This easy Oyster Stuffing is made with smoked oysters, and is an easy, affordable, and delicious twist on classic oyster stuffing.
I did not grow up eating stuffing.
If stuffing (or dressing) was on the menu, it always– ALWAYS– lost out to mashed potatoes. (Even as a child, I only wanted one carb-licious item per meal.)
And then I got married. And my husband’s eyes light up at the mention of stuffing. When boxes of pre-made stuffing begin to be featured in tall pyramids in grocery stores each fall, they also begin mysteriously showing up in my pantry– stocked by a carb-eager hubbie.
He loves stuffing.
And so, when my friend Cynthia mentioned that she was making her grandmother’s oyster stuffing— I knew I needed the recipe!
This is her family recipe– with a few adjustments.
I also checked in with my friend Amanda– the stuffing-master over at Striped Spatula— for help when the family recipe was unclear.
Smoked Oyster Stuffing vs. Fresh Oyster Stuffing
The biggest change I made to her family recipe was to swap fresh oysters for tinned smoked oysters.
Mostly because fresh oysters are almost impossible to find where I live. And if I can find them– they’re pricey.
Also, I happen to adore smoked oysters.
If you have easy access to fresh oysters, check the recipe card notes for directions on how to use them.
What Kind of Bread Should I Use?
I used a country Italian loaf– which is a fancy way to say I used a whole wheat Italian loaf.
You could also use a white Italian loaf, a French loaf, or cornbread.
Can I Add Extra Veggies?
If you want fluffy stuffing, I don’t recommend adding more than the recipe calls for. If there are too many add-ins, they don’t incorporate well, and you’ll end up with heavy pockets of veggies.
Can I Cook this Inside a Bird?
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but we don’t cook a lot of poultry around here!
For in-bird stuffing directions, check out this Cranberry Pecan Stuffing recipe from Striped Spatula.
Can I Make This Ahead of Time?
Absolutely. Check the recipe card for directions.
Want more FALL SIDE DISHES? Try these:
- Bourbon Cranberry Sauce
- Garlic Cauliflower Mash
- Green Bean Salad with Almonds
- Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apple Cider Vinegar
Smoked Oyster Stuffing
2-3 Days (Fridge), 3 Months (Freezer)
- 12 oz country Italian loaf (whole wheat Italian loaf)
- 8 oz smoked oysters (2 tins), packing oil discarded
- 3 TB butter
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 egg
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, removed from stems
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable broth, divided
- 1 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
Toast the Bread:
- Preheat oven to 325ºF.
- Dice the bread into small cubes (1/2 inch - 3/4 inch).
- Set breadcrumbs onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake about 10 minutes, or until the bread is toasted, and no longer feels moist to the touch.
Cook the Veggies:
- While the bread toasts, melt the butter over medium heat.
- When the butter melts, add the onions, celery, paprika, and salt to the pan. Cook until softened (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat.
Make the Stuffing:
- Increase the oven temperature to 375ºF.
- Optionally, roughly chop the oysters.Tip: Leave the oysters whole for larger bites of oyster. Chop to distribute the oysters more evenly throughout the stuffing.
- Add the oysters, bread cubes, veggies and butter, egg, and thyme to a large mixing bowl. Stir to incorporate.
- Slowly pour 1 cup of the broth into the mixing bowl, stirring as you pour. Add broth until the bread has absorbed most of the liquid. (This may take a few minutes.)
- Scoop the stuffing into an 8"x8" casserole dish.
- Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup of broth over the stuffing.Tip: If you're planning on cooking the stuffing inside a bird, skip this step.
- Cover the dish with foil, and bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake another 15-20 minutes, until the top is crispy and golden.
- Leftovers:Refrigerate and use within 2-3 days.Make Ahead + Freeze:Wrap dish tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat at 325°F for about 15 minutes (or until warm).
- Use fresh oysters instead of smoked + canned oysters. Reserve the liquid from inside the oysters, and use it instead of (or instead of part of) the broth.
- Swap whole milk or cream for the broth (or for a portion of the broth).