Crumbled crackers often top this casserole, but we prefer homemade breadcrumbs because they soak up more butter.
We published our first recipe for oyster casserole, shared by Mrs. A. M. Tennison of Nashville, in 1967, and we've featured dozens of variations since. Although this classic dish has had a treasured spot on Southerners' holiday tables, you'd be hard-pressed to find two cooks who make it the same way—or even call it the same thing. Depending on where you grew up, you might know it as oyster dressing, oyster pie, or even scalloped oysters. Recipes vary widely, with the exception of a few common components: oysters, a rich and creamy sauce, and a crispy topping, often Ritz Crackers, saltines, or breadcrumbs. Our Test Kitchen looked back at all of our recipes, and, after some tinkering, came up with what we think is the best version ever: plump oysters baked in a rich Parmesan cream sauce and topped with buttery breadcrumbs. Whatever name you give it, or however you serve it, it will remain a favorite decadent Christmas tradition.