The Best Lobster Bisque (Ruth's Chris Copycat Recipe) (2024)

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The Best Lobster Bisque (Ruth's Chris Copycat Recipe) (1)

4.92 from 37 votes

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

Prep:15 minutes minutes

Cook:1 hour hour

Total:1 hour hour 15 minutes minutes

Inspired by the deliciously rich lobster bisque at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, this lobster bisque recipe creates a luscious creamy soup with flavors of brandy, sherry, and plenty of lobster!

4 servings


  • water to boil
  • 3 small lobster tails or 2 large
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 large celery stalk sliced
  • 1 small carrot sliced
  • 1 head garlic cut in half crosswise
  • 1 medium 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.

    The Best Lobster Bisque (Ruth's Chris Copycat Recipe) (2)

  • 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.

  • Heat large pot over medium-high heat. When pot is warm, add olive oil and heat, swirling pot occasionally to coat bottom of pot in oil. When oil is hot and shimmery, add lobster shells. Sauté shells in oil 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.

    The Best Lobster Bisque (Ruth's Chris Copycat Recipe) (3)

  • 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.

    The Best Lobster Bisque (Ruth's Chris Copycat Recipe) (4)

  • 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.

Nutrition Information

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

Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.

Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.

To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

© Author: Cheryl Malik

The Best Lobster Bisque (Ruth's Chris Copycat Recipe) (2024)


What liquor is used in lobster bisque? ›

The lobster bisque, a classic lobster dish from New England, traditionally uses both white wine and brandy in its preparation. Brandy is made from grapes, so you can consider it like an extremely pepped up version of wine.

What gives lobster bisque its color? ›

Lobster bisque is a creamy, smooth soup that uses homemade lobster stock as the base with a hint of tomato flavor from the tomato paste that gives it the signature orange color.

What's the difference between lobster soup and lobster bisque? ›

While lobster bisque is considered to be a type of soup, there are a few differences that set the two appetizers apart. Bisque is far creamier and richer than traditional soup, which consists mostly of broth, veggies and spices.

What is the main flavoring ingredient in a bisque? ›

Here's what you can generally expect in a well-made bisque: Lobster Shells — The core flavoring ingredient (shrimp and other crustaceans can work too). Most bisques do not call for the meat itself, just the shells. Seasoning — Primarily based around whole vegetables, like celery, carrots, onions, and tomatoes.

What is the main liquid ingredient of a bisque? ›

A copious amount of wine, a whole bottle, is used for making the soup, while large amounts of half-and-half and cream thicken the soup at the end.

What is the classic thickener for a bisque? ›

Most modern bisques are thickened using rice. Some cook the rice in the broth and strain it out later, using only the left-behind rice starch to thicken the soup. Others puree the rice into the soup to thicken it. Almost all bisques are finished with hot cream for a velvety texture.

What is used to thicken lobster bisque? ›

Mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup water and slowly add to bisque with whisk. Simmer on low heat for another 20 minutes.

Why is lobster bisque so good? ›

Unlike stews and chowders, a bisque's flavor comes from the shells of the lobster, not the meat of the lobster. A classic lobster bisque recipe requires you to first sauté and then simmer the shells to extract every morsel of flavor (bisque originates from the French words “bis cuites” meaning twice cooked).

Why does lobster bisque taste bitter? ›

Why is my lobster bisque bitter? If you used a whole lobster carcass (including head and gills) to make the stock, it's important not to cook it for too long as they tend lend a bitter taste to the stock. Instead remove head and gill parts and use only the shells.

Do you grind up the shells for lobster bisque? ›

Traditionally, the shells were ground up and strained to make a lobster stock thickened with rice or beurre manié (a softened butter and flour mixture) and cream. The mixture is then flavored with sherry. The lobster meat was reserved for dishes like lobster thermidor—none were added to the bisque.

How do you make store bought lobster bisque better? ›

I cooked the bisque according to the directions on the can, except I used 1/2 cup cream instead of 1/3 cup per can. And I added in some Cajun spices and fresh herbs. Not much doctoring involved. But we thoroughly enjoyed the lobster bisque with our Connecticut Lobster rolls.

What ingredient makes a soup a bisque? ›

The main ingredient of a bisque is usually a shellfish like lobster, crab, shrimp, or crayfish, but occasionally other ingredients such as tomato, pumpkin or chicken are used.

Which is healthier clam chowder or lobster bisque? ›


You might think all clam chowders are equal, but the Manhattan version is tomato-based, whereas the New England kind is made with milk or cream, which makes it much more fattening. But when it comes to calories, lobster bisque, which is made with heavy cream, is the highest of all.

What is a good substitute for lobster in lobster bisque? ›

BROTH: Use a low-sodium lobster broth or seafood broth/stock. LOBSTER MEAT: Frozen or canned lobster meat can be used BUT fresh is best. I cannot guarantee the flavour in your bisque will turn out the same. CLAMS OR SHRIMP: Both options are a great substitution for this recipe.

Does bisque have alcohol? ›

Ingredients to make bisque

Cream is a must for making bisque, and sometimes butter is also added for extra creaminess. There is usually also some white wine, sherry or brandy added for an extra luxurious touch, along with rice for extra thickness.

What alcohol goes with lobster? ›

The Best Wines to Pair with Lobster

Acidity is key in pairing wine with lobster. Think about how great a squeeze of lemon is on fish – a light, crisp wine with great acidity can do the same thing. Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio can be great in this regard, but so can Riesling and Chardonnay.

Does brandy go in lobster bisque? ›

Ingredients and Substitutions

Cream – You will need some heavy whipping cream at the end to monte the lobster stock. Wine – This is optional, but I use port wine and dry vermouth. Liquor – I deglaze and finish the bisque with Brandy. Another option would be dry or cream sherry.

What is a substitute for sherry in lobster bisque? ›

Your best bet is going to be another dry fortified wine such as dry (white) vermouth. Dry versions of Madeira and marsala are also acceptable. You can also substitute a dry white wine like sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, pinot blanc, or sémillon. Dry sparkling wines will also work when used in small amounts.


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