Oyster Stew

If the Lowcountry Boil has a rival for favorite seafood stew of the South, it would be the Oyster Stew. Synonymous with feasts on the beach with friends and family, oyster stew Is a warm, comforting dish best served by the fire. This recipe has a quick prep time of just thirty minutes which means you don't have to spend all your time in the kitchen. Choose this stew for an outdoor party or try one of these traditional fall soups or stews. Serve with a warm loaf of homemade bread or hot rolls.

Oyster Stew
Photo: Cedric Angeles; Prop Styling: Thom Driver
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
6 serves


  • 2 dozen fresh shucked oysters in liquid

  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)

  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 8 collard stems, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces

  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced (about 2 cups)

  • 3 celery stalks, finely diced (about 1 cup)

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour

  • 1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces, and cooked, reserving bacon drippings

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and celery leaves


  1. Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl, and drain oysters, reserving 1/3 cup oyster liquor.

  2. Place potatoes and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a pot of water over high, and bring to a boil. Add collard stems. Boil 1 minute. Drain in a colander, and rinse under cold water.

  3. Warm milk and cream in a medium saucepan over medium; cook until just beginning to boil. Remove from heat, and cover with a lid to keep warm.

  4. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium until foamy. Add onion, celery, potatoes, collard stems, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring often, until onion is tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetable mixture, and cook, stirring often, until thickened, about 2 minutes.

  5. Slowly whisk in warm milk and heavy cream. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often to keep mixture from sticking. Stir reserved oyster liquor into Dutch oven, and cook until all vegetables are tender, about 2 minutes.

  6. Warm reserved bacon drippings in a large skillet over medium. Add drained oysters in a single layer. Sprinkle with a few grinds of black pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cook just until oysters begin to curl around the edges. Immediately transfer oysters to Dutch oven; stir to combine. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand 10 minutes.

  7. When ready to serve, ladle hot stew into bowls, and sprinkle each evenly with cayenne and a few grinds of black pepper. Top with cooked bacon, parsley, and celery leaves.

Related Articles