Make homemade shrimp stock from leftover shrimp shells with this simple and economical tutorial. All your favorite seafood recipes will taste even more delicious! Freezer-friendly.

Shrimp stock labeled in three mason jars.

Shrimp shells are loaded with great flavor. All you have to do is coax it out with a little boiling water and some time. It’s the same basic technique people use for making chicken stock with chicken bones.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips or variations
  5. How to Make Shrimp Stock Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled shrimp stock ingredients in various bowls.

Ingredient notes

  • Shrimp shells: You’ll need 4 cups of shrimp shells from 2 pounds of shrimp for this recipe. But you can gather it in batches: save uncooked shrimp shells in a plastic bag in your freezer until you have enough. Technically, you can make stock with cooked shells, but the flavor will be weaker.
  • Cold water: Always start with cold water. This helps keep the broth clear, not cloudy. The amount of water used and the length of simmering time will determine the intensity of the broth.
  • Vegetables: Some cooks save old vegetable trimmings to add to their broth. I prefer to start with new, fresh vegetables because I think the broth will taste better. So yes, we peel the carrots, and save your vegetable scraps for composting!
  • Herbs and spices: A sachet is a fancy term for parsley stems, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, and optionally, garlic or cloves, tied up in a piece of cheesecloth with twine. You could also use a tea ball or loose leaf tea bag to hold them. It makes it easier to pull these small ingredients out of the broth later. Or, you can just add everything straight to the pot since you strain the broth at the end.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. To a Dutch oven or large stock pot, add shrimp shells, onion, carrot, celery, and salt. If desired, tie parsley stems, thyme, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns in a sachet or add loosely to the pot (see note 4). Add cold water to cover.
Shrimp stock ingredients in a silver pot.
  1. Over medium-high heat, cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered (bubbles should barely break the surface at irregular intervals) for 20 minutes.
Shrimp stock ingredients in a silver pot.
  1. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Chill covered in the refrigerator, then divide the broth into freezer-safe containers (leaving at least 1/2-inch for expansion), label, and freeze.
Shrimp stock being strained over a clear bowl.

Recipe tips or variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 4 cups (1 quart) shrimp stock.
  • Storage: Store shrimp stock in the refrigerator and use within 4 days.
  • Freezer: Divide the stock into freezer-safe containers (I like to use 16-ounce glass jars) and leave 1/2-inch head space for expansion. Label and date, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Shrimp stock vs. broth: Technically, stock is made with just bones (or shells), while broth is made with the bones and meat.
  • Seafood stock: Lobster bodies (lucky you!) and crab bodies can also be added to make a fantastic seafood stock.
Shrimp stock in mason jars.

Shrimp Scampi

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More seafood favorites

Three jars of shrimp stock on a white platter.

How to Make Shrimp Stock

Make homemade shrimp stock from leftover shrimp shells with this simple and economical tutorial. All your favorite seafood recipes will taste even more delicious! Freezer-friendly.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 servings (1 cup each)
Course Pantry, Soup
Cuisine French
Calories 73

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups shrimp shells from 2 pounds large shrimp (about 6 ounces, see note 1)
  • Cold water about 8 cups (see note 2)
  • 1 medium onion peeled and halved (see note 3)
  • 1 carrot peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery rib coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Sachet (see note 4):

  • 6 fresh parsley stems
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns

Instructions 

  • To a Dutch oven or large stock pot, add shrimp shells, onion, carrot, celery, and salt. If desired, tie parsley stems, thyme, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns in a sachet or add loosely to the pot (see note 4). Add cold water to cover.
  • Over medium-high heat, cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered (bubbles should barely break the surface at irregular intervals) for 20 minutes.
  • Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Chill covered in the refrigerator, then divide the broth into freezer-safe containers (leaving at least 1/2-inch for expansion), label, and freeze.

Notes

  1. Shrimp shells: You’ll need 4 cups of shrimp shells from 2 pounds of shrimp for this recipe. But you can gather it in batches: save uncooked shrimp shells in a plastic bag in your freezer until you have enough. Technically, you can make stock with cooked shells, but the flavor will be weaker.
  2. Cold water: Always start with cold water. This helps keep the broth clear, not cloudy. The amount of water used and the length of simmering time will determine the intensity of the broth.
  3. Vegetables: Some cooks save old vegetable trimmings to add to their broth. I prefer to start with new, fresh vegetables because I think the broth will taste better. So yes, we peel the carrots, and save your vegetable scraps for composting!
  4. Herbs and spices: A sachet is a fancy term for parsley stems, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, and optionally, garlic or cloves, tied up in a piece of cheesecloth with twine. You could also use a tea ball or loose leaf tea bag to hold them. It makes it easier to pull these small ingredients out of the broth later. Or, you can just add everything straight to the pot since you strain the broth at the end.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes 4 cups (1 quart) shrimp stock.
  6. Storage: Store shrimp stock in the refrigerator and use within 4 days.
  7. Freezer: Divide the stock into freezer-safe containers (I like to use 16-ounce glass jars) and leave 1/2-inch head space for expansion. Label and date, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  8. Shrimp stock vs. broth: Technically, stock is made with just bones (or shells), while broth is made with the bones and meat.
  9. Seafood stock: Lobster bodies (lucky you!) and crab bodies can also be added to make a fantastic seafood stock.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 73kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 7gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 2735mgPotassium: 392mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 2677IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 114mgIron: 1mg
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