Skip to content

Lisa’s Green Veg Fishcakes with Homemade Ketchup


Peas icon
Tomato  icon
In season now

Serves: 4

Prep time: 25 mins (+ 15 mins chilling time)

Cook time: 45 mins


For the fishcakes:

400g potatoes (3-4 depending on size), peeled and cut into 3cm chunks

250g cod loin

a few handfuls frozen peas

6 spring onions, finely chopped

1 small handful of fresh herbs of your choice, finely chopped

50g cheddar cheese, grated

juice from ½ a lemon

Panko breadcrumbs (or normal breadcrumbs)

1 egg, beaten

flour (small bowl)

black pepper and salt, to taste

oil for cooking

For the ketchup:

400g passata (or tinned tomatoes)

6 tablespoons tomato puree

150ml apple cider vinegar

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cloves (whole)

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

60ml maple syrup

Veg Portions / Serving: 1


Recipe donated by Little Lunches Ltd for Veg Power. Recipe and photography by Lisa Towers.

One of the things my fussiest child struggles with is sloppy or soft textures, which is tricky as many recipes designed to encourage children to eat more vegetables come in this form. These fishcakes are an excellent way to get green veg (and fish) into him. Their success at home made it a ‘must have’ on the Little Lunches menu.


Preheat oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3. Bring a medium-sized pan of water to boil on the hob.

Boil the potatoes for 12 minutes or until cooked through, then remove from heat, drain and return to the pot. Mash with fork or masher. Cover with cling film and set aside.

Drizzle oil over the cod and cover in tin foil like a parcel, then place on a baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes until cooked through. Set aside to cool (still wrapped in foil).

Pat dry the cooled cod with kitchen roll and break into flakes, removing any bones. Add to the cooled mashed potato, along with the grated cheese, spring onion, chopped herbs and peas. Add the lemon juice, pepper and salt to taste. Mix well.

Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. Shape the cooled mix into fishcake shapes. Coat each in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, ensuring the whole surface area of each fishcake is completely covered.

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and fry the fishcakes on each side until just golden brown. Place on kitchen roll to drain the oil. Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes.

For the ketchup: Put all ingredients into a medium sized saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer gently for at least 40 minutes, stirring every so often to prevent sticking. (If you can afford longer (up to 90 mins), the flavours will shine even more.) Remove cloves. Blitz the sauce with a hand blender until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

Get the kids to drizzle the oil over the cod and make the foil parcels. They can also squeeze the lemon juice, grind the pepper, and mix the fish cake mixture before shaping it. Older children can flake the fish, mash the potatoes and grate the cheese.



While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.



Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.



The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.


Lisa: mum, chef & founder of Little Lunches, who aim to help kids love healthy food with freshly prepared nursery meals, and encourage parents and staff to join their Facebook page for ideas at home.

Similar recipes

Lia’s Savoury Vegetable Polenta Cake

Effort: 2
Complexity: 2
Cost: 2

Lia's Kitchen

Shepherd’s Pie

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Happy Scraps Frittata

Effort: 2
Complexity: 2
Cost: 1

Claire Wright

Caprese Pasta Salad | Veg Power

Caprese Pasta Salad

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 2

Claire Wright