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Oyster Stuffing: an easy recipe for a delicious Southern Thanksgiving dish

Total time: 95 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without stuffing. There are endless recipes for homemade stuffing but one of our favorites has to be oyster stuffing. It's made with salty, savory oysters, sausage, fresh herbs, and hearty bread. Very popular in coastal areas where oysters are usually cheaper, this oyster stuffing tastes amazing with turkey, so it's perfect for holiday dinners such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This oyster stuffing recipe is super easy to make and has only a mild seafood flavor, so don't worry about fishy taste. You can serve it as side dish or cook it inside the turkey. It's so delicious, your guests are sure to come back for seconds!

Oyster Stuffing Origins

This traditional recipe was brought over from Britain by the colonists who came to America during 18th century, and to this day, it's a popular recipe throughout New England. Fresh oysters are protein-rich shellfish, so they were usually added to poultry stuffing originally. As in North America and on the Gulf Coast they were abundant and cheaper than a turkey, using oysters in stuffing was a good way to feed many people, even the working class.

Can you make Oyster Stuffing for the Turkey?

If you want to make oyster stuffing for roast turkey, remember that 12-14 pounds of turkey corresponds to about 9-10 cups of moist stuffing. Cook the raw stuffed turkey in the oven at a minimum of 325°F and make sure it has reached an internal temperature of 165°F before taking it out of the oven.

Tips for making the Best Oyster Stuffing

For a shortcut, place bread on a baking sheet and bake at 200ºC for 20 minutes instead of leaving it to dry overnight.

You can also leave sausage out if you don't like it.

For extra crunch, you can add saltines or other crackers to your oyster stuffing.

Fresh always tastes best, but if you can't get fresh oysters, canned or smoked oysters are an excellent substitute.

Feel free to use your favorite stale bread for this recipe. Cornbread, white bread, baguettes, and brioche are all delicious alternatives you can use to make your oyster stuffing.

For extra flavor, add the oyster liquor which is the liquid inside raw oysters.

Give your oyster stuffing a kick with Cajun seasoning, a dash of cayenne pepper, chili flakes, or poultry seasoning.

Bacon adds loads of flavor to any dish. Some bacon or pancetta will take your stuffing to the next level.

How to Store Oyster Stuffing

You can even make this oyster stuffing ahead of time. Wrap leftover stuffing in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Before serving, reheat leftovers at 165°F in the oven until heated through.

Can I Freeze Oyster Stuffing?

Absolutely! Oyster stuffing can be assembled and frozen before cooking for up to 3 weeks. Cooked oyster stuffing will last up to a month when frozen. Before serving, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat it in the oven.


Stale bread
some slices
1/2 cup + extra
medium yellow onion, chopped
celery, chopped
4 stalks
shallots, minced
freshly chopped sage
1 tbsp
fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp
Fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tsp
fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp + extra
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
fresh oysters, roughly chopped, in their liquor
1 8-ounce container
sausage, casings removed
1 pound
Chicken broth
1 1/2 cups

How to Make Oyster Stuffing

Cube the bread and leave it overnight to dry out.

Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease a baking dish with butter. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add in onion, celery, and shallots.

Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, or until they become soft.

Add in the fresh herbs and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.

Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl.

Season with salt and pepper, then stir in parsley, bread, and oysters, and the oyster liquor. Set aside.

In the same skillet, cook the sausage meat for 10 minutes, or until cooked through.

Stir the sausage into the bread mixture. Remove excess fat from the skillet, then deglaze with broth. Pour the broth over the bread mixture.

Put the bread mixture into the baking dish.

Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove from oven, garnish with parsley, and serve.


Use low-sodium chicken broth for a less salty dish.

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