Recipe By Chef John
Published Jan 9th
Prep 40m Cook 15m Additional - Ready In 55m
Servings 3 dozen Calories 93.8

There’s much debate over how many of America’s greatest recipes got their name, but that’s not an issue with Oysters Rockefeller. Thanks to the rich, money-colored butter sauce, this decadent creation’s name pretty much wrote itself. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon over the top.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 cups rock salt, or more as needed
  • 1 cup chopped watercress
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons minced green onion (white and pale green parts only)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons anise-flavored liqueur (such as Pernod®)
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 36 oysters on the half shell

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Preheat an oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). Pour rock salt into a large, shallow casserole dish.
  2. 2 Combine watercress, butter, bread crumbs, green onions, celery, tarragon, Italian parsley, anise-flavored liqueur, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a food processor; blend until smooth.
  3. 3 Place 8 to 12 shucked oysters on top of the rock salt. Spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons of watercress mixture a top each oyster.
  4. 4 Bake in the preheated oven until oysters are firm and butter has melted, about 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining oysters.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 93.8
  • Carbohydrate 5 g
  • Cholesterol 45.8 mg
  • Fat 4.4 g
  • Fiber 0.1 g
  • Protein 7.6 g
  • Saturated Fat 2 g
  • Sodium 111.7 mg
  • Sugar 0.5 g


  1. Chef John’s video really help me try this recipe. I have an herb garden and used fresh tarragon and parsley in the butter mixture. I needed to make changes to the herbal butter by using white onions instead of green onions, and using dry white wine instead of Pernod. Two tablespoons of Pernod was too - Read more ...
  2. Chef John is GREAT and this recipe is the BEST!! I made this for my friend and I for Christmas appetizers and we decided that NEXT time, we will hold off the Rib Roast and just eat more Oysters Rockefeller!!! This recipe brings out the flavor of the Oysters. Most other recipes you taste bacon - Read more ...
  3. If Chef John puts it up you can be guaranteed that it will be delightfully delicious. This may also be yet another five star plate. Just not for me. Like the reviewer below, I have also had this in a number of regions and was disappointed with the outcome. Not saying it was not good. - Read more ...
  4. I have never seen oysters Rockefeller look like this...ever! I have been to many New Orleans restaurants, and not once did they present me with a dish that looked like this. Loose the 'green' stuff like tarragon, and other green tidbits, and cover with spinach. Yes, spinach, the frozen kind that you squeeze out before - Read more ...
  5. Oh yes I definitely will make it again. Followed directions
  6. These are really, really, really good. I did make a few changes since I was looking to make something with oysters using ingredients I already had on hand. I substituted spinach for the watercress, and a dry white wine for the anise flavored liquor. I also pre-cooked the oysters by putting them on a grill - Read more ...
  7. Very nice flavor! I watched the video first, and it was most helpful. I used 24 oysters and ran out of the beautiful topping. Next time I make this I must remember to adjust the amount for the topping--it is so good!
  8. This was excellent. The first time I made this I was able to get fresh oysters here on the gulf coast. Couldn't find Pernod so went with an anise flavored liquor. Second time couldn't find fresh oysters so used a quart of shucked. Made the butter mixture the same and improvised. Toasted some homemade french - Read more ...