Simple Seafood Bisque

seafood bisque topped with fresh shrimp and chives in a white bowl
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Feeling fancy? Say hello to our divinely decadent seafood bisque.

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.

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 8

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 butter
1 bunch green onions (white and green parts), finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
1 qt heavy cream
1 qt half and half
1 16oz can creamed corn
1/2 tbsp Tony's Cajun Seasoning
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 tbsp salt
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.