A Southern Favorite: Oyster Dressing

A Southern Favorite: Oyster Dressing

Thanksgiving would not be the same had there been no Oyster Dressing; actually, Granny’s Oyster Dressing. She did not always make it with oysters, but on occasion she would surprise my family with this briny addition to the dish.

Seriously, I don’t think any dressing on earth compared to hers. I love the fact that during her later years, she would come to my home for Thanksgiving and watch me cook the dressing. She would taste it as I prepared it and correct my seasonings and make little changes here and there. This was a tremendous help. Not just everyone could get away with that, but throughout her life she let me get away with many many things so I listened and I am certainly thankful that I did. 

I continue to this day to hear her telling me how to add a piece of white bread to give it the right consistency or to add more chicken broth. Isn’t it amazing what one little change to a recipe makes.

Oyster Dressing
Oyster Dressing

In the South, dressing is a must for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Many people say that dressing and stuffing are the same thing, but not to me. Dressing is different than stuffing in that it seems a bit thicker (perfect with giblet gravy) and it does not have the “crunch” that stuffing seems to have. Stuffing also tends to taste sweeter than dressing. There are as many variations to dressings as there are to Bolognese in Italy, but the base of this dressing, whether you use oysters or not remains my family’s favorite.

Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving Dinner

Not only is this dish a favorite for the holidays, but for Sunday dinner special occasions as well.  I like to keep left-over turkey in a freezer zip-top bag and mix it in the dressing mixture in place of the oysters- turkey dressing! It has a very nice texture and flavor.  I love serving this with coleslaw with mustard and apples and fried wild turkey.


Oyster Dressing

Oyster Dressing

Not only is this dressing recipe a family favorite for the holidays, but it's great for Sunday dinners as well.
5 from 19 votes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American


  • 6 cups cornbread crumbled
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3 cups oysters shucked and roughly chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 pieces white bread cubed
  • 1 Tablespoon poultry or Creole seasoning
  • 1 can mushroom soup
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray or grease a 9 X 11 casserole.
  • Prepare cornbread and crumble in a large bowl.
  • Melt butter in a skillet and sauté onions, celery. and oysters until vegetables are translucent and oysters are cooked through, about 8 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk eggs.
  • Add eggs, onions, celery, oysters, broth, white bread, poultry or Creole seasoning, mushroom soup, salt and pepper to the cornbread. Mix thoroughly and spoon into prepared casserole. Place in pre-heated oven for 35 - 40 minutes or until golden.


Courtesy of Game and Garden.
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  1. I want to try this, never made it before, but don’t want to mess up a main side dish on turkey day.

    1. Stacy Harris says:

      Mona, I think you will really like the dressing, but if you are afraid of the oysters, you can leave them out and just have a fantastic dressing to go with your turkey. I make with oysters and sometimes just alone. Try it this weekend and see how you like it. Let me know and God Bless!

      1. I’ve been making southern dressing (without the oysters) for at least 60 years and never heard of a recipe that didn’t call for sage. Are you omitting sage because of the oysters or you just don’t ever add it to your dressing? Just interested.

  2. 6 cups of cornbread: Would this be sweet cornbread or “regular” cornbread? Or does it make a difference? 🙂

    1. Stacy Harris says:

      It does make a difference Alicia, but no matter what you will get a great dressing. I use Martha White packages (the yellow, not sweet, cornbread). I have done the recipe with outer cornbread recipes and it works well too. The white bread makes this dish great. Don’t leave it out. I hope you love the recipe. Let me know.

    1. Stacy Harris says:

      Thanks for your comment! I hope you enjoy the recipe.

  3. I made this for my oyster loving Hubby and he loved it! Thank you so much for sharing your family recipe!

    1. Carla, I am so happy that you made it for your husband! That is what I am here for and you have no idea how I love hearing that you are using the recipes!! Awesome!!

  4. Melody C. says:

    My grandmother made oyster dressing, but used regular seasoned bread cubes rather than cornbread. It was my absolute favorite part of Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, no one else in my family is a big fan, so I don’t make it anymore. I sure do miss it.

  5. How many packages of cornbread do I need for all the cubes?

    1. I use my homemade cornbread recipe. The packets are fine to use for the cornbread and I would guess to say it would take around 3 or 4 packets.

  6. Steven Bowser says:

    How do u cook the Oysters

    1. They cook in the dressing once you put it on the oven. Hope you’ll give it a try.

      1. Is it necessary to sauté the oysters since you will be baking the stuffing anyway?

        1. No, since they will bake, you can just put them in the dressing. I believe that will work just fine.

    2. The oysters cook in the dressing so you don’t have to cook them beforehand.

  7. Donna Oliphint says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! My aunt made oyster dressing years ago, and I absolutely loved it. She doesn’t know what recipe she used, but this looks like it.

  8. Stephen Deaton says:

    do you use regular sandwhich white bread or somthinl like a french bread

    1. Regular white sandwich bread. You could use a French loaf though if you have it.

  9. Can this be prepared ahead of time, cooled in the refrigerator and then re-heated on Thanksgkving?

    1. Yes, it can!! It will be fantastic. The oysters will be cooked and the dressing will be excellent on reheating.

  10. Bahareh Williams says:

    Is it a can of cream of mushroom soup? I have never made oyster dressing but trying to make it for my husband and came across this recipe

    1. It is can of mushroom. I think you will love this!!

  11. Elizabeth Chrisman says:

    Is it Cream of mushroom or just mushroom?

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