Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp

This Baked Stuffed Lobster makes a big statement. Stuffed with herbs and buttery breadcrumbs and topped off with a decadent row of shrimp, this meal is perfect for any special occasion.

Whether it’s a birthday, a romantic meal, or a special celebration, if you pull this off, you will not disappoint! If you’re feeling intimidated, not to worry. We’ll break down all the steps, from processing the lobster to baking it to perfection in the oven.

A Recipe I Learned In A Restaurant Kitchen

I learned how to make this baked stuffed lobster while working is a restaurant in the Catskills during my summer vacations as a teen and into my college years.

While I worked on the Chinese food side of the house making pork fried rice, shrimp and lobster sauce, mountains of egg rolls, and platters of ginger scallion lobster, I still managed to learn how to work the line on the American food side, too.

When the American side of the house got busy, I seared steaks, made veal cordon bleu, eggplant parmesan, and caesar salad dressing. But I only got to watch the other chefs prepare the baked stuffed lobsters, which were big ticket items that had to be prepared with care.

Every time a baked stuffed lobster was ordered, the kitchen smelled of delicious butter (in those days, we used butter by the ladle-full!) and seafood, and I had to remind myself that the lobsters were not for the kitchen help!

My father, the head chef, flawlessly reproduced the baked stuffed lobster at home for my mom’s birthday one year, and dang, was it good!

This dish was always one of the most memorable and splashy dishes on the menu. The managers of the Holiday Inn Restaurant, Flo and Herbie, were also memorable people.

Herbie was always in and out smoking a big stogie, and his wife Flo managed the dining room. On the weekends, they would treat themselves by ordering the 21-ounce steak medium rare, and Flo would go for the baked stuffed lobster. You could order it stuffed with shrimp for an extra upcharge, and Flo never said no to that!

Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comBaked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

This Baked Stuffed Lobster recipe brought back lots of great summer memories and also turned out to be an awesome father’s day dinner this year.

Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comBaked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

If you’re looking for a more warm-weather friendly summer lobster recipe, check out Lobster Rolls with an Asian Twist, which also includes full instructions on how to crack lobsters to extract the meat.

Hope you enjoy this classic lobster recipe!

Baked Stuffed Lobster: Recipe Instructions

Always start with fresh live hard shell lobsters from your local market or fish store. Most of the time, you will find hard shell lobsters at your local store but sometimes lobsters have a softer shell just after molting and their shells are not yet fully hard. Soft shell lobsters contain more water and in my opinion, have a sweeter taste and a more tender texture but they do contain a lot of water and less meat so a good, live hard shell lobster is best for baking.

Refrigerate your lobsters in the wax bag you get from the market which will keep them alive and fresh until you are ready to process them. The cold temperature will also keep them less active so they are easier to prepare. Putting them into the freezer for a few minutes will also do the trick.

Put each lobster on its back on the cutting board, and use a sharp chef’s knife to split it in half lengthwise without actually cutting the lobster all the way in half. You can easily do this by holding the lobster down at the claws (keep the claw bands on at this point) just above the head. Insert the tip of the knife where the shell is soft between the legs, and carefully cut down lengthwise to the tail of the lobster. Remember to stop cutting when you reach the hard shell so you don’t penetrate it.

After the lobsters are split, use a pair of kitchen shears to trim off the antennae and the heads. Use both hands to split and flatten the lobsters lengthwise until they lie flat.

Discard the stomach sack and intestines, which are usually transparent but filled with dark material, and the dark sand track that goes down to the tail. Use the kitchen shears to make a small cross cut in the shell (be careful not to cut the meat) about halfway up the lobster tail on each side. This will help prevent the lobster tail from curling up when it cooks in the oven.

Next, remove the green tomalley and the roe, and set aside for the stuffing if you enjoy it, or discard. Rinse out each lobster under running water until clean. Pat the shells dry, and transfer to a sheet pan.

Clean and rinse the shrimp, and toss with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.

peeled and cleaned shrimppeeled and cleaned shrimp

Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil with 1 tablespoon melted butter, and brush the entire lobster––including the outside of the shells. At this point, reserve 4 tablespoons of the clarified melted butter in a small bowl for serving (clarified butter is the melted butter without the milk solids that float to the top).

Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comBaked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comBaked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Using a fork, mix the remaining butter with 1 cup of panko/breadcrumbs, 1/2 teaspoon paprika. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon fresh chopped dill, if using, 1/4 cup fresh chopped flat Italian parsley (reserve 1 tablespoon of parsley for garnish), and ½ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest.

Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comBaked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comBaked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comBaked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Evenly distribute the breadcrumbs into the cavities of the split lobsters, making sure you don’t pack the stuffing. It should be loose so the stuffing has a light and flakey texture. Next, lightly press five whole shrimp on top of the stuffing in each lobster.

Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comBaked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the reserved clarified butter on top of the shrimp. You can add more butter in this step if you like. Heck you can add more butter at any step if you like!

If the lobster tails start to curl up in the oven even after cutting crosswise cuts in the tail shell as described earlier or if you want to minimize the curling effect, use a heatproof cast iron sandwich press or small pan to weigh down the ends of the tail during cooking. I have seen this method used in restaurant kitchens.

Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comBaked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Preheat the oven to 425 F, and bake the lobsters on the upper rack for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the meat is translucent. Don’t overcook the lobster, and remember it will continue to cook after you take it out! You can always put it back into the oven for more time, but you can’t reverse overcooking.

Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comBaked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comBaked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Transfer your lobsters to plates and sprinkle chopped parsley on top. Serve your stuffed baked lobster immediately with fresh lemon wedges and the melted butter you set aside earlier, and enjoy!

Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comBaked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Don’t forget to serve with a lobster cracker and pick if you have it. It makes eating your whole baked lobster much easier!

Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comBaked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comBaked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comBaked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

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