Classic Lobster Bisque Recipe (Easy)

5 from 3 reviews

Jump to RecipeLeave a Comment

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

This Classic Lobster Bisque Recipe (Easy) is perfect for special occasions. Classic lobster bisque recipe highlights fresh lobster meat, heavy cream, white wine, bay leaf, and aromatic vegetables to create a traditional lobster bisque you will crave repeatedly. This is the best lobster bisque recipe!

Serve with a side of rustic bread and a beautiful salad. You will also love Lobster Ravioli Sauce with Lemon Brown Butter. Ideas for what to serve with this lobster bisque recipe are here.

Classic lobster bisque in a bowl with crusty bread on the side.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Classic and Easy Lobster Bisque

Homemade Lobster Bisque seems intimidating and expensive at home, but this recipe makes it more affordable by using lobster tails. The result is a velvety smooth bisque with big chunks of lobster loaded with fresh flavors.

Feel like you are at a fancy restaurant and make this creamy lobster bisque at home! It’s, honestly, the best lobster bisque recipe! Serve this delicious bisque for your special someone on Valentine’s Day (or wow your dinner party guests), and they will swoon over it.

Simple Ingredients

This Lobster Bisque recipe tastes complex but has super simple ingredients – minus the lobster tails. The cold winter months are the best time to purchase lobster from the grocery store since the prices tend to be the lowest. Time to make lobster bisque!

ingredient shot for recipe
  • Cold water lobster tails freshly thawed
  • Butter (I prefer salted butter)
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • Tomato paste
  • Garlic
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh tarragon
  • Paprika
  • Cornstarch 
  • Bay leaves
  • Water (for stock)
  • Heavy cream
  • White wine or sherry wine 

See the recipe card for quantities.

classic lobster bisque in a bowl with toasted bread slices in the bowl.

How to Make Lobster Bisque Step-By-Step Instructions and Photos

Yes, this classic lobster bisque is an easy recipe! We created a little shortcut that saves time without sacrificing flavor. Using lobster tails guarantees a rich and decadent bisque that cooks in under one hour. You aren’t plunging a live lobster into a pot of boiling water for this recipe!

MAKE LOBSTER STOCK

process of making classic lobster bisque: boiling lobster tails.

Fill a large pot with 5 cups of water. Stir in 1 teaspoon of sea salt and bring to a boil.
Add the lobster tails and bay leaves, cover with a lid and let boil for 5 minutes or until bright red. Do not cook all the way. The lobster meat is cooked in butter at a later time.

process of making classic lobster bisque: lobster in a dish after boiling.

Using kitchen tongs, remove the lobster tails, and save the stock in the pot.

process of making classic lobster bisque: cutting lobster tail to get meat out.

Let the lobster tails cool slightly, and remove the meat from the shells using kitchen shears (save the shells)* see notes.

process of making classic lobster bisque: peeling lobster tails.

Reserve the meat and any liquid from the shells. Chop the lobster meat into large bite-sized chunks. Place in a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate until later.

process of making classic lobster bisque: saving lobster tails for broth.

Return the lobster shells to the water in the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 15 minutes to get as much flavor out of the shells as possible.
Add stock contents to a colander (not a fine mesh sieve) over a large bowl. Pick out noticeable shells. Discard lobster shells. Set lobster stock aside. 

MAKE THE BISQUE

process of making classic lobster bisque: sautéing vegetables in pan.

Heat butter and oil in a large, heavy-based pot over medium heat. Cook the onions, carrots, celery, and fresh herbs until soft, about 5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper and paprika. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

process of making classic lobster bisque: adding tomato paste to softened vegetables in pan.

Stir in tomato paste, and cook for another minute to coat vegetables. Sprinkle vegetables with cornstarch and cook while occasionally stirring for 2 minutes.

process of making classic lobster bisque: adding wine to cooked vegetables.

Pour in the wine, simmer, and let reduce to about half.


process of making classic lobster bisque: adding lobster broth to cooked vegetables.

Stir in lobster stock, reduce heat and gently simmer while occasionally stirring until the liquid has thickened slightly and the flavors have blended for about 30 minutes.

process of making classic lobster bisque: blending cooked vegetable in blender.

Take off the heat, transfer the mixture to a blender (or immersion blender), and blend until completely smooth.

process of making classic lobster bisque: adding cream to pot.

Return to medium-low heat and stir in the heavy cream.

HEAT LOBSTER IN BUTTER

process of making classic lobster bisque: lobster frying in butter.

When ready to serve, melt 1 tablespoon of salted butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add lobster meat and season with freshly cracked salt and pepper. Cook while stirring, just until coated in butter and cooked through for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not overcook lobster. 

SERVE LOBSTER BISQUE

classic lobster bisque in a soup pot with a ladle.

Stir lobster meat into the bisque. Serve immediately—top with a swirl of heavy cream, a touch of fresh herbs, and a couple of lobster pieces.

Serve with artisan crusty bread. 

