Easy Butter and Herb Baked Oysters

Easy butter and herb baked oysters

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 42 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 12 oysters
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
456 Calories
28g Fat
38g Carbs
19g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 456
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 16g 78%
Cholesterol 136mg 45%
Sodium 494mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 103mg 516%
Calcium 105mg 8%
Iron 9mg 50%
Potassium 525mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These easy baked oysters are flavored with a buttery herb crumb topping. A little lemon juice adds zing to the oysters, and panko breadcrumbs make the topping extra crunchy. They're perfect for a summertime party or a New Year's bash.

A layer of rock salt or uncooked rice keeps the oyster shells from wobbling in the baking pan and makes for a pleasing presentation. If you prefer a variety of herbs, consider freshly chopped thyme leaves or fresh marjoram.

Serve baked oysters with fresh lemon wedges as an appetizer. If you're planning a big spread, try serving with a fresh, lemony salad. Some oyster lovers enjoy hot sauce or saltine crackers alongside, and a glass of crisp white wine or bubbly wouldn't hurt.

"Butter, Herbs, and Oysters are my new favorite trifecta. This dish is the perfect for an appetizer for a luxurious dinner at home!" —Kiana Rollins

Easy butter and herb baked oysters
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 cups rock salt or uncooked rice, for lining the pan

  • 1 dozen fresh oysters

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter, softened, divided

  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • Sweet paprika, optional

  • Finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for butter and herb baked oysters recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 425 F/220 C/Gas Mark 7. Add a layer of rock salt to a rimmed baking sheet or substitute dry, uncooked rice. This will keep the oyster shells from wobbling.

    Rock salt in a rimmed baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Scrub the oyster shells with a stiff brush.

    Scrubbing an oyster shell with a brush

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Carefully shuck the oysters over a bowl to catch any liquids that might spill out. Run the knife along the bottom of the inside of the shell to loosen the oyster. If some of the oyster liquor does spill out, return it to the bottom shell. Discard the top shells and arrange the oysters in the bottom shell with their liquid in the prepared baking pan.

    Shucking oysters over a bowl to catch the liquid

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the panko crumbs and cook, stirring, until the crumbs are lightly browned. Remove from the heat and set aside.

    Panko crumbs and butter cooking in a pan

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. In a bowl, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons of softened butter with the chives, lemon zest, and the lemon juice.

    Herbs and lemon butter in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Top each oyster with a scant teaspoon of the butter-chive mixture and then sprinkle each with the buttered panko crumbs.

    Prepared oysters on baking sheet ready to be baked

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. If desired, finish with a light sprinkling of paprika.

    Oysters sprinkled with paprika

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  9. Bake the oysters until the oysters are cooked through and the topping is golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

    Baked oysters on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  10. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

    Baked oysters sprinkled with parsley on a serving plate with lemon wedges

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


Buy fresh oysters from a trusted source. Look for live oysters with shells that are tightly clamped shut or shut when you tap them. They should smell like the ocean but not unpleasant. If an oyster shell is open or broken and does not close tight when handled, it should be discarded.

Recipe Variations

  • Garlic and Herb Baked Oysters: Add a small, finely minced clove of garlic to the butter in the skillet. Cook in the butter for 1 minute before adding the panko crumbs and then continue with the recipe.
  • Grilled Herb and Butter Oysters: Preheat the grill to high heat. Prepare the oysters following the recipe above. Place the pan on the grill grate, close the lid, and grill for about 6 to 8 minutes.

Storing Raw Oysters in the Fridge

Oysters are best if used as soon as possible after buying fresh. They can be stored for a few hours in the fridge or, depending on how fresh they were when you bought them, even a few days. Store in a mesh bag or open container with a damp towel. Do not keep them in a sealed plastic bag.

Are Baked Oysters Fully Cooked?

Baked oysters should be fully cooked through when done. If they are not completely cooked through, return them to the oven for a few more minutes. Try not to overcook oysters, since they can become rubbery.