This oyster stew recipe is rustic and comforting with loads of plump, juicy oysters simmered in a soup made with a creamy, buttery roux base and the perfect blend of seasonings.
Easy Oyster Stew
We're cooking up a big pot of delicious Oyster Stew in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen, my friends. Would you care for a bowl? Pull up a chair and have a seat.
Oyster stew is made in various parts of the country where oysters are readily available. You'll find variations in the New England area, but also down south, particularly in Louisiana, where it is traditionally served as a light Sunday supper during chilly winters, or as holiday favorite as a Christmas Eve tradition.
This is the southern version, with a simple blend of Cajun seasonings. Oyster stew is quick and easy to make, done in 15 minutes once all of your ingredients are prepped.
You essentially start with a blonde roux made with butter and flour, then stir in milk to make a thick soup base - basically a bechamel - then cook in onion and celery, oysters and other flavorful ingredients, and oysters, of course.
I love fresh shucked oysters for my oyster stew, though they aren't always readily available. You can use jarred or canned oysters to make oyster stew. Still very delicious.
Let's talk about how to make oyster stew, shall we?
Oyster Stew Ingredients
- Flour - Use white, all-purpose flour
- Vegetables - Onion, celery, garlic, green onion
- Oysters with reserved oyster liquor
- Seasonings - Cajun seasonings, salt, black pepper
- Fresh Herbs - Parsley
- Extras - Hot Sauce, extra chopped parsley, pads of butter (optional), chili flake, extra hot sauce, soda crackers or oyster crackers
How to Make Oyster Stew - the Recipe Method
Make the Roux. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat to medium high. Stir in the flour to the melted butter to make the roux. Cook stirring constantly to cook the roux for 5 minutes to make a blonde roux, which is light brown in color.
See my post on How to Make a Roux for tips and a video demonstration.
Cook the Vegetables. Stir in the onion and celery. Cook for 2 minutes.
Milk and Seasonings. Stir in the milk, and add the oyster liquor, Cajun seasonings. Add the salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cook at medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture thickens slightly.
Cook the Oysters. Stir in the parsley, green onions, garlic, hot sauce and oysters. Bring to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the edges of the oysters curl and cook through.
Garnish and Serve. Remove from heat. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs (parsley), small chips of extra butter (if desired), chili flakes and a dash of sauce sauce (if desired). Don't forget the crackers!
Boom! Done! Your oyster stew is ready to serve. I do like mine with some extra hot sauce stirred in, along with crushed crackers for a bit of a crunch. Looks wonderful, doesn't it? So delicious. I love this recipe.
Recipe Notes & Tips For Success
- The Oysters. Fresh shucked oysters are best for making oyster stew. Reserve the oyster liquor (oyster liquid) when you shuck them, as the liquor adds a lot of flavor. If you are unable to obtain fresh oysters, you can use jarred oysters or canned oysters. If using cooked canned oysters, add them into the stew 1-2 minutes before serving, just to warm them through, as canned oysters are usually cooked before canning.
- The Roux. A light blonde roux is key for this recipe. You really only need a few minutes to achieve the proper light brown color. See my post on How to Make a Roux for roux making tips and a video recipe.
- The Milk. 2 percent milk thickens up in the roux very nicely, though you can use whole milk or cream for a thicker, more decadent version. Or use a combination of milk and cream.
- The Seasonings. I'm using my favorite Cajun seasoning recipe for my oyster stew, though you can use your favorite brand, or use Creole seasonings. You can also use a simple blend of cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
- Crackers. Completely optional, of course, but oyster stew is great with soda crackers or oyster crackers. As an alternative, crushed or crumbled saltine crackers or club crackers work nicely as well.
- Other Ingredients. You can easily add in other seafood to round out this recipe, such as shrimp or crawfish. Try it with crumbled sausage or boudin. Patty really likes it with a splash of Worcestershire sauce and potatoes for more of a chowder version. Very tasty.
Store oyster stew in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Gently reheat to enjoy again.
I do not recommend to freeze oyster stew because of the dairy content.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this classic oyster stew recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you and I hope it becomes a new family favorite!
If you enjoy Louisiana cooking, including Cajun and Creole cuisine, I have found this book very informative with lots of great recipes and techniques.
- Louisiana Real and Rustic, by Emeril Lagasse (affiliate link, my friends!)
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Oyster Stew Recipe
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 small bell pepper, chopped use jalapenos for a spicier version
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasonings
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup oyster liquor reserved from the shucked oysters
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- Dash of hot sauce
- 2 dozen oysters shucked and drained (you can use canned oysters)
- For Serving: Extra chopped parsley pads of butter (optional), chili flake, extra hot sauce, soda crackers or oyster crackers
- Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large pan or pot over medium high heat. Stir in the flour to make the roux. Stir constantly to cook the roux for 5 minutes to make a blonde roux, which is light brown in color.
- Stir in the onion, peppers and celery. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the milk, oyster liquor, Cajun seasonings and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture thickens slightly.
- Stir in the parsley, green onions, garlic, hot sauce and oysters. Bring to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the oysters cook through and their edges curl.
- Remove from heat. Garnish with chopped parsley, small chips of extra butter (if desired), chili flakes and a dash of sauce sauce (if desired). Don't forget the crackers!
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 11/12/21 to include new information and video. It was originally published on 3/31/21.