Seafood Bisque

Seafood Bisque loaded with lobster, mussels, shrimp, and scallops is creamy, rich, and deeply flavored. This seafood soup is simply incredible and a must-make recipe! This is the perfect appetizer or main dish addition to your next meal.

seafood bisque in a bowl and a spoon next to it.

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What Is Seafood Bisque? 

In the hierarchy of seafood-based soups, bisque reigns supreme. Thick and hearty without any added starch, the rich and creamy base of this bisque is chocked full of lobster, shrimp, mussels, and scallops.

There is nothing better than coming home to a hearty bowl or two of seafood bisque after a cold day on the water. 

What Makes This the Best Creamy Seafood Bisque Recipe? 

This seafood bisque soup is beyond decadent. The heavy cream and milk create a velvety, smooth mouthfeel. The tartness of the lemon juice and white wine heightens the brininess of the seafood. The grated carrots bring a touch of natural sweetness to the recipe.

The result is a perfectly balanced seafood bisque that will please your family and impress your guests. 

Soup Nazi Seafood Bisque

The Original Soupman Soup Kitchen in New York City was featured in one of the Seinfield TV episodes “The Soup Nazi” (season 7, episode 6). In that episode, one of the coveted soups was seafood bisque. This is the best copycat recipe for that special soup.

Ingredients for Seafood Bisque

To make this creamy seafood bisque recipe, you’ll need:

  • Dry white wine
  • Bay leaf
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Fresh lobster
  • Fresh shrimp in the shell
  • Mussels
  • Sea scallops – bay scallops will work just fine
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Milk
  • Dried thyme
  • Fresh parsley
  • Dried rosemary
  • Fresh spinach
  • Carrots
  • Fresh lemon juice

For a low-carb seafood bisque, opt for a Pinot Grigio since it has fewer carbs than other white wines. Carb watchers may want to skip the mussels since they have the most carbs of all the seafood in this recipe, although many people still consider them Keto diet-friendly. 

seafood bisque ingredients on a baking sheet.

How to Make Seafood Bisque

This is a long, involved recipe, and dividing it into three sections will make it easier to tackle.

To prepare the seafood for this bisque:

  1. Bring the white wine, bay leaf, onion, garlic, and celery to a simmer in a large stainless-steel stockpot with a steaming basket and lid.
broth, onions, celery, and seasonings in a pot.
  1. Steam the lobster in the covered pot for 10 minutes. If you feel squeamish about steaming a live lobster, check out this article to learn how to dispatch a lobster as humanely as possible. 
  2. After the lobster cooks, remove it with tongs and plunge the lobster in a bowl of ice water for about a minute to stop the cooking process. Pat the lobster dry and set it aside.
  3. Steam the shrimp in the covered pot for five minutes. Cool in the ice bath, dry, and place them off to the side.
  4. Steam the mussels in the covered pot until they open. If any mussel shells remain closed after five minutes, throw them away. Take the meat out of the open mussels and toss the empty shells in the trash. Reserve the meat from the mussels. 
  5. Pour two cups of water into the stockpot and bring to a simmer. Add the sea scallops to the basket, cover, and steam for three minutes. Remove the scallops, dunk in the ice water, pat dry, and place with the other seafood.
cooked seafood on a baking sheet.

To make the stock for the bisque:

  1. Use seafood shears to cut open the lobster shells and remove as much meat as possible. Save the shells and reserve the meat separately. Cut the meat into small dice and reserve.
  2. Peel the shrimp and remove the vein from the shrimp using a paring knife. Save the shells and reserve the meat separately. 
  3. Add the shrimp and lobster shells to the stockpot. 
  4. Pour two cups of cold water into the stockpot and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  5. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Strain the seafood broth and save.
  7. Discard the solids.

To finish the creamy seafood bisque recipe:

  1. Return the strained seafood broth to a large, clean stockpot and bring it to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  2. Stir in the cream, milk, chopped thyme, parsley, and rosemary into the broth and simmer for around five minutes.
creamy seafood bisque liquid in a pot.
  1. Meanwhile, cut the reserved seafood into bite-sized pieces. 
  2. Once the bisque base thickens, add the reserved cooked seafood to the stockpot and return to a simmer.
  3. Add the chopped spinach and grated carrots to the pot and simmer until the spinach wilts, about two to three minutes. You want to add these vegetables in later because the carrots can color the soup orange quickly, and you don’t want the spinach to overcook.
  4. Turn off the heat and season with salt, pepper, and fresh lemon juice. 
a bowl of seafood bisque and a spoon.

