Andy Benson's Oyster Dressing

Side Dish

Recipe courtesy of Jyl Benson, Louisiana Kitchen and Culture

Serves 4, easily expands to feed a crowd


Seasoning Mix

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves


  • 20 small Louisiana oysters in their liquor (about ½ pound)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) margarine
  • 1½ cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 to 2 cups fine, dry Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions

Creole Oyster Dressing 

Creole Oyster Dressing

Click image to enlarge


In a small bowl make the seasoning mix. Set aside.

Combine oysters and water; stir and refrigerate for at least one hour. Strain and reserve the oysters and oyster water separately in refrigerator until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Melt 4 tablespoons margarine in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over high heat. Add 3/4 cup onions, 1/2 cup celery and 1/2 cup bell peppers. Saute over high heat until onions are dark brown but not burned, about 8 minutes, stirring frequently.

When onions are browned add 2 teaspoons of the seasoning mix and the garlic to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining 3/4 cup onions, 1/2 cup celery and 1/2 cup bell peppers, 4 tablespoons margarine and bay leaves. Stir until the margarine is melted and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the reserved oyster water and cook over high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the remaining seasoning mix and enough bread crumbs to make a moist but not runny dressing. Remove from heat. Stir in the drained oysters.

Spoon dressing into an ungreased 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and discard bay leaves. Swirl in the butter and green onions. 

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<p>I made this recipe exactly as written but something is wrong.&nbsp;&nbsp; There is not enough bread crumbs listed and the seasoning was good, but too strong.&nbsp; Comments?</p>

<p>Thanks for writing. My father was known for cooking with a heavy hand on the seasoning and there were a few who found the flavors too spicy. Also, remembering that I have sometimes had to add more breadcrumbs that what is called for to get the desired texture, I have altered the recipe to indicate that more may be needed.</p>