Oyster Stew With Potatoes And Bacon Recipe

This Oyster Stew With Potatoes And Bacon Recipe is a true Southern classic. It’s easy to make, but it’s also delicious and rich.

The recipe is extremely easy to prepare, but the secret to great tasting stew is getting the freshest oysters you can get your hands on.

If you are not so lucky as to be a short distance from a local seafood shop, you can often find a pint of shucked oysters in your grocery store.

For this recipe, we’ll use freshly shucked oysters, so you can keep them whole if you want (which is how they’re served in North Carolina).

Oyster stew was first served in North Carolina in the early 18th century. The recipe has changed through the years—it used to have bacon, tomatoes, and vinegar, but now it’s more commonly made with potatoes and bacon.

Oyster stew is easy to make at home and it tastes great! It’s a perfect meal if you’re looking for something savory and filling without being too heavy. It’s also rich in vitamins B12 and D!

➡️You may be interested in a recent, Are oysters an aphrodisiac?

Main Ingredients Needed

fresh shocked oysters - oysters on the half shell
Fresh Shucked Oysters
country bacon
Country Bacon
Diced potatoes on cutting board
Diced Potatoes
easy oyster stew with bacon and potatoes. for the best stew, use the freshest oysters possible

Easy Oyster Stew with Potatoes and Bacon Recipe

Serving Size:
1 cup
30 minutes


  • 1 pint of freshly shucked oysters
  • 1 cup diced potato
  • 3 slices of country bacon
  • 1 cup thinly chopped celery
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsps all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups slightly warmed whole milk 


  1. Using a slotted spoon, remove the oysters from the pint container and place them in a bowl.
  2. Reserve the oyster brine for later use.
  3. Heat a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Slice bacon into one-inch-long pieces and add to the hot skillet.
  5. Once the bacon has begun to brown and slightly crisp, add in the potatoes, celery, and shallot.  Stir for 3 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat slightly and stir in the flour and salt. Stir continually for 1-2 minutes, or until the flour mixture has browned.
  7. Slowly add in the saved oyster brine, while constantly stirring. Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, slowly add in the milk. Continue to stir for 1 minute.
  8. Turn the burner heat to simmer and let the soup mixture cook for 15 minutes.
  9. Add in the bowl of oysters, gently stir a couple of times, and let cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  10. Serve with fresh parsley, Old Bay Seasoning, oyster crackers, or cast iron skillet cornbread.


Can I use canned oysters for this recipe?

Yes, canned oysters can be used if fresh oysters are unavailable. Be sure to reserve the liquid from the can to add extra flavor to the stew. However, fresh oysters will give the stew a superior flavor and texture.

Can I make this stew without bacon?

Yes. You might want to add a bit more butter or oil to compensate for the lost fat and flavor from the bacon.

Can I use a different kind of potato for this stew?

Absolutely. While the recipe calls for a certain type of potato, feel free to use what you have on hand. Just keep in mind that waxy potatoes will hold their shape better in a stew.

How can I thicken the stew?

The stew will naturally thicken from the starches in the potatoes. However, if you prefer a thicker consistency, you can make a roux with flour and butter and add it to the stew, or puree a portion of the cooked potatoes and stir them back into the stew.

What can I serve with this oyster stew?

This stew pairs wonderfully with a crusty baguette or a side of crispy garlic bread. A fresh green salad would also complement the rich flavors of the stew.

Can I make this stew in advance?

Yes, you can make the stew a day in advance. However, add the oysters just before serving, as they can become tough if overcooked. Reheat the stew gently to avoid toughening the oysters.

Can I freeze this stew?

It’s best not to freeze this stew, as both potatoes and oysters can change texture when frozen and reheated. It’s best enjoyed fresh, or stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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