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A large white bowl full of orange bisque with chunks of lobster, taken from an overhead angle

The Best Lobster Bisque (Ruth's Chris Copycat Recipe)

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!
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Seafood
Keyword anniversary, shellfish, valentine's day
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 353kcal


  • Large pot
  • Tongs
  • Large bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Kitchen shears
  • Sieve
  • 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.
    Boiling lobster tails in a large silver pot
  • 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.
    Lobster shells, onion, garlic, and vegetables in a large pot
  • 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.
    Lobster bisque in a large saucepan with a large silver ladle
  • 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.
Recipe yields approximately 4 servings. Nutritional values shown reflect information for 1 serving. Macros may vary slightly depending on the specific brands of ingredients used.
To determine the size of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed, then weigh the entire finished recipe . Divide the total weight of the recipe (not including the weight of the bowl, pot, or plate the food is in) by 4. Result will be the weight of one serving.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 849mg | Potassium: 540mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2909IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 1mg | Net Carbs: 12g