Delicious Mussels in Lemon-Garlic Sauce Recipe

Hear me, culinary enthusiasts and seafood lovers! Today, I bring unto you a recipe that will surely tantalize your taste buds and satisfy your cravings for fresh, succulent seafood. This recipe is an exquisite blend of juicy mussels drenched in a tangy, savory white wine sauce with hints of zesty lemon and garlic. The aroma of this preparation will transport you right into the Mediterranean shores where the freshest seafood is captured by seasoned chefs and prized by discerning epicures.

This dish is perfect for an extravagant dinner party or a cozy meal for two. It can be served over pasta or simply enjoyed on its own with some crusty bread to soak up the sumptuous sauce. I promise you, this recipe will definitely earn you some compliments and leave your guests craving for more.

So come, let us embark on a culinary adventure and discover the secrets of making the perfect Mussels in Lemon, Garlic, and White Wine Sauce.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Mussels in a Lemon, Garlic, and White Wine Sauce
Mussels in a Lemon, Garlic, and White Wine Sauce

Hear me, hear me, my dear food-lovers! Today, with joyous heart, I bring you a recipe that’s sure to capture your palate and transport you to the shores of sunny Mediterranean. I present to you, my lords and ladies, Mussels in a Lemon, Garlic, and White Wine Sauce.

Firstly, let me tell you that this dish is perfect for those who admire quick and easy meals but don’t want to compromise on taste. This delicacy can be cooked in under 30 minutes; it requires minimal prep time and lets you enjoy your company while it simmers away. Ah, what bliss!

Secondly, the combination of flavors will make you praise the heavens above: garlic mingles with white wine while lemon juice adds a refreshing zest. Let’s not forget the subtle heat from red pepper flakes that will awaken your senses. And when the little shells open up, they release all their natural juices that mix into our sauce. It’s pure magic!

Thirdly, Mussels in a Lemon, Garlic, and White Wine Sauce recipe is extremely versatile. You can serve it with pasta or as an appetizer with crusty bread for dunking in the flavorful broth. In addition to its serving flexibility, you can also modify it by substituting ingredients depending on your liking.

So let’s summarize why this dish is perfect for you: It’s a quick and easy meal that doesn’t compromise on taste. The flavors are nothing short of heavenly with a blend of lemon juice, garlic butter sauce, white wine garlic sauce and red pepper flakes all mixed together perfectly. It’s extremely flexible in terms of serving options using pasta or bread making it incredibly versatile.

In conclusion my fellow foodies no one could resist this succulent dish once tasted therefore let us unite our hands together and try out this amazing recipe at once!

Ingredient List

“A bowl of flavorful mussels”

Main Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. fresh mussels
  • 1 large lemon, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups dry white wine (Pinot Grigio recommended)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced fat margarine or salted butter
  • Fresh parsley and/or basil leaves for garnish

Substitutions and Variations

  • Frozen mussels instead of fresh ones can be used.
  • Meyer lemon instead of regular lemon can be used.
  • Instead of Pinot Grigio, any dry white wine can be used.
  • Roasted garlic sauce can be substituted for the garlic butter sauce.

Note: When substituting with a non-alcoholic beverage, use equal amounts to replace the wine. Additionally, a cornstarch slurry can be used as an alternate thickener to the roux made with butter and flour.

The Recipe How-To

“Zesty and fresh lemon slices add the perfect touch”

Here is a step-by-step guide to making this delicious Mussels in a Lemon, Garlic, and White Wine Sauce Recipe.


  • 2 pounds fresh mussels
  • 1 large shallot
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon juice and zest
  • ½ cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley for serving.

The Recipe:

  1. To clean the mussels thoroughly, scrub them with a stiff brush under cold running water. Remove the beards (the hairy fibers protruding from between the shells) by pulling them down and towards the hinge. Discard any mussels that remain open when you tap them sharply against the counter.

  2. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the shallots in butter and oil until translucent. Add half of the minced garlic, chili flakes, and sauté up to 2 minutes.

  3. Add wine to the pot, then cook it for around five minutes until it’s been reduced in half.

  4. Disinfect your mussels by steaming them: add them to a steamer basket over two cups of boiling water in a large pot with a lid. Steam for about four-five minutes until all shells are opened.

