A 30-minute oyster stew recipe that's so easy to make and absolutely delicious! Made with only 5 ingredients this easy stew is cozy and comforting and the perfect way to warm you up during the colder months.
When I was a little girl, a family tradition my mother kept for years, was to prepare this oyster stew recipe each Christmas Eve.
After eating our bowl of oyster stew, we then drove around our middle Georgia town looking at Christmas lights. It was a magical time.
If you are squeamish about eating oysters and need a little persuasion, be sure to check out the Benefits of Eating Oysters!
While oysters are expensive, they are a nutritional powerhouse. Oysters are a good source of essential nutrients such as zinc, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium, and are high in omega-3 fatty acids which are great for your heart!
Unlike the original Campbell's recipe, this one uses MUCH less sodium (because it's prepared fresh), which, combined with the Potassium, makes it a better recipe for those with higher blood pressure.
Made with only 5 ingredients this oyster stew is so cozy and comforting and takes me back to Christmas Eve traditions with my mother.
- Onion - The onion is here to add texture and flavor so use a medium grate.
- Oysters - They can be chopped up or left whole and you can use fresh or canned. If using canned, make sure to reserve the liquid.
- Milk - I recommend using whole or 2% milk for a rich and creamy broth.
This recipe might sound intimidating because of the oysters, but it is so simple to make and certainly worth a try! And oysters are filled with a ton of nutrients that make you feel good about eating them.
- Prep ingredients. Grate the onion with a medium grate and prepare the oysters. If using canned oysters, drain the oysters and reserve the liquid. Leave the oysters whole or chop them up.
- Start the broth. In a large stockpot (or you may use a double boiler), saute the grated onion in butter. The onion is here to add texture and flavor, not to be the main part of the dish, so use a medium grate.
- Add milk.
- Finish the broth. Next, add 1 pint of oysters with liquor, cream, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper as needed. Heat the milk slowly, stirring often, and do not allow it to boil.
- Serve. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!
This recipe is best served fresh with oyster crackers on top. Saltine crackers also work just fine. You could also garnish the top with chopped chives or parsley for an extra decadent touch.
If you want to serve something alongside the stew, I recommend something simple, like biscuits or a french baguette.
This oyster stew is so easy to make and is great comfort food for those cool and cozy evenings.
- Do not throw away the liquid in the oysters, this is called oyster liquor and is important because it helps keep the oysters fresh.
- If you are using whole oysters, the edges will curl when cooked.
- Chopped oysters will lose their shiny appearance and become darker in color after cooking.
- To stretch the oysters, I chop them up and it is still delicious. This is also a great idea if you or your children are new to oysters.
- Heat the milk slowly and do not allow the milk to boil. Make sure to stir frequently to prevent burning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I use canned or fresh oysters?
Really, this is up to you. Personally, I prefer opting for fresh oysters when I can, but if you're short on time or don't feel like shucking oysters the canned option works fine too. Some grocery stores will carry freshly shucked oysters so you don't have to deal with shucking your own.
Keep in mind that the texture and flavor of canned oysters are going to be different than fresh oysters so your stew might come out differently depending on which one you choose.
How do I store and reheat Oyster Stew?
This recipe makes great leftovers! It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days making an easy lunch whenever you need it. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave.
Can you freeze Oyster Stew?
Yes. Allow the stew to cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers. It will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. The texture of the stew will change after freezing and then thawing, and it probably won't taste as good as it did fresh.
More Seafood Recipes
If you loved this Oyster Stew, then you should check out more of my delicious seafood recipes.
- Shrimp Boil Recipe - This is a great recipe for a crowd. Serve it on a tablecloth outside to really impress your guests.
- Salmon Croquettes - A quick and nutritious appetizer.
- Tomato Basil Grilled Fish - A delicious dinner that's perfect during grilling season.
- Tuna and Pea Salad - A light and refreshing salad made with only 5 ingredients.
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- ½ cup butter
- 1 small onion grated
- 6 cups milk
- 1 pint oysters with liquor
- 1 cup cream
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- pepper to taste
In a large stock pot (or you may use a double boiler) saute the grated onion in butter.
Add the milk.
Add the oysters with liquor, cream, salt and pepper.
Heat the milk slowly, stirring often and do not allow it to boil.If using whole oysters, the edges will curl when cooked. If using chopped oysters, the oysters will lose their shiny appearance and become darker in color.
Ladle into bowls and Enjoy!
Notes On Preparing This Oyster Stew Recipe
- Often in oyster stew, the oysters are left whole and you know they are completely cooked when the edges curl. I chop the oysters to stretch them, as I did in this recipe. Make sure to stir frequently, heat the milk slowly and do not to allow the milk to boil.
- Note that I allowed for the possibility of using ghee in this recipe. That's okay! In addition to ghee, you can also use sea salt instead of kosher salt. Because this is a traditional recipe, however, watch and make sure your stew looks like a stew at the end. Because different people want different kinds of substitutes, sometimes you have to check back with the real thing.
An important note on oyster safety:
Oysters are a delicious food that can be enjoyed most of the time. But oysters are filter feeders, meaning that they filter ocean water and eat the yucky stuff in the ocean.
Watch for warnings about eating oysters whenever you buy them fresh. They may be affected by storms or oceanic events. Oysters are great at sorting out the gunk and keeping the order of the ocean! However, that means that they're working overtime during storms.
As always, take advantage of local fisherpeople and fishmongers in your area if you have access. These are wonderful sources of knowledge that have worked away at this for generations. They may even have cooking tips!