Sea-inspired appetizer for your next get-together

Photography and text by Jenny Shea Rawn MS, MPH, RD

Tag me @jennyshearawn and @capeandislandsmag if you try any of these recipes.

These buttery, crispy oysters are simple to make yet fancy on presentation making them the perfect appetizer for your special guests this season. Serve them with your favorite bubbly to kick off a festive evening. For this recipe, you’ll roast the oysters with butter, garlic, and seasoned panko crumbs until bubbly and golden brown then top them with fresh parsley and lemon zest. 

Recipe notes

  • Look for deep cupped oysters, which will hold their liquor and the butter mixture nicely in the oven.
  • When shucking the oysters, be careful not to spill the liquor (liquid), as it is pure briny deliciousness. Also, make sure to sever the oyster from the bottom shell for ease of eating. 

Nutrition highlight

This is not exactly a healthy appetizer, but it’s worth noting a few health benefits of oysters themselves because they do pack quite a nutritious punch. Oysters are rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals; they are notably high in zinc, essential for immune system health, and iron, critical for transporting oxygen throughout your body. 

Fun tidbit

My children are fascinated by oysters and oysters shucking. They love being close by in the kitchen when mom or dad is shucking oysters—it is quite fascinating to watch, isn’t it?


20 minutes




12 oysters, shucked, with their liquor 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 garlic clove, minced

½ cup seasoned panko crumbs

For garnish

1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley

Zest from 1 lemon

For serving

1 lemon, cut into wedges 

Sparkling wine of your choice


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a small baking pan with rock salt, or alternatively, crumple up a piece of tin foil, then stretch it back out. Nestle the shucked oysters into the salt or into the crumpled foil so that their liquor remains in the shell.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add panko crumbs and cook about one more minute until the panko has absorbed the melted butter. 
  3. Spoon panko mixture into oysters.
  4. Place oysters into the oven for 8-10 minutes, until the oysters are bubbling and golden brown, keeping an eye on them so the topping doesn’t burn. 
  5. Remove oysters from the oven. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and lemon zest. Serve with lemon wedges and sparkling wine.  

Tag me @jennyshearawn and @capeandislandsmag if you try any of these recipes.

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