Love mussels but not sure how to cook them? We can help with that!

Surprisingly, fresh mussels are one of the easiest seafood dishes to cook. This recipe can be prepared in less than 20 minutes with just a handful of ingredients for the light tomato broth.


1 net bag of mussels
2 T. butter, divided
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
1 can (15 oz.) of petite diced tomatoes
1/4 cup of red wine 
2 T. chopped flat leaf parsley


Rinse your mussels in cool water and discard any that are broken or open. In a large, lidded pot, over medium-high heat, melt 1 T. of butter and add the olive oil. Lightly sautée the garlic until fragrant, then add the tomatoes and red wine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

When the tomato mixture comes to a simmer, add the mussels all at once, cover, and cook for 6 minutes. This is a good time to put a loaf of crusty bread in the oven to warm up. 

Remove the lid and carefully lift out the mussels onto your serving platter. You may have some empty shells; just discard those and try to fish out the orphan mussels from the broth. Finish the sauce with the second T. of butter, and re-season to taste. Add the chopped parsley and turn off the heat, stirring just enough to wilt it. Pour the sauce over the platter of mussels and serve with the warmed bread. This is plenty for two, enough for three or four with a good salad.

Photo by Sarina Petrocelly

The variations of this dish are endless -- If you prefer a white sauce, omit the tomatoes and add white wine to the sautéed garlic. Finish the sauce with a splash of cream for a luxurious touch. If you have some pancetta, render it in the pan along with the garlic step and omit the last bit of butter.

Play around with this recipe and make it your own. We'd love to hear about your recipe in the comments below!

Looking for more OCN recipes? This one for hearty beef ragout is perfect for chilly days!