Close up of Mussels with Garlic White Wine
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4.5 from 2 votes

Steamed Mussels

Recipe video above. Mussels are highly underrated – they’re cheap, quick and easy to cook, and delicious! This is a classic way to cook mussels - in a garlic white wine butter sauce. Be sure to have plenty of crusty bread to mop up the delicious sauce, it's my favourite part!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Mussels
Keyword: how to cook mussels, mussels recipe, steamed mussels
Servings: 4 as starter
Calories: 272kcal
Author: Nagi


  • 50g / 3 tbsp butter , unsalted
  • 1⁄2 onion , finely chopped (brown, yellow, white)
  • 3 garlic cloves , very finely chopped
  • 1 kg / 2 lbs mussels , bearded and scrubbed (Note 1)
  • 1 cup (250ml) dry white wine
  • 2 tomatoes , deseeded and diced (Note 2)


  • 1⁄4 cup flat leaf parsley , roughly chopped
  • Lemon wedges (essential!)
  • Crusty bread to serve (essential!)


  • Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat, melt butter.
  • Add the garlic and onion, stirring occasionally until onion is soft and fragrant - about 3 minutes.
  • Turn heat up to high, add wine and bring to boil. Simmer 2 minutes until the harsh alcoholic smell is gone.
  • Stir in tomatoes, add mussels stir to coat in sauce a bit.
  • Cover, lower heat to medium high and cook, shaking pot once or twice.
  • The mussels are cooked when they are open - around 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Toss through parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Be careful with the salt as the mussels are already salty, so taste first.
  • Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and serve with lemon wedgeds on the side so people can use as much as they wish. Serve immediately with crusty bread to mop up the sauce!


UNOPENED MUSSELS are fine to eat, if you can pry them open! It's an old wives tale that mussels that don't open are off and should be discarded.
1. Mussels - to tell if mussels are fresh, just smell them when raw. They should smell like the ocean. If they are off, trust me, you will know because they will not smell nice!
Mussels nowadays are often sold in packs, already cleaned and debearded.
To scrub yourself, use a dishwashing scrub and scrub the shells to remove loose bits. 
To remove beard, use your fingers to get a good grip on the "beard" (stringy bits) hanging out of the side of the mussels, then pull firmly to yank it out.
2. Tomatoes - Cut in half then use spoon to scoop out watery centre. Then dice.
3. Nutrition per serving, assuming all broth is consumed.


Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 463mg | Potassium: 648mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1345IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 6mg