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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 | ©

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 | ©

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 | ©

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

5 from 21 votes

Oyster Stew Recipe

Soup & Salad 35 mins

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Servings 4
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
This Oyster Stew Recipe is full of delicious seafood flavor. Get this family favorite oyster stew recipe you are sure to love.


  • 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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Soup & Salad Recipes

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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Recipe Review


  1. 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.

    1. I’m so happy you and your husband loved the oyster stew, Margaret. This has been a family favorite for years.

    2. I can’t find “pints” of fresh oysters anywhere. Can I use fresh oysters on the half shell? Will I miss out on the juices?

    3. Kristen Ann, save all the juice out of the fresh oysters on the half shell and use that in this recipe.

  2. My mother used whole milk and the oysters had small crabs in the quart of oysters, plenty small new .

    1. Rhonda, I reserve the liquid in the can and then add at the same time as listed in the recipe. Hope you enjoy!

  3. 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.

  4. I’m planning to cook oyster stew for the first time because my late mother loved it so much, as did I.
    You’re recipe looks more practical for my taste, leaving out the celery because I don’t like celery except plain with ranch dip.
    So this recipe is the one I’ll choose as I attempt to cook this delicious winter soup. Wish me luck!

  5. This was so good, but I combined it with the recipe my Mom always used…We are Southern and in our neck of the woods…we melted the butter, added the diced onions, sauteed them for a few minutes, then added about 2 tablespoons of flour to them to create a roux….stirring until the flour was golden, add salt and pepper, sprinkle of paprika, touch of cayenne, stir…then add 2 cups milk and 1 cup heavy cream…..or half and half, and the oyster liquid…Stir everything together and bring that to almost steaming then add the oysters. Cook until oysters begin to curl…. The roux adds a little body to the stew, and it is amazing! My Mom has been gone several years, and each time I make this stew….I can feel her presence. Enjoy!

    1. Thanks for the tip. Making our mother’s recipes always brings back such sweet memories, doesn’t it?

  6. Robyn, I wanted to add, that your recipe and my Mom’s were almost exact except for the roux….Thanks so much for sharing it with everyone….You sound like an amazing cook and I will be checking out your other recipes…Pat : )

    1. I hope you find many recipes on here that you love. You may even find more like your mother or grandmother made.

  7. You gal’s have whipped up an absolute winner here! 🏆 Added a bit of locally made clam paste stock for extra ocean salination and can’t keep my spoon out of the pot. (live alone) I have achieved absolute Oyster Stew Glory!!

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