Rich and Flavorful Lobster Stock

Lobster stock recipe

The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 15 mins
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Yield: 1 gallon
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
105 Calories
4g Fat
8g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 105
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Sodium 125mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 8mg 38%
Calcium 42mg 3%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 264mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Enjoying the richness of lobster meat might not be an everyday treat because of the high price you pay for a quality lobster. Having a recipe to make use of the leftover bodies and shells, until the last bits, is a great tool in the kitchen for using all of what you paid for so you can enjoy that wonderful lobster flavor longer. Stock made out of bones, shells, and scraps of beef, chicken, veal or turkey are very common bases for sauces, risottos, or stews, among many other dishes. Having a great recipe like ours for repurposing shells or bones will open up a world of possibilities for your cooking, as these delicious broths and stocks add incredible amounts of flavor to many other dishes.

Our recipe is for lobster stock, but you can concentrate it and add a bit more salt to make a rich lobster broth. In general, stocks are meant to be a base for another recipe, while broths you can sip on their own. Use this stock as a soup base or for a fantastic lobster risotto, a fish soup, gumbo, fish curry, seafood chowder, or bisque.

If you've had your lobster feast and want to make this stock but have no time right away, simply save the shells and freeze them for later use, or keep them in the fridge for a couple of days while you gather the ingredients needed to make this flavorful stock.


  • 2 to 4 lobster shells, cooked leftover bodies

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 medium onions, chopped

  • 4 stalks celery, chopped

  • 3 medium carrots, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 bulb fennel tops, chopped

  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, chopped

  • 4 tablespoons parsley, chopped

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 5 plum tomatoes, chopped

  • 1/2 cup white wine, or dry sherry

  • 16 cups water

  • Salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for lobster stock

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

  2. Break the lobster shells into small pieces.

    Break lobster shells

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

  3. Open the bodies and remove the gray, feathery gills, and the sand sac from between the eyes.

    Remove gills and sand sac

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

  4. Crush the bodies so they fit in a large stewpot.

    Crushed lobster bodies

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

  5. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions, celery, and carrots over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes.

    Heat oil and sauté the onions, celery, and carrots

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

  6. Add the lobster shells and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

    Add lobster shells

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

  7. Add the garlic, fennel, and mushrooms. Mix well and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

    Add garlic, fennel, and mushrooms

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

  8. Add the parsley, bay leaves, and tomatoes. Stir well and add the wine or dry sherry.

    Add parsley, bay leaves, tomatoes, and wine

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

  9. Stir and cook until the alcohol largely burns off the wine, about 3 to 4 minutes.

    Stir and cook

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

  10. Add enough water to cover everything by 2 to 3 inches.

    Add water

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

  11. Bring to a boil and immediately turn down to a simmer. Simmer gently for at least 90 minutes for it to be full flavored. Taste test and add salt as needed.

    Bring to boil

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

  12. Turn off the heat. Carefully, with the help of kitchen tongs, grab all the big chunks of lobster and toss them in the trash. Allow the mixture to cool slightly before straining it through a fine-meshed sieve with a piece of cheesecloth set inside it.

    Straining mixture through a fine-meshed sieve with a piece of cheesecloth

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

  13. Allow the stock to cool further and transfer into quart-sized Mason jars. Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in the jars, or in the freezer for up to three months in freezer-safe containers.

    Pour stock into Mason jars

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

  14. Enjoy.