Beth's Lobster Thermidor Recipe

This lobster thermidor recipe is a classic main course recipe that deserves to be in your repertoire. It's elegant and fancy and oh so delicious! It's the perfect "special occasion" dish that will impress just about anybody!

You can prep most of the components a day ahead and then fill the shells and broil. It's rich and decadent and so delicious too!

Looking for more lobster recipes? Try my Bouche a la Reine with Lobster, or Lobster Ravioli Sauce recipes.

a Lobster Thermidor on a white plate with a side salad

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What is Lobster Thermidor?

Lobster Thermidor is a classic French dish of lobster meat and a rich cream sauce that is served in lobster shells and topped with a grating of melted cheese. It's is typically served for special occasions like Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve, or Christmas dinner.  It's similar to Coquilles Saint Jacques which is made with scallops and served in a scallop shell and is equally festive and delicious too!

Recipe Pairing Ideas:

Watch My Lobster Thermidor Video Tutorial Below!


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How Difficult is This Recipe?

Lobster Thermidor is actually pretty easy to make. You'll begin by roasting your lobster tails, you'll get the best flavor that way, then extract the meat and save the shells.  This is such a fancy dish to make at home, your guests will oooh and ahhh as soon as you bring it to the table! It's also a great recipe for a romantic special occasion like an anniversary of Valentine's Day. For more romantic dinner ideas see my 7 Valentine's Day Dinner Ideas post.

Two Lobster Thermidors on a white platter

Then you'll sauté up some vegetables, add some sherry and reduce. You'll create a roux and add some fish stock, cook until a smooth sauce develops, add back in your veggies, lobster, heavy cream, and seasonings, spoon into the lobster shells, top with cheese broil, and serve!

a person spooning lobster thermidor sauce into lobster shells

Step#1: Use Lobster Tails Over a Full Lobster

Lobster tails are not only more affordable, but they are so much easier to work with, especially if you are squeamish about boiling live lobsters. I also find the lobster tail meat is the tastiest part of the lobster too! 

Raw lobster tails on a blue mat

Roasting Lobster Brings Out Its Best Flavor

The other thing that makes this recipe easy, is the lobster is roasted, over steamed or boiled. At 400F it only takes 15-20 minutes. This part can also be done a day ahead, and once cooled you can store the tails in the refrigerator until ready to pick out the meat and serve. 

Lobster Tails baking in the oven on a sheet pan

Step#2: Chop the Lobster Meat

To release the lobster meat, cut the shell with scissors on each side of the shell to release the center panel. This will allow you to release the lobster meat in one piece, and create a lobster shell that will be easy to fill for serving. 

a person cutting open a cooked lobster tail

Then cut the lobster meat into bite-sized pieces and set aside. You'll place the lobster meat into the sauce at the last minute. The warmth from the sauce will also reheat the lobster meat too. 

a person cutting cooked lobster into chunks

Step#3: Make the Lobster Thermidor Sauce

Lobster thermidor sauce is a creamy flavorful sauce that includes, shallots, mushrooms, sweet sherry, a butter/flour roux, and fish stock. You can also choose to add some fresh herbs, I think fresh tarragon pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the lobster meat.

In a large skillet, you'll saute the shallots first until fragrant and translucent. Then you'll add the mushrooms and continue to cook until both are soft. 

a person adding minced shallots from a chef's knife into a skillet

Slicing Mushrooms vs. Store-Bought Sliced Mushrooms

For this recipe, it's better to slice the mushrooms yourself rather than buy pre-sliced mushrooms. I realize during the holidays it's tempting to buy those pre-sliced mushrooms, but they are sliced too thick to fit in the lobster shells.

Slicing the mushrooms yourself will create a much thinner mushroom slice which will create a better texture for your lobster thermidor sauce, and allow the lobster meat to be the most dominant piece in the sauce. 

slicing mushrooms with a chef's knife on a cutting board

Make-Ahead Tip:

After adding the sweet sherry and reducing the shallot and mushroom mixture you can transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to complete the sauce.

a person transferring a cooked shallot mixture from a skillet to a glass container

Step#4: Finishing the Sauce

The day you plan to serve the Lobster Thermidors, all you'll have to do is make the sauce add the shallot and mushroom mixture, and the lobster meat.

The base of the sauce is a roux, which is created with butter and flour and then thinned with fish stock and thickened with heavy cream. Once the mushroom and shallot mixture is added back in, you'll add the lobster meat. 

adding cooked lobster pieces into a skillet with lobster thermidor sauce

Step#5: Serving the Lobster Thermidor

Once the sauce is ready and the lobster meat has been warmed through, spoon the mixture back into the shells. This is the ta-da moment that guests will really enjoy! But if some reason your shells were damaged in the prep you can also spoon the mixture in shallow gratin dishes too. 

a person spooning lobster thermidor sauce into lobster shells

It's also nice to add a little freshly grated parmesan cheese on top to allow the tops to get nicely browned and crispy. 

a person adding grated cheese to a freshly baked lobster thermidor

Then add a little freshly chopped tarragon for some greenery and freshness. It's also a nice compliment to the richness of the sauce. 

