Seafood, Soups & Stews

How to Make Seafood Stock

Have you ever wondered what to do with your shrimp shells?  Instead of throwing them away, make seafood stock.

What can I use seafood stock for?

It is most commonly used in soups and stews like crab soup, gumbo, and seafood chowder, but it would also taste delicious in jambalaya and shrimp and grits.

holding a glass bottle of seafood stock

How do you make seafood stock?

If you have never made seafood stock, it’s really simple.

Start by prepping all your ingredients.  Rinse the shrimp shells under cold water, then chop up the carrots, onions, celery, and smash the garlic.  Measure out the olive oil and white wine, then gather the fresh and dried spices.

ingredients for seafood stock

After you’ve cooked the shrimp shells, onions, celery, carrots and garlic, it’s time to deglaze the pan with some white wine.

deglazed pan for seafood stock

Next, pour in the water and add the fresh and dried spices.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour.

seafood stock in a Dutch oven

Line a colander with cheesecloth and place it over a pot or bowl.  Strain the stock from the vegetables and shrimp shells.

straining out the shells from seafood stock

Pour the seafood stock into airtight containers or heavy freezer bags.

pouring seafood stock into a glass jar

Can you freeze seafood stock?

  • Yes, just make sure the container is airtight and has room for expansion when it freezes.
  • Label and date your seafood stock so there’s no confusion when you’re rummaging around in the freezer.
  • It should keep for up to six months.

Seafood stock is not only simple to make at home.  It’s low cost, freezer friendly, and healthy.  Try making a pot of it the next time you have fresh shrimp shells.  You won’t be disappointed!

Wondering what recipes call for seafood stock?  You’ll want to try these ones!

bowl of crab soup with toppings pot of jambalaya with wooden spoon holding a bowl of shrimp and grits

Share how you enjoyed this seafood stock by leaving a recipe rating below.  We’d love to hear from you!

holding a glass bottle of seafood stock

How to Make Seafood Stock

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 5 cups
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Are you curious how to make seafood stock?  This homemade recipe is healthy, low carb, and simple, and makes any gumbo or soup something delicious.  All you need are shrimp shells, carrots, onions, celery, and some spices to make this freezer friendly stock.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup unpeeled carrots, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • shrimp shells and tails from 2 pounds fresh shrimp, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2 quarts filtered water
  • 10 fresh thyme sprigs, rinsed
  • 3 fresh parsley sprigs, rinsed
  • 15 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt


  1. Rinse the shrimp shells in a colander under cold water, then drain.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a large pot and set over medium high heat.  Stir in the onions, carrots, celery, and shrimp.  After 5 minutes, add the garlic, turn down the heat to medium, and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Deglaze the pan by pouring white wine onto the bottom of the pot.  Scrape off the flavorful cooked bits of food, called a fond, with a wooden spoon.
  4. Stir in the water and spices, then increase the heat to medium high and cover with a lid.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for one hour.
  5. Line a large colander with cheesecloth or paper towels and place it over a pot or bowl to catch the strained stock.
  6. Pour or ladle the stock into the colander, discarding the shrimp shells, veggies, and spices.  Transfer the reserved seafood stock into glass jars.  Let cool on the counter, then refrigerate for up to 3-5 days.  Freeze for long-term storage.

Keywords: seafood stock, seafood broth

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