This lobster bisque is restaurant quality but easy to make at home. Inspired by the deliciously rich lobster bisque at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, this recipe creates a luscious creamy soup with flavors of brandy, sherry, and plenty of lobster!
What Makes This Lobster Bisque Recipe So Good
- It’s thick and creamy and full of incredible flavors. You’ll love this bisque on a cold fall or winter evening.
- Lobster. Um. Do I really need to say more? Besides the incredible lobster meat, the bisque starts with a homemade stock made from lobster shells and aromatics, so you know it’s super rich and delicious.
- It’s a top-notch, restaurant-quality bisque that’s really easy to make but looks and sounds super luxurious. Keep this recipe on hand for special occasions (anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, etc.) or anytime you need to entertain someone you really want to impress.
- Looking for a make-ahead meal? You can make the majority of this recipe up to one day in advance and finish it right before dinnertime. This recipe does not freeze well, and the finished bisque should only be stored in the refrigerator up to 2 days, in an airtight container.
Key Ingredients for Lobster Bisque
Lobster – Lobster is a delicious, decadent shellfish that’s full of nutrients and is an excellent source of lean protein. It doesn’t have the same kick of Omega-3 fatty acids as, say, salmon, but it does have significant amounts of zinc, calcium, and potassium. Oh, also it tastes amazing.
Brandy & Sherry – No, that’s not a singing duo. These ingredients put this lobster bisque over the top and really deliver that restaurant-quality flavor. Nothing really replaces the flavors in these liquors, but you can try substituting white wine for the sherry if you want or need to. If you’re looking for non-alcoholic subs, I would recommend replacing the 1 cup total alcohol with a mixture of 1/4 cup sugar-free apple juice, a splash of vinegar, and 3/4 cup more lobster stock.
What’s the Best Way to Remove Lobster Meat from the Shell?
The easiest way, in my opinion, is just to cut away the shell from the meat. No really, it’s that simple.
Take your cooled lobster tails from their water bath and use shears to cut straight down the back of the tail. Then, you’ll need to pop the hard membranes on the inner side of the tail using your thumbs. Once you’ve done that, you should be able to open up the shell and pull the meat out in one piece.
If you don’t have kitchen shears (or a sharp knife) or if you just want another option, you can do this with your bare hands, too.
Lay the cooled lobster tail on its side on the kitchen counter or on a cutting board. Using both hands, press down on the shell until it cracks.
Hold the tail with the shell facing down and the fins pointed toward you. Pull on both sides of the shell to crack it open the rest of the way so you can remove the meat.
Now you’re ready for lobster bisque!
- If you’re a big fan of lobster, you can totally use more than this recipe calls for. Fresh lobster meat is best, and we absolutely recommend it over anything else, but frozen or canned can be used instead. It won’t taste quite the same as fresh lobster, but it’ll work. If you use frozen tails, make sure to thaw them first!
- Want even more flavor? Try sautéing your lobster before adding it to your bisque. Melt butter and sauté garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Season your lobster with salt and pepper (and a little cayenne or Tony Chachere’s if you like things spicy) and sauté it just long enough to warm it through. Add the sautéed lobster to your bisque, stir everything together, then enjoy!
- If you can swing it, use cold-water lobster tails instead of warm-water ones. Cold-water tails are more expensive, but they’re also a little sweeter (as opposed to fishier warm-water lobsters) and have a nicer texture.
- Mix it up! Use crab, shrimp, or crawfish in place of (or along with) the lobster meat for extra flavors and proteins.
More Incredible Seafood Recipes
- How to Broil Lobster Tails + Garlic Butter Sauce
- Healthy Authentic Seafood Gumbo (Gluten Free, Whole30, Paleo, Low Carb)
- Seafood Salad
- Easy Salmon Patties & Lemon-Garlic Sauce
- Tuscan Shrimp (Whole30, Paleo)
- Seafood Salad
- Addictive Hot Crab Dip
- She Crab Soup
- Shrimp Bisque
- Baked Fish with Lemon-Garlic Butter
- Seafood Soup
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The Best Lobster Bisque (Ruth’s Chris Copycat Recipe)
- Large pot
- Large bowl
- Medium bowl
- Kitchen shears
- Large saucepan
- water to boil
- 3 small lobster tails or 2 large
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 large celery stalk sliced
- 1 small carrot sliced
- 1 head garlic cut in half crosswise
- 1 tomato sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh tarragon optional
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- ½ cup brandy
- ½ cup sherry
- 2 cups bottled clam juice
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Bring large pot of water to boil. Add lobster tails to water, and boil until cooked through and bright red, approximately 5 minutes.
- Using tongs, transfer lobsters to large bowl. Reserve 2 cups cooking liquid, saving as much loose lobster meat with the liquid as possible.
- Cool lobster tails by running under cool water. Crack tails and remove meat using the method of your choice – see Notes.
- Coarsely chop lobster meat, then cover and chill. Coarsely chop lobster shells and transfer to medium bowl. Reserve juices from lobster in a bowl.
- In large pot of medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add lobster shells and sauté until shells darken, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, tomato, tarragon, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Stir in brandy and sherry, then boil until almost all liquid has evaporated, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add clam juice, reserved liquid from boiling lobster, and reserved lobster juices. Cook at strong simmer for approximately 15 minutes.
- Strain soup through sieve set over large saucepan, pressing firmly on solids. Whisk tomato paste into soup. Simmer until soup is reduced to 3 cups, approximately 15 minutes. If making bisque ahead of time, stop here. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.
- Add whipping cream to soup and simmer 5 minutes. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water. Add to soup. Boil until slightly thickened, approximately 2 minutes.
- Season with salt and black pepper. Mix lobster meat into soup and stir until heated through.
- Ladle soup into bowls and serve.
- Make it Dairy Free: Use coconut cream instead of whipping cream.
- Make it Gluten Free: Pure cornstarch is gluten free, but be careful to avoid any brands that might cross-contaminate. Alternately, you can use 2 tablespoons arrowroot in place of the 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in this recipe.
- Make it Keto: Most of the carbs in this bisque come from the veggies and the cornstarch. Leaving out the onion will save you approximately 2-3g net carbs per serving. Replace the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of xanthan gum. Use heavy cream instead of whipping cream for extra fat. Also, look for the lowest carb tomato paste you can find, with no added sugars.
- To remove lobster meat with kitchen shears: Take your cooled lobster tails from their water bath and use shears to cut straight down the back of the tail. Then, pop the hard membranes on the inner side of the tail using your thumbs. Once you’ve done that, you should be able to open up the shell and pull the meat out in one piece.
- To remove lobster meat with your hands: Lay the cooled lobster tail on its side on the kitchen counter or on a cutting board. Using both hands, press down on the shell until it cracks. Hold the tail with the shell facing down and the fins pointed toward you. Pull on both sides of the shell to crack it open the rest of the way so you can remove the meat.
Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.