There are all sorts of ways to make delicious Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes, but why only stick to the simple stuff? Why not experiment a bit and make this Oyster Dressing for the holiday season?
The origins of oyster dressing herald from New Englanders on the Americas’ East Coast, as oysters were a cheap and plentiful source of protein. Now oysters are a delicacy for us (and not cheap!) and they lend a delicious subtle seafood flavor to dressing and is definitely one that all seafood lovers should try at least once!
Cooked properly, oysters make an amazing addition to a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner thanks to all of their delicious saltiness and umami flavors.
Make this for the holidays, or serve it alongside any regular poultry as you prefer.
Oyster Dressing Ingredients
Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.
• Vegetable oil
• Chopped fresh parsley
• Oyster liquid
• Black pepper
• Poultry seasoning
• Dried thyme
How To Make Oyster Dressing
• Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside
• Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
• Add the celery and onion, cooking until tender
• Add the bread crumbs and parsley and then mix them in and remove the skillet from the stove
• Add oysters, egg, salt and pepper, poultry seasoning, and thyme
• Carefully Add in just enough oyster liquid to get it moist and mix them all together
• Once mixed, transfer to the pan
• Bake at 325 Fahrenheit for 45 minutes, or until the top looks golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean
Why Make Oyster Dressing?
Many people are understandably wary of cooking with oysters. This recipe, however, should make it really easy to end up with a fresh-tasting and juicy dressing, but why use oysters at all?
The entire reason that a lot of people make dressings for the holiday season is to provide a juicy and filling counterpart to the meat. These are commonly made using breadcrumbs and some chopped vegetables, but the principal component is some kind of umami, a salty ingredient within the dressing.
Though traditional dressings use things like olives or anchovies, oysters fill that role here.
Oysters are packed with salty, umami flavor, and the oyster liquid that each can come with is filled with even more!
Just think of this dish as a salty, herby bread pudding to serve alongside your turkey, and you probably won’t think it especially weird at all.
What Kind Of Breadcrumbs Should You Use For This Recipe?
This recipe calls for breadcrumbs, and you will need a whole lot of them.
As a dressing, this recipe is basically a bread pudding with vegetables, seasoning, and oysters, so you will need a source of good quality breadcrumbs to make this.
The easiest way to get hold of some good breadcrumbs is to buy them from the store. However, most supermarket breadcrumbs are way, way too fine in particle size to be able to use them in this recipe.
The best thing to do is to buy a loaf of good white bread. Take it home, chop it into cubes and then gently toast those cubes in the oven until a little drier.
From there, you can mix it into your dressing; this results in a nice bit of crunch and textural contrast while still letting it absorb all of the delicious juices within the dressing and giving you some really tasty dressing to serve alongside your turkey.
More Stuffing Recipes
Looking for more traditional stuffing recipes? Try these out:
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- Prep Time
- 30 minutes
- Cook Time
- 45 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 ¼ cups celery chopped
- 1 ¼ cups white onion chopped
- 10 cups dry bread crumbs see notes
- 2 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 3 ½ cups fresh raw oysters liquid drained and reserved
- 3 large eggs beaten
- 3/4 tablespoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 ¼ teaspoons poultry seasoning
- ½ teaspoon teaspoon dried thyme
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the celery and onion and cook until soft and tender. This is really important as they will NOT soften in the dressing, you must cook them to your desired softness now.
- Add in bread crumbs and parsley, mix them in and remove the skillet from the stove.
- Add oysters, eggs, salt and pepper, poultry seasoning and thyme.
- Carefully add in just enough oyster liquid to allow you to moisten the ingredients and mix them all together.
- Once mixed, transfer to the waiting 9×13 pan.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until the top looks golden brown and a toothpick or knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- You can also add in chopped giblets from the turkey and a small amount of broth if desired to give this a little flavor boost!
- You want bread crumbs that are a mixture in size, from small to some medium, to some large pieces.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.