  5. Add lemon juice and zest into your wine sauce; reduce heat to simmering for one minute.

  6. Remove a cupful of broth from the pot and add cornstarch then whisk.

  7. Put flour-water mixture back in the pot while stirring to blend – it will thicken your sauce.

  8. Add garlic mussels into your wine sauce; gently toss into your pot.

  9. Taste and check salt/pepper, then serve hot with fresh parsley.

Tips for Perfect Results

  • Discard any unopened shells before eating.
  • Don’t overcook your mussels as they become tough and dry.
  • For a creamier pasta dish, add a splash of heavy cream to the broth before adding cornstarch.
  • Frozen mussels may also be used in this recipe. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and proceed as directed.
  • The lemon-garlic-butter sauce is a perfect partner for clams, too, making this recipe flexible enough to use in other seafood dishes.

Now that you know the step-by-step process of cooking Mussels in a Lemon, Garlic, and White Wine Sauce Recipe, it’s time to grab these ingredients and start creating your own mouthwatering dish!

Substitutions and Variations

“Indulge in the delicate and creamy garlic sauce”

Dear culinary adventurers,

Are you feeling adventurous with your Mussels in a Lemon, Garlic, and White Wine Sauce recipe? Here’s my suggestions for substitutions and variations that will allow you to elevate the dish to new heights of flavor.

1. Tomato-Based Sauce: You can add a twist to the recipe by adding some Roma tomatoes to create a tomato-based sauce instead of the white wine garlic sauce. The sweetness of the tomatoes complements the brininess of the mussels perfectly.

2. Meyer Lemon: For an added burst of tang, try substituting regular lemon with Meyer lemon. The slightly sweeter taste profile and less acidic taste goes wonders with mussels in lemon and garlic butter sauce.

3. Roasted Garlic: You can replace regular minced garlic with roasted garlic cloves for more depth of flavor. Roasting cloves will impart a nutty aroma and mild flavor, which complements perfectly with white wine and butter sauce.

4. Creamy Pasta: Stir in some heavy cream or cream cheese into the garlic sauce recipe, for a twist on the classic seafood pasta dish. This variation is perfect if you want to enjoy mussels white wine sauce over pasta.

5. Clam sauce and Linguine : Instead of using mussels, you can try using clams or a mixture of both clams and mussels in your recipe for clam sauce served over linguine.

As always, don’t be afraid to get creative with the ingredients! The possibilities are endless – so feel free to experiment with flavors that appeal to your palate!

Yours truly,

The Sommelier

Serving and Pairing

“A dish that will impress your guests”

Fair lady, let me advise thee on how best to serve this delectable dish of mussels in a lemon, garlic, and white wine sauce. A crusty loaf of bread is essential, to mop up every last drop of the heavenly sauce that coats the mussels.

As for the pairing, I recommend thee to enjoy it with a glass or two of dry white wine. A lovely Pinot Grigio would be excellent, for its bright acidity would complement the tangy and zesty flavors of the sauce. The wine’s minerality would also match well with the brininess of the mussels.

Should thee desire a non-alcoholic beverage instead, a sparkling water infused with citrus fruits or cucumber would provide a refreshing accompaniment.

In terms of sides, a simple green salad tossed in a lemon vinaigrette would offer a bright and fresh contrast to the richness of the dish. Alternatively, roasted garlic butter potatoes would provide a hearty and comforting option.

Remember, this dish should be savored slowly, enjoying each succulent mussel while sipping on your chosen libation. Truly it is one of life’s great pleasures!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“The perfect balance of tangy and savory”

If you’re planning to make this delicious mussels recipe ahead of time, you’re in luck because it’s surprisingly easy to store and reheat. Follow these simple tips to keep your leftovers fresh and flavorful:

Make-Ahead: You can make the lemon garlic white wine sauce up to two days in advance, then simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook your mussels. Make sure to bring it back to room temperature before adding it to the mussels.

Storing: Leftover mussels can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. To prevent them from getting too soggy, leave them sitting on top of the sauce rather than submerging them completely.

Reheating: To reheat your mussels, first, remove any leftover shellfish from the original pan and place them into a separate container. Then gently heat your sauce over low-medium heat until it starts to simmer. Add your mussels back into the pan and let them heat through for several minutes.

If you find that your sauce has thickened too much after being refrigerated, you can add a little bit of water or white wine and stir well until it reaches its original consistency. Remember not to reheat your leftovers more than once since repeated heating can cause shellfish to become rubbery and tough.

A perfectly cooked bowl of mussels is always best when freshly made, but knowing how to store and reheat leftovers effectively can be a real lifesaver when you’re short on time but still need something tasty and satisfying.

Tips for Perfect Results

“Mussels bathing in a white wine pool”

One of the most important things when making mussels in lemon, garlic, and white wine sauce is to use fresh mussels. It is also important to know how to clean and store them properly.

