Emeril's Homemade Lobster Sauce

Creamy lobster sauce poured over chunks of lobster meat on a deep plate

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Total: 100 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 3 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
149 Calories
13g Fat
5g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 149
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 143mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 26mg 2%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 173mg 4%
*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.)

A lobster cream sauce is a luxurious recipe and an elegant way to finish a seafood dish, whether spooned over cooked lobster meat, shrimp, scallops, or fish. The sauce is made with the lobster shells from cooked lobsters, so make sure to save them after you have steamed or boiled whole lobsters. The shells are cooked in butter along with vegetables, cognac, shrimp stock, and tomato paste, and then strained before cream is added. What results is a velvety smooth, rich, beautiful sauce that adds sophistication to any dish, including lobster ravioli, seafood pasta, risotto, fish fillets, or even steak for a surf and turf. This recipe is taken from Prime Time Emeril by Emeril Lagasse.


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots

  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup cognac, or other brandy

  • Shells from 2 (1 1/2-pound) lobsters

  • 4 cups shrimp stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1 cup heavy cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for lobster sauce recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Add the butter and oil to a medium, heavy stockpot over medium-high heat.

    Butter melting in a stockpot

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Once the butter has melted, add the onion, celery, and carrots and then cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.

    Finely chopped onion, celery, and carrots in a stockpot with butter

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Stir in the flour and continue to stir until the mixture is a light blond color, about 2 minutes.

    Flour being stirred into the vegetables with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Add the cognac and stir for 30 seconds, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits.

     Vegetable mixture being stirred with a wooden spoon in the stockpot

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Add the lobster shells, then stir in the shrimp stock. Bring to a boil over high heat.

    Lobster shells and stock added to the stockpot mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the tomato paste, salt, paprika, and cayenne. Simmer uncovered, stirring often, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 hour.

    Tomato paste and condiments added to the stockpot

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Remove the shells and strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium saucepan.

    Strained sauce in a saucepan next to solids in a strainer

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  9. Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer briskly until the sauce is reduced to about 3 cups, about 15 minutes.

    Thick creamy lobster sauce being stirred with a wooden spoon in the saucepan

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  10. Use warm with seafood dishes or as a finishing sauce. Enjoy.

    Lobster sauce poured over chunks of lobster meat on a plate, next to a creamer with sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


  • The shells from your lobster dinner can be stored in the fridge for up to one day after they are cooked.
  • Lobster shells are rich in flavor and can be used in all kinds of dishes, such as lobster stock for soup, chowder, or risotto. It can also be made into a bisque by adding cream and cooked lobster meat.
  • The same method may be used with crab or shrimp shells.

How to Store

  • The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  • You can freeze the sauce for longer storage but do so before adding the cream (cream does not freeze well). Thaw in the refrigerator and then continue with the recipe.