Classic Oysters Rockefeller Recipe

If you're one of the many people who rejoice in a platter of freshly shucked oysters on the half shell, you've probably heard about oysters Rockefeller. The original recipe traces back to Antoine's Restaurant, a family-owned establishment in New Orleans. Snails were traditionally used in the preparation, but due to low supplies at the end of the 1800s, oysters were substituted. The green topping brought money to mind and the rich creamy preparation cemented this association, leading a satisfied customer to describe the dish as being "as rich as Rockefeller." He was, of course, referring to J.D. Rockefeller, the wealthiest person in the world at the time.

Cash and green bills aside, this decadent oyster recipe can be enjoyed by anyone who can access the fresh mollusks. Mashed recipe developer Erin Johnson brings us this classic oysters Rockefeller recipe to delight your taste buds with timeless flavors. She shares, "Oyster Rockefeller is a dish that feels fancy and indulgent while being incredibly easy to make." You'll have plenty of opportunities to serve this dish, and she notes, "It's the perfect way to impress guests or to make a typical dinner feel special."

Gather the ingredients for this classic oysters Rockefeller recipe

For this recipe, you'll need butter, small shallots, garlic cloves, fresh spinach, Parmesan cheese, panko breadcrumbs, and a dozen oysters on the half shell. Dice the shallots, mince the garlic, and grate the Parmesan before starting. You'll also need quite a bit of rock salt, but not for eating — you'll sprinkle it onto the baking sheet and the oysters will rest on top.

"If you are new to shucking oysters, allot more time for that task or have your fishmonger shuck your oysters for you," Johnson recommends. She also points out that depending on their size, the spinach mixture is sufficient to fill up to 20 oysters. If you notice the oysters you purchase are particularly small, just get another half dozen to be sure.

Cook the spinach filling

Start by preheating the oven to 375 F. Then, set a large skillet on the stovetop and melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the diced shallot and cook it until it softens, then toss in the minced garlic and keep cooking until it is nice and fragrant. Toss in the spinach leaves in batches as they will quickly wilt and leave space in the pan for more. When the spinach is all wilted, mix in the grated Parmesan and set the skillet aside.

If you're preparing this as an appetizer for guests, Johnson suggests, "You could make your spinach mixture ahead of time and top the oysters when ready to cook." However, she emphasizes that "It is always best to shuck oysters immediately before you use or eat them."

Prepare the panko crumbs

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the microwave and stir it into the panko to coat them fully, then set the buttery crumbs aside.

Top the oysters and bake

Scatter rock salt across a baking sheet and spread the oysters out over the surface. Spoon equal parts of the spinach mixture onto each oyster. If you find yourself with extra spinach and don't want to overload the shells, Johnson remarks, "I like to use any leftover spinach filling I have in an omelet." Sprinkle the buttery panko crumbs over every oyster, then pop the tray onto an oven rack and bake for 8 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Serve the oysters hot

Serve these delicious oysters Rockefeller nice and hot for optimal flavor and texture. "These are typically served as an appetizer, but you could make a meal of them with your favorite sides," Johnson says. She also points out, "While these may keep in the fridge for a day, they are best eaten fresh as reheated oysters don't have the same texture and are less desirable." 

Classic Oysters Rockefeller Recipe
5 from 33 ratings
These classic oysters Rockefeller certainly look and taste impressive, but they're actually quite easy to make in your own kitchen.
Prep Time
Cook Time
oysters Rockefeller on plate
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 small shallots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 12 oysters, on the half shell
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet.
  3. Sauté the shallot until softened, about 2 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add the spinach in batches, allowing it to wilt to make room in the pan.
  5. Once the spinach is cooked, add the Parmesan and set it aside.
  6. Melt the remaining butter and add it to the panko, stirring to ensure the crumbs are coated. Set the panko aside.
  7. Place the oysters on a baking sheet lined with rock salt.
  8. Top each oyster with a spoonful of the spinach mixture.
  9. Sprinkle the top of each oyster with panko.
  10. Bake for 8 minutes or until the panko is golden brown.
  11. Serve immediately.
Calories per Serving 91
Total Fat 4.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 32.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Total Sugars 1.0 g
Sodium 109.7 mg
Protein 6.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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