Ahem. Your attention, please! Regular readers of this blog know we rarely toot our own horns, but we’re making an exception for this exceptional (if we do say so ourselves) mussels recipe. We set out with a goal to create a restaurant-worthy recipe that helps Seafoodies hone their kitchen skills, is truly easy to prepare and comes together in less than an hour. The result is our incredible Mussels with White Wine Sauce, and we’re so stoked about it, we’ll gladly taste-test it against any other mussels dish. It’s really that good!
No discussion of mussels recipes can proceed, however, without talking about beards—specifically, debearding. When it comes to bivalves, the beard’s really gotta go! This is the point where some seafood lovers get cold feet, but don’t worry, this is a Seafood Supper Club recipe—so we’ll show you how to prepare these mussels, step by step. And before you know it, you’ll have another technique to add to your Seafoodie bag of tricks!
Once they’re cleaned, all these clean-shaven mollusks need is a flash in the pan with some wine, lemon and spices. The result: Tender mussels, an amazing aroma and a sauce that’s just crying out for some crusty bread so you can savor every last drop! We love this dish as an appetizer—it’s sized to share! Or served over whole-wheat pasta with a side salad, it makes a nicely balanced entrée with corner bistro vibes.
Mussels don’t just taste great: On a nutritional scale of 1 to 10, they’re out of this world! Mussels are low in calories, boast a whopping 20 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving and offer a number of other nutrients like iron and vitamin C, to help support your energy, immune system and cognitive function. All in all, a no-brainer addition to your weekly meal plan!
So, bring on the holiday dinner parties, cozy date nights and busy weeknight meals. Whatever this winter dishes out, you’ll be ready for it with this mouthwatering mussels recipe in your back pocket!
Mussels with White Wine Sauce
Prep time: 35 minutes (mostly unattended)
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds mussels, cleaned
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 2 cups white wine
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- Crusty, whole-grain bread or baguette (optional)
- Lemon wedges (optional)
Mussel Cleaning Instructions
- Mussels need to breathe. After bringing them home from the store, immediately unwrap mussels and inspect them. Discard any mussel that is chipped, broken or damaged. Also, discard any opened mussels that don’t tightly close when you tap them. Place mussels in a bowl covered with a damp towel in the fridge.
- Just before cooking, soak mussels in fresh water for about 20 minutes to let them expel sand.
- Most mussels have what is commonly called a “beard” made of fibers that emerge from the mussel’s shell. To remove it, hold the mussel in one hand and grasp the beard with the other. Give the beard a sharp yank toward the hinge end of the mussel. (Don’t pull toward the opening end of the mussel, or you could tear and kill the mussel.) Discard the beards.
- By hand, transfer the mussels from the water into a fresh bowl of clean, cold water. (Don’t use a strainer, or you’ll end up pouring the filtered sand back on top of the mussels.)
- Use a firm brush to brush off any additional sand, barnacles or other oceanic attachments. Rinse the mussels under cool tap water and set aside. Dry with a towel before cooking.
- In a large pot, heat olive oil and garlic; cook for about 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant.
- Add clean mussels, lemon juice, lemon zest, white wine, red pepper flakes and basil.
- Cover and simmer over medium heat until mussels are steamed open, about 4 to 6 minutes. Cook time depends on how long it takes the mussels to open—it might take less time, based on stovetop performance.
- Remove pot from heat and discard unopened mussels. Serve with crusty bread and lemon wedges.