Oyster Dressing Recipe

| December 13, 2020 | 8 Comments

Old Fashioned Oyster Dressing

Follow our complete, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to learn how to make this old fashioned Oyster Dressing. Printable recipe included.


Oyster Dressing, enjoy!
Oyster Dressing is yet another old Southern favorite. Goes great with that Thanksgiving turkey, but it’s good any time you can get fresh oysters.


Oyster Dressing, slider.

Oyster Dressing wasn’t always on our Thanksgiving Day table when I was growing up. But, we did enjoy it a few times as I recall.

As I’ve mentioned before, we didn’t even have Thanksgiving Day meals until I was an older teenager. In my younger years, we often would spend Thanksgiving Day killing hogs. It was a day when my older brother was normally off of work from his grocery store job and he could help us.

Still, we always enjoyed a good meal later in the afternoon on those days. Mama would get some of the fresh meat and prepare a meal for everyone that was helping us on those days.

Daddy was the one that made the Oyster Dressing as I recall. He had a large Sage bush growing out beside a barn that was behind our house, and he loved to pour the Sage to his dressing and to the sausage he would make from the days when we killed hogs.

I’d much prefer just sitting down to a great, hot, home cooked meal for Thanksgiving than the hog killing days. It was always so cold on those days. The work was hard and long, but the rewards were enjoyed throughout the long Winter months ahead.

I’m using shucked oysters from a jar to make this dressing. Fresh oysters would be great if you can get them, but shucking them requires a bit more work. Most grocery stores in my area seem to carry the oysters in the jar, but I can also get them from the roadside vendor that sells fresh seafood every weekend. They have a place just a couple of miles from my home and I like to shop with them when possible.

I realize it might be an acquired taste for many, but I do hope you might give it a try sometime. And, I hope you like it.

Ready to give our recipe a try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!


Oyster Dressing, ingredients.
Oyster Dressing Recipe – You’ll need these ingredients.

I’m using some day old cornbread and a pint of fresh shucked oysters to make this dressing. Two pints of oysters would have been better, they are just too expensive. Smile.


Oyster Dressing, dice the celery and onions.
We’ll begin by dicing up 1 cup of celery and 1 medium-to-large sized onion.


Oyster Dressing, crush the saltines.
Crush one whole sleeve of Saltine Crackers. I just leave them in the pack and bang them on the counter to get them started. Be careful that you don’t break the package open. You might end up with saltine cracker crumbs all over your kitchen. Just saying.


Oyster Dressing, crumble the cornbread.
Crumble up 3 cups of day old cornbread into a large mixing bowl.


Oyster Dressing, add saltines.
Add the sleeve of crumbled up Saltine Crackers.


Oyster Dressing, stir.
Grab a large spoon and stir the dry ingredients together. Set aside for now.


Oyster Dressing, add butter.
Place 1 stick of Butter in a cast iron skillet over Medium heat on your stove top. Let the butter melt.


Oyster Dressing, add celery.
Add the diced celery to the skillet.


Oyster Dressing, add onion.
Add the diced onions.


Oyster Dressing, cook until tender.
Stir these often and let them cook until the celery and onions are tender. About 5 minutes or so.


Oyster Dressing, add to cornbread mixture.
Add the cooked onions and celery to the cornbread and saltine mixture.


Oyster Dressing, add salt.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of Salt. Use caution in adding the salt. Keep in mind whether you’ve used salted crackers and salted butter. You don’t want to be adding too much salt. Adjust as needed.


Oyster Dressing, add pepper.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper.


Oyster Dressing, add nutmeg.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of Nutmeg.


Oyster Dressing, add sage.
Add 1 teaspoon of Sage.

I like a hint of sage but not too much. Feel free to add a bit more if you like. Daddy always seemed to add a lot when he made it during my younger years. He grew it next to an old barn back behind our house and used it in making sausage after we killed hogs. I’ve just never been able to tolerate a heavy amount of sage. Just me. Smile.


Oyster Dressing, lightly beat the eggs.
Lightly beat 3 eggs in another small bowl.


Oyster Dressing, add eggs to bowl.
Add the eggs to the bowl.


Oyster Dressing, add the chopped oysters.
Finally, add the oysters to the bowl. I slightly chopped the oysters before adding them. You don’t have to, entirely up to you. And, as mentioned, I would have liked to have added a few more, but I didn’t have them. Still, a pint of oysters normally contains about 25 small oysters according to the folks where I buy my seafood from.


Oyster Dressing, add milk as needed.
Add Milk as needed as you begin to stir your dressing. You want it to have enough moisture to hold together, so go sparingly with the milk.


Oyster Dressing, add dressing to buttered pan.
Pour the mixture into a 9×13 buttered pan.

