Baked or Grilled Oysters with Bacon Compound Butter 

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When it comes to Holiday recipes I think we all look to get “wowed” in some fashion, whether that means robust smells and tastes, an assortment of textures or story the of the product from sourcing to plate, in this case, WATER TO PLATE.  Even the biggest naysayers to oysters will have a hard time resisting this dish.  Come along as the Tanner Saraspe breaks down an irresistible approach to oysters as a perfect Holiday dish.

Baked or Grilled Oysters with Bacon Compound Butter 

Oysters are a hit-and-miss item but we guarantee that there will be no misses around this rich dish.  The overwhelming flavor of the ocean along with our butter and bacon mixture will have your friends and family urging you for seconds. Pull out a tray of sizzling baked or grilled oysters at your next gathering, and watch them disappear in an instant. Might as well make a double batch of the compound butter as it can easily be made ahead and frozen.


Ready in 1 hour, makes enough for 12 oysters

• 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

• 5 slices of bacon, finely chopped

• 2 shallots, minced

• 1/2 head of garlic, peeled and chopped

• 1/2 cup parsley, including stems, finely chopped

• Juice from 1 lemon or more to taste

• Sea salt and pepper

• 1/2 cup finely-grated Parmesan cheese, divided

• 1 dozen fresh oysters, shucked

• Rock or pickling salt if baking

STEP 1. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Heat the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook until crispy, stirring occasionally and watching closely. Once cooked, pour the bacon and fat into a small bowl and set aside, leaving about 1 tablespoon fat in the pan.

STEP 2. Add the shallots and cook until soft and fragrant, adding more bacon fat if needed. Place the cooked bacon and shallots in the bowl with the butter, discarding the excess fat or reserving for another use (like breakfast potatoes).

STEP 3. Stir in the chopped garlic, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Stir until mixture is thoroughly combined. Position a sheet of parchment paper over a sheet of plastic wrap and place the compound butter on the paper. Roll into a log and seal tightly. Set in the fridge or freezer to firm up for about 20 minutes.

STEP 4. Before cooking, set your grill to high heat or your oven to 450°F. If baking, spread a thick layer of rock or pickling salt on a rimmed baking sheet; this will keep the oysters from falling over in the oven. Nuzzle the shucked oysters into the salt and top each with a medallion or spoonful of compound butter. Top oysters with remaining Parmesan cheese. If grilling, simply prep the oysters on a baking sheet without the salt.

STEP 5. If baking, set the sheet directly into the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes or until oysters are bubbling and the cheese is melted. You’ll know when they’re done. If grilling, use tongs to place oysters directly on the grill and cook until the butter bubbles and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.


A special thank you to Tanner Saraspe and Nicole Litvack from Saraspe Seafoods for sharing their wealth of knowledge and recipes. To learn more about our local San Diego Fishery and Products visit: