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5 Best Traditional Seafood Bisque Recipes

delicious homemade lobster bisque with cream and parsley
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Nothing beats a rich and velvety lobster or crab bisque served with a piece of warm crusty bread. Want a bowl? Don’t worry, we found five of the best recipes for you.

Curious about what a bisque is, and how it differs from a chowder? While both are delicious types of soup, chowder and bisque have distinctive differences that set them apart from one another.

What Is Bisque?

A bisque is a soup traditionally made from pureed shellfish that provides a thick, creamy consistency. The addition of cream (and sometimes wine) makes bisque its very own category of soup. While authentic recipes use shellfish shells to thicken the soup, today you’ll likely see rice used as a thickening agent.

Chowder is also plentiful and creamy, but the protein and vegetable components are never pureed, making this type of soup thick and chunky. Chowders also typically use a combination of cream or milk and potatoes to create this delightful meal.

So, whether you’re hoping for an easy bisque to make on a cold Sunday night, or an elegant meal to present to your significant other, we’ve got something for you. Here are five of our favorite bisque recipes.

Best Seafood Combo: Crab and Shrimp Seafood Bisque

a delicious crab and seafood bisque
The Spruce Eats

If you love seafood, you probably can’t resist choosing meals that offer combo options. While shrimp and crab are delicious to devour on their own, the pairing of the two creates a lovely and delightful flavor.

What’s great about this bisque is you can choose to substitute other seafood if you aren’t a fan of these two. But seriously, this recipe is flawless all on its own, so we recommend sticking with the original ingredients if you can.

Get the Recipe: The Spruce Eats

Best Gourmet Option: Lobster Bisque from Immaculate Bites

A lobster bisque with pieces of lobster tail on top
Immaculate Bites

The most popular traditional bisque recipes use lobster. Make this recipe to bring the five-star restaurant dining experience home to you—without spending way too much of your hard-earned money.

In this recipe, you’ll first learn how to make a simple lobster stock using the shells from your lobster tails and then how to create a gorgeous and smooth soup. So, if your anniversary is coming up, or you want to show someone how much you love them, do so by making this decadent meal for them.

Get the Recipe: Immaculate Bites

Best Low Carb & Dairy Free Option: Dairy-Free Alaska King Crab Bisque

A bowl of low-carb crab bisque, with pieces of king crab on top
Wicked Spatula

People are always searching the web for versions of their favorite meals that their diets will allow them to eat. Here’s a marvelous rendition of a crab bisque for all you dairy-free and low-carb consumers out there. You’ll love the way the author takes subtly sweet coconut milk and mixes it with cognac, garlic, and other ingredients to keep the sweetened taste to a minimum.

Don’t worry if you don’t have the luxury of king crab legs; like with most recipes, you can substitute for what you do have in your neck of the woods. We hope you love this one.

Get the Recipe: Wicked Spatula

If You Like It a Little Spicy: Spicy Coconut Shrimp Bisque

a bowl of Spicy Coconut Shrimp Bisque with garnish
All Recipes

This bisque is different from many traditional bisques, but people who have tried it say it’s the best soup they’ve ever had. Here’s another fun recipe that uses coconut milk but counteracts that delicious sweetness with curry and fresh jalapeño to give a kick to each bite.

Next time you want to add a little fiery goodness to your kitchen, try this recipe.

Get the Recipe: All Recipes

Easy to Follow Recipe: Creole Shrimp and Lobster Bisque

Cajun Bisque served in a bread bowl.
Food Network

This recipe is super easy to prep and takes only about ten minutes before letting your stove do the rest. The creole seasoning adds a delicious Cajun feel to your soup without too much of a piquant flavor.

If you want to astonish your family with something delicious but don’t have the time to create a homemade stock and take out the blender, this is a great option. Enjoy this seafood bisque with warm French bread. Or, for some real flair, serve it in a bread bowl as shown here.

Get the Recipe: Food Network

Authentic bisques may not be as common nowadays, but chefs and recipe creators from all over have created new ways of flavoring and thickening this delicious soup. We hope you enjoy these rich and full-bodied bisque recipes.

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
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