Recipe Variations

The variety of seafood in this bisque gives it a deep and complex flavor, but you don’t have to use all four types of seafood. However, since the lobster and shrimp shells help develop the seafood stock’s flavor, you should use at least one of them. For even more taste, try substituting fish stock for some of the water in the recipe.

Classic seafood bisques often include a shot or two of sherry or brandy to add more complexity to the recipe. If you want to revive this tradition, pour a quarter cup of brandy or dry sherry into the pot when adding the spinach and carrots. 

How To Serve Seafood Bisque Soup

Ladle the warm seafood bisque into the bowl and garnish with a little chopped parsley, or some thinly sliced green onions and a squeeze of lemon. 

What Goes Well With Creamy Seafood Bisque? 

Try serving with:

How To Store Seafood Bisque

Keep any leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months. 

How to Reheat Seafood Bisque 

Reheat the thawed seafood bisque slowly over low heat on the stove for the best results. Add a little heavy cream and stir gently to prevent the bisque from separating. 

overhead view of a bowl of seafood bisque.

Love seafood soup? Try These Recipes

Check out more of my easy soup recipes and the best seafood recipes here on CopyKat!

This recipe is adapted from the New York Cookbook by Molly O’Neal.

seafood bisque in a bowl and a spoon next to it.

Seafood Bisque

You can make the best creamy seafood bisque with lobster, mussels, shrimp, and scallops with this recipe.
4.84 from 6 votes
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Seafood Bisque
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 556kcal


  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 1/2 pounds lobster
  • 12 shrimp in the shell
  • 24 mussels well scrubbed
  • 12 sea scallops
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 cup fresh spinach well rinsed and washed
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


  • Combine the white wine, bay leaf, onion, garlic, and celery in a large nonreactive stockpot over medium heat. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the lobster, cover the pot, and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the lobster and set aside.
  • Add the shrimp, cover the pot, and steam for 5 minutes. Remove the shrimp with tongs and set aside.
  • Add the mussels, cover the pot, and steam until they open, about 5 minutes. Remove the mussels with tongs and extract the meat. Set the meat aside, and discard the shells along with any mussels that do not open.
  • Add 2 cups of water to the liquid in the pot, and bring to a boil.
  • Add the scallops. Cover the pot and steam for 3 minutes. Remove the scallops with tongs.
  • Extract the lobster meat, and peel and devein the shrimp, reserving all of the shells.
  • Chop the lobster and shrimp meat into bite-size pieces, cover and set aside.
  • Return the lobster and shrimp shells to the pot of broth and add 2 cups water.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Strain the solids from the broth, return the liquid to the pot, and bring it to a simmer over low heat.
  • Add the cream, milk, thyme, parsley, and rosemary and simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
  • Return the lobster, shrimp, mussels, and scallops to the pot, and simmer for about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the spinach and carrots, and simmer for another 2 minutes, or until the spinach is just wilted.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the lemon juice.


Calories: 556kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 231mg | Sodium: 404mg | Potassium: 443mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3595IU | Vitamin C: 7.2mg | Calcium: 174mg | Iron: 1.9mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Lee

    4 stars
    I make a seafood chowder copied from a chowder we had in Maine. The basis is cream cheese and cream. That adds A mild sweet flavor. I don’t use lobster or muscles but add salmon instead. This is good for a bisque, but we like the chowder better. Thanks for all your great recipes.

  2. Baltisraul

    5 stars
    It was not that long ago we could afford to make this. So yummy. Today I would need a bank loan. Haha

      • Baltisraul

        We no longer do meal planning. Kroger has some wonderful deals but it is hit or miss. We buy what we can reasonably find and then make our supper. I’m afraid this is the way of life for the foreseeable future.

  3. lillypod

    You are better off buying it from “The Original Soup Man” who was the inspiration for the Soup Nazi. He has a bunch of stores, but also has a line at most grocery places like Byerly’s, Sprouts, HEB, and Trader Joe’s. It’s like 2.50 for a two serving container here. Trust me, I used to make it myself, but its cheaper to just buy it. Also it tastes good and there are big chunks of crab and lobster.

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