I would probably use an 8×8 inch pan if I made this again. It would have made for thicker slices of dressing, which I prefer. I had to spread it out thin as you’ll see below.


Oyster Dressing, spread evenly.
Spread the mixture out evenly in your pan.


Oyster Dressing, baking time.
Pre-heat your oven to 350F degrees.

Place the pan of dressing in the oven and let it bake for about 45 minutes. It should be fairly set and lightly browned on top and around the edges when done.


Oyster Dressing, lightly browned.
This one has lightly browned around the edges of the pan as you can see.


Oyster Dressing, let cool.
Remove the pan of dressing when it’s done. Place it on a wire rack or folded towel and let it cool for a few minutes prior to serving.


Oyster Dressing, enjoy.

As you can see, my slices were less than one inch thick. If you’d like thicker servings, use a smaller sized pan. Just keep in mind that it might take it longer to cook if it’s thicker. Serve it along side your turkey and other fixings and dig in.


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Oyster Dressing, printbox.

Oyster Dressing Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Varies
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American, Southern


Old fashioned Southern style Oyster Dressing is a perfect side for your Thanksgiving turkey. Make it with shucked oysters in a jar, available at most grocery stores if you can’t find fresh oysters.



3 cups day old Cornbread, crumbled
1 sleeve Saltine crackers, crumbled
1 stick butter
1 cup chopped Celery
1 large Onion, chopped
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Black Pepper
¼ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Sage.
3 Eggs, beaten
1 pint Oysters with liquid, slightly chopped
Evaporated milk, as needed


Crumble the cornbread into a large mixing bowl.
Add the crumbled saltine crackers.
Mix well and set aside.
Place skillet over Medium heat on stove top.
Add one stick of butter.
Add chopped celery.
Add chopped onion.
Stir and cook celery and onions until translucent. About 5 minutes.
Pour cooked celery and onions over the cornbread and crackers mixture.
Add salt.
Add black pepper.
Add ground nutmeg.
Add sage.
Add beaten eggs.
Mix all ingredients well.
Slightly chop the oysters in a small bowl. Add oysters and oyster liquid to mix.
Stir well.
If mixture is dry, add evaporated milk as needed.
If mixture is too wet, add crumbled saltine crackers as needed.
Butter a 9×13 baking dish on bottom and sides.
Pour the dressing mixture into the baking dish.
Bake at 350F degrees for 45 minutes.
Remove when done and set on wire rack to cool slightly.


I used a pint of shucked oysters in a jar. Generally contains about 25 small oysters. Use more to enhance the oyster flavor if desired.

Keywords: oysters, oyster dressing, southern, old fashioned, saltine crackers, cornbread, butter, celery, onion, easy

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Category: Side Dishes

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (8)

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  1. steve crain says:

    dumb ME! numbers on printer! sorry! great anyway….

  2. steve crain says:

    no page numbers on this one,don’t need all the pic’s.. thanxx was fantastic! GMA made ALL your food when I was kid,but lost some threw time..

  3. Milo says:

    I enjoyed reviewing your recipes and
    blog … I plan on making your Oven Baby Back Ribs recipe very soon …
    I am looking for a recipe for Oven Beef Ribs … If you do PLEASE email it to me …
    I live on Long Island in the summer and raise Oysters as a hobby .,,
    Right now I have about 1600 Blue Point Oysters floating in The Peconic Bay …
    So if you are ever on Long Island I would love to give you a tour ..,

    Thank you,

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Milo, How fortunate are you to have your own oyster beds? I might be a bit jealous of that. I’m afraid I don’t have a recipe for beef ribs in the oven. Can’t seem to find any decent ribs around here for such. Thank you for the offer of the tour. Wish I could take you up on that. Getting old isn’t fun some days. Smile. Thank you for your visits. I do appreciate them and I trust you will stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. Barbara says:

    Sorry to hear about your diagnosis of CHF. I hope you will be OK. I have it too
    but I work out at a gym & was healthy. Go figure. I love your letters and sweet conversations about life in NC. We are all short timers in this life but some folks make a difference in lives of others. Thank you for staying alive.

  5. Karen Miller says:

    My grandmother always made oyster dressing to go with our Christmas turkey. My mom always looked forward to it. I haven’t had it in years. Maybe now that you shared the recipe I can make it for our dinner. Thanks!

  6. Jennifer says:

    We always had oyster dressing at holidays – I’m not a fan but my father loved it. We dispensed with formal meals at Christmas and would get a bushel of oysters and one of clams and steam them – sort of come one, come all kind of gathering – and that has always been my favorite kind of meal regardless of what is served.

  7. Lori Dom says:

    We also butchered on Thanksgiving day when I was growing up. One of favorite days of the year. Not a fan of oysters, but I will try this recipe for my family. Thank you.
    Hope this finds you feeling and doing better.

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