Maryland Oyster Recipes

The Chesapeake Bay and oysters are synonymous with great food.  Try some of these modern and historic Maryland recipes that will give a taste of the Chesapeake to your local oysters!

Quick and Easy Fried Oysters
Courtesy Maryland Department of Agriculture

1 pint shucked Maryland oysters, drained
1 to 2 cups dry pancake mix
oil for frying
cocktail or tartar sauce

Put pancake mix into large shallow bowl. Add oysters, a few at a time and toss lightly until well-coated. Shake off excess breading in wire basket. Deep fry in oil at 350°, until golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Or pan fry in oil, turning oysters until browned. Drain on paper towel. Repeat process until all oysters are cooked. Salt lightly and serve with cocktail or tartar sauce. Makes 4 servings, about 8 oysters each.


Oyster Fritters
Courtesy Tri County Sportsmen of Maryland

1 pint oysters, reserving liquor
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. celery seed

In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and celery seed. In another bowl mix egg and milk. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and beat until you have a smooth batter. Stir in oysters and liquor. Pour oil into a fry pan to about 1" depth. Heat to medium high (or 365º). Using large spoon (or 2 small), scoop out 3-4 oysters with batter and drop into hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.


Skipjack Oyster Dressing
Courtesy Maryland Department of Agriculture

1 pint shucked Maryland oysters with liquor
2 large stalks celery
1 medium onion
1 stick butter
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1/8 tsp. mace
1/8 tsp. tarragon
1/8 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
8 slices day-old bread, cubed

Finely chop celery and onion. Sauté in butter until tender. Mix in seasonings. Add oyster with liquor and simmer until edges begin to curl. Remove from heat and gently mix in bread cubes. Adjust moistness with water, as desired. Makes about 4 cups dressing.


Creamy Oyster Casserole
Courtesy Dishing Up Maryland Cookbook by Lucie L. Snodgrass

24 oysters, shucked, liquor reserved
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into tiny pieces
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Old Bay or other seafood seasoning (optional)
2 cups crushed saltine crackers
2 cups heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottom of a 9"x13" glass casserole dish with half of the oysters. Dot the oysters with half of the butter, and then sprinkle on 1/4 tsp. of the salt and 1/2 tsp. of the Old Bay, if desired. Add half of the crushed crackers. Repeat with the second layers. Pour the oyster liquor over the layers. Add the heavy cream. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.


Oyster Brie
Courtesy Maryland Department of Agriculture

18 Maryland oysters in shell
3 ounces Brie cheese, sliced thin
2 tbsp. pimiento, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 450°. Open oysters leaving oyster in deeper half of shell. Lay thin slice of cheese on each oyster. Sprinkle with pimiento. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and oysters are plump. Serves with lemon wedges.


Patty's Oyster Stew
Courtesy Pat Slowikowski

A great version of the time honored stew made by generations of watermen.

2 quarts to 1 gallon standard oysters (reserving liquid)
1 gallon milk
1 can Pet milk or similar
1 bottle clam juice
1 lb. butter
1/2 stalk celery chopped
salt to taste

Over medium low heat, melt butter in a large stock pot. Add celery and cook until soft. Add oysters and cook until edges of oysters curl up. Add oyster liquid and remaining ingredients and cook over low heat until hot, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Makes a big pot of stew.


Oyster Stew II
Courtesy 100 Best Recipes For 100 Years by McCormick

Another great version of this Chesapeake classic.

1 cup butter
2 quarts oysters, with liquid
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 1/2 tsp. Bon Appetit
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. instant onion powder
1/8 tsp. oregano leaves
2 quarts milk
1 quart half and half or light cream

In 6 quart enamel or stainless steel kettle, melt butter. Add oysters with liquid and the next 5 ingredients. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in milk and cream. Heat slowly. Do not let stew boil. Makes 5 quarts. This recipe can easily be halved.


Italian Oysters
Courtesy Maryland Department of Agriculture

1 quart standard oysters (small)
1 stick butter
3/4 to 1 tsp. lemon pepper
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. Italian seasoning

Drain oysters, put in frying pat at medium heat. Simmer approximately 5 minutes and drain off excess liquid. Add butter and spices and simmer for approximately 5 minutes. Serve on crackers, French or Italian bread rounds. Makes approximately 50 oysters.


Spicy Oysters with Bacon and Cheese
Courtesy Dishing Up Maryland Cookbook by Lucie L. Snodgrass

1 dozen fresh oysters in the shell
6 strips bacon
6 slices Colby cheese
Worcestershire sauce
Hot sauce
Old Bay or other seafood seasoning
Lemon slices

Preheat the oven to 450°. Shuck the oysters, reserving the shells. Rinse and drain the oyster meat and clean and dry the shells. Put the oyster shells on a baking sheet. Place 1 oyster in each shell. Add 2 to 3 drops Worcestershire to each. Top each oyster with 1/2 strip of uncooked bacon. Add 3 to 4 drops of hot sauce to each. Cover each oyster with 1/2 slice of the cheese. Bake the oysters for 20 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and sprinkle lightly with seafood seasoning. Serve immediately with lemon wedges as a garnish. Serves 4-6.


Pastry Shell Oysters
Pastry Shell Oysters

An elegant and delicious meal!

1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup Smithfield Ham, coarsely chopped
1 (1/2oz.) can mushrooms
1 heaping tsp. dried chopped chives
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. instant minced onion
1/2 tsp. lemon and pepper seasoning
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 pt. shucked standard oysters with liquor
2 Tbsp. butter
8 patty shells, baked

Dissolve bouillon cube in 1 cup boiling water. Blend the 1/4 cup melted butter and flour in a saucepan. Add chicken liquid slowly, stirring constantly to keep smooth. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Reduce heat. Add ham, mushrooms with liquid, and the next 5 seasonings to sauce. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. In another pan simmer oysters and liquor and the 2 Tbsp. butter until edges of oysters just begin to curl. Add oysters to sauce and use the oyster liquor to thin sauce to desired consistency. Fill patty shells with oyster mixture. Sprinkle paprika over top of each shell. Place on cookie sheet and broil 4 inches from heat for 1-2 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately.