Celebrating National Oyster Rockefeller Day

If you’re like us, you love any excuse to eat oysters, especially Chesapeake Bay-harvested bivalves! National Oysters Rockefelllar Day is the perfect excuse to try a new recipe, or get out and eat these at one of our Shell Recycling Alliance member restaurants. Whatever the case, make sure those shells are recycled so the Bay benefits from your consumption!


Oysters Rockefeller was created in 1889 at the New Orleans restaurant Antoine’s by Jules Alciatore, son of founder Antoine Alciatore. Jules developed the dish due to a shortage of escargot, substituting in locally available oysters. To this day, the retaurant’s recipe remains unchanged, with an estimated three and a half million orders having been served.

The dish was named “oysters Rockefeller” after John D. Rockefeller, the then-wealthiest American, for its extreme richness. It consisted of oysters on the half-shell topped with a green sauce and bread crumbs, then baked or broiled. The original sauce recipe is a secret that Alciatore took to the grave but many speculate that it includes a purée of a green vegetables which may include spinach. While many achieve the sauce’s trademark green color simply using spinach, Antoine’s chefs have repeatedly denied that the original dish contains any.
No matter how you top it, we hope you enjoy this delcious recipe – and, if you make it, please take a pic and tag us on social, @oysterrecovery!


4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs

2 shallots, chopped

2 cups chopped fresh spinach

Salt and pepper, to taste

Dash red pepper sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

2 dozen oysters, on the half shell

Lemon wedges, for garnish


1. Melt butter in a skillet. Saute the garlic for 2 minutes to infuse the butter.

2. Place the bread crumbs in a mixing bowl and add half the garlic butter, set aside. To the remaining garlic butter in the skillet, add shallots and spinach, cook for 3 minutes until the spinach wilts. Season with salt and pepper, add a dash of red pepper sauce.

3. Allow the mixture to cook down for a few minutes. Finish off the bread crumbs by mixing in olive oil, Parmesan and parsley, season with salt and pepper.

4. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of the spinach mixture on each oyster followed by a spoonful of the bread crumb mixture.

5. Arrange the oysters on the baking sheet and bake in a preheated 450 degree F oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden.

6. Serve with lemon wedges and red pepper sauce.