This is by far the best oyster stuffing recipe! It only requires a few simple ingredients, it’s so easy to make and the flavors are amazing together. Plus, it’s so creamy and crunchy and has the perfect savory flavor. This oyster dressing recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner and everyone will love it, especially the seafood lover!
Oyster stuffing is a type of stuffing made with oysters. It’s a popular dish during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving. The flavors of the oysters, butter, and herbs pair perfectly together. I also can’t stress enough that this is an easy recipe to make too.
This recipe is a family favorite that was passed down by my grandfather. It’s a very old recipe and when it was given to me by my aunt, it was written without measurements! It read similarly to “add butter, then pour in the milk, layer in the oysters and crackers, and top with pepper.”
We experimented and tested it a few ways until we came up with a good ratio of ingredients. It’s one of our favorite stuffing recipes and makes its way onto our Thanksgiving table every year.
The thing that makes this recipe so special is that it doesn’t require any bread cubes, white bread, or chopping a lot of ingredients! It’s so simple to make and the oysters and crackers provide all the flavor and texture you need. And trust me, it does not disappoint.
This dish always goes perfectly with the rest of our Thanksgiving feast, and it’s always the first to disappear. If you’re looking for a unique and truly delicious stuffing recipe, this is the one you need.
One thing to note is that you must like the taste of seafood, oysters, and clams. The overall flavor is buttery and so good but it has a subtle seafood flavor, as it should! I’m not even a huge oyster fan, but I really enjoyed this stuffing! It’s SO good!
What do oysters taste like?
If you’ve never had oysters on the half shell, they have a briny, salty flavor. They are also a bit sweet and have a subtle fish flavor, like the ocean! They taste a little similar to clams but have a lighter, buttery flavor.
Oyster Stuffing Ingredients
Ritz Crackers (salted) – These are a must for making this recipe. The Ritz crackers hold their crunch and flavor when cooked. I wouldn’t recommend any other cracker when making this stuffing.
Oysters – You can use fresh or fresh canned oysters. If you are using fresh oysters, try to get small oysters. Sometimes that’s not an option, the ones we used in this recipe were bigger and they still worked. When you buy the oysters, ask them to chuck the shuck them for you. This will save you a lot of time!
Unsalted Butter – A key ingredient in any stuffing recipe is butter! It adds so much creamy flavor and just makes everything taste better! Use good quality, butter for the best flavor.
Milk – Adds creaminess and richness to the stuffing. It also helps to moisten the bread crumbs or other dry ingredients. Without milk, stuffing can be dry and crumbly. You can use 2% or whole milk.
Fresh Rosemary or Thyme or Fresh Sage – The only chopping you need to do in this recipe! I love the flavor of fresh chopped herbs and for this recipe we used rosemary. It was perfect.
Pepper – There is a lot of freshly ground pepper in this recipe. This is another key ingredient when it comes to flavor.
Salt – The oysters and crackers are salty so you don’t need to add a lot of salt. I added just a teaspoon of salt to bring out the flavors.
How To Make Our Oyster Stuffing Recipe
This recipe is simple to make! You don’t need a skillet or to heat anything before it’s really the easiest stuffing recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 9 x 13 baking dish
- Large Bowl
- Measuring Cup
- Small Paring Knife and Cutting Board – Just for cubing the butter and chopping the fresh herbs.
Heat oven to oven to 350 degrees.
Start by cubing the butter into small pieces and chopping the fresh rosemary. Set it aside to soften while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Pour the crackers into the large mixing bowl and roughly break them in half. This doesn’t need to be perfect by any means! Just quickly break them in half in the bowl.
Butter the 9×13 casserole dish
Layer in 1/3 of the crackers in the prepared baking dish. Keep in mind, that you will add 3 layers of the crackers total so save enough for the extra layers.
Add 1/2 of the oysters over the top.
Randomly place 9 small pieces of cubed butter over the top.
Sprinkle about 1/4 tsp of salt and 1 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp fresh rosemary over the top.
Add another layer of crackers, the rest of the oysters, butter, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
The last layer will be the top, so it will just be crackers, the remaining butter, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
Add the oyster liquid in with the milk and then pour the milk evenly over the top of the crackers.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes covered and 25 minutes not covered. This dish will bake for about 55 minutes.
The crackers will be golden brown on top.
Tips for Making the Best Oyster Stuffing Recipe
Oyster stuffing is one of those dishes that is so easy to make but there are a few things that you can do to make it even better!
Use fresh oysters. Have the seafood department shuck them for you. If you can’t get fresh, use freshly shucked oysters in a jar. Don’t use canned for this recipe.
Make sure to use Ritz crackers. They hold up well when baked and have the best flavor.
Add plenty of fresh chopped herbs. This really makes a difference in the flavor of the stuffing.
Use good quality butter. It will make a difference in the flavor and texture of the stuffing.
Don’t forget the milk! It sounds like an odd ingredient but it really does help to moisten the stuffing and make it more flavorful.
Another helpful tip… don’t toss the oyster juice! Save the liquid and add it to the milk. Don’t add more than 1/8 cup of oyster liquid though.
Shucked oysters can stay fresh in refrigerators for up to five days. However, I recommend using them right away for the best results. I like to be extra careful when working with raw oysters and seafood.
If you do store the oysters for a day. keep the oysters in the coldest area of your refrigerator.
You can find more about how to properly care for and store oysters from Safe Oysters.
Difference Between Canned Oysters and Jar Oysters
Canned oysters are cooked before being canned. They have a softer texture and are already cooked so they just need to be reheated.
Jar oysters are fresh and have not been cooked. You will need to cook them before eating. I recommend using jar oysters for this recipe.
Both types of oysters can be found in the canned seafood aisle of most grocery stores.
How to Serve Oyster Stuffing
This oyster stuffing recipe is best served warm, right out of the oven. I like to garnish mine with a little bit of fresh chopped rosemary or any herb like fresh parsley. You can also serve this with hot sauce, which is really good!
When to Serve Oyster Stuffing
Oyster stuffing is traditionally served as a side dish on Thanksgiving but it can really be enjoyed any time of year! We love to make it for special occasions, Sunday dinner, or holiday meal. It’s the perfect side dish to serve with roasted chicken, turkey, or ham. It’s always a hit at potlucks and holiday parties! Here are some more celebrations you can serve this recipe:
- Christmas Eve
- Thanksgiving Day
What to Serve with Oyster Stuffing
Oyster stuffing is a great side dish to serve with roasted chicken, turkey, or ham. It’s also delicious with all of Thanksgiving’s famous sides such as:
Cocktail Recipes for Thanksgiving
Frequently Asked Questions
Does oyster dressing taste fishy?
Oyster stuffing has a bit of a briny flavor from the oysters but it’s not super fishy. It will have a subtle fish flavor but the flavors of the herbs, butter, and crackers really help to balance it out.
It also depends on the quality of the oysters you’re using too.
What does it mean to shuck an oyster?
Shucking an oyster means opening the oyster shell and removing the oyster meat inside. It can be a bit tricky to do but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy! You’ll need a sharp knife and an oyster-shucking glove to protect your hand.
Here’s a helpful video tutorial on how to shuck an oyster:
How to Shuck an Oyster Video Tutorial
Can you reheat oyster stuffing?
This recipe is best served right away when it’s fresh and warm. The crackers are crispy and they lose their texture when placed in the refrigerator.
However, if you have leftovers, you can reheat them in the oven or microwave. Just add a little bit of milk or butter to moisten it up before reheating. It won’t have the same taste as it does when it comes right out of the oven.
Are oysters healthy for you?
Yes, oysters are a healthy food to eat. They’re a good source of protein, omega-three fatty acids, vitamin c, iron, and zinc. Oysters are also low in calories and fat.
How long does oyster stuffing last?
This oyster stuffing recipe will last in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Can oyster stuffing be frozen?
Yes, you can freeze oyster stuffing. Just place it in a freezer-safe dish and it will keep for up to three months. When you’re ready to eat it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat it in the oven or microwave.
Where did Oyster Stuffing Come From?
This dish is said to have originated in the New England area during the 1800s. Oysters were plentiful and inexpensive, so they became a popular ingredient in many recipes.
The oyster stuffing was traditionally served as a side dish on Thanksgiving but it can really be enjoyed any time of year!
I hope you enjoy this easy oyster stuffing recipe! It’s the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving feast and I hope the tradition of oyster dressing becomes a Thanksgiving staple in your home!
You can also FOLLOW US on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious recipes, cocktails, desserts, and parties!
Oyster Stuffing Recipe
- 1 pint oysters, fresh and shucked
- 13 ounces Ritz Crackers, about 5 sleeves of crackers. This doesn't need to be exact.
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups milk, 2% or whole
- 3 tsp fresh rosemary , finely chopped
- 3 tsp fresh pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Heat oven to oven to 350 degrees.
- Start by cubing the butter into small pieces and chopping the fresh rosemary. Set it aside to soften while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Pour the crackers into the large mixing bowl and roughly break them in half. This doesn’t need to be perfect by any means! Just quickly break them in half in the bowl.
- Butter the 9×13 casserole dish (or something similar)
- Layer in 1/3 of the crackers in the prepared baking dish. Keep in mind, that you will add 3 layers of the crackers total so save enough for the extra layers.
- Add 1/2 of the oysters over the top.
- Randomly place 9 small pieces of cubed butter over the top.
- Sprinkle about 1/4 tsp of salt and 1 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp fresh rosemary over the top.
- Add another layer of crackers, the rest of the oysters, butter, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- The last layer will be the top, so it will just be crackers, the remaining butter, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- Add the oyster liquid in with the milk and then pour the milk evenly over the top of the crackers.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes covered and 25 minutes not covered. This dish will bake for about 55 minutes.
- The crackers will be golden brown on the top.
5 thoughts on “The Best Oyster Stuffing Recipe for Thanksgiving”
Hello from Missouri! Do you have a sense as to whether this could be made ahead earlier in the day, refrigerated, and baked later the same day? Looking to add this to our Thanksgiving table in 2022.
This is the closest recipe to my grandmother’s I could find – thank you!
H! I would make this one the same day for freshness.
Great recipe easy to to use very flavorful!
I love that this recipe is handed down through the generations. It’s such a classic. And anything with Ritz crackers is my fav! Such a tasty recipe.
What an incredible flavor this adds!! I am excited to try it with other recipes. The holidays will be here faster than we know it!