What lobster is best for Lobster Bisque?

For this recipe, try to find a lobster variety called “cold lobster,”– which refers to the region it is caught. Cold lobsters generally come from Maine or New England area, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, as opposed to warm lobster tails, which generally come from Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

The meat of cold-water lobster tails is more flavorful, firm, yet tender. The cold-water lobster tails might be a little more expensive, but if you are here to make the best lobster bisque, you might as well go “all-in.” You want a fabulous soup, not just a good soup!

Lastly, look for more petite lobster tails ranging in size from 4 oz to 12 oz. this size is optimal for quality taste and texture.

You will have the BEST homemade lobster bisque with a few easy steps! Smooth, rich, and creamy, making lobster bisque is easy! Follow the step-by-step photos with all the tips and tricks for the best classic lobster bisque.

How to remove lobster meat from the shell

Place the lobster tail on your counter with the back of the tail facing up. Cut down through the center to the end of the lobster tail using sharp kitchen shears. 

Carefully use your thumbs and fingers to open the shell to loosen it from the meat, opening the meat away from the shell side walls. Pull the meat up from the bottom of the shell to separate the shell from the meat underneath it.

Best Lobster Bisque

Hands down, this is the best lobster bisque recipe. The rich broth and the buttery chunks of lobster make this a clear winner for any occasion. Enjoy!

Classic lobster bisque in a bowl with extra lobster on top.

Substitutions

To make a dairy-free version, use coconut cream instead of heavy cream. This will change the taste slightly, but the creamy texture will stay the same.

Substitue for Tarragon

Tarragon has a beautiful flavor similar to licorice or anise. If you can’t find any, here are some substitutions:

  • Dill
  • Marjoram
  • Fennel
  • Chervil
  • Anise

Variations

You can follow the same method as this lobster bisque recipe by using shrimp, crab, etc., to create other varieties of bisque. It is easy to customize to your preference.

You can use these variations to the lobster bisque recipe with what you already have on hand:

  • Broth: Use a low-sodium lobster broth or seafood broth/stock that you can purchase at your local grocery store. You can, but I don’t recommend using chicken stock or chicken broth.
  • Lobster: You can use frozen or canned lobster meat, but fresh lobster meat is best. You will lose a depth of flavor if you don’t use fresh lobster meat.
  • Clams, Crab, or Shrimp: These make great substitutions for the lobster in this recipe.
  • Spicy: add a dash of cayenne pepper for extra heat in this creamy soup.
lobster bisque in a bowl with drizzle of cream and bread on the side.

Equipment

Contains affiliate links.

What to Serve with this Easy Lobster Bisque

This delicate lobster bisque recipe is the perfect main dish for several side options! Make Shredded Zucchini and Cheese Pasta (easy) or Best Italian Oven Roasted Potatoes and Easy Soft Italian No Knead Bread with a side of Italian Fennel, Citrus, Pomegranate, and Salad.

Make a surf and turf dinner with these recipes- How to Cook Steak in a Pan (Perfect Recipe) and How to Cook a Small Prime Rib Roast Recipe.

If you want to serve appetizers, try: Hot Mascarpone Spinach Artichoke Dip or Italian Stuffed Zucchini (vegetarian)!

Don’t forget dessert! Best Brown Butter Apple PieClassic Italian Tiramisu Recipe (Authentic), or Creamy Frozen Lemon Bars with Graham Cracker Crust.

Classic lobster bisque in a bowl with extra lobster on top.

Top tips

  • Use cold-water lobster. The taste is superior and worth it for this incredible crab bisque recipe.
  • Don’t overcook lobster.  When par-boiling the lobster, cook it enough so it easily pries away from the shell – we are not trying to cook it all through.
  • Sauté in butter just until opaque.  The goal of sautéing the lobster in butter is to infuse it with flavor.  If the lobster cooks too much from the boiling process, toss it in the butter and gently warm but don’t continue to cook, or it will become rubbery and stiff.
  • Time-saving tip: chopping the vegetables for the soffritto is the most time-consuming part. You can chop them the day before, store them in the fridge, or even buy pre-diced onion, carrots, celery, and garlic.

FAQ

What’s the difference between lobster bisque and lobster stew?

Bisques, in general, are always made of crustaceans such as lobster, crab, shrimp, and crayfish. The crustacean shells (usually with a vegetable base) are simmered to make a seafood soup stock. The stock (with the vegetables) is pureed to create a velvety smooth, and creamy texture before adding the seafood meat to the soup. A stew remains chunky with a clear broth base and chunks of vegetables, lobster, other meats, and seafood varieties.

Can I make lobster bisque ahead of time?

Yes, you can make lobster bisque ahead of time. Keep lobster separate if making ahead. Store the parboiled lobster and the bisque separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator; before serving, heat the bisque and cook the lobster with butter in a pan. Store the bisque base and par-cooked lobster meat separately in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

What is Classic Lobster Bisque?

