Easy Butter and Herb Baked Oysters

Easy butter and herb oysters recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 32 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yields: 12 oysters
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
422 Calories
28g Fat
27g Carbs
18g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 422
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 15g 77%
Cholesterol 136mg 45%
Sodium 312mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Protein 18g
Calcium 73mg 6%
*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.


  • Rock salt
  • 1 dozen fresh oysters (in the shell)
  • 1 stick butter (8 tablespoons, softened, divided)
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (finely grated)
  • Optional: sweet paprika
  • Garnish: fresh parsley (chopped), 2 to 3 wedges lemon (for serving)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for easy butter and herb oysters
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Preheat the oven 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 pan
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Scrub the oyster shells with a stiff brush.

    Scrub oyster with a brush
    The Spruce / 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 with their liquid in the prepared baking pan.

    Shuck oysters over a bowl
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  5. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the panko crumbs and cook, stirring, until the crumbs are lightly browned.

    Panko crumbs and butter cooking in a pan
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  6. In a bowl, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons of softened butter with the chives, lemon juice, and the lemon zest.

    Herb and lemon butter in a bowl
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  7. Top each oyster with a scant teaspoon of the butter-and-chives mixture and then sprinkle each one with the buttered panko crumbs.

    Prepared oysters in a pan ready to be baked
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  8. If desired, finish with a light sprinkling of paprika.

    Oysters sprinkled with paprika
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  9. Bake the oysters in the preheated oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the oysters are cooked through and the topping is golden brown.

    Baked oysters in the pan
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  10. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

    Baked oysters on a serving plate with lemon wedges
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga


Buy fresh oysters from a trusted source. Look for live oysters that are tightly clamped shut or shut when tapped. If an oyster shell is open or broken and does not close tight when handled, it is bad and 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 you add 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.