Simple Oyster Casserole
Dinner Casseroles,  Food,  Holidays,  Sides

Simple Oyster Casserole

This simple oyster casserole will become a favorite dish for the holidays!

One of the things I love about cooking is the ability to try a recipe, then change it up to make it my own. But sometimes a recipe is *so perfect* just the way it started that altering it would seem almost offensive.

Like this simple oyster casserole.

Freshly baked oyster casserole made with crumbled saltines.

 

I got this oyster casserole recipe from a friend, back in 2001.

It’s hard to remember exactly, but I believe at the time I was looking for something to make for a holiday dinner at my future in-laws’ house, so she pulled out a few of her trusted, favorite recipes  and was kind enough to share them with me.

The simplicity of the recipe was astonishing — I remember thinking, “How in the world can only a few ingredients make something so tasty?!”

Well, probably because of the fat … it’s not for the faint of heart when it comes to calories, as you shall see. So, maybe that helps.

But for a holiday dinner, nobody cares about that, right? Right.

Simple Oyster Casserole

Freshly baked oyster casserole made with crumbled saltines.

There’s no substitute for the fresh oysters in this casserole, something I’m asked at least once by a reader during every holiday season. I’ll say this, though: try it before you turn your nose. The oysters in this casserole bake into a taste and texture that’s unlike a fried oyster or something from a raw bar. 

The cream and the butter, along with the saltiness of the oyster liqueur and the crackers … yum!

I’ve made this simple oyster casserole every Thanksgiving and Christmas for over a decade, and I’m not sure either side of the family would have it any other way. 

 
Simple Oyster Casserole

Simple Oyster Casserole

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This simple oyster casserole is perfect for the holidays!

Ingredients

  • 2 pints fresh jarred oysters (find them in the seafood section)
  • 4 cups medium coarse saltine cracker crumbs - about 2 sleeves
  • 1 cup melted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1-1/2 cups half & half
  • 1/2 cup oyster liqueur (the liquid in the oyster jars)
  • 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Drain the oysters, reserving the 1/2 cup of oyster liqueur.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and butter. Spread 1/3 of the cracker mixture into the bottom of a 9x13" casserole dish, and then top with 1/2 of oysters. Sprinkle with pepper. Repeat these steps once more.
  3. Combine the half & half, oyster liqueur, worcestershire sauce and salt. Pour the liquid mixture over top of the layers in the casserole dish. Top with the remaining crackers.
  4. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes uncovered, or until the top is golden and edges are bubbly.

Notes

Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 623Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 210mgSodium: 1028mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 29g

Did you make this recipe?

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Hi, I'm Liza, a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting sucked into whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life, and as a foodie at heart, I relish the chance to both cook and eat. (No picky-eater here!) Always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect mojito and time to finish my novel!

38 Comments

  • Margi

    This is very similar to what my husband’s aunt called oyster dressing. Only difference she used some vinegar in it as well. Was very good for those who enjoy oysters.

  • Anne Wagner

    When I got married in 1966, our neighbor included this recipe in her cookbook shower gift. Over the years I made for holiday family diners (my nephew shares my affinity for oysters). The card was finally lost due to numerous moves. Several times I attempted it from memory but I am so delighted to find it written out again!

  • R William McAllister

    My Mom made this for me every Thanksgiving. The Lord took her in 1978 and, as I’m the only one in my family that cares for it, my best half rarely has the time to make it. However, having come across this simple recipe that so reminds me of Mom’s, tomorrow I shall make and thoroughly enjoy my own dish!

    • Liza Hawkins

      Oh, what a sweet story! Some of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving are how the dishes remind me of family members. The sweet potato casserole I prepare makes me think of my grandmother who passed in the ’90s, and I love that nostalgia. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Sallee

    My mother called them scalloped oysters and use this recipe and my whole family loved this dish. I’ve tried to duplicate it but mines not as good as moms wish she was still with us to make it again. Brings back great memories.

  • Kathy Metcalfe

    This was always my Dad’s dish for Thanksgiving, he made it with Ritz crackers, which gave it a slight sweet buttery flavor. He always wanted to add more butter to the top but my Mom put a stop to that. They are both gone now but I continue to make it every Thanksgiving and am teaching my son to make it so the tradition carries on.

    • Liza Hawkins

      Hi Renee! I think you can — though you might need to add a little salt to the liquid since oyster crackers aren’t as salty as saltine crackers. If you give it a try, let me know how it turns out!

  • Carol in Brooklyn

    After researching dozens of recipes, hoping to recreate a dining experience from a Summer trip, we made this per spec with only minor customization. Our oysters came from Washington and were GINORMOUS – only a single layer of oysters would fit in the pan. So, we fine-diced 1/2 a red onion + 1/2 red bell pepper + 1/2 gold bell pepper and layered it over the oysters. Course ground 5-pepper blend and Himalayan pink salt over that. We used a bit more Worcestershire (~2 tsp in total) in the sauce. We used Trader Joe’s Golden Rounds (buttery golden crackers similar to Ritz) with butter as directed for the base and topping, with a bit of additional fresh-ground 5-pepper blend over the top of the dish. This recipe baked up beautifully and set-up perfectly as it cooled to palate temperature. Waiting that final 15 minutes with the tantalizing aromas wafting through the house was excruciating, but so-o-o worth the wait.

    • Liza Hawkins

      OH wow – that sounds fantastic! I’ve never made this with anything other than Saltine crackers, so now you have me drooling over the idea of a Ritz-type. Thank you for coming and sharing!

  • S. Rosalind Kleckley-Mixson

    The heading for the recipe named red onion and bell pepper, yet they were not mentioned in the recipe. My late great-grandmother, Vivian Beach of Bluffton, SC, put white onion in hers, but I don’t remember if she sauted` them first. Hers was delicious cut into bars and eaten cold, too.

  • Deborah F Hrasok

    My father passed away in 1978. He was the cook in the family and his oyster filling was always a big hit around the holidays. The only difference in his recipe from yours were the crackers. He used QTC , the big round hard oyster cracker that you can not find anymore. ( Company was sold and new product not the same.) I can’t wait to try your recipe using saltines. Thank you.

    • Liza Hawkins

      Deborah – As a fan of the smaller oyster crackers, I can totally see how those classic larger ones would be delicious in place of the saltines I use. That said … you now have me wondering if the smaller oyster crackers would work just as well. I may have to change it up this year and give it a try!

  • Michael Jarvis

    I found your recipe and love oysters so I made this for Thanksgiving dinner. I followed the recipe with one exception, I added Dungeness crab I had caught. It will now become a dish severed at every Thanksgiving dinner, Simply delicious. Thank you!

  • APTurner

    Made recipe for two to four people by cutting ingredients to 1/4th to 1.3. Used 50 raw shucked oysters. Did not know if should keep cover on dish when cooking and if anyone has cooked at 375 degrees as 350 took too long. Came out really good with oyster crackers used. A little bland so will spice up next time.

    • Liza Hawkins

      Hi! I don’t cover my casserole dish while baking, but it’s a good idea to say that explicitly so no one’s left guessing — I’m going to update the recipe now, to be clear. You can definitely play around with temps! Depending on the oven, the size/shape of the casserole dish, and other things, a 375°F setting may be more ideal. If you play around with spices next time, you’ll have to come back and let me know how it turned out (and what you used)!

  • Life Everlasting

    Our family made this every year until my grandmother passed. We used Keebler club crackers and added a stick of Cracker Barrel extra sharp cheddar (grated). Delicious

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