How to cook mussels! We cook mussels in a flavorful broth made with white wine, garlic, and shallots in this easy steamed mussels recipe. It is easy, quick, and delicious.
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Our Favorite Way to Cook Mussels
It is so easy to make steamed mussels at home. Shallots, garlic, and white wine make the perfect broth. 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.
How to Cook Mussels Perfectly, Every time
We love this steamed mussels recipe so much, and we make it often. Mussels are inexpensive, and the list of ingredients is short.
If you have never made steamed mussels before at home, here are our best tips for making them.
Buy mussels from a trusted seafood counter. The nice thing about mussels is the price. Even at a gourmet or pricy store, you will only be paying about $5 to $6 a pound.
Remember that when you buy them, mussels are alive. So the moment you get home from the store, take them off any ice, unwrap them and store them in the refrigerator covered with a damp cloth. The wet cloth prevents them from drying out. See the frequently asked questions below for more tips on storing mussels.
Look through the mussels. If you find any cracked or chipped mussels, discard them. If any are open, give them a quick tap on the counter and watch if they close again. If they do not close, discard them.
Remove the beard. Most mussels will have a beard, which is just the fibers that emerge from the mussel shell. It’s best to remove this. To remove it, 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 it can be a bit tricky to remove, but it will eventually come out.
Clean them. Use a firm brush to remove extra sand and the odd barnacle. Rinse the cleaned mussels under cold water, and then move on to cooking them.
Double-check before serving. After steaming, if any of the steamed mussels have not opened, discard them.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can you keep mussels in the fridge? When stored properly (see below), live mussels will last two to three days in the refrigerator (sometimes longer). However, we try to keep the time to a minimum and cook mussels within a day or two.
How do you store live mussels? 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 each day (or more often, if possible. Do not let the mussels sit in water and keep the dishtowel damp so that they do not dry out.
Recipe updated, originally posted October 2009. Since posting this in 2009, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne
Steamed Mussels with White Wine Broth
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. For tips on storing live mussels and cleaning them, see the article above.
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 (236 ml) low-sodium chicken stock, see our easy chicken stock recipe
1/2 cup (118 ml) 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 all 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
- How to Clean Mussels: Look through the mussels. If you find any cracked, chipped, or open mussels, discard them. Most mussels will have a “beard,”which is just the fibers that emerge from the mussel shell. It’s best to remove this. To remove it, 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 it can be a bit tricky to remove, but will eventually come out. Finally, use a firm brush to remove extra sand and the odd barnacle. Rinse the cleaned mussels under cold water, and then move on to cooking them.
- Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values. We did not include bread in the calculations.