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Oyster Casserole is a must have on our holiday table. It doesn’t matter if we are having turkey or tenderloin, or something in between, the must have item is always the Oyster Casserole. I did not grow up eating Oyster Casserole, but my husband and his families did. It wasn’t until I married him and he insisted upon it during our first Christmas together that I scrambled for my Mother In Law’s recipes. I am fortunate enough to have two amazing Mother in Laws. And I have a great relationship with them both. They both make delicious Oyster Casserole and their recipes are very different. I decided to forge my way down the middle and came up with this version that we love. I used awesome tips from them both: using Ritz crackers in the mix for the extra buttery goodness, using half & half instead of milk, & topping it with fresh parsley. It’s become our staple holiday favorite and my family has now hopped onto the Oyster Casserole tradition.
Make no mistake this casserole is a special occasion dish. It’s expensive, 3 pints of oysters is not cheap. It’s also very rich. But we only indulge maybe twice a year and it is worth every penny and calorie to us. You can easily halve this recipe if you are making it for four or less. Any more than four people and I would stick with the original recipe.
I have a gorgeous stoneware casserole dish that I love to pull out on holidays and special occasions to really make the table setting more elegant than a glass pyrex. Sur La Table has these beautiful ones available in a variety of colors, but I admit my favorite is the white. Check out my link to purchase: http://theanchoredkitchen.com/stonewarecasseroledish
- 3 pints oysters
- 2 C crushed saltines
- 1 C ritz crackers
- 1 C butter, melted
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 C half & Half
- 1/4 C oyster liquor (the juice that come with the oysters)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- After collecting the 1/4 C oyster liquor, drain the oysters in a colander. Pick through the oysters and pick out any bits of shell that might be in there, I like to pull off the tough muscle attached to them. You can easily feel it and pull it free of the oyster.
- Crush the saltine crackers with your hand in a plastic baggie. Crush enough to get two cups. Transfer the crackers to a bowl. Do this to the Ritz crackers as well. You need 1 cup of the Ritz. Mix in the melted butter, salt and pepper and combine with your hands.
- Mix the half and half, oyster liquor, and worcestershire sauce in a small bowl.
- In a 13" x 9" casserole dish sprinkle 1/3 of the cracker mixture on the bottom. Dollop the crackers with half of the oysters. Sprinkle with another 1/3 of the cracker mixture and dollop with the remaining oysters. Then pour the liquid evenly over the whole thing. Top with the remaining third of crackers and the chopped parsley.
- Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. You want everything to be nice and brown and bubbly. Let it cool for five minutes before digging in!