Perfect Steamed Mussels

This incredible steamed mussels recipe is my favorite way to cook mussels! We cook them in a flavorful broth made with white wine and garlic. It is easy, quick, and delicious.

Steamed Mussels Recipe Video

I love making steamed mussels in white wine at home. I prefer the mussels I’ve made at home to those I’ve ordered at restaurants. As the mussels steam, the broth gets trapped inside the shells.

It’s divine, plus the leftover broth is fantastic for soaking up with a good loaf of bread.

Key Ingredients

  • Mussels: I use fresh mussels in this recipe. Buy them from a trusted seafood counter. The nice thing about mussels is their price. Even at a gourmet or pricy store, they cost $7 to $8 a pound. Cleaning and storing tips for mussels are below.
  • White wine and broth: Mussels and white wine are a classic combination. Use a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or unoaked chardonnay. In addition to the white wine, we add a splash of broth. I use chicken broth, but vegetable or seafood stock works, too.
  • Shallot and garlic: We want lots of cooked shallot and garlic. As the mussels cook, the shallot and garlic fall into the shells.
  • Cream: It is optional, but I always add a splash. It mellows out the broth and makes it more luxurious.
Steamed Mussels with shallots, garlic, parsley and a white wine broth

How to Prepare Mussels for Cooking

Remember that mussels are alive when you buy them. When stored properly, live mussels will last 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator (sometimes longer). Do not store live mussels in water. When you get home from the store, remove them from any ice and airtight bags (the mesh bags are okay). Store the mussels in a colander set over a large bowl. Cover the colander with damp dish towels. Check on the mussels daily (or more often, if possible). Do not let the mussels sit in water, and keep the dishtowel damp so they do not dry out.

Look through your mussels. If you find any cracked or chipped shells, discard them. If any mussels are open, give them a quick tap on the counter and watch if they close again. If they do not close, discard them.

I remove the beard. Most mussels have a beard (the fibers that emerge from the shell). It’s not great to eat, so I remove it. To debeard mussels, hold a mussel in one hand using a dry towel. Then, pull the beard out and away from the mussel with your other hand. Sometimes, removing it can be tricky, but with a good wiggle, it will eventually come out.

Clean your mussels before you cook them. Use a firm brush to remove extra sand and the odd barnacle. Then, rinse the cleaned mussels under cold water.

How to Steam Mussels

This steamed mussels recipe is easy and quick to prepare. Start by cooking shallots and garlic in butter, then add white wine and a bit of broth. Stir in the mussels, cover the pot, and let them steam.

You know the mussels are cooked when most of the shells are open. It takes 6 to 10 minutes. If you notice any that have not opened, discard them. To finish, I take the pot off the heat, then stir in a splash of cream and parsley, and squeeze over a little fresh lemon juice. So easy and so delicious.

Make sure that you have some crusty bread to soak up all the wonderful white wine broth.

Steamed Mussels in White Wine Broth

Perfect Steamed Mussels

  • PREP
  • COOK

Shallots, garlic, and white wine make the perfect broth for steamed mussels. Serve the mussels in a big bowl with bread on the side so you can sop up all that delicious broth. The article above has tips on storing live mussels and cleaning them.

Makes 2 generous servings

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

2 pounds mussels, cleaned

1 tablespoon butter

2 small shallots, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup (236ml) low-sodium chicken stock

1/2 cup (118ml) dry white wine

Splash heavy cream

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Lemon wedges, for serving

1 baguette, warmed for serving


    1Melt butter in a large pot with a lid over medium heat. When the butter begins to bubble, stir in the shallot and garlic. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

    2Add the chicken stock, white wine, and mussels, then give them a good toss. Cover the pot with its lid and cook until the mussels have opened 6 to 10 minutes. If any mussels do not open, discard them.

    3Remove the pot from the heat, then stir in the cream and parsley. Taste the broth, and then adjust to taste with salt, pepper, or more cream.

    4Serve in big bowls with lemon wedges and plenty of warmed bread to sop up the broth.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1/2 the recipe / Calories 510 / Protein 48 g / Carbohydrate 28 g / Dietary Fiber 2 g / Total Sugars 6 g / Total Fat 17 g / Saturated Fat 7 g / Cholesterol 133 mg
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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68 comments… Leave a Review
  • Timothy Dorcas March 15, 2024, 8:49 am

    Very easy recipe with amazing results! Instant classic

    • Adam March 18, 2024, 12:38 pm

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed it. We love making this one. One of our favorites!

  • Patty October 29, 2023, 9:40 pm

    I have been making this twice a week for several months. It’s extremely easy to fix. I serve a salad and hot bread with it. My family lives this recipe!!

  • X CD athy May 14, 2023, 5:36 pm

    I made this receipe for myself on mothers’s day. Delicious thanks

  • Kim Rectenwald ` March 12, 2023, 3:13 pm

    This was one of the best recipes I’ve ever made for mussels! It was super easy to prepare and just absolutely delightful to eat. I did slice a whole lemon and added it to the cooking process and it added a nice right flavor to the sauce. I didn’t have any white wine on hand, but I subbed with white cooking wine, and it was perfectly fine.

  • Josh Prestidge January 18, 2023, 10:48 am

    Hello, this recipe looks like it will be delicious! If I want more of the broth for dipping, can I double the recipe without doubling the amount of mussels? Thank you.

    • Joanne January 18, 2023, 2:48 pm


  • Christine Taylor-Butler January 8, 2023, 9:58 pm

    Thank you! This was super easy to do and delicious!

  • Marlene January 5, 2023, 1:17 pm

    Simply simple and delicious. I’ve done this twice already and it’s a hit.


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