Oyster Stuffing is a classic Thanksgiving side dish and this recipe will wow your guests this holiday season!
Happy Happy Thanksgiving friends! Thanksgiving is truly my favorite holiday. I love getting together with family and cooking with them. The joy that comes from cooking with loved ones is something I will never tire of.
This year we are cooking the classics with little twists here and there. My dad is smoking a 14-pound bird, we’ll have classic mashed potatoes, and I’m making a bourbon maple pumpkin pie and a sweet potato pie (a first for our Thanksgiving table!) One staple that never changes in our house is the stuffing. Without shame, we use boxed stuffing mix, add some sausage, some veg, and call it a day. It is honestly my favorite, but every year we talk about changing it up and trying an oyster stuffing. My stepmom has fond memories of her grandma’s oyster stuffing and other family members also reminisce over oyster stuffing too.
This year, we are still making our traditional stuffing (I’m soooooo excited for it) but I figured I wanted to at least make a batch of oyster stuffing so I could see what all the fuss was about.
Guys, this Oyster Stuffing is KILLER! The oysters and a lovely brine-y flavor, the smokiness from the ham is to die for and I love how the brightness of the fresh herbs bring it all together. I’m going to try to convince the family to at least make a small batch next year or maybe I’ll bring it to Christmas dinner. Change can be good sometimes, right?
CONNECTING WITH FAMILY HISTORY
This Oyster Stuffing recipe is from the Picayune Creole Cookbook, which was published in 1920. That vintage cookbook is so special to me. It really ties me to my family history. My Grandpa Al and Grandma Jean were from New Orleans and cooking from that book makes me feel like I have a little way to cook they way their grandparent’s cooked for them. Grandpa Al has cooked together from the Picayune Creole Cookbook before, my Stovetop Rice Custard recipe is based off a recipe from it. When Grandpa tasted that custard his face lit up and he said it reminded him of rice pudding his grandma made for him in New Orleans.
That rice custard recipe is so good and you should totally make it, but back to the stuffing! The original recipe was great, but I changed up a couple things. I added the lemon zest and used a ham hock instead of getting a whole ham. I also added more herbs than originally called for. This batch of stuffing is huge, so you can absolutely make half of it if you are hosting fewer dinner guests.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and with the holiday season here, you might want to check out my No-Bake Desserts Recipe Cards. They are classic desserts which will save you time and are quite delicious.
1920’s OYSTER STUFFING RECIPE TIPS
-Feel free to use fresh oysters and shuck them yourself or use the jarred ones! Either will be great, but the jarred pre-shucked ones will save you so much time.
-Make sure you use a huge bowl to mix everything together or use two bowls.
-Save the leftover bone from the ham hock for soup.
Adapted from a recipe from the Picayune Creole Cookbook, this vintage recipe is a classic! Packed with briny oysters, smokey ham and bright herbs, your guests will love this recipe!
45 minPrep Time
45 minCook Time
1 hr, 30 Total Time
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups finely chopped onion
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 dozen oysters, liquor reserved
- 12 cups stale bread cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 loaves french bread)
- 1 1/2 pounds smoked ham hock, meat torn into pieces
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped sage
- 1 1/2 tbsp thyme
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- Juice and zest from half lemon
- Preheat oven to 350 and butter a 9x14 baking dish.
- Melt butter in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and garlic. Cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.
- Place oysters in a medium bowl. Using kitchen sheers, cut oysters into bite sized chunks (you cut in the bowl so any liquid from cutting the oysters is not lost).
- Combine bread, cooked onions and garlic, ham, oysters and their liquor, and remaining ingredients into a large bowl. Using your hands, mix well.
- Transfer to your baking dish and bake until cooked thru and the top has browned, about minutes.
- Serve with your favorite holiday main dishes!