Oyster Stew Recipe – This easy Oyster Stew Recipe is full of delicious seafood flavor! This family favorite recipe makes the best oyster stew and is one that everyone will love.

Oyster Stew Recipe | ©addapinch.com

This Oyster Stew recipe is a family classic. You see, my granddaddy loved it more than any other dish on a cold winter day.

I always looked forward to the days my grandmother would make her recipe because it was secretly a favorite of mine, too. I would watch as she chopped the onions, melted the butter, and started the stew. She always made cooking look so easy!

Oyster Stew Recipe

This recipe makes the best oyster stew I’ve ever had. And I love that this is so easy to make on any cold night when the craving hits me! There’s nothing like the deliciously rich seafood flavor of the oysters and the creaminess of the onions and milk from this stew! It is the perfect fix for my cravings.

Oyster Stew Recipe | ©addapinch.com

The best oysters for this oyster stew are fresh. As in the fresher the better. But, if I have a craving for this stew and am no where near finding fresh oysters that I can shuck myself (ha!), I have found that the seafood section of my grocery store usually has a very good selection of oysters that work perfectly.

How to Make Fresh Oyster Stew Recipe

To make Grandmother’s Oyster Stew, begin with a pint of fresh oysters. You’ll drain away the juices (oyster liquor) from the oysters and set aside for later use. Then, melt your butter in a large saucepan or small Dutch oven set over medium-low heat.

Stir in your chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in your reserved oyster liquor and cook until reduced by about half. Stir in your milk and half and half and simmer. Do not let reach a boil as this will cause your milk to curdle.

Add your oysters and allow to cook until the edges of the fresh oysters begin to curl. Remove your oyster stew from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Then, stir in your salt and pepper and serve with crackers.

Oyster Stew Recipe | ©addapinch.com

Here’s my Grandmother’s Oyster Stew Recipe. Hope you like it as much my Granddaddy and I always have.

Oyster Stew Recipe

This Oyster Stew Recipe is full of delicious seafood flavor. Get this family favorite oyster stew recipe you are sure to love.
5 from 19 votes

Review Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 4
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch


  • 1 pint fresh oysters packed in their juice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Drain juice from oysters into small bowl. Set aside.
  • Add butter to large saucepan. Heat on medium-low heat until melted.
  • Add chopped onions and cook until translucent and tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add oyster liquor and cook until mostly reduced, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in milk and half-and-half and heat to simmer. Do not allow to boil as it will cause your milk to curdle. 
  • Add oysters and continue on simmer until outer edges of oysters curl, about 8 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly, and add salt and black pepper, to taste.
  • Serve with mini saltines or oyster crackers.
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Robyn xo

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Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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116 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. My mother made oyster stew that I truly loved. But, she never put in onions or used cream. Just all milk. The rest of your recipe seems like hers. So I guess I’ll just use 4 cups of milk.

  2. My husband’s family had the very strange tradition of making oyster stew for New Year’s Eve dinner…after making the stew just the way you have it here, mother-in-law would “fish out” the oysters and throw them away then serve the “soup” left behind.

      1. Thanks, Robyn. Nice to know I’m not alone in this oyster-less in-law world. (First year, I had “mom” put all the oysters in my bowl, then ate every one. Did not feel well for some time.)

  3. Amazingly delicious and so easy to make…just need to be patient. I added a dash of paprika at the end. So good. Reminded me of when I was a kid. Oyster stew was a rare treat.

  4. Grandma use to make oyster stew for Christmas we all love it. This recipe is a lot like it . She didn’t put onions in but we like with the onions. Thanks you for sharing your recipe..

  5. this is almost the recipe my family uses…always have had it on Christmas morning…we used celery in it instead of onion…didn’t eat the oysters until I was in my 40’s…now, I love them!

  6. We had oyster left over from steaming so I have no oyster liquid. what could I use in replacement for that to make my oyster stew with?

  7. I have always used this recipe for my stew. As another person commented some don’t like the oysters and I am one of them. I am more than happy to just have broth while my husband gets all the oysters. I thought I would look up a variation to the recipe but here I end up, using this one because of the great reviews. Mine is more of a cracker stew but I love the oyster flavor. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Helen, I have some in my family who are just like you; they don’t eat the oysters either but just love the stew. I’m sure your husband likes that he gets all they oysters. I know my daddy would have loved that.

  8. Outstanding. I made this last night and have never made oyster stew in my life. The only thing I did different was dice a potato and toss it in with the onion. Just to add a bit more “bulk” and make it a little thicker. And a dash of paprika, just to give it a little kick. Two questions:

    Some of the oysters were huge, like half the size of my hand. I cut those up into 3 or 4 smaller chunks before adding to the stew. My theory – I’d rather have more bites with a piece of oyster in it, rather than one big gulp of oyster and then a half dozen spoonfuls of just stew. Does anybody else do that? Or does that compromise the taste somehow and I should leave whole?

    Also, I used the “juice” from the jar (1 pint of Hilton’s brand Willapoint Oysters) in Step 4. I assumed that’s what you meant by “oyster liquor”, right? I was undecided and not sure if it would be OK, or if oyster liquor was only from fresh shucked oysters. Anyway, I used the juice and the stew turned out great and I didn’t get sick. LOL. Just want some clarification on that.

    1. Mike, I cut large oysters into smaller bite size pieces when making this stew, too and you did the right thing with using the juice (oyster liquor). I’m so glad you enjoyed the stew.

  9. I made this for Memorial weekend Sunday Brunch today and it was wonderful. Followed your recipe exactly and glad I did. My husband and I loved the softness of the oysters and the very tasty onions. Thanks for sharing your technique of reserving the oyster liquid and sautéing the onions it in. I had always just dumped the whole container of oysters in the soup at once and our oysters always seem tougher because of it.

  10. I am going to short cut this a bit by using dehydrated minced onions. I’ll rehydrate in the oyster liquor, then drain reserving the juice, add to the butter for a couple of minutes and then proceed. Don’t have anything close to minced fresh onion here, and I don’t want to run out on Black Friday to get one. Our anniversary today, and husband loves this, so that will be our first course.

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