Freshly Baked Lobster Thermidor on a sheet pan garnished with fresh parsley

Side Dishes to Serve with This Recipe:

  • I like to serve Lobster Thermidor with a salad, tossed in the vinaigrette. Since the dish is pretty rich.
  • But you could also serve it with some white, buttered rice with parsley on top too

Lobster Thermidor on a plate served with a salad

Salad Tips:

  • My easiest French vinaigrette recipe is so easy you can commit to memory and always be "at the ready" whenever a salad dressing is needed (see recipe card below)!
  • The mark of a great French vinaigrette is to use Dijon mustard, Grapeseed Oil, for lightness, and shallots.
  • For vinegar, I like to use either white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, or white balsamic vinegar which you can find at Trader Joe's. It's lighter than traditional balsamic vinegar and will add a nice sweetness to the dressing.
  • I like to use light butter lettuce and radicchio salad blend because these lighter greens pair well with the lobster.
  • My French vinagrette it's also great served with some Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame Sandwiches.
White bowl of salad greens

Wine Pairings:

One of my favorite white wines to serve with this dish is either a Sauvignon Blanc or a Sancerre. I'm always amazed at the wide variety of Sancerre wines available at Trader Joe's! I can usually find a great bottle for under $15.00! 

a bottle of sancerre wine on a table


Please let me know if you Enjoyed this recipe

by leaving a rating and review below

Lobster Thermidor on a Plate with Salad

Beth's Lobster Thermidor Recipe

Yield: serves 2
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

A Lobster Thermidor Recipe is a classic that deserves to be in your repertoire. It's elegant and fancy and oh so delicious!  It's the perfect "special occasion" dish that will impress just about anybody! 


  • 2 8-0z Lobster Tails
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (5 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (15 g)
  • 2 shallots
  • ½ cup (75 g) sliced mushrooms
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of sweet sherry
  • 2 tablespoon (30 g) butter
  • 2 tablespoon (15 g) flour
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) of fish stock
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoon (11 g) freshly grated parmesan cheese

Salad Dressing:

  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) mustard
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoon (90ml) grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 1 minced shallot
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400F (200 C).
  2. Cut lobster tails up the center to expose the meat, with kitchen shears. Drizzle with olive oil. Place on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 mins until lobster meat is cooked through.
  3. Set aside and allow to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large sautee pan, then add shallots and cook until translucent, add mushrooms and cook until they release their juices. Add sherry, and cook until reduced by a third. About 2 mins.
  5. At this point you could allow mixture to cool, refrigerate and store up to 2 days until ready to use.
  6. Cut the rest of the lobster's underside tail shell, to remove and expose the full shell and remove the cooked meat. Remove the meat and save the shells for presentation. Roughly chop the meat into bite sized pieces and set aside.
  7. In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoon of butter until foamy, add the flour and mix with a spoon until a smooth paste forms. Then slowly add the fish stock, whisking until a smooth sauce develops. Then add the mushroom mixture, and the heavy cream. Cook for 1 mins until thickened. Add the salt, pepper and tarragon. Then add the cooked lobster.
  8. Spoon the mixture back into the shells, top with cheese and broil until cheese and mixture bubbles.
  9. Serve in the shells, along with a tossed salad and crisp glass of Sancerre wine. Bon Appétit!
  10. For salad Dressing: In a small bowl combine mustard and vinegar.
  11. Then slowly whisk in the oil, a little at a time, whisking all the while until an emulsion forms and dressing is combined.
  12. Add shallot and salt and pepper. Toss with greens!


Make-Ahead Tip:

After adding the sweet sherry and reducing the shallot and mushroom mixture you can transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to complete the sauce.

Wine Pairing:

Serve with a crisp Sancerre wine. Trader Joe's has some great ones for under $15

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 641Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 331mgSodium: 1221mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 95g

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  1. I love this recipe. It is my go to for lobster The only thing I do different is I serve it in ramekins and toss toasted butter breadcrumbs with the parm cheese to top it. This is delicious.

  2. I plan to make this delicious dish for a dinner party next weekend. Can you recommend a first course that will be equally elegant but a good compliment to an already rich meal?

    1. I would probably do a tossed salad with a vinaigrette to begin, my recipe in the Croque Madame Post would be good, and then serve some buttered rice with parsley and toasted pinenuts on the side of the Lobster Thermidor 🙂 I hope everyone enjoys it! 🙂 Alternatively, you could also serve my Broccoli Soup as a Starter would be great too!

    1. So sorry! Here are the ingredients! I just updated the post as well so you could print them out if needed 🙂

      Salad Dressing:
      1 tsp (5 ml) mustard
      1 tbsp (15 ml) red wine vinegar
      6 tbsp (90ml) grapeseed or vegetable oil
      1 minced shallot
      salt and pepper to taste

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