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Steamed Mussels in White Wine Broth

by on October 19, 2009 · 17 comments

Steamed Mussels in White Wine Broth Recipe

It’s so easy to make steamed mussels – Shallots, garlic and white wine make the perfect broth, so much so, that you’ll need lots of bread to soak it all up.

We love this dish so much that we actually made up “Mussels Sunday” as an excuse to have them often (I know, we thought it was weird too).  Anyway, this is one of those dishes that just makes us happy.  We start with sliced shallots, which are in between an onion and garlic giving a slightly sweet and more delicate flavor, then we add garlic, white wine, mussels, a splash of cream and parsley.  Get a piece of crusty french bread for dipping and sit down with a big bowl of mussels and a glass of wine…..fabulous.

Tips for Making Steamed Mussels

If you have never made steamed mussels before at home, there are a few things to remember:

  1. Buy mussels from a trusted seafood counter.  We only buy our mussels from Whole Foods or Balduccis, we have tried other stores, but just don’t find the quality to be as high.  The nice thing about mussels is the price, even at a gourmet store you will only be paying about $5 to $6 a pound.
  2. Once you get home from the store, make sure the mussels are unwrapped and stored in a cool area (remember mussels are alive before you cook them, if you do not store them correctly, they could die before you get the chance to make the recipe)
  3. Look through the mussels, if you find any cracked, chipped or open mussels, discard them.
  4. About 20 minutes before steaming, place the mussels in a bowl full of fresh water, as the mussels breathe they will expel any sand or grit that is stored inside the shells.
  5. Most mussels will have what is known as “the beard,” this is just fibers that emerge from the shell of the mussel.  To remove the beard, hold the mussel in one hand with a dry towel and pull the beard with your other hand towards the hinge end of the mussel, sometimes it can be a bit tricky to remove, but will come out.
  6. Take the mussels out of the first bowl of water and place them into another bowl full of clean cold water.  Use a firm brush to remove additional sand and any barnacles then rinse them under cold water, dry then set aside ready to steam.
  7. After steaming, if any of the steamed mussels have not opened, discard them.


A few weeks back Adam and I were elated to find an email from Kristy at Refrigerator Soup asking if we were interested in participating in their 20 Questions feature that gives each blogger they’re own featured page for a week.  After a moment of surprise, we replied with a big YES, of course we would love to be a part of Refrigerator Soup’s 20 Questions feature.  The questions are great ranging from why we started our food blog to what our favorite kitchen gadget was, we had a blast answering them and just cannot wait to see our answers up on the site.  We will be featured this week (October 19 – October 23), so definitely make sure you go check us and Refrigerator Soup out.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Steamed Mussels in White Wine Broth
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Shallots, garlic and wine make the perfect broth for steamed mussels. When cooking mussels if any are open before cooking, discard them. Once cooked, if any have not opened, discard those also.

Serve the mussels in a big bowl with bread on the side so you can soak up all that delicious broth.
Created By:
Yield: 2
You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 small shallots
, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds mussels
8 ounces chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
lemon wedges
salt and pepper
  • Crusty French bread
  1. Clean and remove beards from mussels.
  2. Preheat a large pot to medium and add olive oil and butter. Once butter has melted, add sliced shallots, a pinch of salt and pepper then cook for 5 minutes until the shallots have softened.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add wine, chicken stock and mussels, then cover with a lid and steam mussels for 8-10 minutes or until all mussels open. (If any mussels do not open, discard).
  4. Add cream and parsley, stir and season with salt if necessary.
  5. Serve with lemon wedges and slices of crusty French bread.

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About the Author


I'm Adam Gallagher and alongside my wife, Joanne, I photograph and share favorite recipes from our kitchen. Sharing our recipes began as a hobby, turned into a dream and now has become our business. I just love that.

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1 Wendi October 19, 2009 at 11:17 am

Congrats on the Refrigerator Soup feature. And the muscles look incredible.


2 Donalyn October 20, 2009 at 10:02 pm

I love mussels – such a tasty bargain aren’t they? Found you from the feature on Refrigerator Soup and so glad that I did. You guys have a lovely blog, great recipes and gorgeous photography. I will be back to see more!


3 Steven November 17, 2009 at 1:49 am

This really seems like a fantastic version for mussels — My wife will love it! Our anniversary is Monday, so I shall surprise her!


4 Joanne November 17, 2009 at 7:47 am

Steven – how wonderful, Happy Anniversary!


5 ccrow November 17, 2009 at 8:56 am

I *love* mussels! This looks like something I need to try. I usually do them w/white wine & some crushed red pepper flakes. I also like to hold them overnight(refrigerated) in salted water; I find it really helps get all the grit out of them.


6 jim June 11, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Nice Mussels Recipe :)

I just read how to grow my own garlic now I know what to cook with it.

Thank You.



7 susan July 3, 2011 at 2:32 pm

great tips! we used a cast iron skillet on the grill til it was very hot; threw the fat, shallots and garlic in, then the mussels. put the grill lid down d
for about 3min, opened up and added the liquid. sprinkled on fresh herbs just before serving. the hit of the BBQ thanks! oh and got great product from fresh market.


8 Amber August 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm

This recipe sounds lovely! What kind of cream should I use? Sour cream?


9 Joanne August 14, 2012 at 10:34 am

No, use heavy or whipping cream. It makes the broth silky and delish.


10 Laurie M. February 7, 2013 at 9:11 pm

If I may: reminds me of a joke (one of the few I can remember)
What do you get when you cross an owl with a clam?

A mussell that stays up aaaawwwwwlllllll nite!!

Can’t wait to try your marvelously easy recipe!!


11 Ty January 28, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Am I the only one freaking about the mussels being alive. Deep breaths. I can do this.


12 Joanne January 30, 2014 at 12:25 pm

You can totally do this!!!


13 Mia April 2, 2014 at 2:57 am

That freaks me out too.. the thought of holding them and tugging the beards off… I can almost hear their little imaginary screams! ;-) But that’ll be the last thing on my mind when i’m tucking into my piping hot bowl of mussels in wine.. Yum!


14 Joanne April 3, 2014 at 10:41 am

Haha … it’s worth it :)


15 Anna July 21, 2014 at 12:01 pm

It really became my favourite mussels receipt. Sate is delicious. Thanx


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