Cheese Baked Oysters Recipe
Move over, Oysters Rockefeller and Oysters Mornay! This modernized Three-Cheese Baked Oysters Recipe, in the shell with cheese and bacon, is perfect for the holidays!
Of all the specialty foods available these days, I am quite partial to oysters.
It’s pure joy to sit at a beach-side seafood shack and eat raw oysters, in the summer months, with an ice-cold beer.
However, the holidays are the perfect time to splurge on oysters!
Oyster Season Tips
Oysters are naturally available all year long.
Yet, the rule-of-thumb for oyster season is that they are best in months that end with ER… September, October, November, and December.
Some old-timers even go as far as to say you shouldn’t eat oysters in months that do not contain an R (May, June, July and August) because the oysters are reproducing, so the meat is thin and often milky.
Honestly, I like oysters all year. Plump or thin. Watery or milky. Raw, steamed, grilled, or baked!
Oyster Baked with Cheese
Today’s Cheese Baked Oysters Recipe is a modern take on traditional baked oysters in the shell preparations like Oysters Rockefeller and Oysters Mornay.
We’re using fresh-shucked oysters on the half shell with a cheesy molten filling that takes less time and effort to make than classic recipes.
Yet this shortcut recipe lacks nothing in flavor. Our baked oysters with cheese, bacon, spinach, and garlic are bold and zesty!
How Do You Cook Oysters In The Oven?
How long does it take to bake oysters? It depends on the temperature.
If you are covering the oysters with a topping or filling, bake them at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time. However, if you are baking oysters naked, bake them at a lower temperature.
Here we are baking this Three-Cheese Baked Oysters Recipe for 8-10 minutes at 450 degrees F. Just long enough to plump up the oysters and melt the cheese filling.
You do not want to over-bake the oysters, as they turn rubbery in texture.
Baked Oysters Ingredients
Stuffed oysters can be made with a handful of flavor-packed ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Fresh oysters – Select 12-14 average-sized oysters, or 16-20 small oysters. Make sure the oysters are completely closed and that there are no cracks in the shells. Try to buy them the day you plan to use them, so you don’t have to store live oysters. Then give them a quick rinse and scrub before shucking.
- Cream cheese – The perfect base for any cheesy recipe.
- Shredded white cheddar – Bold flavor and mega melting power.
- Crumbled bacon – Cooking fresh bacon, then crumbling it, is best. Yet if you are in a hurry you can buy bacon bits for this recipe.
- Chopped spinach – To make sure the spinach doesn’t release too much moisture into the oysters, use thawed frozen spinach and squeeze out the liquid.
- Garlic – Always.
- Crushed red pepper – Just a teaspoon for kick!
- Grated Parmesan cheese – Creates the perfect nutty golden top.
How To Make Baked Oysters
- Shuck the Oysters & Preheat the Oven – See our full shucking tutorial for extra help and then set the oyster shells on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Mix the cheese filling – Squeeze the spinach to remove all excess liquid. In a medium bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, white cheddar, bacon, chopped spinach, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Mix well.
- Cover the oysters with cheese filling – Give each oyster a generous spoonful of this mixture.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese – Top shells with the crowning glory.
- Bake! – Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown. Serve warm.
See the Full (Printable) Cheese Baked Oysters Recipe Below. Enjoy!
When serving these oysters as an appetizer, you can serve them alongside a whole bunch of other appetizers as well! Try pairing these baked cheesy oysters with grilled corn on the cob, roasted greek potatoes, Mexican shrimp cocktail, or some ahi tuna!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I shuck oysters?
Place one oyster in a folded dish towel. Look for the natural hinge in the small end of the oyster. Insert the tip of a shucking oyster knife into the hinge and firmly dig and twist. Once the oyster is open, wipe the edge of the knife on the towel. Then run the edge of the knife under the oyster to release it from the shell. Leave the oyster in the bottom shell.
How long do leftovers last?
You can store this appetizer’s leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for a day or two.
What can I garnish this dish with?
You can display these on a layer of rock salt without the top shells. You can decide to garnish with lemon wedges, lemon zest, or fresh parsley as well. Even a little drizzle of hot sauce would heat things up a little. Other fresh herbs, like chives or thyme, are a great addition. Or sprinkle the tops with panko breadcrumbs and drizzle butter over the top before baking on the top oven rack. This gives the oysters a crispy buttered panko crumbs crust! The texture combination of the oyster and the bread crumbs makes for a great appetizer.
More Seafood Recipes You’ll Love
Cheese Baked Oysters Recipe
- How to Shuck Oysters: Place one oyster in a folded dish towel. Look for the natural hinge in the small end of the oyster. Insert the tip of an oyster shucking knife into the hinge and firmly dig and twist. Once the oyster is open, wipe the edge of the knife on the towel. Then run the edge of the knife under the oyster to release it from the shell. Leave the oyster in the bottom half of the shell.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Set the oysters in their shells on the baking sheet.
- Squeeze the spinach to remove all excess liquid. In a medium bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, white cheddar, bacon, chopped spinach, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Mix well.
- Spoon a dollop of cheese filling over the top of each oyster. Sprinkle the tops with parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is golden. Serve warm.