In the Southern United States, oyster casserole is a classic dish that's served on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The decadent meal features a savory, creamy layer of oysters and mushrooms, along with a crunchy and buttery topping. But even if you don't live in the South—and even if it's not the holiday season—you can still enjoy this hearty recipe all year round. Here's one way to make Southern oyster casserole.
Things You'll Need
24 ounces oysters, fresh or canned, drained
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 green or red bell pepper, deseeded and diced
1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic (or 3 fresh cloves, minced)
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup light or heavy cream
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup bread crumbs or crushed saltine crackers
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Although fresh oysters will always taste best, canned oysters work just as well. This option is ideal if you can't find fresh oysters. In the grocery store, canned oysters are usually sold next to canned tuna and sardines.
Preheat broiler on high. Grease a casserole or baking dish.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the oysters and mushrooms. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender. Strain the mixture, if necessary, and return to the skillet.
In a small pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the flour. Whisk and heat until thick, about 30 seconds.
Add the cream, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk well and simmer until thick, about 3 minutes.
Add 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and simmer until melted.
Add the Parmesan sauce and spices to the oyster mixture. Stir well.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave. In a small bowl, toss the melted butter with bread crumbs and remaining Parmesan cheese.
Add the oyster mixture to the greased dish. Top with bread crumbs and broil for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden brown.
Serve immediately. Enjoy!