These steamed mussels are coated in garlic, butter, lemon and seasonings, then cooked to perfection. A quick and easy dinner or appetizer option that’s quick enough for a busy weeknight, yet elegant enough to serve to company!
When I go out to eat, I can never resist ordering a big bowl of steamed mussels. I love the fresh and savory flavors! Preparing mussels at home may seem intimidating, but it’s actually easier than you think.
How do you cook mussels?
Melt butter in a pan, then stir in freshly minced garlic and a pinch of red chili flakes. Add white wine to the pan, then bring the mixture to a simmer. Arrange the mussels in the pan, then cover and cook until the mussels have opened up. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add freshly chopped parsley. Serve the mussels immediately, preferably with a side of bread, and enjoy!
How to clean mussels
Place your mussels in a bowl of cold fresh water for 20 minutes. This will allow them to expel any sand they may have inside, although typically farmed mussels do not have much, if any, sand inside. Discard any mussels that are chipped or do not close when you tap on them. If they stay open, that means they’re not good to eat. Debeard your mussels by looking for a small bunch of fibers on the side of the mussel. Gently pull the fibers towards the hinge of the mussel to release them, then discard the beard. Farmed mussels may already come debearded, so if you don’t see any beards, you can skip this step.
Tips for the best steamed mussels
- It’s really best to buy your mussels on the same day that you plan to cook them. You can store fresh mussels in an open container in the refrigerator and cover them with damp paper towels for no more than 24 hours.
- After the mussels have cooked, inspect the pan for mussels that did not open and discard them, as they may not be safe to eat.
- If you’re serving this dish as a main course, plan on purchasing 1 pound of shellfish per person. For an appetizer portion, buy 1/2 pound per person.
- Serve the finished dish with crusty bread, or pour the mixture over pasta. I also recommend offering a green salad or steamed vegetable on the side.
These steamed mussels are fabulous as-is, but you can also add other flavors to the dish.
- Seafood: This recipe also works great with clams or large shell-on shrimp. You can also do a combination of different types of seafood.
- Meat: Feel free to add some cooked and crumbled bacon, or finely diced Spanish style chorizo to the shellfish.
- Beans: Add up to 3/4 cup of canned chickpeas or cannellini beans for a heartier meal.
- Vegetables: Add up to 1 cup of sauteed or roasted veggies such as fennel, red bell peppers, halved cherry tomatoes or sliced red onion.
Are steamed mussels healthy?
Mussels are a great choice for a healthy diet. They are high in protein, low in carbohydrates and low in calories. Mussels also contain many nutrients such as iron and Vitamins C, A and B12.
Skip the fancy restaurant and make your own fresh steamed mussels at home; you’ll be glad you did!
More seafood recipes you’ll enjoy
Steamed Mussels Video
Steamed Mussels Recipe
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes or more to taste
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 pounds fresh mussels cleaned and debearded
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley or chives
- parsley sprigs and lemon wedges for garnish
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the butter let it melt.
- Add the garlic and chili flakes to the pot and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Add the white wine and bring the mixture to a simmer; do not boil.
- Place the mussels in the pot along with the salt and pepper. Cover the pot, then simmer for 5-7 minutes or until mussels have opened. Discard any mussels that do not open.
- Stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Add more salt ot taste if desired. Serve immediately, and garnish with lemon wedges and fresh parsley sprigs.