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Simple Seafood Bisque

  • Serves: 12
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Calories: 668
seafood bisque topped with fresh shrimp and chives in a white bowl

Studded with loads of crawfish, shrimp, and crab, our seafood bisque recipe feels—and tastes—exceedingly fancy with exactly zero fuss.

Bring On the Bisque

We’re breaking out the butter, heavy cream and half-and-half for this ultra-rich, ultra-luxe seafood bisque recipe. It’s exactly what to serve when you want to impress new in-laws, picky kids, work friends, or just basically anyone. Studded with tender, flavorful crawfish, shrimp, and crab, our bisque recipe feels—and tastes—exceedingly fancy with exactly zero fuss. It’s a holiday tradition in our house, and we know it’ll find a happy home in yours, too!

seafood bisque topped with shrimp and chives

What Is Bisque?

Quite simply, an easy bisque definition is simply that the word “bisque” means a thick, creamy soup, usually made with seafood and enriched with cream—it’s a lot like a seafood chowder, minus the potatoes. Our crab and shrimp seafood bisque came straight from Louisiana, through a friend-of-an-aunt-of-a-friend. And it’s been in regular rotation at our house since we first tasted it. It’s got everything you’d want from a classic Cajun stew—crawfish, crab, shrimp, Old Bay seasoning, and even Tony’s Cajun Seasoning—but with the decadence of something you’d order from the fanciest French restaurant in town. Is bisque healthy? Noooooo. But is it delicious? Abso-freaking-lutely.

ingredients for seafood bisque in small bowls

Bisque Recipe Ingredients

A quick loop through the grocery store and you’ve got all the goods to make what promises to be the best seafood bisque you’ve ever tasted. Screenshot this grocery list, and you’re good to go:

  • Fish: Crawfish meat, shrimp, and crab meat. Buying seafood that’s labeled “meat”—like “crab meat” or “crawfish meat” basically means that the seafood has already been shelled, prepped, and even sometimes par-cooked, making for far fewer steps in the final bisque.
  • From the dairy aisle: Heavy cream + half-and-half + unsalted butter. Yes, you need all of it. No, don’t think about subbing in skim milk instead. A bisque is no place for austerity!
  • Produce: Green onions and corn. That’s it. Our bisque is definitely not a veggie-heavy dish.
  • Pantry & spice rack: Flour, can of creamed corn, salt and pepper, cayenne, Old Bay seasoning, and Tony’s Cajun seasoning.
pot with butter, flour and green onions
large cast iron pot with seafood bisque

What to Serve with Bisque

When you make our creamy seafood bisque recipe it’s pretty much the star of the mealtime show. Which is exactly as it should be. Still, there are a few things we’ve found that compliment the whole thing quite nicely:

  • Crisp, high-acid white wine. Keep it French, and opt for a crystalline Sancerre. The briny minerality is a nice pairing for seafood, and wine’s acidity helps to cut through the richness of the creamy soup.
  • Loaf of sourdough bread. Put it in the middle of the table and tear off hunks as you eat. Dip, drench, and finally sweep it across a seemingly empty bowl to sop up every last drop of seafood soup.
  • Simple side salad. Consider serving the salad after the meal as a bright palate-cleanser (and before buckling down for dessert, of course). Our quick and easy Simple Butter Lettuce Salad makes a great side for any rich dish.
seafood bisque in a white bowl with shrimp and chives

Tools to Make Our Seafood Bisque Soup

We weren’t joking when we said this crab and shrimp seafood bisque was easy. You’ll just need:

  • Large pot. We adore our Staub 6-quart for cooking this crab bisque.
  • Wooden spoon. Watch the heat and stir frequently to keep the chowder from scorching.
  • Mega appetite. Our shrimp bisque is rich and enveloping. Come hungry.

Soup’s On

We’re not the only ones who see soup as a food group, right?? Here’s what else we’re ladling into our bowls this season:

Madame, Monsieur! Your Table is Ready.

As we share this recipe (from a Mortimer family favorite, which was a Siers family favorite, which we first tasted in the Buster home) we hope that it becomes a Modern Proper classic that you'll share with all of your loved ones. Our seafood bisque have you convinced you’re ready to open your own little French bistro? Just save a reservation for us! Show us your beautiful bisques and tag us @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Now, who’s hungry for seconds?

Seafood Bisque

  • Serves: 12
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Calories: 668

Ingredients

  • 1 lb crawfish meat (or more shrimp and crab if unable to find)
  • 1.5 lb shrimp meat
  • 1/2 lb crab meat
  • 1 lb unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch green onions (white and green parts), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup All-Purpose flour
  • 1 qt heavy cream
  • 1 qt half and half
  • 1 16oz can creamed corn
  • 1 1/2 tsp Tony's Cajun Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Method

  1. In a large pot, melt butter and saute onions.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and onions and stir until flour is fully incorporated.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Serve with white wine and a good loaf of sour dough bread.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 668
  • Protein 26 g
  • Carbohydrates 15 g
  • Total Fat 56 g
  • Dietary Fiber 0 g
  • Cholesterol 341 mg
  • sodium 1010 mg
  • Total Sugars 2 g

Simple Seafood Bisque

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Debbie

    Hello, husband won’t eat onions. Will it taste the same if I substitute onion powder?

    Sure, that would be fine. Hope you enjoy Debbie!

  • Lindsey Benton

    Is it self rising or all purpose flour?

    All Purpose. :-)

  • Sara Hart

    Help!!! I’m making this for tomorrow currently! Is that a typo?? 1 lb of butter?? 4 sticks?!? I love all your recipes but this seems off??

    Thanks :)

    Not a typo. : )

  • Tania Asis

    Any substitute for the corn and cream of corn?

    You can just leave them out if you don't like them.

  • Morgan Patterson

    Can you make this recipe ahead?

    I haven't tested it, but if you do, just reheat it slowly and don't boil it. That will help keep the soup from separating.

  • Jones

    This was excellent!
    I substituted the crab and crawfish with more shrimp. I also substituted the cayenne seasoning with chipotle seasoning. Again, it was excellent.

    Thank you! We are so glad you loved it!

  • Karla Young

    This was beyond my expectations. The most delicious seafood bisque ever!!

    Thank you Karla! We are so happy you loved it!

  • Anne

    "Simple" & So So Delicious

    I tried this recipe for the first time to start our Christmas Day dinner. And they were 100% truthful in how simple the dish is to make & how creamy & enveloping it is to eat. As a first course, it put a smile on everyone's face sitting around the table.

    The photo with this recipe inspired my own presentation -- a single shrimp atop the bisque with a few shreds of green onion leaves. Never presented anything so fancy to my family before. They all got out their phones to take a picture!

    Thanks for this great recipe!


    Adjustments
    My husband isn't a fan of crawfish so I substituted it with lobster meat & increased the amount of crab meat to 1lb. I also only added 3/4 lb of butter & 1 pint, not 1 quart of heavy cream.

    Thank you Anne! So happy everyone enjoyed and great job making a picture worthy dish! It always feels good when someone pulls out a photo to snap a pic of your work!

  • Justin Davenport

    This is fantastic! I made it for my family & they raved about it. "Better than restuarant quality". A splash of sherry in our bowls sent it over the top. Will definitely be making this again!

    That is so great Justin! So happy you loved it and will make it again!

  • Johanna Dyer

    I haven't made this YET, but I REEEALLY appreciate that you picture all the ingredients and show step by step what you're doing. I'm a very visual person this really helps ! All your soups look amazing and can't wait to make ! THANKS!!

    Thanks Johanna! Can't wait to hear how it goes when you try it!