Best Maryland Oyster Stew Recipe (2023)

by | Soups and Stews

The Best Maryland Oyster Stew Recipe starts with plump oysters and Old Bay seasoning from Maryland, white wine, cream and mushrooms. Winter’s best gift from the Chesapeake Bay. 

Maryland Oysters Make The Best Maryland Oyster Stew
Maryland Oysters Make The Best Maryland Oyster Stew

Best Maryland Oysters

Having grown up along the Chesapeake Bay of Maryland, we all know that every month with the letter ‘R’ in it is a month to be eating fresh oysters.

My 4th generation waterman brother in law, has advised often, that the best flavor for oyster stew, comes from oyster liquor; the liquid inside of a freshly shucked oyster shell. 

Our family is spoiled with the biggest and best oysters, coming right out of the bay, and years of stories that go with them. 

How grateful I am not to have to shuck the oysters myself, since there is a technique to it!

But not to feel slighted, because these oysters are shipped around the country, as jarred oysters, in tightly sealed containers, package with some ‘eastern shore lovin’!

Maryland's Watermen Are Vital To Its Future Harvests
Maryland’s Watermen Are Vital To Its Future Harvests

Dredging Maryland Oysters

Dredging oysters is not like fishing for other delicacies from the sea. They are imbedded in the mud at the base of the bay, or oyster reefs. 

There are many debates as to how best extract them without removing those that are not yet mature, or damaging the oyster reefs

Since I am environmentally concerned for these treasured Chesapeake oysters, I don’t complain about the cost for these oysters. 

Maryland Oyster Stew
Maryland Oyster Stew

Do You Prefer Oysters In A Stew Or Raw?

Since oysters are in season during the winter months, because cold water provides the freshest oysters, our family enjoys oysters served many ways. 

Often for Christmas Eve, a platter of freshly shucked raw oysters is set out, with lemon wedges, a sprinkle of fresh parsley, celery salt, and a side of saltine crackers and some hot sauce. 

Maryland Oysters - Raw On The Half Shell
Maryland Oysters – Raw On The Half Shell

For much of the winter months, though, we make this classic oyster stew recipe, using homemade fish stock, and other fresh ingredients

Any leftover oyster stew, goes into an airtight container and into the freezer for busy weekdays or to give as gifts. 

To reheat, simply thaw in a soup pot, simmer on low, but be certain not to boil. 

Remembering not to cook the oyster stew, simply to heat it to a temperature that retains its original textures. 

Gently Simmered Maryland Oysters
Gently Simmered Maryland Oysters

How To Make Maryland’s Best Oyster Stew

The most important tip to remember when making oyster stew, is not to over cook the oysters. 

Most of the cooking is done with the veggies, making sure to saute onions and garlic to golden brown, almost sticking to the bottom of the pot to caramelize them. 

From there, you simply lower heat, layer in all the ingredients, except the oysters, and simmer a short time adding the oysters last. 

Mushrooms and Oysters Just Go Together
Mushrooms and Oysters Just Go Together

More Seafood Chowder and Stew Recipes

While this oyster stew recipe is the best you will find anywhere, I couldn’t help but to share a few other seafood chowder and stew recipes with you:

Ingredients Needed

  • Oysters and oyster liquor
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Potatoes or corn kernels
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Butter or bacon fat
  • Garlic
  • Bay leaf
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Heavy cream
  • Half and half or whole milk
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • White wine
Shucked Oysters and Fresh Parsley
Shucked Oysters and Fresh Parsley

Equipment Needed

  • Large pot with lid
  • Cutting board
  • Chopping knife
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Cooking spoon
  • Stovetop or burner
Maryland's Best Oysters
Maryland’s Best Oysters

Best Maryland Oyster Stew Recipe

Recipe by rdaumitCourse: SeafoodCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy



A classic oyster stew from Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, of white wine, Old Bay seasoning, mushrooms and veggies.


  • Oysters – 1 to 2 pints oysters with liquid

  • Oyster liquid – 1 cup or bottled clam juice

  • Butter or bacon fat – 4 tablespoons

  • Yellow onions – 1 cup, finely chopped

  • Garlic – 2 cloves, finely chopped

  • Celery – 1/2 cup, chopped

  • Seafood seasoning – 1 tablespoon

  • Fresh parsley – 1/4 cup, finely chopped for serving

  • Salt – to taste

  • Worcestershire sauce – 2 teaspoons

  • Black pepper – freshly ground

  • Dry vermouth or white wine – 1/4 cup

  • Half-and-half or whole milk – 2 cups

  • Heavy cream – 1 cup

  • Carrots – 3, chopped

  • Potatoes or corn kernels – 2 cups

  • Mushrooms – 1 cup

  • Green onions – 1/4 cup, chopped as garnish


  • Melt butter in a 3-quart pot to saute the onions, celery, garlic and carrots until caramelized. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients, except the oysters, parsley and green onions, and simmer on low until the potatoes and mushrooms are tender.
  • Slowly pour in the oysters, cook for another 5 minutes until oysters form tight little balls, and serve with parsley and green onions.

Recipe Video


  • Rich, full fat coconut milk is delicious as a substitute for dairy cream used in this recipe. 
Best Maryland Oyster Stew Recipe
Best Maryland Oyster Stew Recipe

My Muffin Madness


In my family, I’ve always been known as the ‘Muffin Queen’. Out of necessity, I created muffins for breakfast, lunch, on the go snacks, sometimes dinner and a sweet yet healthyish treat for dessert!

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Silvia LaFleur
Silvia LaFleur
18 days ago

This recipe is supreme!! Chef’s kiss to the chef!!

T Thomas
T Thomas
18 days ago

Delicious! And very Maryland.

18 days ago

Great recipe! Thank you for sharing.

Doran Upton
Doran Upton
18 days ago

Looks so delicious and can’t wait to try it . Thank you for sharing!

18 days ago

17 days ago

Looks good! Can I substitute for non dairy heavy cream?


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