Classic Lobster Thermidor Recipe
This easy, buttery Lobster Thermidor recipe is surprisingly easy to make and in less than an hour. Tender lobster in a decadent cream sauce is baked right in it’s own shell for an impressive dinner that will please any lobster lover.
Got a special occasion coming up? I have the recipe for you. It’s the perfect “fancy” dinner to make at home when you just can’t (or don’t want to) go out to a restaurant but you want to surprise a special someone. This Lobster Thermidor is just the thing you need to make.
It’s super easy and doesn’t require a ton of ingredients. It’s, by far, one of my favorite lobster recipes and I think you’ll soon say that it’s your’s too. You already know I’m a huge fan of easy lobster recipes like this super quick Lobster Roll we make on the regular.
So, it’s only fitting that I find an equally easy lobster recipe that’s totally restaurant quality you can make without breaking a sweat.
CLASSIC LOBSTER THERMIDOR
Lobster Thermidor is such an amazing dish. It’s a French recipe consisting of tender chunks of lobster bathed in a creamy cognac spiked sauce that’s stuffed into it’s own shell then topped with gruyere cheese. It’s then baked until golden and bubbling.
Similar to Lobster Newburg, Lobster Thermidor is made with a béchamel sauce that’s thickened with flour. It’s typically flavored with wine or cognac and seasoned with mustard instead of nutmeg.
The dish was created in 1894 at Marie’s, a Parisian restaurant located near the Comédie Française, to honor the opening of a play titled “Thermidor” by Victorien Sardou.
How To Make It
This recipe is, actually, quite simple to make and you can speed up the process if you buy your lobsters already cooked. If you can’t get your local fish monger to cook your lobsters, it’s simple to do at home following my instructions for cooking lobster I shared previously.
Cut the cook lobsters in half lengthwise and remove the meat from the shells.
Chop the lobster meat into bite sized pieces and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large skillet.
Add the shallots and garlic to the butter, cooking for 1 minute.
Add the flour and whisk to combine.
Stir in the cognac and cook for a few seconds.
Slowly add the milk and cook until slightly thickened.
Add the cream, salt and pepper.
Remove from the heat.
Stir in the cheese, mustard, tarragon and parsley.
Fold in the lobster meat.
Transfer the lobster to the lobster shells.
Place the shells, stuffing side up, on a baking sheet.
Top with the gruyere cheese.
Broil for 5 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Garnish with parsley and serve.
Super easy….don’t you agree?
How To Serve It
Since this is a pretty rich recipe, we like to keep the sides fairly simple with a pile of roasted baby potatoes and baked asparagus. That’s usually all you need to round out the meal.
But if you’re looking for something a little extra special, these Lyonnaise Potatoes are equally simple and rich. They’re AMAZING the next day with leftovers, too. Then, I’d definitely go with a salad like this easy Wedge Salad to start just so you have something crisp and light.
MORE LOBSTER RECIPES
If you like this recipe, you may also like this easy Lobster Bisque recipe….it’s super simple, light and creamy. AND it’s budget friendly. We also love this super simple Lobster Tail recipe or you can grill up some lobster like we do all summer long.
And another easy, yet elegant, lobster dinner we love is this Lobster Newburg. You have to try it out!
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Get the Recipe: Classic Lobster Thermidor
- 2 1 1/2 to 1 3/4-pound cooked Maine lobsters
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cognac or brandy
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus 1/8 teaspoon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley, plus additional for garnish
- 1/4 cup shredded gruyere cheese
- baking sheet
- Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Cut the lobsters in half lengthwise with a sharp knife and remove the tail meat.
- Twist off the claws from the body and gently crack with the back of a heavy knife to remove the meat. Gently pull the front legs from the shell and discard.
- Chop the tail meat and claw meat into bite sized pieces and set aside.
- Place the halved lobster shells on the baking sheet and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the flour and whisk to combine.
- Cook the flour mixture, stirring constantly to make a light roux, approximately 2 minutes.
- Add the cognac and cook for 10 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
- Slowly add the cream, stirring constantly, until thoroughly combined. Continue cooking while stirring over medium heat for 1 minute. (The mixture will be very thick.) Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese, mustard, tarragon, and parsley. Fold in the lobster meat.
- Divide the mixture among the lobster shells and place stuffed side up on a clean baking sheet.
- Sprinkle the top of each lobster with the gruyere and broil until the top is golden brown, 5 minutes.
- Place 1 lobster half on each plates, garnish with additional parsley, and serve immediately.
12 Comments on “Classic Lobster Thermidor Recipe”
Made this tonight & was so delicious!! My husband said it was restaurant quality. It was quite easy, the longest part is prepping everything. Thank you for easy to follow recipe that looks very impressive.
I’m so glad you loved it! It’s definitely easier than it looks. Thank you for your comment!
Hi! Don’t want to use cognac, any suggestions for a substitute? Just maybe some broth?
Hi! You can use brandy extract, or the juice from a peach, apricot, or pear. You can actually buy those fruit juices, as well. In a pinch….apple juice works, too!
We’re making this for lunch today! I’m just a bit confused about why I need to preheat the oven to 375°. It looks like the only time the oven is used is for broiling in step 13. Not sure if I’m missing something.
Hi! I like to preheat the oven before broiling so it’s warm when you pop them in the oven.
Great recipe, !
Kellie, love Lobster Thermadore recipe. Would it be possible to prepare this a few hours before required then grill just before serving?
Yes, we usually prep it ahead but I haven’t grilled it because it bakes in the cheese sauce.
Can I cook this the night befor
Yes, you can cook the night before but be sure to cover with foil when reheating to keep the moisture in so the lobster doesn’t dry out.