Before cooking, scrub the mussels thoroughly using a brush under cold running water. Remove any beards, the hairy clumps that protrude from the side of mussels. After washing, discard any open unresponsive shells.

When it comes to the white wine sauce, choose dry white wine like Pinot Grigio. Avoid sweet wines as they can make the dish overly sweet.

Cook the mussels in medium heat only until they open their shells. Overcooking will result in rubbery and tough meat.

Adding cornstarch to the sauce can help thicken it up. Combine cornstarch with a small amount of cold water before stirring it into the sauce. This step can be skipped if you prefer a lighter sauce.

Lastly, garnish your dish with freshly chopped parsley for a burst of flavor and freshness. Serve with bread or pasta on the side to catch every last drop of delicious sauce.

By following these tips, you can ensure perfect results every time you make mussels in lemon, garlic, and white wine sauce.


Now that you have mastered the art of making Mussels in a Lemon, Garlic, and White Wine Sauce, you may still have some burning questions. In this section, I’ll answer some frequently asked questions on this recipe to ensure your final product is perfect every time.

What wine is best for mussels in white wine sauce?

If you’re planning to have mussels with garlic and breadcrumbs, it’s best to serve them with a crisp and dry white wine like Pinot Grigio, especially if it’s an Italian one. However, you can also opt for a fruity Sauvignon Blanc such as Sauvignon de Touraine or an unoaked Chardonnay, as they pair well with this dish.

What to serve with mussels in white wine sauce?

When it comes to pairing with Moules Marinières, nothing beats a crispy baguette to soak up the delectable sauce or crispy French fries to complement the rich flavors of the dish. For a refreshing addition to this seafood classic, I highly recommend a tangy and invigorating salad that will perfectly balance the overall taste.

What wine is best for cooking mussels?

If you want to prepare a delicious dish of Mussels at home, I suggest using Italian Pinot Grigio as the ideal white wine to be used in steaming them. This variety of white wine has a unique taste that is dry and crisp with a subtle presence of smokiness and minerality. It also has neutral notes of apple, pear and peach that make it perfect for cooking Mussels.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this mussels in a lemon, garlic, and white wine sauce recipe is truly a masterpiece. It’s an incredibly flavorful dish that can be easily prepared in just a few steps. The freshness of the mussels combined with the zesty lemon and garlic, along with the dry white wine sauce makes for a mouth-watering meal. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone looking for a quick and easy seafood entree.

Moreover, this recipe provides endless possibilities for substitutions and variations. You can make it spicier by adding more red pepper flakes or make it creamier by adding some cream to the broth. You can also substitute the mussels with clams or add some tomatoes to the sauce to make a tomato-based sauce.

Additionally, when it comes to serving and pairing, this dish pairs perfectly with a glass of dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. You can serve it on its own as an appetizer or pair it with pasta for a main course. The versatility of this dish is one of its many advantages.

In conclusion, not only is this recipe quick and easy to prepare but it is also packed with flavor and versatility. Whether you’re preparing dinner for your family or hosting a dinner party, this dish is sure to impress your guests. So go ahead and give this recipe a try! You won’t regret it.

Mussels in a Lemon, Garlic, and White Wine Sauce

Mussels in a Lemon, Garlic, and White Wine Sauce Recipe

I created this in an effort to emulate a dish we liked at a local Italian restaraunt. I think it's pretty similar, but would have to eat the restaraunt version again to be sure! Either way, my boyfriend loved it...he rated it an enthusiastic A-Plus!! I live nowhere near an ocean, so this recipe calls for frozen mussels...I couldn't even begin to tell you how to modify the recipe using fresh mussels.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine French/Belgian
Servings 4
Calories 472.4 kcal


  • 10 ounces whole wheat linguine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons reduced fat margarine
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb mussels, steamed and 1/4 cup of the liqueur reserved
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch


  • Saute the garlic in the olive oil and margarine over medium heat.
  • Stir in the wine, lemon juice, tomatoes, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and liqueur from the mussels (keep mussels warm).
  • Bring to a simmer. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle cornstarch over top and stir in with a whisk. Stir vigorously enough to also break up the tomatoes.
  • Return to a simmer and stir frequently, until sauce has thickened a little (will still be fairly thin).
  • Add mussels, cover, and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve over noodles.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 279gCalories: 472.4kcalCarbohydrates: 64gProtein: 24.9gFat: 13.3gSaturated Fat: 2.1gCholesterol: 31.8mgSodium: 405mgFiber: 1.8gSugar: 1.1g
Keyword < 60 Mins, European, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Mussels
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