Corn Bread Oyster Dressing
This cornbread and oyster dressing is a holiday staple around the Chesapeake Bay. Christopher Hirsheimer

Adjust the ratio of oysters to bread crumbs in this recipe according to taste—and budget.

Yield: serves 8


  • 2-4 cups shucked oysters with their juice
  • 10 tbsp. butter
  • 4-6 cups fresh fine white bread crumbs
  • 3 ribs celery, trimmed and finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Put oysters into a colander set over a bowl and set aside to drain. Reserve juices and discard any bits of oyster shell left in the oysters.
  2. Melt 8 tbsp. of the butter in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add bread crumbs and fry until crisp and golden, stirring constantly, about 15 minutes. Spread bread crumbs on a baking sheet and set aside to let cool.
  3. In same skillet, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Add celery and cook until bright green but still crunchy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Mix bread crumbs and celery together in a large bowl, then generously season with salt and pepper. Gently fold in oysters, taking care to keep them whole. If stuffing looks too dry, add a little of the oyster juice. Spoon stuffing into turkey, truss, and bake. Or transfer stuffing to a buttered baking pan and bake until hot and golden on top, about 30 minutes. Garnish with celery leaves, if you like.