.S. Pacific cod or Atlantic cod from Iceland and the northeast Arctic. For more information, visit
  • Storage smarts: For long-term freezer storage, wrap your food in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. The plastic will help prevent freezer burn while the foil will help keep off-odors from seeping into the food.


Per serving: 271 calories; 5 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 48 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 24 g protein; 3 g fiber; 517 mg sodium; 996 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium (29% daily value), Folate (17% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1/2 fat

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