Lobster Bisque is a classic creamy French soup made from homemade lobster stock. Compared to soups, stews, or chowders, Bisques contain a high amount of cream, usually a higher ratio of cream to stock than cream soups, even chowder – yet another reason they are unapologetically scrumptious.
Whole lobster shells are cooked with a soup base, Italian soffritto, or mirepoix, in broth or stock to extract the flavor from the lobster shells to create a flavorful lobster stock. 
The lobster stock is strained (using a colander) and thickened with heavy cream and cornstarch. The chunks of lobster meat are prepared in butter and added to the soup. You are left with a rich lobster flavor and a perfect harmony of flavors.

How long does lobster bisque last in the fridge?

Lobster Bisque should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. As with most seafood, do not store longer than 2-3 days for fresh and best results. To reheat, add the bisque to a saucepan and heat until warm.

Classic lobster bisque in a bowl with spoon

More recipes for you

💙 MADE THIS RECIPE AND LOVED IT? 💙 Please leave a ⭐️STAR rating and COMMENT below- I love connecting with you! Tag me with your creations on Instagram and find me on Pinterest.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
cover photo.

Classic Lobster Bisque Recipe (Easy)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

This Classic Lobster Bisque Recipe (Easy) is perfect for special occasions. Classic lobster bisque recipe highlights fresh lobster meat, heavy cream, white wine, bay leaf, and aromatic vegetables to create a traditional lobster bisque you will crave time and time again.

  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 pound cold water lobster tails freshly thawed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups lobster stock (recipe as follows), OR seafood or fish stock (store-bought)
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup white wine or sherry wine

Instructions

LOBSTER STOCK

  1. Fill a large pot with 5 cups of water. Stir in 1 teaspoon of sea salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the lobster tails and bay leaves, cover with a lid and let boil for 5 minutes or until bright red. Do not cook all the way. The lobster meat is cooked in butter at a later time. 
  3. Using kitchen tongs, remove the lobster tails, and save the stock in the pot. Let the lobster tails cool slightly, and remove the meat from the shells using kitchen shears (save the shells)* see notes.
  4.  Reserve the meat and any liquid from the shells. Chop the lobster meat into large bite-sized chunks. Place in a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate until later.
  5. Return the lobster shells to the water in the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 15 minutes to get as much flavor out of the shells as possible.
  6. Add stock contents to a colander (not a fine mesh sieve) over a large bowl. Pick out noticeable shells. Discard lobster shells. Set lobster stock aside. 

BISQUE

  1. Heat butter and oil in a large, heavy-based pot over medium heat. Cook the onions, carrots, celery, and fresh herbs until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and paprika. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in tomato paste, and cook for another minute to coat vegetables. Sprinkle vegetables with cornstarch and cook while occasionally stirring for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the wine, simmer, and let reduce to about half. Stir in lobster stock, reduce heat and gently simmer while occasionally stirring until the liquid has thickened slightly and the flavors have blended for about 30 minutes.
  4. Take off the heat, transfer the mixture to a blender (or immersion blender), and blend until completely smooth. Return to medium-low heat and stir in the heavy cream.

HEAT LOBSTER IN BUTTER

  1. When ready to serve, melt 1 tablespoon of salted butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add lobster meat and season with freshly cracked salt and pepper. Cook while stirring, just until coated in butter and cooked through 1 to 2 minutes. Do not over cook lobster. 

SERVE LOBSTER BISQUE

  1. Stir lobster meat into the bisque. Serve immediately—top with a swirl of heavy cream, a touch of fresh herbs, and a couple of lobster pieces. Serve with artisan crusty bread

Notes

*How to remove lobster meat from lobster tails:

Place the lobster tail on your counter with the back of the tail facing up. Using sharp kitchen shears, cut down through the center to the end of the tail. Carefully use your thumbs and fingers to open the shell to loosen it from the meat, opening the meat away from the shell side walls. Pull the meat up from the bottom of the shell to separate the shell from the meat underneath it.

Top Tips: 

  • Use cold-water lobster. The taste is superior and worth it for this incredible crab bisque recipe.
  • Don’t overcook lobster.  When par-boiling the lobster, cook the lobster just enough so it easily pries away from the shell – we are not trying to cook the lobster all the way through. The lobster is cooked later with butter.
  • Sauté in butter just until opaque.  The goal of sautéing the lobster in butter is to infuse it with flavor.  If the lobster cooks too much from the boiling process, toss it in the butter and gently warm but don’t continue to cook, or it will become rubbery and stiff.
  • Time-saving tip: the most time-consuming part is chopping the vegetables for the soffritto. You can chop them the day before and store them in the fridge, or even buy pre-diced onion, carrots, celery, and garlic.

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 50 min
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: French
  • Cuisine: French

You May Also Like

About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

7 Comments

  1. LOVE love love!! I used some red wine and some white Also I cut the amount of cream called for in half. Added lemon zest as well Delicious!