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Horizontal image of jars and cups of a red liquid next to fresh vegetables.

Easy Homemade Seafood Stock

  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 quarts 1x


No need to throw out those shells when you can use them all to make homemade seafood stock. You can use it in so many different ways.


  • 46 cups shellfish shells (shrimp, lobster, and/or crab)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly sliced 
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 1/2 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Break up larger pieces of shell by placing in a resealable bag and hitting with a meat mallet or rolling pin. You can use whole shrimp shells, so don’t add those to the bag.
  2. Add oil to a stockpot over medium heat. Add shells, onions, carrots, and celery. Saute for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. 
  3. Stir in garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add 2 1/2 quarts of water, tomato paste, white wine, bay leaf, thyme, black pepper, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 1 hour. 
  4. Strain through a sieve, pressing the solids. You should have about 2 quarts of stock. 
  5. Use stock right away or store it. See the end of this article for storing instructions.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Category: Seafood
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Stock

Keywords: seafood, stock, shelfish